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The Heysham-Sayre Branch

This next part of the family, heirs of William Heysham of Philadelphia, is famous for the 19th century industrialist, Robert Heysham Sayre, the founder and manager of Bethlehem Steel Company, a marriage in the White House, a connection with Alger Hiss, and the Dean of the National Cathedral. It ranks amongst those family's who count themselves as the aristocracy of America. It need not be said that any relationship my family may have to them is a distant one.

(21) Ann Heysham-Sayre (1765)
(6) Richard de Heysham (c1190) (7) Thomas de Heysham (c1220) (8) Adam de Heysham (c1250) (9) John de Heysham (c1280) (10) David de Heysham (c1320) (11) Thomas de Heysham (c1350) (12) William de Heysham (c1400) (13) Nicholas Heysham (c1450) (14) William Heysham (c1520) (15) Gyles Highsame (c1540) (16) William Heysham (c1580) (17) Giles Heysham (1603) (18) John Heysham (c1635) (19) William Heysham (c1680) (20) Captain William Heysham (1720)

Ann is the matriarch of this line. She was the second daughter of Captain William Heysham born with this name, the first dying at the age of 20 months. The second Ann was born on 25 January 1765 in Philadelphia, just as her father was becoming politically active in the run-up to the American Revolution. Little is known of her early life. As the daughter of a well-to-do merchant, but still a woman, she would have had a limited education. She probably received a basic grammar school education, but her place was in the home. I should hasten to say that in that era this was no slight. The amount of work required to raise a family and keep house was extensive and could easily consume the entire labor of one woman. At her mother's knee Ann would have learned how to run a household, manage servants and tradesmen, keep accounts, educate her children in manners and morals, and mix in better society.

The revolution began at Lexington and Concord when Ann was only 10 years old. The family would have suffered some privation. Trade, and her father's income, was restricted by a British blockade and many imports, like the finer fabrics and other fancy goods, were no longer available. There is no indication, however, that starvation ever stalked Philadelphia. When Ann was 12 years old the British army occupied the city, which must have been a frightening experience for the girl, especially as her father would have been marked as a traitor. As a consequence the family may have fled into the country for a time, though I have no evidence of that. When the war ended in 1783 she was 18 years old.

Ann is a witness and heir, along with her mother and sister, to the will of Susannah Cumming of Philadelphia. The will is signed 17 November 1789 and proved on 26 April 1791.

"Cumming, Susannah. (Late of City of Phil'a.) Mooreland, Co of Philad'a. Widow. Signed Nov. 17. 1789. Son- Joseph. Nieces- Margaret Craft and her Daughter Maria. Nephew- James Craft. Friends- Mrs. Mary Heysham and her Daughters Mary and Ann, Katharine, Mary, Phibe, and Rachel Comley, James Mounteer. James (Son of Joshua Comley). Exec. Joseph Cumming, Robert Heysham, William Heysham Senr. Witnesses- Joshua Comly, Ann Heysham. Prov'd. Ap. 26. 1791."
The census of 1790 shows three women still living in William Heysham's house on Arch street, most likely William's wife and his daughters, Mary and Ann.

Ann is mentioned in Volume 78, page 313 and Volume 154, page 107, of the Ten "Series" of the Pennsylvania Archives. I have not seen nor read this reference.

In 1792, at the age of 27, she married Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1765). Per the "Marriage Record of Christ Church, Philadelphia 1709–1806," the marriage was recorded on 10 April 1792. As you'll see below, it may have actually occurred on 9 April in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The Sayre Family

Francis was born on 9 September 1765 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Some sources claim his birthplace was Bellmont, Ulster county, New York, though I don't think his father was in that area until later, in 1769. His father, the Reverend John Sayre, was a minister in the Church of England and a staunch Loyalist. When Francis was a young boy the Sayre family moved into the backcountry of New York state where Reverend Sayre serviced four nascent churches. On the eve of the American Revolution, and perhaps as a result of conflicts with the independent farmers of New York, they suddenly moved to Fairfield, Connecticut where Reverend Sayre became the rector of the Trinity Church. They were still living there when the British burnt the city. Francis was 13 years old at the time. Subsequently the family removed to New York City, a British stronghold. When the British abandoned the city at the end of the war, John Sayre moved his family to Nova Scotia, and then to New Brunswick, where he died soon after on 5 August 1784. Francis was 18 years old at the time.

From Abstracts of old Series I, Sunbury, New Brunswick, Petitions 1765-1823 :

"1785 - John Sayre and Francis B. Sayer, ask to relinquish their lot in Oromocto and have land in Maugerville. Also Benjamin Brawn, caveat against J. Sayre's application for No.51 in Maugerville."
This must have been when the family relinguished their holdings to brother James Sayre, who remained in New Brunswick.

Reverend Sayre's wife, Mary Bowes Sayre, returned to America with the family, settling in Bloomsbury, New Jersey. There is a village of Bloomsbury north of Trenton, but I think this refers instead to Bloomsury Court, an estate in Trenton, New Jersey. As you'll read below, it was owned by Colonel John Cox whose wife, Esther Bowes, was the sister of Mary Sayre, and Francis Bowes Sayre's Aunt. I suspect they took in the family of the widow Mary Bowes Sayre until she could get on her feet again.

Bloomsbury Court

From Historic Houses of New Jersey by W. Jay Mills, 1902: "Bloomsbury the beautiful, as Bloomsbury Court used to be called in the days of Colonel John Cox's ownership, is truly a house of many memories. In its colonial garden there still stands an aged ash-tree, planted by the wealthy and noted William Trent, the erector of the original Bloomsbury and the founder of Trenton; and flanking the building itself are bushes of aged box, reminiscent of the days of the Georges. Under the shade of the ash-tree and the boxwood hundreds of roses bloomed in the long ago, fair white-hearts and gloires de Dijon, loved and tended by the Demoiselles Chevalier, the French aunts of Mrs. John Cox.

During the Revolution Bloomsbury Court was occupied for a short period by Dr. William Bryant, a practising physician of great repute, and afterwards by Colonel John Cox, Assistant Quartermaster to General Greene [During the American Revolution, the Trent House was occupied by Hessian forces and played a prominent role in several battles fought at Trenton during December of 1776. Later, Dr. William Bryant, the owner of the property, was expelled for his Tory sympathies. Colonel John Cox, a wealthy Philadelphia patriot and Deputy quartermaster General of the Continental Army, acquired the house and turned the grounds into a supply depot for Washington's army.].

At the time the war broke out John Cox and his family were living in a fine dwelling on Third Street, Philadelphia. He was the owner of an iron foundry at Batisto, New Jersey, from which some of his ample income was derived. During the war it supplied the army with a large amount of ordnance. On one occasion it nearly fell a prey to the British invaders, who passed by it on their way to Philadelphia. Owing to a skilful arrangement of lumber in covering the guns and cannon-balls the redcoats mistook it for a lumberyard.

The Batisto foundry played an important part in the lives of the Cox family; and when the Quaker City was given over to Lord Howe and his aides, Mrs. Cox and her daughters fled to a farm-house in its vicinity for safety. In some old letters of the period, written by the Cox family to friends, we obtain a glimpse of the hardships they endured while there and learn to appreciate better the bravery of the carefully-nurtured patriot women of the Revolution.

The lovely Mrs. Cox, who has been described as "an angel of a woman" and a leader of the beau monde of Trenton and Philadelphia, was then forced to do up her hair with thorns in lieu of hair-pins, and her six daughters went about in home-made linsey-woolsey. (Mrs. Cox before her marriage was Esther Bowes, the daughter of Sir Francis Bowes.) Miss Rachel Cox was seen at Valley Forge by Tory friends, and rallied by them on her "homespun appearance," but they later took pity on her forlorn condition, and helped her to secure some "London trades" for a more fashion- able wardrobe.

Perhaps it was at Batisto that the Cox family learned the wise lesson of simplicity of manners and costuming. At a later period, when the fashionables of Trenton and Philadelphia were rioting in every extreme of foreign extravagance and luxury, the Cox girls in their muslins charmed the occupants of all the drawing-rooms they entered. Bloomsbury Court during the Cox regime was a republican Hotel de Rambouillent in miniature. All that was best in the surrounding country came there. Old Trenton society crowded in its salons for the purpose of conversation. Often there was some air of Handel and Mozart played or sung by an eighteenth-century celebrity, or the reading of the latest poem by a well-known litterateur. Mrs. Cox herself had the volatile essence of gaiety and wit that characterized the women of the famous French salons, and her six daughters, – Catherine, Rachel, Sarah, Mary, Esther, and Elizabeth, – who inherited the quality with the additional fragrance of individuality, made a series of the most brilliant matches in the annals of old Philadelphia society.

General Washington and his lady enjoyed the hospitality of Bloomsbury Court, and the Marquis de Lafayette, Rochambeau, and other noted Frenchmen were entertained there. Many of the meals were served in the garden amid the roses of the Demoiselles Chevalier, and those stately ladies were always present conversing with their Gallic visitors in their native language. Sarah Cox, then a girl in her teens, used to relate in after years as Mrs. John Redman Coxe, the pleasure she took in seeing the family plate brought out for these occasions and the bustle and stir they brought to the family kitchen. "Those were Bloomsbury days," she used to sigh, and, according to Cox traditions, "Bloomsbury days" were best.

The Cox family disposed of Bloomsbury Court some time before the dawn of the nineteenth century. Today the old mansion is called Woodland. But when one pictures the old Demoiselles Chevalier among their roses, his mind reverts to the more poetic name of Bloomsbury bestowed upon it by the founder of Trenton." - from "Historic Houses of New Jersey" by W. Jay Mills, 1902. See Bloomsbury Court - Trenton.

Francis would have been about 18 years old when he came to Bloomsbury with his mother. "He pursued his medical studies in the University of Pennsylvania, and received the degree of Bachelor of Medicine in 1788." - from "History of medicine in New Jersey, and of its medical men, from the settlement of the province to..." by Stephen Wickes. This probably occurred under the guidance and with the financial support of the family's 'protector,' Dr. John Cox.

The University of Philadelphia

In 1749 in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin presented his vision of a school in a pamphlet titled Proposals for the Education of Youth in Pensilvania. Unlike other American Colonial colleges, the new school would not focus on education for the clergy. Instead, it would prepare students for lives of business and public service. The proposed program of study would become the nation's first modern liberal arts curriculum. Doors to the University opened in 1751, when the first classes were held.

Benjamin Rush taught at the University's Medical School where, in 1769, he held the Chair of Chemistry. In 1790 Dr. Rush was appointed professor of the institutes and practice of physic, and of clinical medicine.

The following references show Francis' attendence at lectures in Philadelphia. From - “A History of the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania,” by Joseph Carson, M.D. Scrapbooks, 1706-1875, 6 volumes. List of manuscript contents:
- Pennsylvania Hosipital, Board of Managers, admission ticket for Francis B. Sayre, 24 February 1787, 1 item.
- Lecture admission ticket for Francis [Bowes] Sayre, 1 November 1787. 1 item.
- Certificate of lecture attendance for Francis Bowes Sayre, 13 June 1788. 1 item.
- Certificate of lecture attendence for Franics B. Sayre, 15 June 1788, 1 item.
Francis would have been 21 to 22 years old at the time of these lectures.

"In this year he was a resident of New Jersey, as he was then, May 6, 1788, admitted to membership in the New Jersey Medical Society." - from "History of medicine in New Jersey, and of its medical men, from the settlement of the province to..." by Stephen Wickes. This was the first such society incorporated in the country.

The Medical Society of New Jersey

The Medical Society of New Jersey, the first state medical society in the nation, held its first meeting on July 23, 1766 at Duff’s Tavern in New Brunswick, N.J. Seventeen physicians had responded to an advertisement placed in the New York Mercury “to form a Society for their mutual Improvement, the Advancement of the Profession, and the Promotion of the Public Good…”

In the early 1770s, the Society lobbied for a law to regulate the right to practice medicine. The law, passed in 1772, and revised in 1783, granted the state Supreme Court, with the aid of medical examiners, the authority to license physicians. Society meetings were suspended from 1775 to 1781, during the Revolutionary War.

On 11 January 1789 Francis' mother, Mary Bowes Sayre, died at Bloomsbury at the age of 50. From A History of St. Michael's Church" by Hamilton Schuyler, 1926, "Names and Inscriptions on Tombstones and Tablets in St. Michael's Churchyard," Appendix O.

"Sacred to the memory of
Mrs. Mary Sayre
Relict of the
Rev. John Sayre
who
departed this life
11th January, 1789
in the 50th year of her age." (on outer wall of Church.)
Francis was 23 years old at the time and just a 'semester' away from completing his medical degree. While he was "of age," I suspect that from this time John and Esther Cox would act as parents for him.

John Cox (1732-1793)

John was the son of William Cox, of Cheltenham, Gloucester, England, and Catherine Longfield [Langfeld], of New York. William came to Brunswick in the Jersey colony before 1732. Catherine was from an old New Amsterdam family, the Van Langevelt's. Their son, John, was born in October 1732 in New Brunswick, Middlesex county, New Jersey. He became a wealthy merchant of Philadelphia who moved to Trenton to improve his health [!]. He invested heavily in securities, the iron business and salt refining.

His wife, Esther Bowes, was the sister of Mary Bowes, the mother of Franics Bowes Sayre. Mary and Esther were the daughters of Sir Francis Bowes and Rachel Chevalier of Trenton, New Jersey. Upon the death of Francis Bowes, Rachel married John Sayre Sr. Mary married the Reverend John Sayre Jr., her step-brother, on 28 September 1758 in Philadelphia. Esther married John Cox on 16 November [February?] 1760 in Christ Church, Philadelphia.

During the Revolution John Cox was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Philadelphia Associators and took part in the Battle of Trenton. He was appointed Deputy Quartermaster under General Nathaneal Greene at the urging of Adjutant General Joseph Reed, a relative. Charles Willson Peale, who painted the portrait above, served as a Captain under Colonel John Cox in 1776-1777. After the Revoluiton John was Vice President of the New Jersey State Council.

In 1790 John Cox returned to Philadelphia. He died on 28 April 1793 and was buried in Christ Church. Did he die of the Yellow Fever, rampant in 1793 in Philadelphia?

The will of John Cox (Late of Bloomsbury, New Jersey), City of Philadelphia, was signed 7 February 1792. It notes a large Estate on the Susquehanna and Islands opposite and [in] New Jersey.
Wife- Esther
Brother- Cornelius. He was born in 1736 in New Brunswick and died in 1802 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Children-

Rachel. She was the wife of Colonel John Stevens, of New York. John's father was a member of the Continental Congress and of the first Federal Congress. John was a lawyer, engineer & inventor. Their son, John Cox Stevens, was the first commodore of the New York Yacht Club.

Catherine. She was the wife of Samuel W. Stockton, of Trenton. He was a Revolutionary era diplomat. Secretary of the American Commissioners to the Courts of Austria and Russia from 1774 to 1779. The Secretary of the New Jersey Convention for the ratification of The Constitution of the United States in 1787. Secretary of State for New Jersey in 1794. He was also, like Washington, a Mason. Samuel died before 1800 and Catherine subsequently married the Reverend Nathaniel Harris.

Sarah. She was the wife of Dr. John Redman Coxe, of Philadelphia. An apprentice of Benjamin Rush, he became one of the great physicians of the city.

Mary. She was the wife of James Chestnut of Camden, Kershaw county, South Carolina. Their son, James Jr., a U.S. Senator and Confederate General, was the husband of the diarist, Mary Chestnut.

Elizabeth. She was the wife of Horace Binney, Esq., of Philadelphia. He was a prominent lawyer, and a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature and the national House of Representatives.

Esther. She was the wife of Matthias Barton, of Lancaster. The son of a clergyman, he became a wealthy landowner and a Pennsylvania State Senator.

Nephew John. The son of Brother Cornelius Cox.
Sister- Mary Allen.
Grand children-
John Bowes Stockton (a Sword). He was Catherine's son.
John Stevens Junr. He was Rachel's son.

Friends
Doctor Francis Bowes Sayre. John Cox' nephew. Note that Sir Francis Bowes was well remembered. There was also a Francis Bowes Stockton and a Francis Bowes Stevens.
Charles Pettit Esq. (a Sword). Pettit was also a Deputy Quartermaster under General Greene. He held an interest in John Cox's Batso iron works.
Doctor Isaac Smith, of Trenton.
Sarah and Theodore Pettit.

All his Slaves set free that are 30 years of age and upwards. All those under 30 years to be set free at that age, and those Slaves devised to his children to be set free when 30 years of age.

Donated to Trustees, 25 Shares of Stock of Bank of the United States, also Twenty six Thousand six hundred and Sixty-six Dollars funded Stock of the United States (in Trust).

To Sons in Law
Samuel W. Stockton (Pistols)
Matthias Burton Esqr. (Pistols)
John Stevens.

Niece- Theodocia H. Sayre. This was Theodosia Henrietta Sayre, born in 1778. She was the sister of Francis Bowes Sayre. She married Richard Coxe, Esq. on 11 February 1801. The son of William Coxe, he was a distinguished attorney and judge advocate. Was this a relation of Dr. John Redman Coxe, above and how did the Cox and Coxe families relate, if at all?

Relations-
Mary Ogden and Catharine Williams (of Trenton). They were daughters of Henry Langfield [Longfield?].
Guardian- Wife Esther Cox.
Exec. Esther Cox, John Stevens, Samuel W. Stockton and Mathias Barton Esqrs.
Witnesses- Isaac Wikoff, Jas. Abercrombie, Jacob C. Wikoff.

== 1st Codicil == Signed Oct. 20. 1792 Wife Esther. Daughter Mary and other Children. Witnesses (as Will)

== 2d. Codicil == Signed April 23. 1793. Wife Esther. African Society (in Philad'a.) Witnesses- James Abercrombie, John Barclay, Benjamin Rush [see below]. Proved 6 May 1793. (9 Pages)
Esther Bowes Cox outlived her husband by 16 years and died on 4 February 1814. In her will she bequeths an unknown amount "To niece Mary Elizabeth Sayre." This was the sister of Francis Bowes Sayre. However, a codicil "Revokes legacy to niece Mary Elizabeth Sayre now Mary Elizabeth Grant, wife of Revd. Thomas Grant. Signed August 17, 1808."

"Summary
The Cox and Chesnut family papers, dating to 1792, 1796-1815, 1833, 1841, and 1858, discuss political, economic, and social aspects of life in the United States during Early National and antebellum periods.

The majority of these letters were written ca. 1792-1815 to Mary Cox Chesnut (1775-1864) of Camden, S.C., by her mother Esther Bowes Cox (1740-1814) of Philadelphia, Penn. This Mary Chesnut was the wife of James Chesnut (1773-1866), owner of Mulberry Plantation, near Camden (Kershaw County, S.C.) and the mother-in-law of famed Civil War diarist Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut (1823-1886). The letters mainly send news about Mary’s sisters and other family members, and contain details of domestic concern – household matters, illnesses, medical treatments and child mortality, as well as social practices associated with courtship, engagement, and marriage. There are occasional references to political and community events.

While the collection consists almost entirely of letters written to Mary Cox Chesnut, much light is shed upon her life in Camden, S.C., through comments upon and responses to her letters. Mrs. Cox apparently acted as executrix of her husband’s estate and writes regularly of financial matters. Descriptions of medical and health-care practices are common and of interest and frequently conveyed in some detail. Romance is the second main theme of the letters and provides valuable insights into the courting mores of the times. Mrs. Cox was careful to keep her daughter up to date on all the interesting affairs of family and friends.

A sister of Mary Cox Chesnut, Rachel Cox Stevens (b. 1761), was the wife of John Stevens (1749-1838), a developer of the city of Hoboken, N.J. Stevens engineered a steam engine and boat, with collaborators Nicholas I. Roosevelt and Robert R. Livingston. Many letters in the collection discuss the progress of their inventions, and frustrations of competition with Robert Fulton.

Mary’s other sisters were Catherine (Kitty), b. 1764, married to Samuel Stockton and Rev. Nathaniel Harris; Esther (Hetty), b. 1767, wife of Matthias Barton; Sarah (Sally), b. 1779, married to physician and educator John Redmon Coxe (1773-1864); and Elizabeth (Betsy), b. 1783, wife of Horace Binney (1780-1875), lawyer and director of the first Bank of the United States.

Other correspondents include Mary’s husband James Chesnut, her father Col. John Cox (1732-1793), her cousin Theodosia Sayre Coxe, and friend Jane Kennedy. Mrs Cox dies in 1814 and letters of March - July 1814 concern the division of her estate among her family." - from Calendar, 1792-1858, to the Papers of the Cox and Chesnut Families.

"He [Francis Bowes Sayre] was advanced to the degree of Doctor of Medicine, 1790." - from "History of medicine in New Jersey, and of its medical men, from the settlement of the province to..." by Stephen Wickes. This degree was from the University of Pennsylvania. Francis' dissertation is on file at the Bernard Becker Medical Library of the Washington University School of Medicine. Titled "An Inaugural Dissertation on the Causes Which Produce a Predisposition to Phthisis Pulmonalis, and the Method of Obviating Them," by Francis Bowes Sayre, of Trenton, 1790. However, in the catalogue of the medical school his residence is given as Pennsylvania.

He first practiced medicine in Crosswicks [Cresswick], New Jersey, southeast of Trenton.

In 1792 Francis married Ann Heysham, of Philadelphia. From the marriage records of Christ Church, recorded in the Pennsylvania Archives, 1709-1806, Second Series, Volume 8, Christ Church:

"1792, April 10, Sayre, Francis Beawes [sic], and Ann Heysham."
Ann's sister, Mary Heysham, also married a Doctor, John H. Gibbon. Was this by happenstance, or did the Doctors know each other professionally? Did one of the Doctors, already seeing one of the girls, introduce the unattached sister to his Doctor friend?

On 6 April 1792, just three days before he married, Francis had bought a plantation in Crosswicks, New Jersey of 60 acres on the south side of Crosswicks Creek - from a deed recorded at Mount Holly, deed book 6, folio 209. Crosswicks creek, running west northwest, feeds the Delaware river, entering below Trenton. The south side would put Francis' estate into Burlington county. After marrying in April 1792, Ann and Francis probably lived on this 'estate.' Their first child, William Heysham, was born in Bordentown, which is just down the creek a few miles. Bordentown is a small town directly on the Delaware river, south of Trenton. It was also the home to one of Francis' cousins, the patriot Stephen Sayre.

A Francis B. Sayre is mentioned in the June 1793 Tax List for Chesterfield township, Burlington county, New Jersey. The Crosswicks plantation was in Burlington county.

At the end of the summer 1793 the Yellow Fever returned to Philadelphia. In response to a request by the Mayor, 16 of the 26 Fellows of the College of Physicians met to discuss what should be done. These included Adam Kuhn, John H. Gibbons, and Benjamin Rush. Doctor Sayre's attempts to treat the illness are addressed in "Bring out Your Dead: The Great Plague of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia in 1793" by J. H. Powell, 1993,

"Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre of Crosswicks in Jersey described the case of a woman he had lost who showed numerous petechiæ on various part of her skin, and asked Rush's opinion. A few days later her husband was seized, and Sayre wrote again, pleading for guidance as he had "exhausted the catalogue of tonics, stimulants and antiseptics."
Note that Dr. Adam Kuhn was greatly vilified for leaving town at this time to live in Bethlehem. He left many patients behind that other doctors had to treat. Francis' brother-in-law to be, J. H. Gibbons, became ill in September, though he did not die.

"When he [Dr. Jabez Gwinnup, born 1773] lacked two months of the age of twenty-one [1794], he was examined for license by the Board of Censors at Burlington, for two days, and came near being rejected by reason of youth. His license is signed by Francis Bowes Sayre, M. D., and two Justices of the Supreme Court of New Jersey." - from "A Medical History of the County of Warren 1765-1890" [Warren Co, NJ] by the Historical Committee of the Warren County District Medical Society, 1890.

Board of Censors

A Board of the Medical Society of New Jersey established to control the licensing of new doctors through an examination process. They also had the power to censure doctors by recommending the revocation of their licenses to practice.

The will of Ann Baldesgui, wife of Joseph Baldesgui of Bordentown, New Jersey, [Estate in Northampton Co.] and Philadelphia, dated 19 July 1796, names Mrs. Sayre [Point Breeze] as a friend. Later in the will an Elizabeth Sayre is mentioned as a witness. Elizabeth was the wife of Stephen Sayre, of the Pointe Breeze plantation. This was a cousin of Francis.

Bordentown, New Jersey

Perched on a bluff above the great bend in the Delaware River, Bordentown flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries because of its strategic geography. Located a short way below the head of navigation, it originally was a point at which goods traveling between Philadelphia and New York were transferred between water and land. Bordentown's scenic beauty was one of its major attractions. In the 19th century several wealthy Philadelphians built summer villas, mostly in the northeastern section of the town on the heights overlooking the Delaware River and Crosswicks Creek. By the end of the 19th century, however, Bordentown had become a backwater.

Point Breeze

Initially purchased by Stephen Sayre upon his return from diplomatic duty in Europe, Point Breeze is a 165-acre estate northeast of the Bordentown now associated with Napoleon Bonaparte. A French law of 1816 banished the Bonapartes from France and confiscated their property, income and took away their civil rights. Joseph Bonaparte sailed incognito aboard the American brig "Commerce" to America. He eventually settled in New Jersey in early 1817 under the name of the Count de Survilliers, though Americans tended to call him Mr. Bonaparte. He acquired title from the Sayre's to over 1000 acres of land near Bordentown, on the Delaware River. The estate was known as "Point Breeze," but it also acquired the name "Bonaparte's Park." In 1832, Joseph, now the Bonapartist pretender, moved to London to be closer to France. In 1850, Point Breeze was purchased by the British consul at Philadelphia who had the house pulled down and built another to replace it.


Ann's father, Captain William Heysham, died in October 1797. His will was probated in Philadelphia on 1 November 1797, mentioning his children William, Robert, Mary Gibbons and Ann Sayre. Dr. Sayre is listed as both a son-in-law [William's other son-in-law, John H. Gibbons, had predeceased him] and an executor, along with the two sons.

On 10 May 1798 Francis sold the Crosswicks plantation in New Jersey. A note below indicates that Francis was "lured to Philadelphia to practice" by Dr. Benjamin Rush.

In August 1798 Dr. Benjamin Rush formed a group of thirteen physicians, his students and followers, into the Academy of Medicine of Philadelphia. This was probably in response to Rush's stormy relations with and departure from the College of Physicians, of which Dr. John H. Gibbon was a Fellow. In his "An Account of the Bilious Yellow Fever As It Appeared in Philadelphia in the Year 1798," the last paragraph points to the dichotomy of opinion that caused the acrimony:

"There were two opinions given to the public upon the subject of the origin of this fever; the one by the academy of medicine, the other by the college of physicians. The former declared it to be generated in the city, from putrid domestic exhalations, because they saw it only in their vicinity, and discovered no channel by which it could have been derived from a foreign country; the latter asserted it to be "imported, because it had been imported in former years."
Rush's theory was that of the Academy, but it prevailed only amongst his coterie.

Dr. Sayre was the Academy's Secretary and signed, on 8 August 1798, an address to the Board of Managers of the Marine and City Hospitals of the port of Philadelphia, in reference to the Yellow Fever that was again afflicting the city - Memoir of Dr. William Currie. I suspect Dr. Sayre had been one of Rush's students while attending the University of Philadelphia. Note that Dr. John Cox listed Dr. Rush as a witness in his will.

Dr. Benjamin Rush & Yellow Fever

Benjamin Rush is considered one of the greatest physicians of American history. A signer of the Declaration of Independence and a close friend of Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams, Rush attended the College of New Jersey, now Princeton. He completed his medical education in Europe at Edinburgh, London, and Paris. He returned to America in 1769 and accepted the professorship of chemistry at the medical school of the College of Philadelphia. He served as Surgeon-General, and later Physician-General, of the Continental Army. In 1799 he was appointed treasurer of the U.S. Mint.

One of Rush's primary interests was Yellow Fever, a disease he battled in Philadelphia during the epidemic of 1793-1794. This epidemic was the largest in the history of the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 4000 people. In late summer, as the number of deaths began to climb, 20,000 citizens fled to the countryside, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other members of the federal government, at that time headquartered in Philadelphia.

Dr. Rush published his observations and his suggestions for the prevention of the disease in 1794. While his views on the unity of diseases is not in accord with modern science, his emphasis on observation advanced the understanding of disease. His students, in their recollections, thought of him as, "most wonderfully entangled in the delicate web of his honest sophistry, that the great Rush, after having reduced all disease on earth into a unit, should have described every distinct disease most accurately and minutely in his lectures on practice, is one of the most inscrutable mysteries in the absurdities of learning."

One of Benjamin Rush's backward looking remedies was bleeding. Dr. Francis Sayre pointed out that bleeding was not new. It was only new in this country because "pestilential diseases..., till very lately, have been almost strangers to us." Of his 16 yellow fever patients, he had sent 3 to the hospital and treated 13 with varying degrees of bleeding, up to 70 ounces in one case. All those he bled had been cured or were convalescent. Sayre called for other physicians to candidly report on their practice - from "Gazette of the United States," 7 October 1797. See also Chapter 12 of Arnebeck, below.

Dr. Sayre's observation on the disease are mentioned in "An Account of the Bilious Yellow Fever As It Appeared in Philadelphia in the Year 1798" by Benjamin Rush. See Yellow Fever.

Yellow Fever had returned to Philadelphia in 1797-1798. Dr. Rush was relatively successful in treating it, however the failures of his remedies were as apparent. Two friends, whom he presumably helped treat, died. One of his apprentices, a boy from Georgia, died. In addition Drs. Otto, Sayre, Cooper and Proudfit, bleeders all, were ill. Cooper and Sayre would die. Dr. Rush was said to have "lured Sayre to Philadelphia to practice." - from "Destroying Angel: Benjamin Rush, Yellow Fever and the Birth of Modern Medicine," Chapter 14, by Bob Arnebeck. See Destroying Angel.

Francis Bowes Sayre died in Philadelphia on 2 September 1798 at the age of 32 of Yellow Fever while engaged in "acts of benevolence" among the poor.

Dr. James Milnor, in his "Memoirs," speaks of "my ever-to-be-lamented friend, Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre, who fell a glorious martyr to his philanthropy."

"He died in 1798, intestate. Letters of administration on his estatae were granted by the Probate Court of Philadelphia to Ann Sayre and Robert Heysham [his brother-in-law]. A bill of his administrator's accounts has two or more entries of the indebtedness of the estate to an agent for "collecting debts in New Jersey." The inventory of his effects showed a handsome sum, and that he lived in good style for that period; that he was a married man, cultivated, and of refined tastes." - from "History of medicine in New Jersey, and of its medical men, from the settlement of the province to..." by Stephen Wickes.

Francis was buried in the Christ Church burial ground on the corner of Fifth and Arch streets. His original tombstone, from "Tombstone Inscriptions from Christ Church," 1864, read:


LXXXV
In remembrance of
FRANCIS BOWES SAYRE M.D.
who departed this life
on the 2nd day of September 1798
Etat 32 years.
This stone no longer exists. His current headstone, still visible, was erected by his descendent, another Francis Bowes Sayre. It is inscribed:
"In remembrance of Francis Bowes Sayre, M.D., beloved physician, Born Sept 9 1755, son of John Sayre & Mary Bowes. Died of yellow fever in Philadelphia - Sept 2 1798, bravely caring for his patients in the epidemic. This memorial erected by his great-grandson Francis Bowes Sayre in 1938."
"Adjoining tombstones, one to Francis Bowes, another to Andrew Reed, allow the inference that he was closely allied to Col. Bowes Reed, who was a man of note in New Jersey, whose remains lie in the churchyard at Burlington."

"Though Dr. Sayre died in early manhood, the few memorials which we have gathered concerning him assure us that he was a man of culture and high promise. In the records of the New Jersey Medical Society, he is noticed as contributing a paper on "An extraordinary case of Syphilis, together with the powerful effects of the herb perfolium, or thoroughwort, in the cure of the same." He was also appointed one of the committee "to revise the rules of the institution, and report a code of laws and regulations for the future government." Dr. Rush, in his account of the yellow fever in Philadelphia, 1797 and 1798, notices him as one of the reliable practitioners of that time. He became a victim of the fearful epidemic in 1798. The True American and Commercial Advertiser of Philadelphia, for Tuesday morning, August 28, 1798 has the following: "The number of new cases reported for the forty-eight hours ending yesterday morning at one o'clock, were One Hundred and Eleven, by twenty-three physicians. Drs. Sayre and Church included." The ambiguity of the last line is removed by the report September 1: "..Dr. Sayre is on the recovery."

"On Saturday we informed the public that Dr. Sayre was on the recovery. Apparently he was so; but that favorable appearance was only the forerunner of dissolution, as is frequently the case in this insidious disease. We have therefore this day to deplore the loss of Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre, who died yesterday morning. His services in the cause of humanity (to which he has gloriously fallen a martyr) will ever be indelibly impressed on the number of his indigent fellow citizens, who, by his persevering assiduity in his profession, have been rescued from the grave . . . that previous to his the attack he had above one hundred patients under his care . . . The loss of Dr. Sayre . . . is particularly distressing at this time, when so many of our physicians have quit their posts . . . " - from "History of medicine in New Jersey, and of its medical men, from the settlement of the province to..." by Stephen Wickes.

Ann Heysham Sayre lived on for another 25 years, raising her fatherless son and daughter. She appears to have lived with her son, William Heysham Sayre, following him as he moved from Philadelphia to the wilds of central Pennsylvania. Ann’s obit: The National Gazette Tuesday, 15 April 1823:

“Died. On the 3rd inst. at the residence of her son in Roaring Creek Valley, Columbia County, Pa., Mrs. Ann Sayre, widow of the late, Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre, late of this city.”
Roaring Creek township, in Columbia county is in central Pennsylvania, well to the northwest of Philadelphia. Bloomsburg is the largest town, and today the county seat. Its located on the north side of the Susquehanna river. The Roaring creek enters the Susquehanna, from the southeast, nearby Bloomsburg.

Ann's children were,
(22) William Heysham Sayre (1794)
(22) John Cox Sayre (1795)
(22) Mary Elizabeth Sayre (1797)

(22) William Heysham Sayre (1794)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766)

He was born in Bordentown, New Jersey on 17 May 1794. William's father subsequently died in 1798 from Yellow Fever while treating victims of the epedemic in Philadelphia. William was only 4 years old at that time. I suspect that, as was the case with his widowed grandmother, relatives helped his mother, Ann Heysham, in the aftermath of this family disaster. However, Ann's father was already dead at this time, as was her brother, William P. Heysham. There was also the family of Mary Heysham Gibbon that needed support. Robert Heysham may have provided some support, though as a Deputy Naval Officer, his income was more secure than plentiful.

William was educated in New Brunswick. I originally thought this could only refer to the college there, now known as Rutgers University. I had also hoped to prove that he went to the medical school there in emulation of his father. However the timeline simply would not work. As you'll read below, already by 1818, at the age of 23, William had completed a five year apprenticeship, set up a business of his own in Philadelphia, failed, and was preparing to leave town for new prospects. The limited time available meant this education could have been, at most, at the prepatory school colocated with the college. I now suspect that William went to New Brunswick to attend Queen's Grammar School, the prep school for Queen's College. He was probably sent to this remote location, 25 miles northeast of Trenton, because he had Sayre relatives there with whom he could room, and who could watch over him. They may have even funded his education. Remember that the Sayre's had been amongst the original founders of Elizabeth, New Jersey, just twelve miles northeast of New Brunswick.

Queen's College and the Grammar school were open from 1807 to 1812, or from the time William was 13 to 18 years old. At the outset of the War of 1812 the college was closed and did not re-open until 1825. After finishing the Grammar school William returned home where, I imagine, some concerned relation arranged an apprenticeship for him.

Rutgers University

Rutgers was chartered in 1766 as Queen's College and opened its doors in New Brunswick in 1771 with a single instructor. The college's early career was checkered and the school was closed from 1795 to 1807, and again from 1812 to 1825 for financial reasons.

The original building, Old Queen's, pictured to the left, was built between 1809 and 1823. It was an all-purpose institutional building, housing a preparatory school (the "grammar school") , the college, the Theological Seminary, and space for a few faculty apartments. With its low-pitched roof and simple classical outlines, Old Queen's is a fine example of Federalist architecture and was recently designated a National Monument. It was not until 1825 that its name was changed in honor of a former trustee, and Revolutionary War veteran, Colonel Henry Rutgers. It is today the State University of New Jersey.

After leaving New Brunswick William moved to Philadelphia where he served a mercantile apprenticeship of five years in the counting-house of Thomas P. Cope & Sons. Since he left Philadelphia in 1818, this could be no later than 1812-1818, or from the age of 18 to 23 years old. Clearly William did not complete a collegiate course of study in New Brunswick.

Thomas P. Cope

Thomas Pim Cope was a Quaker merchant and founder of the Cope family shipping business. He is famous enough that his bust is carved into one of the cornices of the Philadelphia city hall, along with those of Benjamin Rush, Robert Morris, and Nicholas Biddle.

The son of Caleb Cope, he was born in 1768 and trained to the importing and commission business. He became an extensive merchant and ship owner, trading with England and the Far East. He served in the state legislature, was a member of the city council, a delegate to the state constitutional convention, president of the board of trade and of the mercantile library company, a trustee of the bank and a director of the college. He helped to complete the Chesapeake and Delaware canal and the Pennsylvania railroad, and secured to the city Lemon Hill as a public park. His sons, Henry and Alfred, succeeded him in business as they in turn were succeeded by Francis and Thomas, sons of Henry, under the name Cope Brothers. Thomas died in Philadelphia on 22 November 1854.

William married Elizabeth Kent on 25 June 1816 in Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey. This may have been while he was still an apprentice with Thomas Cope or just as he started out in his new business. Since William was in Philadelphia at the time, I suspect he may have met Elizabeth earlier, perhaps while going to school in New Brunswick. Morristown is in northern New Jersey, about 35 miles northwest of the campus at New Brunswick. Her father, Rodolphus Kent, came from Waterford, Ireland. William and Elizabeth would have 10 children, only four of whom survived to adulthood.

Per the "Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Biography of Pennsylvania, Volume II," Elizabeth was the daughter of Rudolphus Kent. He came to America in 1784 from Waterford, Ireland, settled in New Jersey, and married Sarah Tuthill at Morristown, New Jersey, in the same year. Per the tax lists, he was living in Hanover township, Morris county, New Jersey in 1795-1796. I have other records that indicate he may have lived in Philadelphia originally. The R. [Rudolphus] Kent of Mauch Chunk, who developed the Fountain Hill area of South Bethlehem, where Williams' son, Robert, built one of the first homes, was probably his son.

After this auspicious apprenticeship in one of Phiadelphia's premier shipping firms, William became engaged in the 'queensware' business in Philadelphia, under the firm of Cook & Sayre. It would be interesting to know whether 'Cook' had been another apprentice with William, a more senior merchant who took William under his care, or a money man who financed William's fledgling career.

Queensware

Queensware was originally a type of Wedgewood stoneware, favored by Queen Charlotte of England, that was a creamy white in color. It became a standard type manufactured by many different companies. A large number of the advertisements for 19th century grocery & hardware stores mention queensware. To be engaged in queensware might mean either, if retail, to be a small dry goods & grocery store owner selling crockery or, if wholesale, a middleman in the distribution of ceramic dinnerware.

The firm of Cook & Sayre clearly had a short and unhappy duration because in about the year 1818 William moved to Columbia county, in central Pennsylvania. The story as I now discover it, from "Forging America: The History of Bethlehem Steel," is that, while William had made "handsome profits" in the shipping trade, I suppose that means he was a queensware importer, the depression that following the War of 1812 sank his business and drained away almost all of his money. Since the Panic, as it has been called, did not peak until 1819, William must have been one of the first to 'go to the wall,' indicating the frailty of his young company during the boom years.

The Panic of 1819

The War of 1812 had stifled foreign trade and spurred the growth of domestic manufacturing, which mushroomed to fill the gap left by declining imports and also served to satisfy the nation's appetite for war goods. The war also brought a rash of paper money as the government borrowed heavily to finance the war. The government depended on note-issuing banks spread throughout the country. All of this put tremendous strains on the banks' reserves of specie held against such notes. This would inevitably lead to suspension of specie payments in some parts of the country in 1814. Freed from the shackles of hard money, the suspension of specie led to a boom in the number of new banks started in the country, and a subsequent boom in note issuance. The credit expansion also predictably led to rising prices.

The revival of foreign trade after the war led to falling commodity prices. Credit and monetary expansion helped fuel a post-1814 boom. The boom continued into 1818, but significant problems in the money supply forced the Bank of the United States to tighten credit, resulting in an economic depresssion and widespread urban unemployment. This business cycle lasted through 1820.

In about 1818 William and his wife retreated to the only holding they had left, a small farm Elizabeth Kent had inherited in Columbia County, Pennsylvania. William's mother, Ann Heysham Sayre, came with them and lived there until her death in 1823. William lived in the Roaring Creek valley. Roaring creek was a tributory of the Susquehanna, joing that river, from the southeast, just about where the town of Bloomsburg was located. Bloomsburg, on the north shore of the river, was a small village, just starting to grow. Here William retreated to the farm his wife had brought into the marriage.

I haven't been able to find William in the 1820 census. In 1828, after ten years farming, and probably hating it, William moved to Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania entering the service of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, which was soon to open its canal, then nearly completed, between Mauch Chunk and Easton.

Mauch Chunk

First named Coalville in 1815, this settlement on the Lehigh River was soon renamed Mauch Chunk, meaning 'Bear Mountain' in a local Indian dialect. It is about 15-20 miles west of Easton, Stroudsberg and the Delaware river. The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company was the heart and soul of this new town, to be replaced in later decades by the Lehigh Valley Railroad. In the 1950's the town, in decline with the decline of the coal industry, was looking for a way to promote itself and was renamed 'Jim Thorpe,' in honor of the early 20th century athlete and Olympic star. While Jim Thorpe, the man, had no connection with the town before his death, he is now buried there.


The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company

The Lehigh Navigation (referred to as the Lehigh Canal) was constructed from 1827 to 1829 to carry anthracite coal from the upper Lehigh Valley to Easton, Pennsylvania. It was over 46 miles in length. It had a total of 52 locks, 8 guard locks, 8 dams and 6 aqueducts. These engineering features enabled the waterway to overcome a difference in elevation of almost 355 feet. The Lehigh Navigation System reached its peak in 1855. In that year it carried more than one million tons of cargo. However, 1855 also marked the completion of the Lehigh Valley Railroad between Mauch Chunk and Easton. Competition from this new anthracite carrier began to reduce the navigation system's cargo.


The Era of Canal Building

While many small canals had been built in America around the turn of the century, it was the completion of the Erie canal in 1825, linking the Great Lakes and New York City via the Hudson river, that ushered in the great era in canal building. The benefits of this "inland highway," which made New York City the premier trade center in the nation, were quickly realized and many cities built canals in imitation. This era did not end until the arrival of the rail roads in the 1840's.

William Sayre was placed in charge of the boating accounts, collection of tolls, etc., and continued in this position until his health failed in 1865. He probably worked at the 'Weigh Lock,' as did his son as described below, where the barges were weighed and tolls assessed.

In the 1830 census of Mauch Chunk, Northampton county, Pennsylvania as W. H. Sayre. In the household was one boy under 5, Robert?, 2 boys 5 to 10, Francis and ?, one man 30 to 40, William H., 2 girls uner 5, Elizabeth and ?, 1 girl 10 to 15, Mary, 1 woman 20 to 30, ?, and one woman 30 to 40, Elizabeth Kent Sayre.

William was a devoted churchman. The first Episcopal Lay Worship services in Mauch Chunk were held in 1829 by William H. Sayre. It wasn't until 1835 that the church got its own clergyman. William was also one of ten people to sign the church's Articles of Association in 1835. Until 1852, when St. Marks church on Race street in Mauch Chunk was completed, left, the parishoners worshipped in various local churches and public buildings, often in Mr. Sayre's residence. The congregation grew quickly and a new church, left, was finished in 1869.

William had become friends with a young carpenter and canal boat captain from Mystic, Connecticutt, Asa Packer, who had helped build the Episcopal church. Their families socialized together, and both Sayre and Packer had leadership roles in the St. Mark's Church. Packer would become significant later in the development of the career of William's son, Robert Heysham Sayre.

In the 1840 census of Mauch Chunk, Northampton county, Pennsylvania as W. H. Sayre. in the household were 1 boy under 5, ?, 1 who was 5 to 10, William, 1 10 to 15, Robert, and one 15 to 20, Francis, and a man 40 to 50 years old, W. H. There were 2 girls who were 5 to 10, Anna and Catherine, and 2 who were 15 to 20, Elizabeth and Mary [?], and a woman 40 to 50 years old, Elizabeth Kent Sayre. They also had a "free colored woman," aged 24 to 36, who was a servant.

Elizabeth Kent Sayre died in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, on 10 January 1849. In the 1850 census of Mauch Chunk, Carbon county, Pennsylvania as William H. Sayre, a 56 year old clerk, born in New Jersey. His home was valued at $5000. Living with him were his children, Francis R. Sayre, a 28 year old clerk, and the twins, Anna & Catherine, 16. His sons, Robert H. and William, were already living on their own.

In the 1860 census William was a 66 year old Clerk, living with his daughter, Anne E., 25, who was called a housekeeper, in East Mauch Chunk. He had no real estate and only $200 of personal property. His entry directly follows that of his son, Francis, so I assume they lived next to, or near to, each other.

William died on 20 May 1872, 5 years after his retirement, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In addition to the three sons and three daughters shown below, William and Elizabeth had another daughter born probably about 1820. The picture below is from Theodore Banta's "The Sayre Family." I'm not certain whether this is of our William, or his son.

On 4 July 1876 the original bell of St. Mark's church was cracked during the celebration of the centennial of American independence. Instead of simply replacing the cracked bell with a new one, the parish embarked on a plan to install a chime of nine bells. Each bell was given by or in memory of a prominent member of the parish. Bell number one was presented by Asa Packer. Bell number four was donated by Robert Heysham Sayre in memory of his father, William:

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. In memory of William Heysham Sayre, one of the founders, and for twenty years a warden of St. Mark's Parish; and also of his wife, Elizabeth Kent Sayre; and of their children and children's children who sleep in Christ. A tribute of affection from Robert H. Sayre, A.D. 1876.”
Bell number 8 was presented by Rudolphus Kent [Elizabeth Kent Sayre's brother?]. In 1909 St. Mark's was also the recipient of a credence table as a memorial to Mr. & Mrs. Francis Sayre. This may be Francis R. Sayre, below, but its not certain.

From the Mauch Chunk cemetary burial list:

William Heysham Sayre, born 17 May 1794, died 29 May 1872, 78 years old, spouse of Elizabeth Kent.
Elizabeth Kent Sayre, born 17 May 1796, died 10 January 1849, spouse of William H. Hayre nee Kent.
The following are their children who did not achieve adulthood:
Julie Linn Sayre, born 11 May 1829, died 12 October 1830, 1 year 5 months, daughter of William H. and Elizabeth Kent Sayre.
Julie Rosalie Sayre, born 3 August 1836, died 5 May 1837, daughter of William H. and Elizabeth Kent Sayre.
Charles Eugene Sayre, born 23 July 1838, died 2 February 1841, aged 7, son of William H. and Elizabeth Kent Sayre.
William's children were,
(23) Mary Elizabeth Sayre (1817)
(23) Ann Heysham (1820), born 4 March 1820, died 2 March 1821
(23) Francis Rodolphus Sayre (1822)
(23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824)
(23) Elizabeth Kent Sayre (1826)
(23) Julia Linn Sayre (1829), born 11 May 1829, died 12 October 1830
(23) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1831)
(23) Charles Eugene Sayre (1833), born 23 July 1833, died 2 February 1841
(23) Anna Fatzinger Sayre (1834)
(23) Catherine Irwin Sayre (1834)
(23) Julia Rosalie (1836), born 3 August 1836, died 5 May 1837

(23) Mary Elizabeth Sayre (1817)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794)

Mary Elizabeth was born on 17 April 1817 in Philadelphia. She was probably named for her aunt, below. She married John P. Cox [no relation to Dr. John Cox above], who had been born in England. They were married by the Reverend J. M. Rogers of Trinity Church, Easton, Pennsylvania. However, they were married in Mauch Chunk, on 24 June 1841. In church records she is clearly denoted as the daughter of Wm. H. Sayre.

ELizabeth's husband was John Pound Cox. A native of England, he was Superintendent of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal & Railroad and an officer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. His biography is included in the "Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Biography of Pennsylvania," Volume II, which I have not seen. In what appears to have been his last assignment, John was the Superintendent, in 1869, during the construction of the 96-mile railroad line along the Susquehanna River from Wilkes-Barre to Waverly, New York. It was constructed on the tow-path of the old canal right-of-way. Later the canal was filled in and a second line constructed.

Pennsylvania and New York Canal & Railroad

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania constructed several transportation canals between the years of 1828 and 1856. Several branches of this state operated Pennsylvania Canal System never became profitable because of the high operating expenses due to poor initial workmanship, and other factors. The North Branch Division was among those sold off to other investors. A portion of this branch, running from Wilkes-Barre to the New York State Line, was sold in 1858 to a group of investors represented by Colonel Charles Welles, Jr., of Athens, Pa., with the intent of marking a profitable enterprise. Unfortunately, a severe flood in March of 1865 seriously damaged the canal, and the fledgling North Branch Canal Company fell dormant.

At this time, Asa Packer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad approached Colonel Welles with a purchase offer. Interested only in the nearly gradeless right of way the canal provided, Packer secured stock control of the North Branch Canal Company, solely for the purpose of building a rail line to connect the Lehigh Valley Railroad at Willes-Barre to the New York and Erie Railroad at Waverly, New York, 105 miles distant. This new connection would provide new markets for the Lehigh Valley anthracite to the north.

On 20 March 1865, the corporate name of the North Branch Canal Company was changed to the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad Company, and Colonel Welles was made president. The new rail line became operational in 1868 and was completed between Wiles-Barre and Waverly on 24 August 1869. Due to provisions in the company charter, the Pennsylvania & New York was unable to close the unwanted North Branch Canal until 2 April 1872, after which it was extensively filled in to room for a second track for the expanding railroad business.

On 1 December 1888, the Pennsylvania and New York Railroad, which had grown to include shops and offices in Sayre, Pennsylvania, and many branch lines into the anthracite fields of Pennsylvania, was leased for 99 years by the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and all locomotives and rolling stock were purchased out right.

Robert H. Sayre was President of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad Company and Superintendent of the Lehigh Valley Railroad.

In the 1870 census of Towanda, Bradford county, Pennsylvania as John P. Cox, a 55 year old rail road superintendent. He had $50,000 is real property and $40,000 in personal property. Living with him were his wife, Mary E., 53, and children Edith M., 19, Annie, 17, and John S., 16.

John died suddenly in the latter half of 1870. He was replaced as superintendent of the railroad by R. A. Packer, the son of Asa Packer.

In the 1880 census Mary E. Cox, now a widow, was living in the same Fountain Hills neighborhood as her brothers, William and Robert. She was 63. Living with her were Edith, 29. Annie S., 27, and John, a 25 year old chemist.

Mary died on 26 August 1901. She was, in later life, a resident of South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Both she and her husband were Episcopalians. They had 5 children, of which I know the following:
(24) Walter E. Cox (1844), born in Mauch Chunk, in 1844. Walter stayed in the family business and was an assistant engineer for the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company in his turn. He married Georgiana Wetherill, in Philadelphia, the daugther of Samuel and Sarah (Chattin) Wetheill, natives of Philadelphia.
(24) Mary Elizabeth Cox (c1848). She married Lieutenant Colonel Henry B. McKean of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The Colonel, a Civil War veteran, 6th Regiment of Pennsylvania Reserves, died in 1903. Mary died on 3 September 1935 at the age of 87.

(23) Francis Rodolphus Sayre (1822)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794)

His middle name may be Rudolphus, after his maternal grand-father. He was born on 21 October 1822 in Columbia county, Pennsylvania. In 1838, only 16, he went to work for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, succeeding his father as a clerk. He later succeeded his father as Senior Warden of St. Mark's Church in Mauch Chunk. He did not take part in his brothers' financial success.

In the 1850 census Francis, 28 year old clerk, was single and living at home with his father in Mauch Chunk, Carbon county, Pennsylvania.

Francis married Harriet Probasco Wooley [Woolley] on 1 October 1851. She was born on 5 May 1823.

In the 1860 census he was 39 year old Clerk, living in East Mauch Chunk, with real estate valued at $500 and personal property of $500. He was living with his wife, Harriet, 36, Kate, 8, Louisa, 6, Charles, 4, and Anna, 8/12. Also living with them was Martha M. Griffith, 15, of New Jersey, and Mary Griffith, 3, of Pennsylvania.

In the 1870 census he was 48 years old. His occupation was "Collector at the Weighlock," see below. His wife was Harriet, aged 46. His children were Kate, 18, Louisa, 15, and Anna, 10. Directly opposite downtown Mauch Chunk was Lock No. 1 of the Lower Grand Division of the Lehigh Canal, and about a quarter mile below that was Lock No. 2, which included the Weighlock. Those employed by the canal and the attendant industries that grew up around it were the first permanent residents of East Mauch Chunk, a suburb on the other side of the Lehigh river. They were called “East Chunkers” [lovely].

The Weigh Lock

The Weigh Lock was a simple mechanism built on a large scale. When a boat floated into the Lock the water drained and the boat settled to the bottom, resting on a cradle. A scale attached to the cradle tallied the weight of boat and cargo. The boat's weight was subtracted and a bill for the tonnage of the cargo was issued for the boat owner. In the early spring the empty boats would pass through the lock and would be weighed empty which would establish the base weight for that particular boat for the coming canal season.

At left is the weighlock of the Lehigh Valley Navigation canal. Note the pivoting arms that were part of the original cradle. The canal is not part of a natural watershed and is now dry and overgrown.

In the 1870 census of was Francis R. Sayre, a 48 year old "Collector at Weigh Lock." Living with him were his wife, Harriet, 46, and children Kate, 18, Louisa, and Anna, 10. I don't see Charles, who would have been 13. Perhaps he was away at school. There was a Martha Griffith, 25, who, though unidentified, was clearly a relative. Note below in the 1910 census she was living with Anna Sayre and was identified as her cousin. I'll assume that means that Francis' wife was Harriet Griffith.

In the 1880 census Francis was 58 years old, a Clerk for the Canal company, living in Mauch Chunk. Living with him were his wife, Harriet P., 56. Charles E., 23, a son [where was he in 1870?], who was a railroad clerk, and Anna F., 20. Martha M. Griffith, now 35, was still living with him.

Francis' wife, Harriet, died on 24 January 1885.

In the 1900 census of Mauch Chunk as Francis, widowed, a 78 year old "Canal Fee Collector." Living with him was his daughter Anna, a 40 year old "capitalist [!]," Martha Griffith, 55, and Catherine Smith, a 47 year old widow.

In 1909 St. Mark's was the recipient of a credence table as a memorial to Mr. & Mrs. Francis Sayre. This may be Francis R. Sayre, but its not certain. From the Mauch Chunk cemetary burial list:

Francis Rodolphus Sayre, born 1 October 1821, died 15 April 1908, 86 years old, spouse of Harriet Probasco Wooley, son on William H. and Elizabeth Kent Sayre.
Harriet P. Wooley Sayre, born 5 May 1823, died 24 January 1883, 59 years old, spouse of Francis R. Sayre.
Francis' children were,
(24) Kate Irwin Sayre (1852)
(24) Louia Foster Sayre (1854)
(24) Charles Eugene Sayre (1857)
(24) Anna Frances [Fatzinger] Sayre (1860)

(24) Kate Irwin Sayre (1852)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Francis R. Sayre (1822)

She was born on 23 June 1852. She lived at home with her father through 1870. She married Robert Smith on 12 September 1878. Theodore Banta calls him Robert Heysham Sayre Smith. I'm not sure what that means. He was born in MOntrose, Pennsylvania on 2 April 1856 and died on 22 July 1891. In 1900 Kate was back home, now a widow and living with her father in Mauch Chunk. She had no children.

(24) Louia Foster Sayre (1854)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Francis R. Sayre (1822)

She was born on 30 September 1854 and lived at home with her father through 1870. She married Asa Packer Blakslee on 29 April 1880. He was born on 13 November 1854, a nephew of Asa Packer, the railroad magnate, via the family of Asa's wife. They had a daughter, Louis Foster Sayre Blakslee.

(24) Charles Eugene Sayre (1857)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Francis R. Sayre (1822)

He was born on 20 September 1857 and became a railroad clerk. In the 1880 census as Charles E. Sayre, a 23 year old railroad clerk living in Mauch Chunk with his parents.

He married Caroline Haner [Hance] Brown. She was born in Bordentown on 7 October 1859, the daughter of Ezra and Sarah Brown. In the 1910 census of the 8th Ward of Philadlephia as Charles Eugene Sayre, a 53 year old dealer for a Coal Wholesaler. Living with him was his wife, Caroline Brown, 50. They had been married in 1895. They had no children. From the Mauch Chunk cemetary burial list:

Charles E. Sayre, born 20 September 1856, died 22 November 1915, spouse of Caroline Haner Brown, son of Francis R. and Harriet P. Wooley Sayre.
Mrs. Caroline Haner Sayre, born 7 October 1859, died 30 January 1952, the spouse of Charles E. Sayre, daughter of Ezra and Sarah Brown.

(24) Anna Fatzinger Sayre (1860)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Francis R. Sayre (1822)

Theodore Banta calls her Anna Frances. She was born on 9 November 1859 and lived at home with her father through 1900. She was probably named for her aunth, Anna Fatzinger Sayre, below. In the 1910 census of Mauch Chunk, a single wowamn, aged 50. She was living on Broadway Street. Her cousin, Martha M. Griffith, aged 60, of New Jersey, was living with her. I suspect she inherited her father's house. From the Mauch Chunk cemetary burial list:

Anna Frances Sayre, born 9 November 1859, died 22 February 1933, 73 years old, the daughter of Francis Rudlphus and Harriet Probasco Wooley Sayre.

(23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794)

Referred to in later life as "introspective, visionary, deeply religious, organized, detail-oriented and interested in all things, from his asparagus patch to the writings of the ancient Romans. He was gifted at knowing how to connect technologies." Probably the richest man produced by any of the family's discussed here.

He was born on 13 October 1824 on the family farm in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, the second son of William H. Sayre. The family moved to Mauch Chunk when Robert was 4 years old. He attended the public school in town, the latter years under the tutelage of James Nowlin, known as 'an able mathematician.' At the age of 8 he lost his right eye while whittling.

Robert Sayre left school in 1840 and joined his father at Lehigh Coal & Navigation, which then lent the 16 year old, under the direction of Andrew A. Douglas, civil engineer, to the Morris Canal & Banking Company in New Jersey to help upgrade its canal, the conduit for iron ore coming into Pennsylvania.

Early in January 1841 a flood occurred in the Lehigh river, partially destroying the Lehigh Canal between White Haven and Easton. Mr. Douglas and his corps were transferred to the Lehigh and engaged for two years in rebuilding the canal.

He spent the winter of 1842 in Bradford County, 85 miles to the north, tending to mules that towed the boats on the canal. The mules were idle in winter because ice always shut down the waterway. After that, Sayre focused on the company's rail lines, in which cars rode downhill by gravity and were pulled up the tracks by mules and later by steam-driven inclined planes. He showed so much skill as a surveyor and builder, he became supervisor of all of the company's rail operations.

Subsequently, under the charge of Edwin A. Douglas, Chief Engineer of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, young Robert was detailed to make the surveys and build the famous Back-Track Railroad between Mauch Chunk and Summit Hill, the 'Switch-Back Railroad,' and the inclined planes into Panther Creek Valley, to drive the several tunnels therein, to more largely develop the coal mines of the company, and to erect the necessary breakers and machinery for preparing the coal. He also had charge of all the railroads and inclined planes, and the transportation of the coal over them from the mines to Mauch Chunk.

Robert married Mary Evelyn Smith of Montrose, Pennsylvania on 15 April 1846. She was on 11 July 1824. They had nine children, five of whom, one son and four daughters, survived.

In the 1850 census of Mauch Chunk at Robert H. Sayre, a 25 year old engineer. Living with him were his wife, Mary, 29, and daughter, Mary, 1.

In 1851, while thus engaged he was sought out by Asa Packer, who had known him as a boy. Judge Packer, who had been a friend of Rober's father, William H., offered him the position of Chief Engineer of the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad, later known as the Lehigh Valley, extending from Mauch Chunk to Easton. Robert was only 27 years old.

Lehigh Valley Railroad

The railroad ran from New York City to Buffalo serving the anthracite coal district of eastern Pennsylvania, on up to Finger Lakes in New York and terminating on the shores of Lake Erie. In the 1890's the great Wall Street financier J.P. Morgan got control of the company. In the 1960's the company was taken over by the Pennsylvania Railroad and eventually disappeared into the Conrail system in the 1970's.


The Railroad Era

The Balitimore and Ohio Railroad first opened in 1830, but early technology limited the usefulness of the system. It wasn't until the 1840's that the railroads became more than a novelty, but by 1860 over 30,000 miles of line had been laid. In 1862 the Congress authorized the construction of the transcontinental railroad which eventually linked California with the rest of the nation.

From "Forging America: The Story of Bethlehem Steel":

"Part of Packer's confidence in his new right-hand man had to do with attitude. Like other professionals of the era, Sayre saw himself as an agent of progress whose purpose was to serve civilization by spreading the wonders of technology. He was handsome and powerfully built, but had lost the sight in his left eye when, at the age of 8, he poked himself with a knife while whittling a stick. Like his father, he was religious. The faith he practiced extended to his work, which he approached with missionary fervor, as if God had called on him to excel as a civil engineer."

"He collected and read books on history, literature and travel, always striving to improve himself. He could see the big picture and yet pay attention to details. For decades, he carried a diary in his pocket, every day penciling in at least an entry on the weather. ''When I got up this morning,'' he wrote on Dec. 27, 1894, ''there was 5 inches or more of snow on the ground … Sleighing quite good."

"But he wasn't always strait-laced, as he noted during a business trip to Wilkes-Barre in 1867: ''Evening at Hotel and made a fool of myself … I drank too much wine in the eve, which caused many great mortifications and grief'' when he was hung over the next day."

"Building the Lehigh Valley Railroad tested Sayre's ability to organize a project and see it through. Years later, he recounted the obstacles he and his men faced: ''A single track from Easton to Mauch Chunk; iron of an inferior quality — the best of which we could at that time avail ourselves; track laid without ballast; not a single coal, freight, or passenger car of our own; no shops, no depots worthy of the name — in fact, nothing but the track and four locomotives."

In May 1852, after spending over eleven years in the service of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company, Robert commenced surveys for the Lehigh Valley railroad, and the same fall the work of construction was begun and prosecuted to completion. Early in the fall of 1855, after the railroad began regular service, Asa Packer, who preferred to hobnob with investors in Philadelphia and New York, made Robert the railroad's Chief Engineer and General Superintendent, a position he retained until November 1883.

One of his decisions he made was to move the road's headquarters from the remote Mauch Chunk to South Bethlehem, the site of a key railroad junction between the Lehigh and North Pennsylvania railroads. He later built his home in the Fountain Hill neighborhood on the western edge of town.

During this period he was, in addition to his other duties, in charge of building the Lehigh & Mahanoy Railroad, extending from Black Creek Junction to Mount Carmel, with its various branches opening up, to a connection with the Lehigh Valley, the Mahanoy coal field. He also built the Penn Haven & White Haven Railroad from Penn Haven to Wilkes-Barre, reaching the great Wyoming coal field. Subsequently, both of the before named roads, together with the Beaver Meadow Railroad and Coal Company and the Hazleton Railroad and Coal Company, were consolidated with the Lehigh Valley system.

In 1858 Robert moved his family into a Gothic Revival mansion, the first to be built in what is now the Fountain Hill National Historic District of south Bethlehem. The home is now a Bed & Breakfast.

History of the Sayre Mansion

More than one hundred years ago, this glittering mansion, the first house built in the wealthy neighborhood called Fountain Hill, was home to one of the community’s most distinguished men – Robert Heysham Sayre.

Sayre was the chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and it was his dedication to his career that determined the spot where this Greek revival-style mansion would be built in the 1850’s.

The soot, smoke and noise of the railroad, practically at his feet, didn’t matter. As one member of a generation of hands-on manager, Sayre wanted to be right in the center of everything. And so he was, when he moved his family to 250 Wyandotte St. in June 1858. The numerous organization and institutions built, shaped and guided by Sayre were and still are, literally laid out around the Sayre Mansion. Lehigh Valley Railroad’s main headquarters were one block away. Sayre could see Lehigh University on the hills in front of him. Behind him was St. Luke’s Hospital. The Episcopalian Cathedral Church of the Nativity was right across the street. Behind the Church was the Fountain Hill Opera House, a place Sayre founded to bring culture and entertainment to his community. And on the banks of the Lehigh River, which ran through valley below him, were the railroad and the Bethlehem Iron Works, the company he helped build, which later would become the sprawling industry of Bethlehem Steel.

In 1867 he took charge of the construction of the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad, virtually an extension of the Lehigh Valley from Wilkes-Barre up the valley of the North Branch of the Susquehanna river to the State line near Waverly, New York, where it connected with the New York & Erie Railway, making direct communication in connection with the Erie from Wilkes-Barre to Buffalo. At Buffalo he built the Buffalo Creek Railroad, and the necessary facilities for transfer of coal from cars to vessels on the lake.

During the fall of 1868 it was determined, on the part of the general officers and employees of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, to present to Robert Sayre, its Superintendent and Engineer, some valuable token of the high regard in which they held him, and of their thorough appreciation of the faithful manner in which he had ever discharged the manifold duties of his responsible situation. On 24 December 24 the Committee in charge, in company with other friends of Mr. Sayre, repaired to his residence in South Bethlehem. Assembled in his parlor, Mr. John Taylor, General Freight Agent, presented on behalf of its donors, a very handsome and costly service of silver plate, accompanied with the following address:

"Sir:--The officers and employees of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company have deputed us their Committee to present to you this token of their appreciation of your worth as a Superintendent, your skill as an Engineer, and your ability as a railroad man. In your profession, you stand to-day without a superior. You have been identified with the Lehigh Valley Railroad from its inception. Under your hands it has grown to be a successful institution. In all times of trial and adversity you have stood by it with the fidelity and steadfastness of a hero. You have lived sir, to see the success of your labors. The road which modestly aspired to connect Mauch Chunk with Easton, has, under your guidance, entered the vast anthracite regions of the Lehigh, Schuylkill and Wyoming, and continuing its course northward up the Susquehanna to the State line, it will enter, at no distant day, the competing list for the tonnage of the Great West. Thus stands the success of this worthy undertaking a perpetual memorial of your fidelity, skill and judgment. Recognizing these things, the officers and employees of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company have deemed it fitting to give them expression by this testimonial, as well to your great skill and judgment, as to your uniform kindness and consideration to all those under you or with whom you have come in contact."
Hon. Asa Packer.
John P. Cox.
Wm. H. Sayre, Jr.
and others.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, December 24, 1868.

Robert's wife, Mary Evelyn, died on 31 may 1869. He married again, on 12 January 1871, to Mary Bradford, the widow of Senator Brodhead of Pennsylvania and the niece of the Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi. She was born in Mississippi on 15 August 1825. She brought him two sons, by her first marriage. They had no children together.

In the fall of 1872 Robert Sayre commenced the construction of the Easton & Amboy Railroad, which was an extension of the Lehigh Valley road from the Delaware river at Easton to the sea at Perth Amboy, where very extensive docks, piers and shipping facilities were erected for the transfer of coal and other commodities from cars to vessels. More than 2,500,000 tons of freight are handled here annually. In 1883, the Vanderbilts, with other capitalists of New York, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, determined to build the South Pennsylvania Railroad between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Mr. Sayre was offered the position of President and Chief Engineer; he accepted, and commenced the work of construction during the following year. This line embraced some unusually heavy work, but it was attacked and prosecuted with vigor; the masonry for the bridge across the Susquehanna at Harrisburg, more than four thousand feet in length, was erected in one season. Seven principal mountain ranges were to be penetrated with tunnels averaging one mile in length. This work, with many of the heavy sections between the tunnels, was well advanced, when, after an expenditure of about $5,000,000, the whole work was suspended and remained so for some time.

Robert, while in the active prosecution of construction of the South Pennsylvania Railroad, remained a Director of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and upon the suspension of work on the former road he was elected Second Vice-President of the Lehigh Valley Company, and charged specially with the oversight of all of their traffic by rail and water lines, and of the engineering department.

During those busy years Robert found time to devote to the important subjects of good, permanent way and rolling stock. He was an early advocate of iron bridges and commenced replacing the wooden structures on the road in 1857. He commenced the use of steel rails in 1864, and was among the first to use steel-tired driving wheels and fire boxes of steel in the construction of locomotives. He caused to be built in 1867, for use on the mountain grade, two locomotives of the Decapod type with five pairs of drivers and truck. The "Consolidation" type, quickly to become the favorite heavy engine, originated on the Lehigh Valley Railroad. It was designed by Division Superintendent, A. Mitchell. Robert, in conjunction with John Fritz, Esq., Superintendent of the Bethlehem Iron Company, designed and introduced the angle fish bar now which came into general use. He also designed cutting the rail ends at an angle so as to form, when laid, a continuous bearing for the wheels. He appreciated early the importance of a heavier section of rail to meet the rapidly increasing weight of engines and cars, and designed the seventy-six-pound section now in use on the Lehigh Valley and other roads.

There were a number of iron plants in the South Bethlehem region, and the railroads needed iron for locomotives and cars, and in the form of rails to repair and extend their lines. However, the local furnaces didn't make rails. They made pig iron, which was sent elsewhere to be cast into products or turned into wrought iron for rails and other shapes.

Robert was one of the promoters and first stockholders of the Bethlehem Iron Company, of which corporation he was Director for twenty-five years and the General Manager for a further fifteen. He did not retire from this position until 1899.

Bethlehem Steel

In 1857 the earliest predecessor company of Bethlehem Steel, the Saucona Iron Company, was formed in South Bethlehem, PA. In 1859 this nascent company fell under the control of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Its opening was delayed by the Civil War and didn't start producing iron railroad rails until 1863. In the early 1870's the then recent invention of the Bessemer Process of making steel was taken up, and the first steel was made by this method on 4 October 1873, the first steel rail being rolled on the 18th of the same month. At the turn of the century the great Charles Schwab left U.S. Steel and took over Bethlehem Iron, creating the current Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Robert was one of the originators of the Pioneer Mining & Manufacturing Company, of Alabama, and a Director from its organization; also of the Nescopee and Upper Lehigh Coal Companies in Pennsylvania, of the Bethlehem South Gas and Water Company, of the E. P. Wilbur Trust Company, of South Bethlehem, and various other minor corporations. Robert was one of the five persons named by Judge Asa Packer in his will as trustees of his estate. He was a charter member of the Board of Trustees of Lehigh University, and Chairman of the Executive Committee. Referring to the value of his services to Lehigh University, Bishop Stephens, on University Day, June 24, 1869, made this emphatic and graceful testimony:

"I must mention one name deserving on this occasion special commemoration. I mean Robert H. Sayre. Next to Judge Packer the University is indebted to him, not only for his deep and thoughtful interest in the institution, but for the gift to it of one of the essential elements of its instruction and success--the Astronomical Observatory. This building was erected at the sole expense of Mr. Sayre, and contains an equatorial, a zenith sector, an astronomical clock, a meridian circle, a prismatic sextant, and other needed instruments, constituting an important addition to the practical teaching of astronomy and geodesy. The gift reflects special credit upon the large minded and liberal donor, whose name it will bear as the 'Sayre Observatory' as long as the University itself shall stand, and of that we say Esto Perpetua."

Robert was also a charter member of the Board of Trustees of St. Luke's Hospital, South Bethlehem, and a member of the Executive Committee; a member of the Executive Committee of Bishop Thorpe School for Young Ladies, South Bethlehem, and has been Treasurer of the Board of Diocesan Missions of Central Pennsylvania since the organization of the Diocese.

He belonged to the Episcopal Church, was one of the founders of the parish of "The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem--South," and had been a vestryman since its organization.

Robert's second wife, Mary, died on 23 April 1877. Then he married Helen Augusta Packer, the widow of Rollin H. Rathburn, on 15 April 1879. She was the daughter of Robert W. Parker and the niece of his associate Asa Packer. They had no children together.

In the 1880 census of South Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pennsylvania as Robert H. Sayre, a 54 year old Superintendent Engineer of the Lehigh Valley Rail Road. Living with him were his wife, Helena A., 40, and children, Robert H. Jr., a 28 year old Assistant Superintendent of the B. I. [Bethlehem Iron] Company, Ruth May, 14, Robert Rathburn, a 20 year old stepson, a lear [?] agent, and Walter R. Rathburn, another stepson, 14.

Helen died on 10 June 1880. Robert's fourth wife was Martha (Patty) Finley Nevin whom he married in 3 May 1882. She was born 6 December 1844 in Mercersburg, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Reverend John Williamson Nevin, LL.D, 1803-1886, and Martha Jenkins. They had three sons, two of whom survived.

In the 1900 census of South Bethlehem as Robert H. Sayre, a 75 year old Vice President of a Railroad. Living with him was his wife, Martha, 54, and children John N., 16, and Francis B., 15.

Robert died on 5 January 1907 [4 January per the New York Times], aged 83. Martha died on 15 August 1918 in Siasconset, Massachusetts. Note that Robert was succeeded at Bethlehem Steel by the great Charles M. Schwab. From the Mauch Chunk cemetary burial list:

Mary Evelyn Sayre, born 11 July 1824, died 31 may 1869, first spouse of Robert H. Sayre, nee Smith.
Charles White Sayre, born 23 July 1846, deid 10 April 1848, 1 year 8 months, son of Robert H. and Evelyn Smith Sayre.
Anna Catherine Sayre, born 18 December 1850, died 12 August 1852, 1 year, 8 months, 24 days, the daughter of Robert H. and Everyln Smith Sayre.
Francis Rodolphus Sayre, born 27 September 1859, died 24 March 1864, 4 years 6 month, son of Robert H. and Evelyn Smith Sayre.
Anna C. Sayre, died 24 August 1861, 9 months, 11 days old
May Ellen Sayre, born 24 January 1862, died 3 March 1864, 2 years 2 months, daughter of Robert H. and Evelyn Smith Sayre.

The towns of Sayre, Pennsylvania and Sayre, Oklahoma are both named after Robert. His biography is contained in the:
- "American National Biography," 24 volumes, edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, New York, Oxford University Press, 1999.
- "Dictionary of American Biography," Volumes 1-20, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928.
- "The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography," Volume 5, New York, James T. White & Co., 1891.
- "Who Was Who in America," A component volume of "Who's Who in American History, " Volume 1, 1897-1942, Chicago, A.N. Marquis Co., 1943.

His children were,
(24) Charles White Sayre (1846), born on 23 January 1846, died 10 April 1848
(24) Mary Eliza Sayre (1849), born on 3 February 1849, married 10 June 1873 to William H. Chandler, Professor of Chemistry and Libraries of Lehigh University
(24) Anna Catherine Sayre (1850), born 18 December 1850, died 12 August 1852
(24) Robert Heysham Sayre Jr. (1853)
(24) Elizabeth Kent Sayre (1854), born on 1 December 1854, married 1 June 1876 to Albert Newton Cleaver, a coal operator in South Bethlehem
(24) Jennie Weston Sayre (1857), born 2 October 1857, married 15 October 1879 to James Fitz-Randolph, son of Ex-Governor Theodore F. Randolph of New Jersey.
(24) Francis Rodolphus Sayre (1859), born on 27 September 1859, died 3 March 1864
(24) Ellen May Sayre (1862), born 24 January 1862, died 24 March 1864
(24) Ruth May Sayre (1864), born 11 May 1864, married 15 October 1884 to Robert Packer Linderman, a grandson of Asa Packer. He was President of the Bethlehem Iron Company, President of the Lehigh Valley National Bank, and a coal operator. (24) John Nevin Sayre (1884)
(24) Francis Bowes Sayre (1885)
(24) Cecil Nevin Sayre (1886)

(24) Robert Heysham Sayre Jr. (1853)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824)

The son of Robert and Mary Evelyn Smith, he was born on 5 January 1853 in South Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pennsylvania. He was employed by the Bethlehem Iron Company. In the 1880 census of South Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pennsylvania as Robert H. Sayre Jr., a 28 year old Assistant Superintendent of the B. I. Company, living at home with his parents. Bethlehem Iron Company became Bethlehem Steel in 1899.

He married Harriet Elizabeth Hillard on 28 December 1880. She was the daughter of William Stinson Hillard and Ruth Ross Butler, born on 9 September 1855 in Wilkes Barre, Luzerne county, Pennsylvania - from the "Genealogy of the descendants of John Kirk" by Miranda S. Kirk Roberts. They lived in South Bethlehem.

On 7 October 1884 the Grand Opera House and the Union Hall of Lehigh had burned. As a result leaders of the community decided to organize a fire department, which became known as the Lehigh Hook and Ladder Company. Robert Jr. was its first President.

In the 1900 census of Fountain Hill, Lehigh, Pennsylvania as Robt H. Sayre Jr., a 47 year old Superintendent of [?]. Living with him are his wife, Harriet, 44, and son, Robert H. Sayre 3rd, 7.

His children were,
(25) Robert Heysham Sayre III (1893)

(25) Robert Heysham Sayre III (1893)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1853)

He was born on 15 May 1893 in South Bethlehem, the son of Robert H. and Harriet Elizabeth (Hillard) Sayre. He married Marie Bright Riggs on 3 December 1921 in Baltimore. She was born on 22 December 1898, in Baltimore, the daughter of Jesse B. and Charlotte (Symington) Riggs - from "The Riggs Family of Maryland" by . He died on 6 September 1969. He is buried in the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Churchville, Hartford county, Maryland. Marie died on 8 July 1990 and was buried next to her husband.

His children were,
(26) Harriet Elizabeth Sayre (1923)
(26) Robert Heysham Sayre IV (1926)
(26) Lawrason Riggs Sayre (1927)

(26) Harriet Elizabeth Sayre (c1923)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1853) (25) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1893)

She was born on 1 September 1923. 1942 - "Bel Air, Md. Nov. 14 -- Mr. and Mrs. Robert Heysham Sayre 3d of this place have announced the engagement of their daughter, Harriet Elizabeth, to Richard Cunningham Noyes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Simpson Noyes of New Haven, Conn. Miss Sayre was graduated from Chatham hall in 1941 and is now attending Connecticut College. She is a debutante of this season. Mr. Noyes, an alumnus of Phillips Exeter Academy, expects to be graduated from Yale next year. He is a member of the Berzelius Society there." - from the New York Times.

(26) Robert Heysham Sayre IV (1926)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1853) (25) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1893)

He was born in Baltimore on 6 March 1926. He now lives in Little Compton, Rhode Island. He married Nancy Grinnell, of Marion, Massachusetts. I have a Robert Heysham Sayre who is referenced in Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1993.

His children were,
(27) Robert Heysham Sayre V (1959)

(27) Robert Heysham Sayre V (1959)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1853) (25) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1893) (26) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1926)

He was born on 30 July 1959 on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(26) Lawrason Riggs Sayre (c1928)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1853) (25) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1893)

He was born on 19 October 1927. 1953 - "Harrisburg, Pa., March 7 -- Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Stanton Herman Jr. have announced the engagement of their daughter, Miss Alice Jane Herman, to Lawrason Riggs Sayre, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Heysham Sayre of Leighton, Bel Air, Md. Miss Herman attended the Katharine Sweeney Day School in Harrisburg and Hood College in Frerick, Md. She is a member of the Junior League of Harrisburg. Mr. Sayre attended the Gilman Country School in Roland Park, Md., and was graduated from the Pomfret (Conn.) School and in 1950 from Yale College. He returned recently from Korea, where he served as a first lieutenant with the Marine Corps." - from the New York Times.

(24) John Nevin Sayre (1884)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824)

The son of Robert and Martha Finley Nevin, he was born on 4 February 1884 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and died in September 1977 in Nynack, New York. One of two sons of a "captain of American industry" whose family was engaged in the development of the steel industry and railroads. Their maternal grandfather was a clergyman who became a college president. John and his brother Francis had a privileged childhood. They were sent to boarding schools and summer camps. Nevin studied at Princeton and graduated in 1907. Having decided to enter the ministry, he studied at the Union Theological Seminary in New York for two years. He finished his graduate work at the Episcopal Theological School at Cambridge in 1911 and was promptly ordained. He subsequently did missionary work in China.

John Nevin officiated at his brother's wedding to the daughter of President Wilson in a ceremony at the White House in 1913. He benefited from his brother's subsequent diplomatic career, gaining access to Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt and other prominent persons, such as General Douglas MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito.

The next few years were an exploratory period during which he considered a career in education, missionary work or the ministry. While working at Princeton in 1914, he heard a lecture on Christianity and war which prompted him to examine the teachings of Jesus on the use of force and the love of enemies. It became clear that Jesus was an "unequivocable pacifist" and that he "totally rejected war." Sayre never doubted that conclusion which became a guiding principle for the rest of his life.

A self-described "peace apostle whose life has been devoted to the waging of peace and opposition to war." He joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) in December 1915, only weeks after the American branch was organized. These events defined the course that his life took. He became Secretary of the International Society of Reconciliation. He also served with the YMCA about 1917 in France, as did his brother, Francis. His broad interests often involved him in working with other organizations. He participated in the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and served on the Board of Directors from 1918-1928.

Feeling an urge to preach, he responded to the call to the pastorate of Christ Episcopal Church in Suffern, New York which he served during the war years 1915-1919. The congregation of this village church did not curtail his freedom to uphold a strong pacifist position. Nevertheless after the war ended, he felt a call to be an "evangelist to youth and other parishes". He resigned his pastorate in 1919 to become one of the founders of the Brookwood community school which was conceived by a group of members of the FOR for the purpose of "training builders of the new world". He taught there until 1921 when Brookwood became a "workers' college" under new leadership.

He first married Helen A. Bangs. In February 1922 he married Kathleen Whitaker. She was a young English woman who came to America in 1916 with her widowed mother. They were Christian pacifists who found the pro-war spirit in English churches and society to be intolerable. Kathleen took a business course and then offered her services at the FOR office where she was promptly engaged by Norman Thomas. John Nevin, in writing his memoirs half a century later, devoted a chapter to "Companions in the Faith". He said that she was "first and foremost" in an international group of comrades. That same year he became editor of "The World Tomorrow," a pacifist journal published by the Fellowship Press, and continued in the position until 1924. He had been writing for the publication since its beginning in 1918. He returned to journalism in 1940 when he edited Fellowship magazine for five years while serving as co-secretary of the FOR with A.J. Muste. Kathleen was on born 21 May 1884 and died in January 1982.

The significance and influence of Sayre's life work are summarized by John M. Swomley, a colleague of Sayre on the national staff of the FOR from 1940-1960 and its executive secretary 1953-1960. He wrote a biographical series titled "John Nevin Sayre: Peacemaker" for Fellowship magazine, 1977-1979. The following excerpt is taken from the beginning of the first article published November 1977:

"John Nevin Sayre was one of the great figures of the American peace movement. He lived an unusual life, dedicated fully to world peace. He invested himself and his fortune in movements for radical but peaceful change. He was the associate and advisor of men and women who became more famous, but who could hardly be said to have had more influence. In many respects, the Fellowship of Reconciliation as an organization is an ongoing tribute to his unswerving commitment and intelligent leadership. For fifty-two years he served the Fellowship in various capacities. No other person during that period, which spanned four wars, made a greater continuous world-wide contribution to the cause of world peace."

His children were,
(25) Heather Sayre (c1925)
(25) Faith Sayre (c1926)
(25) William Whitaker Sayre (1927)

(25) Heather Sayre (c1925)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) John Nevin Sayre (1884)

(25) Faith Sayre (c1926)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) John Nevin Sayre (1884)

(25) William Whitaker Sayre (1927)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) John Nevin Sayre (1884)

He was born on 31 August 1927 and died in 1981. Married a Rakel.

(26) Joel Sayre
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) John Nevin Sayre (1884) (25) William Whitaker Sayre (1927)

(26) Daniel Sayre
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) John Nevin Sayre (1884) (25) William Whitaker Sayre (1927)

(26) Roger Sayre
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) John Nevin Sayre (1884) (25) William Whitaker Sayre (1927)

(24) Francis Bowes Sayre (1885)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824)

The son of Robert and Martha Finley Nevin, he was born on 30 April 1885 in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Francis studied at Williams College, graduating in 1909. In that same year he went to work with Dr. Wilfred Grenfell at his mission in Labrador, New Foundland. He then attended Harvard Law school, earning an LL.B. in 1912.







Wilfred Grenfell

A medical doctor, missionary, fund-raiser and eccentric, Wilfred Grenfell lived a life that sounds more like fiction than reality. Born in England in 1865, he became a Christian missionary and joined the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. In 1892 he began cruising the harsh coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador, giving medical services to people accustomed to one annual visit from a government physician. Grenfell went on to build hospitals, an orphanage and nursing stations, financing his many projects through lecture tours and social contacts. He moved with ease among the poor and the powerful. A figure of many contrasts, he was considered a hero, social climber, publicity hound and saint. He was later knighted.

Dr. Grenfell was best man at Francis' White House wedding.

In 1913 Francis became an assistant to District Attorney Whitman in New York. The same year he married Jessie Woodrow Wilson, the daughter of President Woodrow Wilson. The wedding was held on 25 November 1913 in the White House, Washington D.C., and was officiated by his brother, the Reverend John Nevin Sayre. A full page of the Washington Post was dedicated to the wedding. An example from the Washington Post, 26 November 1913:

“White House Bride and Her Husband Hope to Escape Limelight in Simple, Modest Home at Williamstown, Mass. Bridegroom has had some Thrilling Adventures in the Northland.

Apart from the interst that naturally attaches to a wedding in the White House, the marriage yesterdy of Miss Jessie Woodrow Wilson and Francis Bowes Sayre emphasized conspicuously a union of two personalities, bred with the same ideals, and devoted to the same purpose – a life of Christian usefulness.

It was not only congeniality of disposition, but mutaulity of interest-a serious enthusiasm for social service-which first drew the two young people together less than two and a half years ago. The preceding years were occupied by each in training for a work of sociology, and yesterday’s wedding is but a milestone in the life road which the two have chosen, for it means a simple,modest home in the academic quiet of Williamstown, Mass., where ambitions for social uplife and continued study may be nourished without the glare of a national limelight.

Mr. Sayre is 28 and Mrs. Sayre is 24. Both are of the same height, tall, and blonde. Mr. Sayre of Notable Family.

The Sayre family is one of the oldest in this country, dating back to 1634, and resident for the most part in Pennsylvania. Robert Heysham Sayre, father of Francis, died in 1907 in his eighty-fourth year. He had built the Lehigh Valley Railroad and was laster assistant to its president. He had founded and was general manager of the Bethelhem Steel Works. He was president of the board of trustees of Lehigh University.

The mother, Mrs. Martha Finely Nevin Sayre still lives at Lancaster, Pa. She has lived recently with the groom-to-be in New York, as her other son, John Nevin Sayre, a Princeton graduate, is doing missionary work in China. Mrs. Sayre’s father was a theologian, John Williamson Nevin, who was president of Franklin and Marshall College. She is descended from Hugh Williamson, of North Carolina, one of the framers of the Constitution. Her brother was the late Robert J. Nevin, head of the American Church at Rome, Italy, and Ethelbert Nevin, the composer, was her cousin.

Was Busy at College

Mr. Sayre went to Williams College, in 1905, and finished his course in three and a half years. He was graduated in 1909 at the head of his class and won the Phi Beta Kappa key, a trinket symbolical of merit, which his bride also won in her college days. He managed the football team, organized the Good Government Club to study municipal government, and took trips with members of that club to sociological institutions to study child labor and other problems of social welfare.

He went as the personal assistant to Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell to do hospital work along the coast of Labrador in 1909, and it was in those days when young Sayre joned him in holding services on the rocks for the Labrador fishermen, that an affection and close friendship developed, which was reflected in the selection of Dr. Grenfell as best man at the wedding.

Was Secretary to Peary

When returning from the Grenfell camp in 1909, Sayre missed his steamer, but found the arctic ship, ROOSEVELT, with Peary aboard, at Battle Harbor, and acting as secretary for the explorer. At another time, in Newfoundland, he tramped 100 miles in ten days with a friend. They could not keep the route planned, and, after much suffering from black flies in the forest underbrush, reached the habitation of a friendly hermit, exhausted from want of food and rest.

Sayre’s companion on this expedition was Do. DeWitt Scoville Clark, jr., of Salem, Mass., one of the ushers at the wedding.

Once the same two traveled 2,300 miles down the Yukon River, in Alaska. And when they got to Nome they wanted to get to Siberia across the Bering Strait. Most folk them them it couldn’t be done, but they set out in a 15-ton schooner which they happened to pick up, and after a thrilling adventure in a deep fog, hauled up against Asia. Sayre got as far north as 86 degrees.

The President’s second daughter, the bride, has been so absorbed in her work . . .”

In 1914 Francis began work as Assistant to the President of Williams College, Williamstown. In January 1915 his son, Francis Bowes Sayre Jr., was born in the White House. At right is Francis with his son, Francis Jr., and his father-in-law, President Wilson, looking on. In 1916 Francis created a course in international law which was funded by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He taught his course for two years.

In June 1917 Francis left Williams College to serve in the war effort. He served briefly with the YMCA in France, then accepted a teaching position at the Harvard Law School. In 1923 he was asked to serve as Advisor in Foreign Affairs to the King of Siam and in 1925 he was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Siam.

In 1932 Francis returned to Harvard to direct the Harvard Institute of Criminal Law and was a State Commissioner of Correction. In 1933 his wife, Jessie, died suddenly, suffering from complications of appendicitis. Later that year President Roosevelt appointed him Assistant Secretary of State, a position he held until 1939. His successor was Sumner Welles.

In 1937 Francis married Elizabeth Evans Graves and Williams College awarded him an honorary degree. In 1939 Francis became the High Commissioner to the Philippines, the last to hold that position. He was forced to escape from Corregidor in a submarine after the Japanese invasion in 1941. He then became Financial secretary to Williams College.

In 1947 he was appointed as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Trusteeship Council and served as its President. In 1952 he retired from public service and returned to the Far East to serve as President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church of America in Japan.

Francis Sayre had been Alger Hiss's boss in the Far Eastern Division of the State Department. He testified for the defense at the second trial, saying that a number of the documents placed in evidence came not from his (and Hiss's) office, as was asserted by Whittaker Chambers, but from a different section of the State Department, the Trade Agreements Division, where Julian Wadleigh, who admitted passing documents to Chambers, worked. Sayre also testified before the grand jury in New York, but he had been out of the country, and was unable to appear until after Hiss had been indicted. Nonetheless, Sayre made a strong defense of his former assistant. Whittaker Chambers at one time claimed that Sayre was connected to the Communist underground, but dropped those charges later.

Francis died on 29 March 1972 in Washington, D.C. His children were,
(25) Francis Bowes Sayre Jr. (1915)
(25) Eleanor Axson Sayre (1916)
(25) Woodrow Wilson Sayre (1919)

(25) Francis Bowes Sayre Jr. (1915)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Francis Bowes Sayre (1885)

He was Born in January 1915 in the White House, the last child to be born in that place. He did not grow up there, but visited the White House often as a child and his name appears on a plaque in the building. He lived in Siam, now Thailand, with his diplomat father and attended school there. He then attended a boarding school in Switzerland. The family summered in Martha's Vineyard where Dean Sayre learned his love of the place.

He attended Williams College and then studied at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He then enrolled in the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. After his ordination Francis served as assistant minister at Christ Church, on Harvard Square, and assisted at Trinity Church in Boston. He had his own parish in Cleveland. Later he served a four year stint as a chaplain in the United States Navy. This was during World War II and he was stationed on the USS San Francisco in the Pacific.

He met his future wife during the war years. He married Harriet Taft Hart, the daughter of Admiral Thomas C. Hart, and granddaughter of Admiral Willard H. Brownson. Harriet graduated from Vassar College, with a degree in history in 1944. She lived with her family in China, in 1939, while her father commanded the Asiatic Fleet. Harriet worked for the OSS in Washington, during WWII, prior to her marriage. She was involved in research, regarding the feasibility of a Manchurian army.

Francis was a Reverend Minister and the Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. When he arrived in 1950 the church was only half built. It was he that raised the money and supervised the construction to complete the church. He retired to Martha's Vineyard. Their children are Jessie Sayre Maeck of Lexington, Massachusetts, Thomas Hart Sayre of Raleigh, Harriet Sayre-McCord of Durham, known as "Happy," and Francis Nevin Sayre of Falmouth, Massachusetts, known as "Nevin." The next generation includes Kalyan Deck Sayre, Dean Sayre, and Solvig Sayre.

(25) Eleanor Axson Sayre (1916)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Francis Bowes Sayre (1885)

She was born in March 1916. As the daughter of a diplomat she received her early schooling in Siam, France, England and Switzerland, as well as the United States. She was a graduate of Radcliffe College and was an assistant curator on the staff of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. A well known art expert and an accepted authority on the works on the artist Goya. On 22 February 1963 she launched the ballistic missile submarine WOODROW WILSON. Her brother, the Reverend Francis B. Sayre, Jr., Dean of the Washington Cathedral, delivered the dedicatory prayer at the launching of this ship. She now lives in Cambridge.

(25) Woodrow Wilson Sayre (1919)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824) (24) Francis Bowes Sayre (1885)

He was born in 1919. He was a Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, near Boston, Massachusetts. Known as Woody, he had a reputation as an eccentric and a rabble rouser. Among his students, he was a highly respected and popular educator. His tremendous physical and mental energy were more than his academic life could contain, and he had a burning desire to make his mark on the world in dramatic ways. He had previously climbed Denali in 1954 and later Mt. Whitney in "superalpine" style, and in 1962, at 42 years of age, determined to climb the North Face of Mt. Everest. He did so with a team of four financed privately by Sayre for $12,411.59. They reached 25,500 feet without oxygen or porters. The book "Four Against Everest," an expedition documentary, was written by Woodrow Wilson Sayre and published in 1964. There is also a 16mm silent film of the 1962 expedition shot by the author. His small groups achievement is credited with inspiring many amateurs to take up mountain climbing. Woody died on 16 September 2002, at the age of 83.



(24) Cecil Nevin Sayre (1886)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) Robert Heysham-Sayre (1824)

The son of Robert and Martha Finley Nevin, he was born on 15 August 1886 (or 1888?) and died in 1889.

(23) Elizabeth Kent Sayre (1826)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794)

From the Proceedings and Collections of the Wyoming, Pennsylvania Historical and Geological Society, Vol Xll, Page 179 : Elizabeth Kent Sayre was born on 17 September 1826 in Columbia County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were William Heysham Sayre and Elizabeth Kent. According to Theodore Banta she married William Reed, a coal operator, on 17 September 1846. They had four children.

(23) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1831)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794)

He was born in 3 March 1831 in Mauch Chunk, Carbon county, Pennsylvania, the son of William H. and Elizabeth Kent Sayre. He was educated at the public schools of Mauch Chunk and at the age of 17 entered the employ of Edward Leisenring, a merchant of that town. In the 1850 census of Mauch Chunk as William Sayre Jr., a 19 year old clerk living in the home of John [garbled] Leisenring, a merchant. He afterward had charge of a store for James McLean at Summit Hill, Pennsylvania.

In 1852 he entered the employ of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, when Judge Asa Parker was making surveys for it, and remained with the company until his death, a total of 57 years. He wrote the first tickets for the use of passengers, and was the first Passenger Agent, Paymaster, General Agent and President's Assistant. When the Lehigh Valley railroad formed the Lehigh Valley Coal Company to take charge of its coal interests William was placed in charge of this department and was Vice President at the time of his death.

In the 1860 census of Mauch Chunk, Carbon county, Pennsylvania as William Sayre, a 30 year old clerk. Living with him was his wife, Anna [?], 24, and a daughter, Nelly, 1. They were living in the "Mansion House." The "inn keeper" was George Hopper.

Christopher Brooks, trib@tributaries.org, writes that "William Heysham Sayre married Elizabeth Mitchell Brooks. Banta indicates this occurred on 17 June 1858, but what then of Anna? Elizabeth was of Philadelphia, a descendant of Captain Thomas Brooks." A biography of William's claims that he married Elizabeth in 1858. Elizabeth was born on 10 August 1830 in Philadlephia. She was the daughter of James Emery Brooks, of New Hampshire, and Mary Chambers, of Philadelphia. This sounds like the marrige of a "made man," not that of the clerk of 1860. She died on 6 January 1897.

The residence of William H. Sayre, on the southwest corner of Third and Wyandotte Streets, was erected in 1862 in the Fountain Hill District of South Bethlehem. This was the first house built on the Hill after it had been laid off into streets. By the way, it was Rudolphus Kent, William's cousin, who bought and developed this tract in the 1850's. In 1866 William Heysham Sayre, Jr. delivered an address at the formal opening of Lehigh University. William, along with his brother, Robert, was on the Board of the Bethlehem South Gas and Water Compnay, organized in 1867. He was clearly a rich man, but doing what? I suppose he was in business with his brother, Robert. There are two bills from 1871 from the Pennsylvania and New York Canal and Railroad Company, signed by William H. Sayre, as 'President Assistant.'

In the 1880 Federal census William, the 49 year old Assistant President of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, was living in the 1st Ward, South Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Elizabeth, 49, daughter Clara B., 18, son William H. Jr., 14, and his sister, Annie F. Sayre, 46. She appears to have been a spinster. In 1883 a W. H. Sayre, Jr., of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania took a Cook's tour of eight weeks across the continent to California and back.

In the 1900 census of South Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pennsylvania as William Sayre, a 69 year old Vice President of a Coal Company. He was a widow by this time. Living with him was his daughter, Clara B., 38, and sister, Annie F., 66.

William Heysham Sayre died on 7 April 1909, aged 78 - from the New York Times obituary. In addition to William Jr., below, their children were Clara B, a daughter born in 1861.

William died on 7 April 1909 in South Bethlehem.

The following are their children who did not achieve adulthood. From the Mauch Chunk cemetary burial list:

Ellen Sayre, born 23 March 1859, died 20 December 1860, 1 year 8 months, daughter of William H. and Elizabeth Mitchell (Brooks) Sayre, Jr.
His children were,
(24) Ellen Sayre (1859), born 23 Marn 1859, died 20 December 1860
(24) Clara Brooks Sayre (1861)
(24) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1865)

(24) Clara Brooks Sayre (1861)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) William Heysham-Sayre (1831)

1936 - "Bethlehem, Pa., Dec. 13. -- Miss Clara Brooks Sayre, daughter of the late William Heysham Sayre, whose brother, the late Robert Heysham Sayre, was one of the builders of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, died here today at the age of 74. Miss Sayre, who was interested in all civic projects, was active in the work of the Procathedral Episcopal Church of the Nativity, of which her father was a warden for many years. She was the founder of the Bethlehem Auxiliary of the Pennsylvania Marine Association, and a member of the Woman's Club, the Lehigh Valley Southern Society and the Woman's Council of the Boys Club." - from the New York Times.

(24) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1865)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) William Heysham-Sayre (1831)

He was born on 17 September 1865 and died in 1921. In the 1880 Federal of South Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pennsylvania as William H. Jr., 14, living with his parents. Of New York and West Palm Beach.

He was a graduate of the engineering school at the Lehigh University at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His thesis, published in 1886, was "Errors of the Indicator." A railroad engineer, he was involved in the engineering of of the Hazelton branch out of Delano in 1886. This was his first assignment, he would have been 21 at the time. His biography is included in the "Encyclopedia of American Biography, New Series, Volume 4," New York, of The American Historical Society. It includes a portrait.

"William Heysham Sayre Jr., son of Elizabeth (Brooks) & William H. Sayre" married Elizabeth [Knight] Bartholomew, of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, on 24 February 1898. She was born on 28 October 1871, the daughter of Augustine Bartholomew and Ella Pomeroy. - from "An historical and genealogical account of Andrew Robeson of Scotland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania."

William was the manager of the International Contracting Company of New York.

Sometime before 1926 William appears to have died. Their children were,
(25) William Heysham Sayre IV (1898)
(25) Elizabeth Knight Sayre (1900)
(25) Austin Bartholomew Sayre (1901)
(25) James Brooks Sayre (1902), 6 August 1902, died 9 August 1903
(25) Sylvia Sayre (1905)
(25) Ford Kent Sayre (1909), 8 November 1909
(25) George Pomeroy Sayre (1911), 26 August 1911

(25) William Heysham Sayre IV (1898)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) William Heysham-Sayre (1831) (24) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1865)

He was born on 21 November 1898. 1926 - "Miss Anne Morson Stuart [the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Lee Stuart of Essex Fells, N.J.] is engaged to Austin Bartholomew Sayre and Miss Lee Stuart to Mr. Sayre's brother, William Heysham Sayre. The fiances are sons of Mrs. William Heysham Sayre of Essex Fells, formerly of Bethlehem, Pa. There will be a double wedding on Nov. 27 in St. Peter's Church, Essex Fells" - New York Times

(26) William Heysham Sayre V (c1930)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) William Heysham-Sayre (1831) (24) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1865) (25) William Heysham Sayre IV (1898)

1954 - "Ambler, Pa., June 12 -- Mr. and Mrs. Weber deVore have announced the engagement of their daughter, Miss Eleanor deVore, to William Heysham Sayre 5th, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sayre 4th of Ralston, N.J. Miss deVore is studying at the Universtiy of Pennsylvania. Mr. Sayre, who attended Lehigh University, is stationed with the Army at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md." - from the New York Times.

I have a William Heysham Sayre, perhaps born in 1933, who is in Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives, 1984 edition, volume 2, as well as the 1987, and 1991. He's also in Who's Who in America, 1984-1991, and Who's Who in Finance and Industry, 1989.

(25) Elizabeth Knight Sayre (1900)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) William Heysham-Sayre (1831) (24) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1865)

She was born on 31 January 1900. 1933 - "The engagement has been announced of Miss Elizabeth Knight Sayre, daughter of Mrs. William Heysham Sayre of Essex Fells, N.J., and the late Mr. Sayre, to Victor Frederick Hasenoehrl, son of Mrs. William Ford Upson of Merrano, Italy, and the late Professor Friedrich Hassenoehrl, Austria. Miss Sayre was graduated from Wellesley. Mr. Haseneohrl attended the Theresianum in Vienna and was graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology." "The bride's cousin, the Rev. John Nevin Sayre of New York, performed the ceremony" - New York Times

(25) Austin Bartholomew Sayre (1901)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) William Heysham-Sayre (1831) (24) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1865)

He was born on 14 November 1901 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. He entered Haverford College in 1919 and left in the middle of the year. His address at the time was 181 Ridgewood Avenue, Glen Ridge, New Jersey - from "Biographical catalog of the matriculates of Haverford College."

1926 - "Miss Anne Morson Stuart [the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Lee Stuart of Essex Fells, N.J.] is engaged to Austin Bartholomew Sayre and Miss Lee Stuart to Mr. Sayre's brother, William Heysham Sayre. The fiances are sons of Mrs. William Heysham Sayre of Essex Fells, formerly of Bethlehem, Pa. There will be a double wedding on Nov. 27 in St. Peter's Church, Essex Fells" - New York Times

(25) Sylvia Sayre (1905)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794) (23) William Heysham-Sayre (1831) (24) William Heysham Sayre Jr. (1865)

She was born on 24 November 1905. 1931 - "Announcement has been made of the engagement of Miss Sylvia Sayre, daughter of Mrs. William Heysham Sayre of Essex Fells, N.J., and the late Mr. Sayre, to George Leonard Boveroux of New York, son of Mrs. George Leonard Boveroux of San Francisco and the late Mr. Boveroux. Miss Sayre attended the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, Pa. Mr. Boveroux attended the University of California." - New York Times

(23) Anna Fatzinger Sayre (1834)
(23) Catherine Irwin Sayre (1834)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766) (22) William Heysham-Sayre (1794)

Anna and Catherine were twins born on 3 March 1834 in Mauch Chunk. Living at home with their father in the 1850 census of Mauch Chunk. Catherine died on 8 June 1859. In the 1860 census Anne F. [T?] Sayre, 25, was living with her father, William H., in East Mauch Chunk and called a housekeeper. In the 1880 of South Bethlehem, Northampton county, Pennsylvania Annie F. Sayre, 46, was living with her brother, William, a spinster. She never married.

From the Mauch Chunk cemetary burial list:

Anna Fatzinger Sayre, born 2 March 1834, died 29 September 1907, 73 years old, the daughter of William H. and Elizabeth Kent Sayre
Catherine Irwin Sayre, born 2 March 1834, died 8 June 1859, the daughter of William H. and Elizabeth Kent Sayre, twin sister of Anna F. Sayre.
How traumatic must it be to have your twin die young?

(22) John Cox Sayre (1795)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766)

Francis and Ann's second son, he was born on 1 August 1795 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He died on 23 August 1801, just after turning 6 years old. His father was listed as a friend of Dr. John Cox, of Philadelphia, on the latter's will. That Francis named his son after the old man is a sign of their close affiliation and, perhaps, a reflection of the debt Francis owed him.

Was this also, however, an indication of Francis' ambivalent feelings about his own father? Francis named his first son in honor of his father-in-law, William Heysham. He named his second son in honor of the family's protector, John Cox. Had he planned to wait for a third son to honor his own father? Or, was there something about his father that embarassed him? Franics, the son of a noted pacifist and Tory, had married the daughter of a patriot and lived in the capital, at that time, of the new republic. There was much about his father's life that would not play well in that environment. I think it is important, too, that the Reverend Sayre died when Francis was a teenager, an age renowned for its ambivalence, if not down-right opposition, in regards to parents [the Mark Twain quotation jumps to mind]. The Reverend Sayre had faced many setbacks. His backwoods New York congregations had rejected him for his Tory views. In Connecticutt he had once fled his congregation for protection and later, having returned, been unable to spare his community from British retribution. At the end of the war he had been forced to flee the country and died soon after. Might his son's memories of his father been dominated by the man's shortcomings? If the Reverend had died earlier, I think Francis would have remembered a father who, as with most young sons, was an infallible god to him. If the Reverend had died later, Francis might have had the time and maturity to put his father's life in perspective, learning to appreciate the stubborness that cost him everything as strength of purpose.

(22) Mary Elizabeth Sayre (1797)
(21) Dr. Francis Bowes Sayre (1766)

She was born on 27 October 1797 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She was perhaps named for Francis' mother, though Francis also had a sister by that name, born in 1771. She died on 26 August 1801, at the age of 4, and just three days after her brother, John Cox. This sounds like an infectious disease.

Steve Hissem
San Diego, California