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Gibbons family photographs


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Gibbons property in Springfield Township, Delaware County, PA, was acquired in 1765 by Joseph Gibbons, a Quaker. He was the son of Joseph Gibbons, was a member of Concord Monthly Meeting and married Margery Hannum under the care of that meeting in 1759. He received a certificate to transfer from Concord Monthly Meeting to Chester Monthly Meeting in 1767, but was disowned for delaying presenting his certificate until 1771. He purchased 150 acres of land in what was then a part of Chester County. The house was built about 1830. Margery Gibbons was disowned for disunity in 1782. The property descended through the family to Joseph Gibbons who died in 1853 and then to Joseph Gibbons (1799-1880) who married Hannah Powell (d. 1882). In addition to the farm, the family had a cotton mill on the property on Whiskey Run, built in 1832, and destroyed by fire in 1865. Joseph Gibbons was a farmer and banker.

Joseph and Hannah Gibbons had eight children, seven who survived to adulthood: Joseph P., John, Mary, Lydia, William, Sallie P., and Emma. None of the children married. Joseph Gibbons was not a member of the Society of Friends, but Ashmead's biographical sketch in the History of Delaware County reported in 1884 that he attended Quaker worship. Joseph bequeathed the property to his sons, Joseph P. and John Gibbons. John died intestate in 1892, and Joseph P. Gibbons died intestate in 1913. At his death, the property went to his surviving sisters, Emma and Sallie. Sallie P. Gibbons, died in 1918.

The family had been involved in philanthropic work. In 1903, they gave funds to the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church towards a Sunday School building, in memory of their adopted niece, May Loeffler. When Sallie P. Gibbons died in 1918 with no survivors, she left her property to executors in trust to keep and maintain a home for dependent Protestant women over forty to be called the Gibbons Home. Since there were some stipulations concerning the residual estate, the local Court interpreted this to mean that the Home could not be established until all the stipulations were fulfilled. Finally in 1939, the Court released the assets to the trustees to establish a Home. The Gibbons Home was incorporated in 1939 and opened in 1940 in the Gibbons family homestead.

Responding to population growth and business development in Springfield Township, the property was sold in 1970 to make way for the Springfield Mall. The Home moved to a new facility nearby on Lincoln Avenue. As patterns of social services changed and with residency diminished, the Gibbons Home was closed in 2000, and its assets turned over to PresbyHomes and Services.

This collection is composed of Gibbons family images--portraits of individuals, travel photos, and prints/photos of residences, among others. Card photos, tintypes, a few loose color photographs, and others are found in this collection.

Gift of Gibbons Home, 2000, 2003 (Accession 2000-056). Part of RG4/106.

This collection was removed from RG4/106: Gibbons Home records.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Zoe Peyton Jones
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection is available for research use.

Use Restrictions

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Collection Inventory

May Loeffler.
Box 1
Joseph and Hannah Gibbons.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Joseph—3 photographs; Hannah—8 photographs

Article on the Gibbons Home photographs, 1940-1961.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

First Christmas, 1940—3 photographs; Alcove, 2nd floor hallway, 1961; Elsie Bailey, resident, 1961; Jean Grogran, member of Swarthmore Garden Club, 1961; Dining Room, 1961; Joseph Gibbons' Bedstead, 1961; Mrs. Robert Turner, member of Swarthmore Garden Club, 1961

Cased Photographs (mostly unidentified).
Box 1
Joseph Gibbons and his estate.
Box 2
Unidentified photographs.
Box 2
Travel Album.
Box 2
Loose Travel Photos.
Box 2
Large Travel Photos.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Contains the following: Lucky Baldwin's Old Mining Home; Washington, D.C.; California Peppers; Marengo Ave, Pasadena, California; Bear Valley Dam, California; Gold of Ophir Roses, Pasadena, California; Trampers Annex Arch Rock, Santa Monica Beach, California; Burros on Mt. Wilson, California; Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California; Calla Lily Field, Los Angeles, California; Baldwin's Park, Santa Anita, California

Print, Suggest