Master millwright Isaiah LINTON (1739-1775)

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Extracts form the book 


Isaiah Linton (1739-1775) Quaker Master Millwright of Bucks County Pennsylvania & Baltimore and Harford Counties Maryland (Ancestors and Descendants) by Terry Louis Linton © 2008, Linton Research Fund Inc., Publication © 2008, printed in Spotsylvania County Virginia.

Isaiah Linton's (1739-1775) Jerusalem Mill winter snow seen taken by Mitch Lebovic 2010


The Old Time Millwright

"...If some of those ancient millers were geniuses, how about those dead and gone millwrights? We know much less about the millwrights of the dim past than about the millers. But we do know that even at a period not so very remote he was a combination of engineer and mechanic. He could handle all the tools of the carpenter's trade; and he was equally at home with the forge and anvil. He had to make every thing that went into the mill; even its water wheel and millstone. He had to have a knowledge of geometry and mathematics, for he had to calculate velocities and powers of machines. He had to be not only a Jack-of-All-Trades, but more or less acquainted with several distinct professions. Naturally some of the work done in those ancient times was crude; but much of it has lasted for generations. The wonder is not that work was not better done, but that one man could do so many kinds of work, much of it requiring great skill.

The old time millwright, I mean the man of several generations ago, did more for the then new sections of our country than any other class of men. Probably their ranks contained more geniuses than any other class in the country; and yet the names even, of most of them, have not been preserved. It is too bad. Somebody ought to erect a Cenotaph and inscribe it to the Unknown Millwrights of the past-the pioneers of American milling and American industry." American Miller Magazine ,1922 1



The Forgotten Millwright


Who was this "Forgotten Millwright," who designed and engineer the erecting of Harford County's Jerusalem Merchant Mill, one of the last water powered mills still standing today?

According to an interview, on December 24, 1985, with Jerome Lamprect, historic engineer, this 217 year-old mill has three features: First, "it may have been the first water powered mill in the United States to use a horizontal axis waterwheel for power." Second, "this mill has two alternating tiers of three dormer windows, on each side of its wooden shingled roof, designed to let more light into the two upper stories of the mill. "Third, "there are two, tremendously large wooden grain bins, made out of scantling, uniquely laid flat on top of each other, taking up most of the second and third floors of this mill" {1}

This same Forgotten Millwright was also left out of the history of eighteen other water-powered mills and one known iron works. Over the years, there have been many articles written about the Jerusalem Merchant Mill and the other surrounding mills of Harford and Baltimore Counties, Maryland. All of these articles credit the Quakers, David Lee and Elisha Tyson, with the erection of these mills. However, after 17 years of research, we unveil the following brief, untold historical sketch of Isaiah Linton, The Forgotten Millwright, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore and Harford Counties, Maryland


Below photo: Isaiah Linton's (1739-1775) Bridgetown Merchant Mill, Bridgetown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2006 Terry Louis Linton

 Quaker Intention of Marriage

Isaiah's parents 


John LINTON (1706-1761) & Elizabeth HAYHURST (1709-1795)


Jacob LINTON (1732-1774); Rebekah LINTON Atkinson (1734-1810); David LINTON (1736-1739); Isaiah LINTON (1739-1775); William LINTON (1742-1802); Martha LINTON (1744-1744); Elizabeth LINTON Hannes (1751-1795)



Whereas John Linton, of Wrightstown, son of John Linton Decease, & Rebekah his Wife, Decease of Buckingham And Elizabeth Hayhurst Daughter of William Hayhurst, Decease, & Rachel his Wife, Decease, of Middletown Bucks County Pennsylvania, Having declared their Intention of Marriage with each other before Several Monthly Meetings of the Christian people called Quakers at Wrightstown and Middletown aforesaid According to the Good Order used among them and having Consent of Members and Relations concerned Their said proposals of Marriage was allowed of by the Said Meetings.


Now these are to certifies to whom it may Concern that for the full accomplishing their said Intention this Twentieth Day of Ye Eleventh Month in the year of our Lord One Thousand seven hundred & Thirty-one The said John Linton and said Elizabeth Hayhurst appearing in public Meeting of the Said Members for that purpose appointed at Wrightstown aforesaid And the said John Linton taking the said Elizabeth Hayhurst by ye hand did in Solemn manner Openly Declare that he took her the said Elizabeth Hayhurst to be his Wife promising Through Divine Assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful Husband until Death. And then and in the said Assembly She the said Elizabeth Hayhurst did in like manner declare That She took the Said John Linton to be her husband promising through divine Assistance to be unto him a Loving and Faithful Wife till Death.


And Moreover the said John Linton and Elizabeth Hayhurst She according to the Custom of Friends Marriage Assuming the Name of her Husband as a further Confirmation thereof Did then there to these present Sett their hands and we whose Names are hereunto also Subscribed being present at the Solemnization of the said Marriage and Subscription Have as Witnesses Thereunto Sett our Hands the said Day & Year above Written. John Linton

Elizabeth Hayhurst, Abraham Chapman,  Mary Pearson, Enoch Pearson,  Sarah Bye, Joseph Hampton, Ann Parsons, David Wilson, Eliza Stockdale, Rachel Hayhurst, John Wildman,  Grace Wilson,  Joseph Linton,  William Stockdale,  Enna Harker, Benjamin Linton, Henry Lacy,  Dorothy Stockdale,  Cuthbert Hayhurst, John Lacy,  Rachel Lacy,  Cuthbert Hayhurst, Jr., John Heston,  Ann Harker,  Mary Stackhouse, Bezeleel Wiggins,  Mercy Jenks, Mary Palmer, John Parsons,  Ruth Croasdale,  Matt Wildman, Joseph Warner,  Elizab Wildman,  Benjamin Cutter, Thomas Lacy,  Sarah Wildman, Daniel Palmer, Thomas Jenks, Agnes Warner and  Joseph Wildman. 


Below photo: copy of page from the U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 for Isaiah Linton Pennsylvania, Bucks County Wrightstown Quaker Monthly Meeting Marriages, 1730-1760