Pennsylvania Sites Associated with the Van Leers and Affiliated Families

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William Branson, one of the first iron industrialists in America,  lived in Philadelphia on the east side of Second Street--across the street from Christ's Church.  This engraving made by W. Birch and Son in 1800 depicts this neighborhood.  Mr. Branson's daughter Mary was the first wife of Dr. Bernardhus Vanleer.

Home of Dr. Bernardhus Vanleer in Marple Township near the intersection of Sproul Road and Paxton Hollow Road. The brick home was built in 1742. Dr. Vanleer was living here in 1788--then over 100 years old--when thieves broke in and beat him severely. He never fully recovered and died in 1790 at the age of 104.

The Blue Ball Tavern on Russell Road near Paoli, PA. This tavern was part of the Bernardhus Vanleer estate and was inherited by his daughter Mary Moore (wife of Moses Moore). Mary's daughter Priscilla "Prissy" later owned the building. According to local legend, she married three times, killing each husband and burying them under the cellar of the house. The Blue Ball tavern is said to still be haunted.

Cabin built on property that Isaac Vanleer inherited from his father Bernardhus Vanleer in the early 1800's. It is now on  the grounds of Conestoga High School on Irish Road in Berwyn, PA.

See for information on cabin restoration and maintenance.

Captain Samuel Vanleer (1746-1825).  Captain of the Flying Camp during Revolution.  Took over his grandfather Branson's iron business by purchasing pieces inherited by other grandchildren.  Married Hannah Wayne, sister to Major General Anthony Wayne.

Samuel and Hannah Vanleer's first home on the Wayne farm on Church Road beside St. David's Episcopal Church in Easttown Township.

St. David's Episcopal Church in Easttown Township.  Samuel Vanleer served as vestry here from 1773 until 1775.     Major  General Anthony Wayne and several other Wayne generations are buried in the churchyard here.
The Reading Furnace mansion where Samuel and Hannah Vanleer moved in 1780.  Samuel took over active management after the War in 1786.   An iron plantation included a large tract of property with a forest for making charcoal and farm land to feed all the workers.

Warwick Episcopal Church.  Samuel Vanleer and several generations of his descendants are buried in the churchyard at Warwick.

Samuel Vanleer's grave at Warwick.   He died in 1825.  The adjacent grave is his son, William, who died in 1808.  The American flag commemorates Capt. Vanleer's service in the American Revolution.

The Hiberia Furnace mansion built in 1821 by Charles Brooke is part of  Hibernia County Park in Coatsville, PA.   [See for public tour information.] 

Hibernia Furnace was part of the many assets sold by Isaac Vanleer in 1817 as part of his bankruptcy proceedings.

Brandywine Presbyterian Church, Brandywine, PA.  The Culbertsons were leading members of this church.  The young son of Isaac and Elizabeth Culbertson Vanleer--Linford Lardner Vanleer--who died from a fall in 1808 is buried here among the many Culbertsons,  Isaac and Elizabeth moved to Tennessee a few years later.

Major General Anthony Wayne, one of General Washington's Front-Line Generals.   Wayne also played an important part in American history after the Revolution.  He led the American forces against the Indians of the Midwest, clearing the Ohio Valley for white settlement.

Waynesboro near Paoli, PA.   This house is now a historic home and is open to the public.

Statue of Gen. Anthony Wayne at Valley Forge.

The Treaty of Greenville marked the end of Indian power in the Ohio Valley.  Indian chiefs ceded their ancestral land to General Anthony Wayne in 1795 for 1/6 -of-a-cent per acre.  "The Treaty of Fort Greenville" was painted from a sketch by an officer on Wayne's staff.  The central figure is Wayne; to his right is future U.S. President William Henry Harrison.  The original painting can be seen at the Chicago Historical Society.    (View copy of Treaty of Greenville.)