Francis Chadds (Chadsesy or Chadsi, as he appears to have signed himself in 1688) came form Wiltshire, England and settled in Chichester in 1684. In 1695 he married, secondly, Grace Stanfiels, and probable settled soon after on the Brandywine, at the ford which bears his family name. There he built a mill, perhaps in 1707. There was difficulty between him and his neighbors at that time, presumably about the dam or water rights. The mill was there in 1710 but it appears in after years to have gone down and the site was forgotten. Francis Chadds died about 1713 and his widow married Gayen Stevenson. Son John Chadds married Elizabeth Richardson in 1729 and probably built the old stone house at the north end of the village of Chadds Ford. In 1736 he established a ferry on the creek, and brought in a bill of 30. to the commissioners in the following year for building a "fflatt or schowe." From the items in this and later bills it appears that a large cable-rope was stretched across the creek and a windlass used to pull the boat back and forth. John was licensed to keep a tavern in connection with the Ferry in September 1736, and continued in the business a few years. In 1746 he was succeeded by his brother-in-law, James House, and though he continued to own the property he did not keep the tavern. Amos House followed James in 1752, and Henry Hayes came next in 1757. His widow continued to reside in the old stone house, to which were attached 40 acres of land separate from the tavern, and at the time of the Revolution, her nephew Amos House lived with her and farmed the land The name is generally and incorrectly written Chads, but the signature of John Chadds shows the latter spelling to be correct.

It seems that John Chadd, keeper of the tavern, had his licenses taken away from him for an unrecorded reason. At the urgent request of the people in the vicinity it was restored in 1742. The petition set forth that; "being sensible that we be liable to great disappointments, as well as on account of entertainment, as also ye attendance of ye boat over ye said creek, he has been greatly serviceable to strangers unacquainted with he said creek."

This page updated on February 28, 2009