Notes for John Thompson Chew
!Obituary - Philadelphia Inquirer, January 1988:
John Thompson Chew, 69, a member of one of Philadelphia's oldest and most distinguished families, died Monday (Jan 7, 1988) at Maidstone, his home in Radnor, PA.
A retired stockbroker, Mr. Chew was active in civic and community affairs and held an abiding interest in historic preservation. He played a major role in the public opening of Cliveden, the family estate, and a few years later worked out an agreement under which an extensive collection of the Chew family papers was presented to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the board and a former president of the Library Company of Philadelphia.
The Chews trace their history to the English settlement of Virginia, long before William Penn became proprietor of Pennsylvania. John Thompson Chew was a great-great-great-grandson of Benjamin Chew, a leading colonial lawyer who was appointed chief justice of the Province of Pennsylvania in 1774 and served as chief judicial officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania after the Revolution.
Benjamin Chew built Cliveden as a summer retreat. Home to generations of Chews, Cliveden was site of the Battle of Germantown in 1777. Guest lists at the home at other times included George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette and John Adams. Adams, after his 1774 visit to Cliveden, wrote in his diary, "I drank madeira at a great rate and found no inconvenience in it."
In 1969, John Thompson Chew joined with his brothers, Benjamin and Samuel; his sisters, Anne Barringer and Elizabeth Bennett, and other family members in giving the estate at 6401 Germantown Ave. to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He remained active in the affairs of the Cliveden Corp. for many years.
He was responsible for efforts that resulted in the gift of more than 200,000 documents, the personal archives of the Chew family, to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
A family trust that held an interest in the archives for a time complicated the move, but legal obligations were satisfied and funds to catalog the collection were raised by sale of items at auction.
The 1982 sale included the Penn family's copy of the Charter of Pennsylvania, issued by Charles II to William Penn in 1681; a copy from the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, and the manuscript map of the Mason-Dixon Line, plus documents relating to the survey settling the boundary line dispute between the Penns and Lord Baltimore.
John Thompson Chew grew up at Vanor, the family farm in Radnor, and was educated at the Montgomery School in Wynnewood, Pa., St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., and Princeton University. At the onset of World War II, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as adjutant at a primary flight training base in Texas. At war's end, Capt. Chew rejoined the Girard Trust Co. and served as a trust officer for years. Subsequently, he was associated with W.H. Newbold's Son & Co. until his retirement in 1978.
Surviving are his wife, Margaret Kerr Chew; sons, John T. Jr. and Robert; his daughter, Margaret C. Newbold, and three grandchildren.
Contributions may be made to Friends of Cliveden, 6401 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia 19144.
| HOME | EMAIL | SURNAMES |
Page built by Gedpage Version 2.21 ©2009 on 18 May 2011