Sunday, October 16, 2016



Recently the large mansion house which stood at the northwest corner of Third & Jackson Streets, Wilmington, Delaware, was torn down to make room for a church building to be used in combination with St. Pauls Roman Catholic Church which is adjoining,

The house was built by Aaron Conrad in the winter of 1859 and 1860 and occupied in March of 1860 by the Conrad family until the spring of 1869 when the block on which it was built was sold to Bishop Thomas A Becker, the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Wilmington Diocese.

In the year 1855 Aaron Conrad bought a tract of  twenty acres extending from Monroe Street to the East to Van Buren Street to the West, and Front Street on the south to fourth street on the North, which was the Simpson Farm.  The farm buildings standing at that time were on the West side of Jackson Street , at bit North of Second Street. A year or two later there were six or eight small  double two story houses on Second Street, West of Monroe Street, built. At this time there are some of these houses still in original shape. On te South side of of Second  between Adams and Jackson there were built a dozen three story brick houses, several still stand.

In the fall of 1859 the house of our subject was built , a large two and half story brick dwelling,  situated on the whole block of Third and Fourth and Jackson and Van Buren . There was a brick stable, other out buildings and the rest of the block was garden.  Archie Given was the bricklayer and  James Morrison was carpenter, and was built very substantially.

The neighborhood did not improve as it was anticipated and was found that smaller hoses on smaller lots were in more demand that larger homes, so the rest of the twenty acres  was divided into small lots  and sold out rather fully .

A stream of spring water flowed from the west through the twenty acre tract, crossing Jackson between Second and Third,  going eastward to Adams. then flowed south over Second Street, joining another stream from the west.

In 1860 there were no buildings between Jackson and Washington Streets and that tract was a pasture enclosed by post and rail fence. Fourth Street went on for three or four blocks. Fourth and Madison had a few buildings and Third Street was not open west of Jefferson Street.

Public schools number 3 and 4 were in existence under the principal,  Miss Laura Osgood.

Between 1860 and 1870 improvements developed in this territory ,  in 1869 and 1870 St. Pauls Roman Catholic Church was erected ,  New Castle County Alms House was located on Broom Street.

By the son of Aaron Conrad for the Wilmington News Journal  September 20, 1930.

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