Biography

MASTER BUILDER; LUMBER MERCHANT, PHILADELPHIA INSPECTOR OF LUMBER
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Born: 1740, Died: 1820

The master builder, lumber merchant, and Philadelphia Inspector of Lumber, Joseph Wetherill, was the son of Christopher and Mary (Stockton) Wetherill. In 1764 he married Anna Canby of Solebury Township, Bucks County, PA, in the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. By 1769 Wetherill had become a member of the Friendship Carpenters' Company, rising to Treasurer in 1772 and President in 1774. Like most of his fellow craftsmen, he supported the Revolution; Wetherill was elected to the Committee of 66 (1774) and was a delegate to the Provincial Convention (1775). During the war he assisted the Committee of Safety in building new or converting old mills for the manufacture of gunpowder.

When the two companies of master builders united in 1786, Wetherill joined The Carpenters' Company and became its Treasurer, 1797-1805. More merchant than builder after the Revolution, he encouraged the City of Philadelphia to erect the Head House at the north end of New Market (Second Street) for which be loaned the City $1,000 in 1804. Wetherill lived at (modern) 348 South Fourth Street, a house that was new in 1794; it remained in the family until 1889.

Written by Roger W. Moss.

Clubs and Membership Organizations

  • Friendship Carpenters Company
  • Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia

Links to Other Resources

 

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