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AND ITS PEOPLE
UNDER THE EDITORIAL SUPERVISION OF
JOHN W. JORDAN, LL. D.
Librarian of the Historical Society of Pensylvania, Philatelphia,
THE NEW YORK
ACTOR, LENOX AND
The name Baldwin is one of the oldest of those great names BALDWIN that have come down to us through the Middle Ages and
which, with their associations, are an inheritance to recall to us the splendid past. The name appears as early as 672 A. D., on the roll of Battle Abbey in the English records, a Baldwin was Earl of Flanders in the time of Alfred the Great, and throughout the early history of Europe, and especially in the Crusades, men of that name have distinguished themselves. That branch of the family to which the subject of this sketch belongs is descended from John Baldwin, who came from Oxfordshire, England, about the year 1682, and settled in Ashton township, Chester county, Pennsylvania. From that time to the present, the family has been represented by a long line of worthy members who have continuously made their home in that part of the state.
Richard Jacobs Baldwin, the second son of John Erskine and Mary Griffith (Hoopes) Baldwin, was born in East Bradford township, Chester county, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1853. He received an excellent education in the public schools of the neighborhood and later attended Maplewood Institute at Concordville and Eaton Academy at Kennett Square. At the age of seventeen, he left home to learn the trade of carpentering which he followed until he was twenty-three years old, when he entered the mercantile business and operated a general merchandise store at Whitford, at that time Belvidere, West Whiteland, Chester county. After continuing this enterprise for three years, he removed to Chadd's Ford, where he purchased what was then known as the Worrliow store property, and here conducted with great success a general merchandise store for twenty-five years. About ten years ago, in 1904, Mr. Baldwin turned over his thriving business to his sons, the youngest of whom, Richard Lindley Baldwin, is now conducting it. Mr. Baldwin, however, still lives on the property which has for so long been the scene of his activities and success.
As early as 1880, Mr. Baldwin began to take an active interest in politics. He was a firm believer in the principles and por:cies of the Republican party and made for himself a sufficiently important place in the local ranks thereof to win the appointment of postmaster at Chadds Ford from President Harrison, a position which he filled with credit from 1889 to 1893. Upon the inauguration of President Cleveland, he resigned this office, but was resnstated during President McKinley's administration. He became a candidate for the General Assembly of the state in 1894 and, being chosen by the Republican party at the primaries for its nominee, he was elected to the office by one of the largest majorities ever given a candidate in Delaware county. He was subsequently re-elected and served in the sessions of 1897 and 1899, in the latter of which he became one of the recognized leaders of the House. Elected recorder of deeds for Delaware county, in 1901, he discharged the duties of that office in so satisfactory a manner that his fellow citizens re-elected him. In 1910, he was again elected to represent his county in the General Assembly, and once more in 1912 for the current session of that body. During these last two sessions, Mr. Baldwin has established a state-wide reputation for himself as a legislator, his public experience and the diligent attention which he bestows upon all public questions, combining to make him one of the authorities on legislative matters generally. His long experience in oratory, he having stumped the state in every campaign for the last eighteen years, added to a natural gift of expression, has with his other attainments resulted in establishing him in the place of Republican party leader in the Assembly of 1913.
Mr. Baldwin is at present engaged in a real estate and insurance business in Media, the county seat, and takes an active part in the life of the district.