MARRIAGE AND HOME MAKING
By this time I not only wanted more shop room, and boarding for the workmen, but I had occasionally been visiting a young woman for whom an attachment of something more than common friendship seemed to exist, and I hoped to some day to become worthy of her undivided affection and esteem. After looking around the country for some time, I found a small lot of about five acres, not over half a mile off, on which was a small log cabin, and adjoining which was about eight or ten acres more of wood lots, all of which I found could be bought at a reasonable price: but how I was to get the necessary buildings erected, that was the question. I had no way of boarding the workmen and it seemed board could not be had in the neighborhood so the only alternative seemed to be to move into the old house temporarily until we could build a larger one. But here a new difficulty presented itself, for to expect the young lady before mentioned to leave a large comfortable home and move with me into such a cabin was rather too much. However I summoned up sufficient courage to lay my troubles before her– she evinced interest in the matter and on my giving her a description of the house and its surroundings, I found that she would rather go with me into a small house that we could call our own than to go with another family. . . I purchased the property and began preparation for building a shop. One day I accidentally discovered traces of an old dam and race where water of a small stream had been taken around and into my lot for irrigating the meadow, and I saw that by purchasing two or three acres more land of my neighbor I could have a nice little water power to utilize in our business–so I went right away to my neighbor and found him willing to sell me as much land as would give me the power together with the water right at the same price per acre that I had paid him for the other five acres I had purchased of him. This would make me a lot altogether of about sixteen acres of land with a water power on it just what I had been looking for so long. Instead of putting up a shop as intended a few days before (near the house) we dug tail race, built a shop, fixed up the dam, got some 20 feet head and put in a 16 feet overshot wheel which gave ample power for lathes, saws &c. We made good use of for nearly twenty years afterwards. . .
On the 31st day of the seventh month 1833 I entered the marriage life with Mary Ann Newlin. . . Of New Garden Township. . .on the 22 day of the eighth month following we moved into the little log cabin in which we lived four years. Although the house was small and we had a pretty large family of apprentice boys and journeymen yet we made out to live quite comfortably and in just four to a day from the time we moved into the old house, we had a new one built and moved into it and were much more able to appreciate its comfort and conveniences than if we had never lived in the old one.
With ample shop room and water power business increased and soon the great trouble was to fill the orders. . .
Our business seemed to take a change; although we continued the furniture business yet the greater portion of my time was occupied in making and putting in rams…we built a foundry to make our own iron and brass casting (in 1847) we concluded to move to Wilmington and go into the plumbing and gas fitting busines. . . and moved on the 9th of 3rd month 1854. . .
Addenda by Gawthrop’s son Henry: The narratative of my father’s life shows that he was strong in the imaginative. He was a skilled and skillful worker in wood, a hint of which is given in the desk made by him late in life, at which I am writing. He established a successful cabinet business and then following the needs of the time he changed to a metal worker. . . the narrative of his life was written in 1880 in his 70th year. He died 6th mo. 23rd 1885 and is buried at the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery.
That concludes the autobiography of Allen Gawthrop. In a page from a 20th century family geneology I found this little note: