Walker-Mills Plantation Chester Chester County
Special thanks to Reverend Fred J Powell, III for contributing most of the information on this page.
- Location Chester, Chester County
169 Pinckney Street, proudly perched on one of the seven hills of Chester
- Origin of name ?
- Other names Oaks of Mamre
- Current status Privately owned and undergoing restoration (2010)
- ? Earliest known date of existence
- 1842 House built by local carpenters for Rush Hudson
- 1848 Josiah Walker purchased the property
- At the end of the Civil War, Chester was located at the end of the railroad line and the house became a temporary hospital for small pox patients.
- 1878 The plantation was sold for taxes on the steps of the Chester Courthouse to Patience Stringfellow Mills. Patience would call Walker-Mills her home until her death in 1938 at the age of 99.
A staunch Presbyterian, in an era before radio service, elderly Mrs. Mills paid for a telephone line to be run directly from the pulpit of Purity Presbyterian Church (about a mile down the street) to her front parlor so that she could follow worship on Sundays.
- 1938 Patience's daughters Lucia and Kate would live at the plantation until their deaths in 1946 and 1964 respectively.
- ? After Kate Mills' death, the house and surrounding land was sold to Springs Industries which built the Gayle Mill and mill village on it. The land was subdivided, new streets and roads added, and the Walker-Mills home was used as company housing for the mill doctors.
From 1969-1972, Dr. James L. and Helen Harrison Hughes lived in the Walker-Mills home. Dr. Hughes practiced Industrial Medicine for Springs Mills, Inc. and worked with the federal government in establishing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (contributed by Rebecca Phillips Hughes.)
- 1977 Springs Industries sold the home and a city block consisting of 7 acres to Chap. Lt Col. Fred J Powell, Jr (USAF ret.) and his wife, Mary Brown C. Powell. It is still owned by the Powell family as of 2010.
- Number of acres 678 acres; 7 acres in 2010
- Primary crop ?
- Alphabetical list Rush Hudson (?-1848), Kate Mills (1946-1964), Lucia and Kate Mills (1938-1946), Patience Stringfellow Mills (1878-1938), Chap. Lt Col. Fred J Powell, Jr. and Mary Brown C. Powell (1977-?), Reverend Fred J Powell, III (2010), Springs Industries (?-1977), Josiah Walker (1848-?)
- Number of slaves 37 per 1860 census records
- The two story house remains today. There had been six slave houses that were all destroyed by a cyclone in February 1888.