The set of delicate porcelain tureens and plates harkens to a formal event at the turn of the 20 th century.
The soup tureen and plates were a wedding present for Florine Bailey Hendrixon Newsome, mother of Samuel Newsome, a past president of the Delaware County Historical Society.
The blue and white semi-porcelain set was New Wharf Pottery from England in the American Iris design, given to Mrs. Newsome on her marriage to Frank Newsome on June 19, 1901.
Her son, Samuel H. Newsome, was vice president and trust officer of Delaware County National Bank and president of the county’s historical society for 12 years from 1961 until 1973. He was the driving force behind moving the non-profit organization to the Wolfgram Library building on the campus of Widener University. Today, the museum remains in Chester and the administrative offices are in Broomall.
Even after he resigned as president, Newsome was the historical society’s editor of its bulletin, chairman of its finance and library committees and fundraised for special projects and equipment for the society.
Newsome was responsible for securing the funding to microfilm and preserve the Chester Baker notebooks and the extensive files of the Chester Times in the historical society’s ownership.
Once retired, he devoted much of his time to the Delaware County Historical Society and was regarded by local history buffs as “a fountain of knowledge of Delaware County History of Who’s Who and Who Was Who.”
Newsome also displayed his interests in his own personal library, which was described as large and containing history and historical novels as his favorites.
For years, he lived with his mother and his sister in Middletown Township.
On Feb. 20, 1974, Samuel Newsome donated the set of soup tureens and plates to the historical organization he loved so much.
These porcelain treasures are housed at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The museum’s telephone number is 610-872- 0502. Parking is free on the society lot behind the building or across the street in the municipal lot.
Membership in the Delaware County Historical Society ranges from $10 for students, $27 for individuals to $250 at the patron level. It includes free admission to the society’s Chester museum and library at 408 Avenue of the States, the society newsletter and preferred reservations and discounts for lectures and events. To join, please visit www.padelcohistory.org or call 610-359- 0832.