James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Rev Joseph Roberts wrote about his visit to West Bangor in the summer of 1896 [YD 13 Aug 1896]. He had heard much about the slate of Peach Bottom but he confused the area called Peach Bottom with the small community of that name on the opposite bank of the Susquahanna river, and he was disappointed to see only "two or three derelict buildings, and an old quarry worked on the steep side of the Susquahanna river". Things improved once he arrived on the appropriate bank:

After arriving at West Bangor, I saw there many more Penmachno people than I was expecting. I saw Ellin and Ann, and William, and John, the sons and daughters of William Jones, Tanrhiw. Richard Roberts, husband of Ann, has done well, and owns his own foundry; and William Jones was a supervisor of the quarrymen of his brother Robert L. Jones. One of his daughters, by Ellin Jones, the Benar, is married and lives in Philadelphia. ... [see here for some information about the Jones family history and here for information about william Jones and the 'Benar'/'Bennar']

I had a good and comfortable look at Penmachno quarrymen in this part of the country.

Richard Rees came to the country earlier than the others. I remember when he set off with Lewis Roberts, Racine, Wis., that is Lewis of Tan-y-clogwyn, David Jones, Carog, and Griffith Roberts, Ty Crwn. Time and again I have thought of the voyage, when the first ship hit the rock, and they were forced to return from the top of Ireland to Liverpool. Richard Rees served in the army for over two years in the days of the Civil War. He has a good quarry in Maryland, where about half a hundred people work. ... He and Robert L. Jones served as deacons in T. C.’s church in Delta. Similarly, Robert L. Jones fought for two years and three months for the freedom of the slaves, and was engaged in battles. In this way, the Penmachno boys have been fighting, and for their part have made a stand, for the removal of slavery in this country. He was promoted to be a senior army officer. He owns two quarries, one in Pennsylvania and the other near Richard Rees on the State line in Maryland. Both men have given themselves a comfortable and wealthy life and have raised families - healthy and beautiful children, in very comfortable homes. ... R. Jones trains the novices who sing in the chapel, and has held this position for many years.

His father was a good singer, and his father, the old faithful deacon Solomon Jones, at Llan Penmachno. Mrs. Roberts [presumably Robert's sister, Ann] showed me so much kind hospitality, this being such a short visit, and seeing some of my old acquaintances and meeting up with them evoked such a special nostalgia for Wales.