Tenant Farm

Tenant Farms - Farming the Erwin and then Stover Farm

Jacob Fulmer (1787-1862)

Tenant farmers like Jacob Fulmer lived in and managed first the Erwin Farm and then the Stover Farm for a share of the produce. Fulmer is listed as the tenant for the farm when it was advertised for sale sold by the Erwin Estate in 1845 and on Tax records as a tenant for Henry Stover from 1848-1858. Jacob was 63 in 1850, according to the Federal Census. He lived here with his wife, Elizabeth, 56; and children Jesse, 33; Mahlon,25; Henry, 22; Jonahthan,14; and Susan, 15. 

1930 Aerial photo showing the division of fields on the 126-acre Stover lot.

The Stover Farm, Tinicum Township, Bucks County, PA, 1931

1845 Property Advertisement for the William Erwin Estate noting Fulmer as the tenant

Sale of the William Erwin Property Advertisement in the Intelligencer in 1845

Divided Fields

We know that in 1845 the farmland consisted of “a young and thrifty apple orchard with a variety of other fruit trees upon the premises and the land is all upon the river bottom, with fertile soil. the principal part of which having been recently limed, is an a very productive condition, the whole conveniently divided into suitable sized fields under good fence…any further information can be had upon application to Jacob Fulmer, the tenant in possession.” Among the tasks Fulmer would have been responsible for would have been liming the fields and dividing them into suitable sized fields under good fence.

According to the Agricultural Census of 1850, Jacob was the agent for this property, which consisted of 126 acres, valued at $8,000 in land and $250 in machinery. Jacob oversaw 5 horses, 5 cows, 4 cattle, 11 sheep and 14 swine. 

Samuel Fabian (1815-1890)

Samuel and Hester Fabian were the primary tenants on the farm after Henry sold the property to his son Jacob in 1860. They had three children: Seridan, Jacob and Sarah. According to the 1880 agricultural census the Fabians managed 6 horses, 7 milk cows 5 calves, 7 pigs, and 50 poultry.

1850 Agricultural Census1880 Agricultural Census
300 bushels of wheat15 acres of wheat (180 bushels)
150 bushels of rye10 acres of rye (90 bushels)
850 bushels of Indian corn22 acres of Indian corn (600 bushels)
200 bushels of oats10 acres of oats (140 bushels)
75 bushels of Irish potatoes1 acre of potatoes (50 bushels)
25 tons hay22 tons hay
250 pounds butter400 pounds butter

2 bushels of clover300 eggs
1 pound of hops4 acres fruit bearing trees (60 bushels
28 pounds of wool

Farm life in Tinicum Township

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