||The Buttonwood. - Aug. 28, 1739, George Wood, of Darby, applied for license, and in his petition stated that he had "laboured for some years under almost continued Indisposition of Body, and thereby rendered incapable of taking the necessary care of his plantation, and having a large family to maintain," asked leave of the court to keep tavern in the house belonging to Benjamin Lobb, which application met with the favorable opinion of the justices. In 1750, Wood having died, his widow, Hannah, applied for and received the license, and for twelve years carried on the business, being succeeded in 1769 by Henry Hayes. In 1773, Sarah Pearson kept the house, and 1776 Isaac Serrill, who appears to have been the owner of the premises, received license for the ancient inn, and for the first time the name "Mariner's Compass" appears, indicating that the story of the old Buttonwood is now being narrated. There being no record for 1777, I cannot state who was the landlord of the inn during the fall of that year, when the retreating American army, fresh from the defeat at Brandywine, fled through the village, but in 1778 Henry Hays became "mine host" of the Mariner's Compass, and continued as such until 1786, when Isaac Serrill once more became its landlord. It was during his time that Gen. Washington was entertained at dinner there, and it is related that when he attempted to enter the house "he found the doorway so low or himself so tall that he was forced to stoop." It was on this occasion, so tradition says, that Washington was presented with a superb white charger as a testimonial of the high regard in which he was held by a number of his admirers residing in Darby and its vicinity. I can find no record of this presentation to Washington and doubt it, although I have seen it so stated in newspaper articles on several occasions. In 1790, after the formation of Delaware County, Samuel Ash had license at the old inn, and continued there until 1820, when, having become a very aged man, he was succeeded as landlord by Stephen Howe. The latter changed the title of the tavern to that of "The Drove," by which name it was known until 1833, when Samuel R. Lamplugh became the manager of the inn, and again the old sign in a measure was restored so far as the name "Compass" was concerned, the word "Mariner's" being omitted. In the year when Lamplugh obtained license L. Kittenger ran a line of stages between Darby and Philadelphia, which left the Cross-Keys on Fourth Street in the latter city daily at 9 o'clock A.M. and 5 P.M., while the schedule time of departure from Lamplugh's tavern was 7 1/2 A.M. and 5 P.M. In December of the same year, J. Tomlinson having purchased the line from Kittenger, placed on the route a large omnibus, the "William Penn," which, when it first rumbled into Darby drawn by four black horses, awakened the then quiet village to an unusual degree of excitement. In 1836 William Russell had license for the house, and the ancient and noted inn took again its time-honored title in full. In 1837, after Tomlinson sold his stage route to John Smith, Cameron & Keogh started an opposition line of omnibuses between Philadelphia and Darby, making their headquarters at Russell's house. The rivalry between the two inns and stage lines continued, and the enterprise apparently not proving remunerative to Cameron & Keogh, the latter disposed of their business to Evan S. Russell, a son of the tavern-keeper, who continued the stages as the "Express Line of Omnibuses," while to add to the attraction at his house, William Russell ran in addition "a safe and easy carriage and two horses from his house in Darby." In 1844 William Russell was succeeded by William Russell, Jr., and he, in turn, in 1849 by Evan E. Russell, a brother of the preceding host. Although I do not find previous to this time the inn styled the Buttonwood from the records, I distinctly remember that about 1846 it was popularly known by that name. The old tree from which the inn was called, which stood before the door and had become so decayed on one side that the cavity was built in and supported by brick-work, is among my earliest recollections of Darby. It is related that Thomas Leiper, who used to stop his horses at the inn, always had his carriage to stand some distance off, declaring the old buttonwood would fall some day and he did not propose to be under it when it fell. I In 1879 the old tavern was taken down and the present hotel erected on its site.