The Berks History Center has transferred a rare artifact known as the Mendenhall Box to the care of the Chester County Historical Society, according to a report from the Berks History Center.
The wooden chest, with 1684 carved on its surface, once belonged to Benjamin Mendenhall of Concord. Concord was part of Chester County until Delaware County was formed in 1789. Mendenhall was an English wheelwright who came to America in 1686.
Records show he served one term in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He married Ann Pennel in 1698 and had a large family. Interestingly, the Mendenhalls are the sixth-great grandparents of former president Richard Nixon.
The Mendenhall Box remained under the ownership of family members living in Chester or Delaware counties until 1872. When Stephen Merideth moved from Pughtown to Reading, he donated the small chest to the Historical Society of Berks County in 1921.
The artifact was presented to the CCHS after nearly a century.
“After careful deliberation, we concluded that the chest belongs in Chester County, the ancestral home of the Mendenhall family,” said BHC Executive Director Sime Bertolet.
Read more about the Mendenhall Box from the Berks History Center here.