Born to Thomas and Catherine Weatherly on June 14, 1779, David Weatherly came from Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland County, England to the United States. After marrying a daughter of Joseph Lawson, Mary, who lived in Wilmington, Delaware, the Lawson and Weatherly families wound up in Philadelphia. Joseph was apparently in Philadelphia with his family before David arrived with his family, though that is not certain, and is only deduced by negative evidence taken from Philadelphia City Directories. This all occurred during and around the notorious 1793 Yellow Fever outbreak in Philadelphia.
Joseph died in 1807. An abstract of Joseph’s will reads,
LAWSON, JOSEPH. City of Philadelphia. Grocer. June 30, 1806. August 18, 1807. 2.147.
Estate to wife Mary, to son George, to dau. and to son Joseph.
Exec: Son-in-law David Weatherly, clock and watch maker, and Thos. Calvert, innkeeper.
Witnesses: Horatio G. Mead, James McIntire. John Rayfield of Philadelphia, yeoman, affirmed.
David established himself as a Philadelphia clock and watchmaker as can be seen by the Philadelphia City Directory entries:
1805: David Weather[l]y, clock & watchmaker 29 pewter platter alley
1810: David Weatherly, clock & watchmaker 81 north 3d
1816: David Weatherly, clock & watchmaker 81 N 3d
1820: David Weatherly, clock and watchmaker 81 north 3d
1825: David Weatherly, clock and watch maker 81 N 3d
1830: David Weatherly, clock & watch maker 81 N 3d
1835: David Weatherly, clock & watch maker 81 N 3d
1839: D. Weatherly, watchmaker, 81 N 3d
1840: D. Weatherly, watch maker, 81 N 3d
1851: D. Weatherly, watchmaker, 150 N 10th
David Weatherly became an executive of the Beaver Meadow Railroad, and in the year 1848, he rode into Black Creek, Pennsylvania which is located at 40°56′25″N 75°49′36″W, in Pennsylvania. The name of the town was due to the appearance of the water from the actual creek. When David arrived, he offered the townspeople a deal. Noticing the town didn’t have a clock, David told the townspeople that if they would rename the town Weatherly, after him, he would build them one. The townspeople agreed. They changed the name to Weatherly, as requested, but David Weatherly had disappeared! Was he acting in a crooked manner, had something come up, what? The answer to that question is not known to this day. One thing that is known from the city directory entries above is that David evidently returned to Philadelphia, where he lived until his death in 1851.
To leave things on a positive note, Weatherly eventually did get a town clock, through the kindness of the wife of a famous man, American steel magnate, Charles Michael Schwab. Mrs. Schwab paid for the town to receive a clock.
1 A several page letter in the possession of my sister, containing family tree information. See transcription here.
2 Philadelphia City Directories.
3 Personal communications with Carbon County Historian, Jack Koehler.
4 Various relevant historical publications.