Olof Persson Stille

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Olof Persson Stille was a pioneer settler in the Swedish colony of New Sweden. He served as the first chief justice of the Upland Court.


Olof Persson Stille was born in Sweden on the island of SoIö in Roslagen, northeast of Stockholm, the son of Per Stille, supervisor of the Penningby estate in Länna parish, Norrtälje Municipality in Uppland, north of Stockholm. In 1627 when Per Stille retired, he was granted land by the owners of Penningby on a nearby island called Humblö in the Stockholm archipelago. This was where Olof Stille married and began his family.[1]

New Sweden[edit]

In May 1641, the Charitas departed for New Sweden. The passengers included Olof Stille, his wife, a daughter and son. Also on board were Olof's younger brother Axel Stille and the family of Måns Svensson Lom, whose wife appears to have been Olof's younger sister.[2]

In New Sweden, Olof Stille settled at a place located between present Crum Creek and Ridley Creek. The property of Stille was at the mouth of Ridley Creek, now Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Local Indians became acquainted with Olof Stille. They considered his heavy, black beard unusual conferring the name Tequirassy on him because of it. Stille became a leader among the settlers and played a key role in promoting the July 1653 list of grievances, which was submitted to Governor Johan Printz, protesting his strict rule. Printz considered this action mutiny and subsequently returned to Sweden.[3]

Upland Court[edit]

After the surrender of New Sweden to the Dutch West India Company, Governor Peter Stuyvesant agreed to allow the Swedish colonists living north of the Christina River to govern themselves. The Upland Court at Chester in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, was organized in 1656. Olof Stille served as its chief justice until his retirement in 1664.

Wolley Stille[edit]

Wolley Stille, a house near Chester which was first completed about 1700, was named for Stille, who owned a neighboring property. Wolley Stille is located in Nether Providence Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania[4] The house is now in the National Register of Historic Places. Olof Stille moved to Moyamensing (now south Philadelphia)where he died about 1684.[5]


  1. ^ Olof Persson Stille and his Family (by Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig. Swedish Colonial News, Volume 1, Number 16. Fall 1997) [1]
  2. ^ Måns Svensson Lom, Forgotten Forefather, and his Seven Daughters (Peter Stebbins Craig . Swedish Colonial News. Volume 1, Number 12. Fall 1995) [2]
  3. ^ History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania (Henry Graham Ashmead. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co. 1884 Chapter LIV. Ridley Township) [3]
  4. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form" (PDF). Wolley Stille. October 29, 1979. Retrieved October 19, 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ History of Ridley Township, Pa. (From: A History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. John W. Jordan, Published By Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York 1914) [4]

Other sources[edit]

  • Myers, Albert Cook Narratives of Early Pennsylvania, West New Jersey and Delaware 1630-1707 (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912)
  • Johnson, Amandus The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware Volume I: Their History and Relation to the Indians, Dutch and English, 1638-1664, (1911)
  • Smith, George (1862). History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. H.B. Ashmead. p. 581. 

External links[edit]