• New Adult Summer Reading Program debuts June 13

    Detective and Mystery logoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library will for the first time offer for a Summer Reading Program for adults 18 years of age and older beginning in June. The program theme will be “Unconventional Heroes: Detectives, Private Eyes, Bad Guys and More!” This program complements the library’s popular Summer Reading Program for children and teens. Click here to read more.
  • R.J. Walker shipwreck topic of June 13 talk at museum

    Museum exteriorThe Atlantic City Historical Museum — presented by the Atlantic City Free Public Library — will continue its Second Saturday Speaker Series in May and June. The museum is located at South New Jersey Avenue and Boardwalk at Garden Pier. Shipwreck expert Stephen Nagiewicz will discuss the hydrographic survey vessel R.J. Walker, which sunk off Atlantic City in 1860, on June 13. Click here to read more.
  • Summer Reading Program to begin June 23 with party

    SRP logoThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is throwing a party to kick off its Summer Reading Program for children and teens. The party will be held Tuesday, June 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. The party will include stories, games, refreshments and special guests. Click here to read more.
  • Yoga June 2015
  • Library starts local Hispanic history project

    Hispanic Heritage Month photoOn Cinco de Mayo – Tuesday, May 5 – the Atlantic City Free Public Library launched a project to collect the history of the Hispanic community in Atlantic City. Through this project, the library is looking to develop a collection of materials which future generations of students, writers and genealogists can use to script a community history. Click here to read more.
  • Walk-in Job Skills Lab held at library

    job skillsThe Atlantic City Free Public Library offers free weekly Walk-in Job Skills Labs to library members who need help with job-related tasks. We’ll provide refresher tips for your job search. Click here to read more.

Print

Jeremiah Leeds

Marker is located on Northeast corner of Michigan and Atlantic Avenues.

Historical Marker text:

1754-1835
A Revolutionary War veteran standing six feet tall, Leeds came to Absecon Island with his ten children in 1785 from Leeds Point, NJ, built the first permanent structure of cedar logs, and cleared the nearby land to create a farm known as Leeds Plantation. That land is now occupied by the terminus of the Atlantic City Expressway and the recently improved gateway corridor to the resort. By the time he died Jeremiah was owner of more than 1,000 acres on the island. Leeds' second wife Millicent got a license to operate a tavern and boarding house called "Aunt Millie's Boarding House." This was Atlantic City's first business establishment. Most of the homes in Atlantic City prior to its 1854 incorporation were built and owned by Jeremiah's descendants. His youngest son, Robert, became the first postmaster of Atlantic City. Another Leeds descendant Chalkley S. Leeds served as Atlantic City's first mayor.

leeds crop

 

CLeeds

Additional information:

Leeds is one of the most ubiquitous names in southern New Jersey history, due to the family's early settlement of the area and its many branches. Jeremiah Leeds' ancestors came to America from England in the 1670s. Jeremiah served as a lieutenant in the Gloucester County Militia during the Revolutionary War, and married Judith Steelman, a member of another prominent New Jersey family and the granddaughter of one of the first people to own land on Absecon Island, where the modern-day Atlantic City now stands.Sources generally agree that Jeremiah Leeds settled here in 1783, with the family cabin standing approximately at what is now the intersection of Arctic and Arkansas Avenues.

Though Jeremiah died before the idea to turn Absecon Island into a seaside resort came about, his family's influence in Atlantic City continued for many years. His second wife, Millicent Steelman Ingersoll, was still running her boarding house in the resort's early days. When his son Chalkley Leeds ran for mayor, there were only 21 registered voters on the island - and many of them were members of the Leeds clan. Another descendant, Sarah Leeds, founded the Haddon Hall hotel, which was transformed into Resorts Casino in the 1970s. Jeremiah Leeds is buried in a small family plot at the center of Oxford Circle in Northfield. There are rumors that he was originally buried on Absecon Island and his remains were only later transported to this location, but  no evidence exists either in favor of or against this claim.

Chalkley S. Leeds, First Mayor of Atlantic City and son of Jeremiah Leeds. (Alfred M. Heston, Annals of Absegami. Atlantic City Heritage Collections, Atlantic City Free Public Library)

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Biography Files - Leeds Family

experience logo no background Click above to visit the Atlantic City Experience site. Visit the Atlantic City Historical Museum and see the best historical and cultural resources of Atlantic City.

City of Atlantic City

ACSeal-blue