"Germantown Scottisch [dedicated to Miss Julia Rogers] Composed by Francis Blancjour.”
Philadelphia: Lee & Walker, 1856. Lithograph sheet music with cover showing Germantown Town Hall. 13 ½ x 10 1/8. Wainwright #153.
Francis L. Blancjour was born in Pennsylvania in 1835 of a French father and German mother and was a Philadelphia music teacher and composer.
Julia Rogers was most likely the 18 year old daughter of Charles H. and Julia Rogers, enumerated in “Germantown” in the 1860 census, but whose home was on York Road in the present area above Broad & Olney, then included in the 22nd ward. Charles was president of the Tradesmen’s Bank and left an estate of $2,000,000 when he died in 1885.
The Lee & Walker music publishing firm was founded in1848 by George W. Lee (d. 1875) and Julius Walker (d. 1857), who had worked as clerks for George Willig's company, which they absorbed in 1856. Lee & Walker published many works by Philadelphian Septimus Winner, as well as patriotic songs such as "Dixie" in 1860 and "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" in 1861. The firm was bought out by Oliver Ditson of Boston in 1875.
Just prior to the Consolidation of Philadelphia City and County in 1854, the Germantown Borough Council had raised $60,000 for a Town Hall. As the City would be required to assume debts from the newly incorporated districts, the Council engaged the services of the renowned architect Napoleon LeBrun, who had designed such Philadelphia buildings as the Academy of Music and the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. The City needed to appropriate and additional $22,000 to finish the structure in 1855.
Initially, the Germantown police station was the only municipal office housed in the new hall, with the remainder rented out periodically by travelling entertainers and for political meetings. During the Civil War a wooden addition housed the Cuyler Hospital. When a new bell was placed in the bell tower of Independence Hall in 1876, the old bell was moved to the tower of the Town Hall. Early in the 20th century the Town Hall housed branch offices for municipal services such as the tax and gas departments. By 1923 it was replaced with a structure designed by John Penn Sinkler and based on Strickland’s Merchants’ Exchange at 3rd and Walnut, and which was in use until about 1998, since then it has been vacant.