in so doing. The letters are excellent specimens of historical writing.
They are the first-hand impressions and testimony of those who know.
No better source of information can be found. In point of style they are
straightforward, simple, unaffected, free from any attempt at fine writing.
They are also an index of the kind of persons who were the product of
the Dover schools and who constituted Dover society in their time. They
reflect the best influences of Dover homes, Dover schools, Dover churches,
Dover life. In this way they are a contribution to the history of this
community over and above the mere statements of fact which they contain.
And they are the best contribution of the kind that is obtainable. However
imperfect my personal contribution to the writing of this book may be, I
feel that I have rendered a real service to the town in securing these
reminiscences and letters, the first-hand testimony of the most credible
witnesses, the expression not merely of fact, but of the love with which
they cherish the memory of their old home.
If the teacher of a class in school does all the reciting, a visitor cannot
form a very intelligent opinion of the work and quality of the class. I
claim the privilege of making some remarks on occasion, but the reader
shall hear the class speak for themselves, and my class will be larger than the
list of 1856.
From Martin Luther Cox :
13th Ave. School, Newark, N. J., April 12th. 1913.
My dear Mr. Piatt : Your recent letter came duly to hand and in reply I am
sorry_ to state that I do not know very much about Hugh Nelson Cox, who was
principal of the old school in the Birch building in the '50s.
My mother, who was Caroline Cooper, daughter of Samuel Cooper, son of
Moses Cooper, son of Daniel Cooper, Jr., sheriff of Morris Co., son of Daniel Cooper,
who lived to be one hundred years old, spoke of him (Hugh Nelson Cox) to her
children frequently. As nearly as I can remember, he was in Dover in the years
1855-56. He gave great emphasis to public speaking and to elementary science. My
mother took part in several public exhibitions of a dramatic character and Mr.
Cox gave great attention to elocution. I still have a copy of "A Guide to Scientific
Knowledge of Things Familiar. Rev. Dr. Brewer," which was the text book used.
My copy was printed in 1S55 and must have been a new book when introduced. Its
introduction made quite a stir in the little village. I know nothing of the antecedents
of Hugh Nelson Cox, as I have never come across his name in any family record
that I have seen. I am the son of John Backster Cox, of Sussex Co., the son of
Martin Cox, son of .\rthur Cox, of Sussex Co. I have been unable to find a record
of the father of .Arthur Cox in the .Archives of N. J. Rev. Henry Cox of Harrington,
has written a "History of the Cox Family in .America."
Very truly yours,
From Mrs. Ella W. Livermore : ,, t ,- n â– â€¢ 1
M-^RTIN L. Cox, Prmcipal.
Richmond Hill, L. I., Fulton and Briggs Ave., April 18, 1913.
Mr. Charles D. Piatt:
Dear Sir: I have been informed you are collecting the names of the teachers
who from time to time have taught in Dover. Thinking I may be able to add some
MORRIS COUNTY ^^g
voi;;ntan - rontr!bution."" '"''"'"' "'^'" '" """ ^"^ ^'^'^ ' ^ave not intruded by this
about'the\^iar^^^' ;!''Â°/^"g''' ^^ '^'' basement of the old church. I think it was
my sister. "*"'*^' '"'" 'Â°Â° ^'Â°""^ 'Â° ^"^"'^ ''^'^Â°Â°'' ^"' ^^"t as visitor with
stonf Academy â€¢^Mr^^P..f''"'\^^^".^?l" '^"^^' '^e younger children in the old
1^5 and isX' " ' " Â°PPÂ°^''^- I *'""k this was about
Churcl; in^^'s^S^or'^l^f.'^'' h'Â°" '^"^k' â€¢ 'I" "'" basement of the old Presbyterian
R r Afiâ€ž-Â» "* -^^i ?*" 7?? ^ ''"Sht young Irishman. Our pastor the Rev
F v!!l;iÂ» ^K /u ^ """L"' ''f^- ^ ="" ^"'^^ sure that Mr. Sidney Ives and Mr Charles
b^efo'^rtu'acceprif ' '"' ^ ^^'""^' ^"' ' ^'^^ ^^^ Â°- Â»Â° -"fy this statemem
Pros^oect sl^'n'^fl'"' >>, ?""'"' ^^",^^' ^""^ ^^^"^' >-^Â«"- His widow resides on
you the yfa;s he ta;,X in n ''''"', ^^''- S/"h L Stickles, and could probably give
jou tne years tie taught m Dover. I would say s8 and '59 f i &
started on P^osnecrst w\f'" ^^ht^ '^^'^' '^'^1 Â°' "Â«"â€¢ ^ P"^^'^ =<^''Â°Â°' was
fr^rr, r ? u ^u t^^' j" '^^''S- Whittlescy, a widow and a returned missionary
â™¦1,0 p^' /V^'^t'"'"^ "'''Â°Â°' ''Â°"^^ afterwards taught a Miss Winner a sister of
Qth" â€¢^Ii?s Anna"'Trr'" 7t P^^'?[ Â°,' "^^ ^^-^"'"'^'^^ Church at that ime Â°
Pheb'e'Ber'r5"andTâ€žThrMisi'^^::^r;e-lreÂ«e'^"^'^' ^^'"^â– ^^''^' =^^ '^''^ '^Â°^'^ ^^^
Episcopal Chtch^'l ';io!M^, frÂ°oV7^y"or^1^^â– ^g,^ ^^â€¢^Â°Â°' â€” '^^ -'^ the
had 'on^ rd"e' toZXt Tt^dTo maT"" "]' Â°Â°"^^ ''Â°>'^ Â°' 'Â°"^ ^gÂ°- ^ have
lawn, fill it with corn fasten he stWn^ , *t "^^T """."^ ^"'^ '^^ve it on the
oftJi;rd Scl^;.-^ ^^ f^^H-m=ent Sf "theth^:.?-;^ dilrSn^
him.Â°T;e'bov^^y:uld^?;how'n!Lv'tim^/"â€¢^'" f\\'' Â°^"^'Â°- Â»Â° ^" -o-d
the window and walk in the door anHot be".? ^<^'^7' f'""'-^. ^^ey could jump out
bad bovs all lived to be good and usef.^l ,^en x'^'l ^â– ' u^^" '^^'='^"- ^he dear
(Mrs.) Ella W. Livermore.
340 NEW JERSEY
While corresponding with persons at a distance, I kept interviewing
people near by. My opportunities for travel and change of scene are so
limited that I began to search for every item of interest that would make
my daily path more interesting. It was surprising to find how much of
human interest lay close beside the familiar beaten path that I was com-
pelled to travel day by day between my home and my school. Even the
architecture of the old houses became an object of note. A chance remark
of my friend, Dan W. Moore, called attention to the peculiar finishing-off
of the edge of the roof in the Killgore & White building and the Turner
store. The edges at the end of the roof are finished off flat, without
projecting cornice. Sometimes this effect is removed when a new front
is built on, as in the store of E. L. Dickerson, but an examination of the
rear discovers the flat finish. So it is in Brown's office on Sussex street.
Several buildings of this type are soon noted : The Burchell house, corner
of Dickerson and Sussex, the Birch building (once a school), the Pruden
home on Dickerson street, an old house near Jerry Langdon's at Mt.
Pleasant. In the latter the front slope of the roof is built with a concave
curve. These houses were generally placed so that the roof sloped to the
street. This observation was contributed by Mr. George Jenkins. Some
old houses that were originally of this pattern, like the Spargo house on
Morris street, have had cornices built on later. Major Andrew Byram
vouches for the change in this house, which was the Byram home when he
was a boy. Mr. Dan Moore has observed this style of building in old
houses in New England, and the elder Mr. Harris, the jeweler, has observed
them in England. And so I manage to travel abroad by studying what I
observe at home. It has taken me ten years to see these things.
Not only houses, but the people all along my path and for miles around
begin to blossom out with new interest. They have so many interesting
memories about the town and the folks who have lived in it. It is like
breaking into a ten-acre lot full of huckleberries, just ripe. Every time I
turn a corner I can gather a bushel of history, right off the bushes, not
put up in baskets or cans to be sold at a store.
Down the street a ways lives Mrs. Emily Byram, nee Baker, born in
1824, a granddaughter of Jeremiah Baker who came from Westfield. In
1832" she went to school to Miss Harriet Ives in the Stone Acadetpy.
She remembers a little red school house that stood where the Birch Building
is, but she does not know what became of it, when it was removed to make
way for the new building, the white wooden building which became the
public school. The Byrams have their family records back to 1640. Henry
Eagle had a carriage shop in the Zenas Pruden shop after Zenas Pruden
Major Andrew Baker Byram, son of Mrs. Emily Byram, is a walkmg
encyclopedia of Dover history. He has told me more things than I can
here put to his credit. Their garret is full of relics, many of which have
been put at my disposal. He went to school to James Cooper in 1866
and later, also to Mr. Nevius, Mr. Conant, in the Magie school (Hill Top
Institute) and to Mr. Howard Shriver who taught in the North-side
school. For five or six years he went to school to Miss Forgus. The old
original weathervane is still on the Birch Building. The bell used to be
rung on Fouth of fuly nights. Mr. Allen taught some time after 1866.
J. Seward Lamson taught later in Hibernia. Then he became a mail
clerk on the Morris & Essex, until he died suddenly. He went west for a
while, and out there they called him "Jersey." When he came back the
MORRIS COUNTY 341
name stuck to him. He was one of the Lamsons on the hill, where the
chicken farm now is.
Prof. H. J. Rudd, of Newton, used to come every three or four years
and drill the children in singing school, and give a concert as a wind-up
in Apollo Hall on East Blackwell street, opposite the Dover Lumber
Company. They had a crowded house. Prof. Rudd was a music teacher.
He taught vocal and instrumental music. Charles Rosevear, brother of
E. W. 'Rosevear, went to this singing school. The singing school was held
after school hours, in the Birch Building. They would start with the whole
school and then select voices for the chorus and drill for the concert.
They used to sing what you might call "light opera," reciting verses and
When I hear all these items of Dover's ancient history, I feel that
Dover is a historic town, just like Athens or Rome, â€” or Boston, even. I
am obliged to give much of this information as I gathered it, in a desultory
way, not grouping all knowledge on one topic by itself. Many articles or
essays could be written upon the subjects thus touched upon here and there
through these pages. Time fails me to tell the story of the old hearse and
its strange adventures by moonlightâ€” the town watchman locked up â€” the
old undertaker out with his shotgun â€” gunning for the boys who were gal-
loping over the country side, jumping stone walls with the hearse rigged
up like a fire engine â€” one of their own number riding inside, laid out like
a corpse â€” but I guess I'd better not tell.
One night the boys worked all night changing the signs on the Dover
stores. There is a poem about it in The Enterprise.
A pretty story might be made about A Christmas Present of the Olden
Time. In 1866, on Christmas day, father Byram hitched up the family
sleigh. They were living then near the Byram mine on Mine Hill. He
invited the family to get into the sleigh and take a ride. They had a pleasant
sleigh ride to Dover and he drove up Morris street, stopping at the Hoag-
land house (now known as the Spargo house). He asked his wife and
children to get out of the sleigh and walk into the house. They found the
house newly furnished, stoves in and fires lightedâ€” everything comfortable
and pleasant. Then father Byram explained that this was his Christmas
present to his wife and that they were not going back to Mine Hill any
more. The whole Byram tract that went with this house was bought for
$6,000, mcluding land on the east side of Morris street. The original
check is still preserved as an heirloom. How many stories might be written
about the old homes of Dover and vicinity.
And now let us have some more letters.
Letter of E. W. Losey:
San Bernardino, Cal., May 2, 1913.
Dear Sister: In answer to your questions about Dover years ago I doubt if
1 can give you very many satisfactory answers. Have been thinking over the
matter tor three days. I have no recollection of ever going to school in the old
Ked School House I remember attending school in the old Academy building but
do not remember the teacher's name. Dover had a population of about 400 when I
was very young. No railroads nor telegraphs in those days, and everybody seemed
to be as contented and happy and enjoyed life as well as they do at the present
time perhaps better. People were not money crazy in those days. The boys and
girls enjoyed themselves playing games, riding down hill, .skating, swimming etc
Many parties and dancing. The old Bank Building (Stickle House) was "built
betore 1 was born. Yes, we had singing schools as long ago as I can remember
and nearly every winter. Mr. Hinds wasâ€” that was his name, I thinkâ€” singing
teacher several winters, I believe that there were school teachers, Loveland and
342 NEW JERSEY
Sibbetts, don't know their first names nor the year they taught. Mr. Wyckoff was
Presb\'terian preacher and his little girl's name was Abbie. B. C. Magie was next
minister. Any of the Crittenden family may be able to give you some information
in regard to singing school teachers.
I will relate a little incident about myself and Lige Belknap. We found a
goose nest near John Ford's house (near the school house) containing about a
dozen eggs. We took the eggs and traded them for root beer, peanuts, etc., at old
Granny Sickles' little shop. The eggs were bad, so the thing was exposed and Mr.
Ford, who had set the goose, told my father about it, also Lige's mother. I got
a reprimand and Lige a spanking. But old Granny never did get over worrying about
bad eggs. Some of the boys used to jump out the windows and run away, half-day,
I do not know the year the McFarlans moved in the old Losey House, but it
must have been in the early '40's â€” '40 to '46. I have written you all I can think
E. W. Losey.
To Mrs. Ella W. Livermore.
Granny Sickles' shop was in an old red house that stood next to the old red
school house on Morris street. â€” E. W. L.
Letter of Mrs. Ella W. Livermore:
Richmond Hill, L. L, May 7th, 1913.
My dear Mr. Piatt: I enclose a few notes and also some of my recollections
of Dover. They may not be at all what you want; if not, please consign them to the
I do not remember of ever having heard of Prof. Rudd. I was not at the
great exhibition of 1866, but knew about it. In looking through my trunks about
three months ago, I found a catalogue of the articles that were exhibited at that
time. Unfortunately for you, I destroyed it, and also threw away some old school
My maiden name was Ella W, Losey. The house where I was born stood on
Blackwell St. where Mr. Pierson's hat store now stands. My father was John
Marshall Losey, who was a merchant in the town. He established his business there
about 1830 and continued it up to the time of his death in 1857, September 22d.
His store joined the ;\Iansion House, and the entrance was where Mr. ^Martin Haven's
store now is.
Jacob Losey and Israel Canfield were my great-uncles. My grandfather, John
Puff Losey, was a brother of Jacob. My grandfather was also in the iron trade,
having the forge at Longwood. My grandfather and grandmother were married at
Dover, 1804, in the Losey house, which I have described, and my grandfather died in
On the corner of Blackwell and Susse-x Sts. stood the home of Major William
Minton. The house is still standing. A portion of it on Blackwell St. has been
removed. (Mrs. Calkins and Mrs. Stickle of Prospect St. are Major Minton's
In the winter the children of Dover rode down hill on their sleds and skated on
"Billy Ford's" pond and the "Basin." "Billy Ford's" house disappeared long ago.
It was a large, old-fashioned house and stood opposite Mr. Zenas Pruden's house, â€”
had a large yard around it, filled with beautiful trees, among them several large
pear trees which bore delicious fruit. The front door yard of this place is now
taken up w-ith railroad tracks. A brook ran back of this house and crossed Morris
St., and ran along the foot of the hill and back of the school house.
Two of the school boys got in an argument; words ran high, and one was
knocked down in a mud puddle. He feared to go home ; a friend came to his
rescue, and said, "let us trade trousers. I will wear yours home and my mother
will clean them." The trousers were exchanged, the boys went home to dinner. The
mother cleaned the trousers, never discovering they did not belong to her son.
When the boys returned to school, trousers were once more exchanged and the
boys were happy.
I have never been a teacher, and with the exception of one Summer I never
attended the public school. That summer, Mr. Martin Lee was the teacher.
I attended the Presbyterian Church and Sunday school. Rev. B. C. Magie was
the pastor. I was not a communicant at that time, therefore my name will not be
MORRIS COUNTY 343
on the church book. I am a member of the West Church, X. Y. City. I was
married by the Rev. B. C. Magie in i860.
My personal friends were Mary Jackson, married Mr. I. D. Condict and living
on Randolph Ave. in Dover ; Racilia Hoagland, married George Hance, living at
Easthampton, Mass. ; Mary Breese, married M. Whitlock, living at Indianapolis.
Ind. ; Etta Berry, married Rev. I. B. Hopwood, of Newark; Sarah Stickle, married
Ellery Stickle, she is living on Prospect St;. Sarah Lindsley, (deceased) married W.
Drummond; Susan, Lucy, and Abby Magie, etc. I am well acquainted with Mr. and
Mrs. Jas H. Neighbour. Mrs. Kilgore. Mrs. Byram. I visit at Miss Mary Rose's
and at Mrs. Calkins' and Stickles'. I have told you all this in reply to your questions.
My letter is quite disconnected. You may change it and make it better.
My brother wrote me of two teachers, Mr. John E. Lewis, who taught in the
early '40's. He married a daughter of Major Minton. i\Ir. Lewis went to California
in 1849. After that he settled at Reno. Nev., and was editor of a paper. He was a
very able man. Mrs. Calkins and Stickle are his sisters-in-law. and could give you
more particulars. My brother also mentions a Mr. Babcock, who taught. And liow
while I am writing, another letter has just come from my brother, which I will
send you to read and you may please return to me. It will save my copying.
I have written so much. I fear I have trespassed upon good nature. If what
I have told you will assist any in writing your historical sketch, or will be of any
interest to Dover people, I shall he pleased. When your sketches are read or
published. I will appreciate if you will let me k-now, as I often miss seeing the
"ERA." I may come up to Dover soon, and if I do, I shall be pleased to see you
and I might be able to tell you things which I do not think of at present.
I have an indistinct recollection about that old school house: it is this, that
it was either moved and joined to the Pruden shop, or if it was joined, they cut
through from one building into the other. I remember of playing in the yard with
Sue Pruden and seeing this work being done. I have written to a cousin and
asked about it and will notify you if I learn anything new. Hoping you will be
successful in making a fine historical collection, I remain.
Ell.\ W. Livermore.
P. S. â€” Just received a letter from my cousin, Mr. J. I\I. Losey. He says the
school building was not connected to the Pruden shop. So you see he confirms
my memory and I think we must be right.
Letter of Miss Abby F. Magie :
May 2, 1913, 2430 Aqueduct Ave.. New York City.
Possibly some one in Dover may be able to tell you of a young man that taught
for a very short time in the old stone Academy. I do not know what year. He
called himself the Hon. Mr. Spring-Rice, and claimed to be the oldest son of Lord
Mont Eagle, an English Earl. My parents did not send me to his school.
Miss Belknap and Miss Maria Dalrymple taught in the school house that now
belongs to Birch. Both ladies were nieces of Hudson Hoagland. They taught some
time between 1863-66. A Mr. Pease of Mass. taught. I do not k-n'ow where, or
when, but I think before 1845, as I have always understood Rev. Frank P. Berry was
named for him.
(Above is an extract.)
Letter of Sir Cecil Spring Rice :
British Embassy, Washington. May 13, 1013.
To Charles D. Piatt, Dover, N. J. :
Dear Sir: The Hon. Edmond Spring Rice, 3d son of first Lord Monteagle, was
born 1821 and died 1887. I understood from the late General Wade Hampton that
my uncle had been a tutor to his children. He died in Ottawa. I am very glad
to hear that he was a teacher in Dover school. My father was Lord Mont'eagle's
second son. The daughter of Edmond Spring Rice is a doctor in New York Cit>'.
He had a son who died. His widow survived him. I am much obliged for the
information which you have been good enough to give. I fear I can't supplement
it myself, as I only saw my uncle once, in his house in Ottawa, shortlv before his
The first Lord Monteagle was an Irishman and descended, not from the
Lord Monteagle of the gunpowder plot, but from a brother or cousin of the Sir
Stephen Rice of King James' short lived Irish government of whom vou may read
in Macaulay's History. Lord Monteagle was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Cecil Sprixg Rice.
344 NEW JERSEY
Mr. David Young, former Surrogate of Morris County, is a son of
William L. Young of Dover. He remembers that a Mr. Field assisted
Rev. Mr. Dudley in the Stone Academy. He also recalls Mr. Spring-Rice
as a teacher of that school, perhaps in 1859 or "58. This Mr. Spring-Rice
used to give the boys of his school a "blow^-out" now and then. By this
expression is meant a dinner and a jolly time â€” something different from a
"blowing-up."' He would invite the boys around to his house, which may
have been the old Ark, once a shop for building canal boats, and in the
twentieth century a boarding place for public school teachers, known as
The Colonnade. Rev. Mr. Dudley once had a school there.
David Young had made up his mind to attend Mr. Spring-Rice's school,
for reasons aforesaid ; but before the time came for him to be enrolled
there was a change of teacher. David Young's name is on the 1856 list
of the public school. He also attended Mr. Hall's school on Prospect street,
i86i-'62. Hence we conclude that Mr. Spring-Rice taught in the Stone
Academy between 1857 and i860. Mr. Spring-Rice was born in 1821 ;
he was about j,"] years old when in Dover. We have the testimony of three
persons to his being in Dover. David Young also attended school under
Mr. Cox and remembers his skill with the rod of correction.
Letter of Miss G. A. Dickerson :
May II, 1913., 539 Bramhall -\ve., Jersey City.
I can give you very little more information concerning the school. I have no
photograph and any of the scholars would not recognize me with my scant gray
locks. Am glad they remember me so kindly. I know the time passed pleasantly
with me. I had no great trouble with them that I remember. The only one that
was a nuisance was a colored boy. His name was Jackson. I dreaded to see him
come in the room, for as soon as he appeared, the room was in an uproar. I could
not keep the attention of the scholars and Mr. Cooper would have to come and chase
him out and around the school house, as he would always manage to escape. Mr.
Cooper was a good disciplinarian and fair teacher for the times. Do not remember
Prof. Rudd. as there was no singing taught in my room. No exhibitions or enter-
tainments, as I remember.
I never heard that Mr. Pruden's wagon shop was used for a school room.
Used to visit there when I was a child, as Mr. Pruden's wife and my mother were
cousins. I boarded with them while I taught and no children were ever allowed
to play in the yard and only one at a time could enter to get a pail of water for the
school. Some of the children came to school barefoot and as to the human nature
side, they were no different from the present day. I attended the Methodist church.
There was but one at that time.
Some of the names of the scholars were Elliotts. Halseys, Georges, Gages,
Byrams, Welches. Haines, Kings, Roaches, Champions, Searings, Stickles, Dickersons,
and hosts of others I have long forgotten.
G. A. Dickerson.
GLEANINGSâ€” Mrs. D. F. Calkins and Mrs. Sarah L. Stickles, May
Mrs. Calkins attended school under Mr. Pease and Mr. Chas. E. Noble.
Mrs. Stickle attended school under Mr. Pease, Mr. Lee and Mr. Cox, and
Mrs. Pease, Mrs. Lee.
Mrs. Stickle remembers that in the old Stone Academy, on the ground
floor, the teacher had a platform at one end of the room, on which to
preside over the room. From under this platform little snakes would