Circuit as early as 1824, officiated about that date far
this -..eiety, preaching in the old school-house at the
HUNTERDON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
"Grove" once a month. Winner at that time was
but a youth and unmarried. Mr. Weed was a faith-
ful worker, and was successful in gathering a small
flock at the Grove. To John Creamer is due, prob-
ably, the honor of really establishing this church
upon a substantial footing, for success crowned his
Asher Atkinson, one of the first converts to Method-
ism in the township, was an active member of this
church. He gave the land upon which their first
edifice was built, and assisted materially in putting
up the first meeting-house, which was a small, one-
story structure, with a board ceiling.* It stood about
200 yards south from the present church. A few
grave-stones on the easterly side mark its site.
This church had a nominal existence very early in
this century. The Shurts and Egbert families had
preaching in their homes occasionally during the
latter part of the last century. The name of Nicholas
Egbert, and his Christian character, were frequently
spoken of fifty years ago. He became a leader in
the denomination in this section.
The old church — the pioneer Methodist church in
the township — was replaced by a new one in 1854, as
is shown by an old book of record of its trustees.
Jacob" P. Dailey was preacher in charge at that time.
July 18, 1854, it was
" Resolved, That we circulate subscriptions to obtain money to build a
new church in this place, according to a resolution of the last Quarterly
October 27th the sum of $1135 was reported sub-
scribed. Proposals for the erection of the church
were received, and that of Asa E. Dilts accepted. The
church then built was 36 by 50 feet in size, 18-feet
posts, with an end gallery. Peter S. Dailey was sec-
retary of the board of trustees. He and John B.
Sharp, both now residing at Flemington, were for-
merly and for many years members of this church.
Eevs. Lenhart and Ashbrook were among the early
and successful preachers of the Grove Church.
This and the Allertown Church (Clinton township)
are now united under one charge.
The eleven school-houses of this township are val-
ued at $13,500, and will comfortably seat 800 pupils.
The number of children of school age in the town-
ship is given as 941, of whom 770 were enrolled in
the school registers during 1879, and of which num-
ber the average attendance during the time school
was kept was 350. The schools of this township were
kept open an average of nearly ten months during
1879, with four male and eight female teachers, at an
average salary per month of $35.25 for the former, and
$31.32 for the latter.
The amount of money received in 1879 was $4677.09
from all sources.
* Mr. Atkinson subsequently removed to Allontown, N . J., and died
The following history of the schools of Readington
township is drawn from the manuscript " History of
Schools of Hunterdon County," by C. S. Conkling,
prepared in 1876, while officiating as county school
superintendent, and from the contributions of Judge
Joseph Thompson and others.
The first house in " Stanton" (District No. 69) was
built in 1802. Asher Stout was the first teacher.
This school was first called " Housel's Free School,"
in memory of Jacob Housel, who left $200 to the trus-
tees by will, the interest to be applied to the educa-
tion of the poor children of the neighborhood.! This
fund by some means dwindled, and in 1844 the school
was merged in the district school. In that year a
constitution was drawn for the government of the
Stanton (then Mount Pleasant) school. Feb. 19th,
an association was formed and certain articles signed
by several persons (whose names are given by the
clerk), and on April 1st the first board was elected,
— viz., Peter A. Kline, William Wagner, Anthony
Harsel, James Osborn, and John Britton. In 1849
the number was changed to three. The present
building was erected in 1848-49. It is a frame, 20 by
30 feet, and will seat 60 pupils.
It appears that the present edifice is the third that
has served "Three Corners" (District No. 70). The
first two were both small frame buildings, but their
immediate locality and date of erection are not
known. The present house was built in 1866, a
frame, 24 by 34 feet, and will seat 60 pupils. The
first trustees were Bergen Davis, Jacob J. Kline, and
Peter Emory. The board in 1876 consisted of David
R. Emory, George Stillwell, and Joseph Lindsley.
The first teacher was George W. Noel ; the present
(1880) incumbent is Mary Wells.'
"Station" (District No. 71) school is at White
House station. In 1850 a public meeting was held
with a view of securing better school accommodations,
the outgrowth of which was the erection of the
"District of White House Station," being set oft
from Drea Hook and White House, which was then
known as No. 11. It was resolved to build a suitable
school-house with as little delay as possible. A lot
was donated to the district by A. L. Voorhees, to
which the people added by purchase. The building
committee consisted of B. Dumont, A. V. Eversole,
and A. Pickel. The building was speedily erected, —
a small frame structure.
This district was enlarged in 1871 by additions by
the county superintendent. The present building was
erected in 1871-72, and is 28 by 40 feet, two stories
high, and one of the best in the county.
John G. Van Houten, a gentleman much advanced
in life, and who attended the first school taught in
"White House" (District No. 72) in 1808, kindly
furnishes the following :
f Previous to 18118 no boundary-linos of the districts were established.
The people paid their own school bills, no school taxes being levied by
"The rtret school-house was hullt In 1808, wns 16 by 24, 10-foot poets,
colling 1% foot, nnil cost $100. It won seated with slab benches. Tho |
ftnl tnuteaa wero Reuben GoJld, l» ill Wyckoff, and Nicholas Still-
well. The drat teacher was Cornelius IMiue, -man."
The above-mentioned house was used until 1835,
when another waa built, 18 by 28, two stories high.
This had hoard desks, with slab seats, and cost $500. ]
The second building served until 1871, when the
house now standing was ereeted. It is 26 by 38, two
stories, and the two rooms are seated with the most
approved patent desks. The cosl of house, lot, etc.,
The school-house which preceded the present one
in "Cold Brook" (District No. 73 i was a -t ■ build-
ing, erected in 1828, at which time the trustees were }
Nicholas Wyckoff, David R. Conover, Mathias Dil-
ley, John Haas, Jr., and John Rodenbaugh. This j
house stood at Cold Brook, one mile from Potters-
town. There was, however, an earlier school-house,
near the site of the one above mentioned, and the
first ereeted in the district. When built is not known.
The house now in use the third in the district—
was erected in 18(59, is a frame building, 22 by 32.
with a seating capacity for 50 scholars.
In "Pleasant Bun" | District No. 7 1 1 the first sehool-
building was erected during the latter pari of the
eighteenth century, and was situated about half a
mile from the present one. The ne\t house was far-
ther south, and was built in the early part of this
century. It was small (18 by 22), and its scats were
arranged around the sides of the room.
The house now in use was buill about 1888. Ithas
nearly fulfilled its mission, ami must soon give way to
a larger and better structure.
April 2, 1881, at the request of David 1». Schamp,
Jacob tj. Carkhuff, David O. Cole, T. 8. La Tourette,
and Tunis Cole, trustees, Joseph Thompson drafted a
constitution, which was adopted bj the inhabitants
then convened. Reuben Chamberlin was the first
teacher who subscribed to the rules, April 17. 1882;
Rodney T. Hyde appended his name, and was the
teacher in L885. The Bchool-house lot was leased to
the district, and afterwards devised by Ezekiel Cole,
8r. His son, Ezekiel B.Cole, deeded the play-grounds,
lying between the road and the brook, to the district,
for a nominal consideration.
In "The Ridge" District No. 75) the first house,
si frame, was located a little east of the present one,
Auoiiii a house was erected near the then residence of
William Brokaw. It was vacated, and a new one
built about 1828. The present house was erected
about I860 ; it is 21 DJ 82 feel in SIZO.
Iii " Readington" I l »isl ri is said there
was a school mar the village, a short distance north-
west of the mill, long before the Revolution. The
earliest record existanl (evidently a copy of the origi-
nal) is dated Aug. I. L804. When a meeting of the
employers was held, the following persons incorporated
themselves as " Che Holland Brook School :" Abraham
PoBt,Peter<iuick, Isaac Berkaw, William Dalley, Wil-
liam Spader, Cornelius Van Horn, Abraham Smock,
Andrew Mattis, Adrian Stryker, Peter Ten Brook,
W'm. I lit mars, Derrick De Mott. Having elected five
of their number trustees, they caused their proceedings
to be recorded in " Registry of Special Deeds for the
County of Hunterdon" (vol. i. folio 95), and adopted
a constitution and laws for the government of them-
selves an«l the school, and defining the duties of the
teacher, who was required to sign his name to an
agreement to comply with said rules, whereby we
have the names of the teachers employed from 1806
to 1854, the first being that of Tunis Ten Eyck*
In |-.~.| the practice of signing the rules was aban-
doned. The seventh rule seems strange to our ears
at this time, hut may have been important then; it
reads tint- :
" ll hIiiiII bo the duty of the toachor to refrain from spirituous llquore
ii i l.i enter tho school-house whilo
intoxicated, nor lose any timo through such intemperance."
The boundary-lines of the district were established
in May, 1*38, hy I-aiah 1'. Large, Joseph Thompson,
Washington Skillman. school committee of Reading-
ton, and R. S. Smith, T. A. Hartwell, A. Martin, of
Bridgewater. With a few alterations, the boundaries
still remain the same.
The school-house was a wooden structure 16 by 20
feet, with a low board ceiling, located at the site of the
present bouse, " where three highways do meet," on
the southwest side of Holland's Brook, with the play-
grounds in the road-, as at present. The house
was erected in the eighteenth century. In 1839 it
was unanimously resolved to build a new house;
Bergun Berkaw, John Morehead, Jr., and Aaron
Lane, Jr., were appointed the building committee.
The cost of erection was $754.58, a part thereof being
paid ill timber and work. This house, the one now
in use, is a two-story building, of g 1 Bize, but one
lloor only being used for school purposes.
Jan. 10, 1840, Dr. Josiah Quimhy, John C. Lane,
and Joseph Thompson were appointed a committee
to draft a new constitution, which was adopted April
6, 1-1". and ordered to be recorded. In 1851, in ac-
cordance with a supplement to the school act, the
boundaries of the district w< re denned by Joseph
Thompson, superintendent of Rcadii,
W. Vroom. of Branchburg, and Lewis ECiple, Herman
Hageman, and John s. Berger, trustees of the school,
ami the name changed to " Readington School," the
1 ndarics of which arc recorded in vol. iii. of special
deeds, Hunterdon County, pp. 180 82. \ oi w consti-
tution was adopted June 80, 1851, and is still in force.
; y years ago uacd to apeak of John White and
John Uehelm ai excellent ' centniy.
A ii K iii. ' William
itlon as In-
.1,1. b placaha return.-!.
HUNTERDON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
The present teacher is Joanna F. Wack; present
trustees, Dr. Thomas Johnson, John Van Fleet, and
Talbot C. Gulick, the last named being clerk of the
" Centreville" (District No. 77) has had three sev-
eral school-houses ; the time of the erection of the
first two is unknown. All that can be learned is that
Edward Wilmoth was an early teacher. The present
building, at Centreville, 22 by 30, a frame structure,
was erected in 1851, and repaired in 1875. There are
seating accommodations for 50 pupils.
To the Hon. Joseph Thompson, of Keadington, we
are indebted for much of the history of the schools
of " Three Bridges" (District No. 78). He says that
in 1813, when he first went to school, "the old house
stood on the north side of the Old York Road, at the
point where the road branches towards Taylor's (now
Kershow's) Mills, and was known as the school at
Van Fleet's Corner. This house was 16 by 16 feet,
8-feet posts. The walls were lined with boards to the
height of 4 feet, and writing-tables were fastened to
them on three sides. The seats were slabs from the
saw-mill, supported by legs of hickory 2 feet in length.
All the seats were destitute of backs. The ceiling
was of unplaned oak boards, laid on beams 8 inches
thick. The teachers of that time were generally
English, Scotch, or Irish, with a few stray Yankees.
The former were good penmen, and the Irish good
arithmeticians. Grammar and geography were not
taught, except in a few instances, and for extra pay.
The teacher collected his own bills for tuition, which
were from $1 to $1.25 per scholar for a term of thirteen
weeks. Every alternate Saturday was a holiday.
The teachers boarded with their employers pro rata.
About 1840 a new building was erected, on the site
of the old one. A solitary elm marks the place of the
old school-houses which have been superseded by the
beautiful and convenient edifice at Three Bridges.
Early teachers were Oliver Dunleavy, Henry B.
Mendham, William Bailey, and George Hamilton ;
and early trustees were John Hoagland, George Vlere-
foome, and John T. Van Fleet, grandfather of the
The present building, 24 by 40 feet, is in every way
in marked contrast with the old houses. It has a com-
manding situation, and is the pride of the district.
In "The Grove" (District No. 79), a school-house
was standing on the lands of George Biggs, not far
from the site of the present building, in 1776. It is
said that Henry Mendham was an early teacher, and
George Sharp one of the oldest trustees. There arc
reported to have existed within the bounds of this
district four school-houses, but the date cannot be
given. The present building is in size 18 by 30 feet.
SOCIETIES AND CORPORATIONS.
In 1827 a society was organized after the plan of
the one instituted at Amwell the previous year. Its
title was the " Readiugton, Tewksbury, and Lebanon
Society for the Suppression of Vice and Immorality,
and for the Promotion of Virtue and Good Morals."
In its constitution its principal object was stated to
be " to carry into full effect the salutary laws of the
State against vice and immorality by aiding the civil
authorities," and every member was pledged "to em-
ploy his influence and exertions to attain this object,"
but "in no cases shall legal coercion be resorted to
except those in which persuasion, admonition, and
other mild measures are found ineffectual." The first
officers of the society were : President, David Tra-
phagen ; Vice-President, Garret V. Stryker ; Secretary,
William Johnson ; Treasurer, Lucas Voorhees ; Man-
agers, William Johnson, William Rockafellar, Abram
A. Johnson, Martin AVyckoff, Jr., Capt. Cornelius
Ten Eyck, Joseph Cratz, David M. Kline, C. Van
Nostrand, J. Mitchell, Philip Alpaugh, Esq., John
Haas, Esq., Isaac Dumont, Conrad Rarick, Henry
Miller, Jr., Nicholas Wyckoff, William J. Alpaugh,
Peter P. Schamp, Joseph Van Doren, Martin Nevius,
and John Reger. How long this society existed is
" The Farmers' Mutual Fire Assurance Association
of New Jersey" was chartered March 3, 1856, by the
State Legislature to insure dwelling-houses, school-
houses, churches, mechanic-shops, barns, etc., with
or without their contents, against loss or damage by
fire or lightning. Twenty-two persons were named
as the incorporators, the charter to continue at the
pleasure of the Legislature. The directors appointed
by the charter were nine: Isaac R. Srope, David
Davis, Peter E. Voorhees, Tunis V. M. Cox, John
P. Rittenhouse, and Nelson Thatcher, of Hunterdon
County ; John S. Hoagland, Andrew Fleming, and
James Ten Eyck, of Somerset County. The company
commenced business April 26, 1856, with $120,000
worth of property insured. The first officers (ap-
pointed April 26, 1856) were Peter E. Voorhees,
President ; Andrew Fleming, Treasurer.; Joseph
The increase has been gradual, and, from the state-
ment on file in the office of the Secretary of State at
Trenton, the company on Dec. 31, 1879, had $12,682,434
worth of property insured, extending over the counties
of Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Mercer, Morris,
Sussex, and Warren. At the same date the losses
had been 323, varying in amount from $3 to $3000.
The company is out of debt, and has over $3000 in
The present officers are David Davis, President; T.
V. M. Cox, Vice-President ; Calvin Code, Treasurer ;
Joseph Thompson, Secretary; Aaron J. Thompson,
Assistant Secretary ; David Davis, T. V. M. Cox, Wm.
P. Johnson, Peter P. Quick, Henry F. Bodine, Andrew
Van Sickle, and Moses Bobbins, of Hunterdon; C.
N. Dumont, Calvin Corle, and C. Nelson Staats, of
Somerset; David W. Dellisher, of Morris; William
Ramsey, of Warren ; Thomas Armstrong, of Sussex,
There are burial-places connected with all the
churches in the township except the Centreville
Methodist Episcopal, also very many family burial-
groii iids, some of quite early origin. A little to the
Dortheasl of the Wyckoff homestead are the relics of
the old family burying-ground, tin- fragments of B
few headstones alone marking the site. From these,
in 1*7:;, it was deciphered thai "Cornelius Wyckoff,
Sr., died April I. 1796, in the 81erl year of his age,"
and his wife "Elizabeth, May 1, 1799, in her 80th
An important cemetery is that at Pleasant Run, on
wh.-a was formerly tin- Emans farm, now the prop-
erty of James ST. Pidcock. It was used a.s a place of
interment by the people of Readington township gen-
cully, and is one of the earliest within her limits, it
is Mill occasionally used. In it repose the remains of
many Of the Biggs, Coles, Schainp, Van Fleet, ami
Adjoining the White House station is an ancient
ground which about 1 Soil was inclosed with a stone
wall by the descendants of the Van Horns. Pickels,
Covenhovens, aVndersons, etc., whose ancestors were
buried there. The graves of George Anderson aqd a
few other- arc marked by red sandstone slabs with
still legible inscriptions.
The Smith burial-ground is located on the farm
first settled b) John Eenry Smith, at the foot of the
mountain, m-ar the source of the Pleasant Run. In
it he and various of his descendants Lie buried.
On the road from Readington to Drea Hook Is the
Schainp family cemetery. Directly west, and adjoin-
ing, i- a very old burial-place, oow disused and ne-
glected. On the north -hie of the roa.l. directly op-
posite, is the burial-lot of the De Mott, Decker, and
Vr n families. This is also in a dilapidated condi-
The burial-ground of the Readington Reformed
Church was opened in 1804. John Ditmars, Sr.,
erected the fence around it, and was the Buret person
buried then'. Hi- son, Capt. John, followed soon
after. Prior to ISO-t the church had a cemetery ahoiit
quarter of a mile from the present one; it was
located on land then owned by Casper Berger, now
the property of William Pitch. Since the opening
of the new yard the old one has not been used, and
is much neglected.
Jacob Klein, the grandfather of the John who is
mentioned elsewhere in this work, was a tanner and
currier, and thr f his Bona carried on the business
in the township: John \\ ilh :in, on the origin .1
homestead ; Peter, on the farm adjoining on the west ;
and Aaron, near Drea Book. Other descendants con-
tinued the business .>u ( 'ampUll's P.rook, near ( 'ushc-
tuuk Mountain; but it has long been abandoned.
In 1828, Washington Skillman notified the public
that he would "continue the business of wool-carding
the present Benson, at the well-known stand of Nich-
olas Btilwell, at the White Bouse."
William ( 'orwinc removed from Cushctunk Moun-
tain to Readington Church in lSii'.i, and with Mr.
Cozine (firm of Cozine & Corwine) engaged in the
manufacture ..f "double spread, diaper, carpet, etc."
At Mechanicsville, in 1829, George Hall opened a
-hop for "cabinet- and plough-making, wheelwright-
ing, blackamithing, and painting," Ephraim Parker
a saddlery and harm hop, and William Risler a
More than one hundred years ago Michael Kinney
had an apple-distillery mar the middle of the town-
ship, on I P.l la nd- Brook; his son and grandson after-
wards added a rye-distillery. There "as another,
near the foot of Cushctunk Mountain, west of White
House station, and one at < eiitrcville; afterwards one
was erected on the farm cast id' White House, now
owned by Theodore Polhemus, another mar Pleasant
Run store, and one north from The Grove Methodist
Episcopal church. They all did a thriving business
in their day. The only one now in operation is near
Pleasant Pun post-ollice.
The " Keadington Mining Company,'' which in
i> 17 was carrying on mining operations at the copper
mines, four miles north of Flemington, like mosl of
the other mining companies of this section, soon sus-
pended operations, ami since has been dormant.
From IS^II-lTi considerable excitement was created
by the discovery of mineral springs m ar the source of
Campbell's Brook. Buildings were erected, grounds
improved and chared, and it appeared for a while
that they would rival Schooley's Mountain springs.
Though the waters wire pronounced by chemists to
he of much heiielit in certain disca-es, the supply was
limited, and the speculation was a failure. Summer
boarders from the city, at White House and vicinity,
still visit the place and drink of the water-.
A road leading by the New Mills, t m ilt by Andrew
Leake, in Ucadington town-hip, was laid in 1761,
"beginning at a black-oak on the main road lending
from New Germantown, and along lands of Andrew
Ten Ej ck, along by a wheat-field," etc. ' >n petition of
.lame- Stout, during the same j ear. November 6th, a
two-rod road was laid out. "beginning at a four-rod
rond against Petei Rockafellow'a house, running
across said Rockafellow's b\nd as the beala path runs
to. la - Stmit'.- land, then.-, ■ across Stout's land to
St.. nt'- mill." The commissioners who laid oul
ronds were Thomas Atkinson, Morris Wolverton,
Winant Vand.v cut. r. and 1-aac 1 >i
Joseph Hankinson was a -..Idicr ..f the Revolution.
He subsequently wa- a member of the Legislature
• " TnuUUoto of our Ancwtora," 187a
HUNTERDON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
and of Congress. He died in Readington, Nov. 30,
1825, aged eighty-one. His descendants still live on
the homestead farm, in the southwest part of the
Col. David Schamp, who was engaged in the battle
of Trenton, was the second son of Hendrick Schamp ;
he was a captain in the secret service of Gen. Wash-
ington. He lived on Pleasant Run, in a house a part
of which is still standing, and occupied by his grand-
son, David Schamp. His wife was Helena Hoffman,
daughter of Johannes Hoffman, a large landholder
near Metler's Mills.
Other Revolutionary worthies from this township :
Fulkert Voorhees, Jacobus Aray (colored), Adrian
Johnson, Peter Latourette, and Cornelius Latourette
were in the Continental service ; in the militia were
Lieut. Abram Post, Lieut, (or Ensign) Abraham Ten
Eyck, Jacob Neff, and Capt. Cornelius Lane.
Readington did its full share in sustaining the
government during the war of the Rebellion.
HON. JAMES N. PIDCOCK.
James Nelson Pidcock, the subject of this sketch,
was born at Mechanicsville, N. J., Feb. 8, 1836. He
is descended from an English family who settled in
New Jersey at an early date, and is a son of John G.
Pidcock, whose wife's maiden name was Ramsey.
His parents, when he was about five years of age, re-
moved to Lebanon, Hunterdon Co., N. J., where he
was brought up till about the age of thirteen and
attended the public schools. About this time he left
school and went to work with a corps of engineers on
the Belvidere Delaware Railroad, where he was en-