and on the wesl it is joined by the townships of
Tewksbury and Readington, in Hunterdon.
The sin-la 1' Bedminster is generally level in the
western part, bul is slightly undulating along the val-
ley of the Lamington and its branches. The north-
ern part is more hilly, and i- crossed by a limestone
ridge. The "Firsl Mountain" terminates at Cham-
bers' Brook, in Bridgewater, bul the "Second Moun-
tain" extends northwesterl] into Bedminster as far as
â€¢ By Amtlii N. Hungerfbr 1.
It- streams are the North Branch of the Raritan,
which forms a large part of its eastern boundary; the
Lamington River, which form- the western boundary
of the town-hip ami flows southwardly into the North
Branch; Chambers' Brook, a -mall stream which
divide- the township from Bridgewater, flows weal
wardly ami enter- the North Branch a ahorl distance
below the mouth of Lamington; Aztell's or Middle
Brook, which take- its rise in ti u . north part, pursues
a southerly course through the centre of the tow nahip,
and enters the North Branch; and Peapack Brook,
which is also :( tributary of the North Branch, enter-
ing it from the northward.
LAND ft 1 LBS wi> t vr.i.) -1.1 rLBMKH r-.
The firs) purchase of land in the town-hip of Bed-
minster was made by Margaret Winder. May 20,
SOMERSET COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
1690.* This tract is said to have contained 1000
acres, and may be described as lying on both sides of
the North Branch opposite the junction of the Lam-
ington with that stream. Aug. 4, 1693, Campbell and
Blackwood purchased a tract known on the map ac-
companying the Elizabeth bill of chancery as No. 59,
located on the north side of the Lamington, and ex-
tending westward from its mouth, but not reaching
entirely across the bend of the river. June 6, 1701,
Dr. John Johnston and George Willocks purchased a
tract of 3150 acres. This may be described as lying
north of the Lesser and Larger Cross-Roads and ex-
tending across the township. October 2d of the same
year they purchased the Indian title of " Tallaquapie
and Nicholas Elspie, Merchant, Indians."
The north boundary extended westward across the
township along the north line of the farm on which
W. P. Sutphin now resides. The date of the purchase
of Maj. Daniel Axtell is unknown. His tract em-
braced the land south of the Lesser and Larger Cross-
Roads and north of the North Branch.
Alexander and Dunstar, Oct. 15, 1741, purchased
580 acres on the site of the present village of Lam-
ington. On the 1st of January previous, Andrew
Hamilton purchased 875 acres. Prior to this time
settlements had been made, for in 1740 the Presbyte-
rian Church at Lamington was organized, and John
Craig, William Jones, Richard Porter, and William
Hugein were mentioned. This church embraced a
large extent of territory, as the call was from the
people of Lametunk, Lebanon, Peapack, Readington,
South and east of the North Branch was a- large
tract taken up by Dr. Lewis Johnston and Mary
Johnston (afterwards Mrs. James Alexander). The
extreme south part of the land in the township, and
bordering on the east side of North Branch, was a
part of a tract of land of 912 acres, the greater por-
tion of which is in Bridgewater, and which was pur-
chased, Aug. 14, 1693, by Ann West.f Later this
property passed to the Duchess of Gordon, for whom
Gouverneur Morris acted as agent. It is known as
the " Duchess." North of the Indian purchase of
Johnston and Willocks was a large tract purchased of
the proprietors by George Leslie, who was also in
possession of large tracts on the east side of West
Jersey. Still north lay the Peapack patent, owned by
Dr. Johnston, â€” a part of which was sold to James
Parker, of Perth Amboy, â€” and the extreme north by
the heirs of Dr. Johnston, from 1760 to 1770.
There is a tradition that the first settlers in the
township were French people, but if so their stay was
but transitory. The first permanent settlers were
Scotch-Irish, who came in from the East and settled
* She was tlio daughter of Thomas Rudyard (who was Governor of
the Stato In 1082, and who purchased 1170 acres whore the village of
Bound Brook now la) and the wife of Samuel Winder, of "Graham,
Winder .V. Co.," who purchased whore Somorville now Is. After tho
death of her liushand she married George Willocks.
fSee "Third Indian Title," Bridgewater.
along the valley of the Lamington and North Branch ;
many of their descendants still remain. Next came
a number of German Protestants from the Palatinate.
They were among those who had been employed by
Queen Anne as soldiers in her Continental wars, and
after the close of hostilities had been, with others of
the same nationality, removed to America by the gov-
ernment and established on lands on both sides of the
Hudson River, in Columbia and Ulster Cos., N. Y.,
and from there had emigrated to this region.
It is absolutely impossible to ascertain whether the
first settlements were made at Lamington, at the
junction of Lamington with North Branch, or near
Pluckamin. It is said that a Lutheran church was
built in Washington Valley as early as 1740. The
old graveyard still remains. This localit}' is half a
mile east of Pluckamin, in Bernard township ; no
names are given in connection with its earliest history.
About 1740 the road from Lamington called the
" High Road" was laid out, to connect with " Great
Road up Raritan," and about the same time the road
from Bound Brook along the mountains through the
township on the east side, which was then known as
the Peapack road.
The settlement of the township will be given, as near
as possible, on the original tracts purchased of the pro-
prietors. In the extreme lower portion of the town,
bordering on the North Branch and Chambers' Brook,
is a portion of the tract that has been known for
nearly a hundred years as "The Duchess." Gouv-
erneur Morris as agent, in 1801, sold 600 acres to John
Van Derveer and Abram Quick, which included all
of the " Duchess" land in the township ; Mr. Van
Derveer located on the northern part but lived in
Bridgewater. On that part of the tract purchased by
Margaret Winder (May 20, 1690) that lay on the
east side of North Branch settled and lived for many
years George Teeple. He emigrated from Germany
about 1700, and later purchased the tract of land
near Burnt Mills owned in 1850 by Peter Garretson,
who sold to William Gaston. A road was laid out in
1745, in which the name is mentioned. His sons,
John and Christopher, possessed property in 1756.
John married Margaret Castner, 1756, and both died
March 17, 1813, within three hours of each other, and
were buried in the same grave. AVilliam Teeple, a
son, was a tailor in Pluckamin for many years, and
occupied the old house now owned by Mrs. Cornell,
of Somerville. He is still living in the village at an
advanced age ; others of the family are living in the
township. Dec. 12, 1727, one Margaret Teeple pur-
chased 200 acres between the First and Second Moun-
tains, now known as Washington Valley.
The name of settlers hereafter given, south of
North Branch, located on lands purchased of Dr.
Lewis Johnston and Mary Johnston.]; The date of
J It is stated in tho Elizabeth bill of chancery that John Clawson and
Isaac Younglove woro tenants of Dr. Lewis Johnston and his Bistor
Mary, who refused togivo up tho lands. In March, 1743, a writ of eject-
purchase is not known, and the land may have passed
through other hands. In 1750 500 acres were pur-
chased by .Tolm Wortman,* â€” what is yet known aa the
old Wortman homestead.
"Tin r.! Iii an old duy-book in tlio possession of Garrett Conovor, at
I'luckamln, dated 1760, which shows that John Wortman at that date
was living here and bad a family at tho time. The original home, with
few alterations, savo repaint, now standing, is owned by David Bonn. It
It. a liHik', low, old-fashioned house.
'â€¢ Esq. Wortman was a blacksmith by trade, and at his shop the horses
Of Washington ami stall were souietimes shod. Tlioold shop was ptlllod
down a few months since. In making observations and hunting up sup-
ply w i blngtoo frequently stopped at Eeq. Wortman's liouso, ho being
i [seat v nt lubaistenoe, as were all of the Justices.
" Tin' price put ujM'ii the rebel magistrates' heads led to tho raid of Hill
Stewart during the absence of Washington's army just before the battle
hi Princeton. The liritlsb sent from New Brunswick a body of light-
horse to forage where they might and capture whom they could, bill
Stewart acting as pilot They crossed the river at Bound Book, destroy-
ing property and maltreating Womon, and movod on towards I'lueka-
niin Beaching ("apt. Isaac Van Arsdale'B houso, where Philip I. Van
Amdahl now lives, they made a halt and inquired for C'apt. Isaac, who,
aware that he Would In- wanted, had managed to hide in the bushes.
Aftor thoy were out of sight, however, he rallied all tho men of the
hood, who secreted themselves in a bollow in front of Georgo
Smith's bins,- an. I awaited tho return ol tho raiders. Tho British went
into the bouse ami treated the women in a very impudent manner. Capt
\.ui Ai bile's daughter Ida, who afterwards married Joseph Gaston and
whs the mother ol Mrs. Sarah Oonover, now living in Plnckamin, bad a
pot colt, of which she WOS very fond. This the British led away, but
the heroic girl, though ulily ill suit fi.iirtc.-ii years . ibl, lnlliiv.e.1 thein luel
] hei property. Whon tho party got into tho village of Plucka-
niln, they battered in tho doors of the church, hacked the pulpit with
their sabres, smashed in the windows, and broke tho pows tosplintors,
iiinl I i ii linn Continued their depredations through the village. Mcuh-
whilo, a part of tho gang went towards Mcllonald's Mills, whoso owner,
rumor says, helped to In Ing on the raid. Thencothoy struck for Larger
Cross-RoudB, Intending to capture sumo of tho most prominent patriots
of that neighborhood, but they bail Ibsl t.. the Wixals.
" As the day wn 1 tin- maraudors thought it best to return. Reach-
ing Cnpt. Van Ar-dale's barn, i 'apt. 1' ty, who was secreteil there, flred
hi mil ..I them mnl brought him down in the road, stray shots were
flred all along the road by parties bid in the bushes. How many of the
British wen. bit was uever (i 1 "lit, but pieces of their coats were
afterwards picked op, showing that tin- American bullets had i Is 'be
* leathers tly .' When the raiders came to the hollowwhere OaptVan
\i dais mnl his men were com ealed they wore greeted with a shower of
bnllets from the bushes,which haste 1 their retreat towards Bound
Brook. They .lid le. I Lime, tb.it in a short time the victorious army I
i.i u i hingtou would c ti tin' field "t Princeton with hundreds
of tholr men as piismiers ami confine theui within the walls of tho
Church they bad so lotoly desecrated."!
The original Wot'tiuan trad i- now owned by David
Bonn, .Inliii Schoonmaker, and the William Powelson
In 17 1 1. < ieni-o-e ami Yerrv Kir r were residents
of Bedminster, in the lower portion nt' the township,
south of t lie McDaniels property (now Kline's Mill- .
In 1766, t (eorge contributed Â£20 towards building the
Lutheran church nt Pluckamin, The name nt' Ben-
jamin only appears on the tax-list in 17^7, ami for
pes ' â– 1 1 : 1 1 property.
Cornelius Lane, of Monmouth County, a relative of
Matthias Lane, Sr., came to this township about 1766
and purchased land about the centre, north of the
i t was brought against them, but settlement was made by possession
â€¢ Ho was u native of Holland, and emigrated to this count
i Jai ih tfa| el, ol Newark Journal
i Y.i - - Roads, hut soon after sold, and Dec. 2:'.. 1769,
purchased 250 acres of Catharine McCrea, widow of
ill. Rev. James McCrea. He moved into tin- quaint
old-fashioned house built by Mr. McCrea. It stood
on the hank of the North Iiranch a short distance
east of the present house of IVti r I. am-. This house
was the birthplace of the unfortunate .'am- MeCrea,
ahont whom so much ha- heen written. The farm
extended north ami west of the North Branch, and
joined on the south the tra.i purchased by John
Wortman, and on the east by Col. William Mc-
Daniels (Kline's Mill- is on this property). Job,
tin- yoiinge-t son of Cornelius Lane, inherited the
homestead property of his father, and it is now in
possession of his son Peter. Tin- old MeCrea house
was torn down a few years earlier.
Col. William McDaniels, whose name first appears
of record in 1744, at that time w:is in possession of a
la r^'e traet of land and a saw-mill. This traet was
situated on the south hank of North Branch, and ex-
tended we8t to the farm owned a \'r\v years later by
the Rev. James McCrea. It passed afterwards to
Abraham Van djrsdale, ami was sol, I by hi- heirs to
Tunis I. Â« f nick, who about sixty years ago sold it to
Jacob Kline, whose son is now in possession.^ Many
stories have been written of the McDaniels family:
one, of the marriage of a granddaughter of the Rev.
James McCrea to a wild ami dissipated young man, a
son of Col. Mi-Daniels, known as '' I Sill." Much dis-
satisfaction on the part of the venerable pastor and
family is said to have been the result of this elope-
Col. MeDaniels was very violent and passionate,
and in a rage heat a man severely with a riding-whip
for a supposed insult to Squire Lafferty's daughter
Hnth. The man died in about three week-, but, as
the people leafed the family of MeDaniels. no means
were taken to bring the murderer to justice.
The following story has many version-, the most
popular of which is here given, with its many in
consistencies. \t a time not given, Sam McDaniels,
a reckless, quarrelsome fellow, in a drunken hunt at
Bound Brook stabbed and fatally wounded a man by
the name of Condict. The act sobered him. and he
rode hastily up the mountain road toward- home,
iiivat excitement was felt by the people, and the
murderer was arrested, tried, and condemned. The
jail was guarded by a body of men under command
of one ( 'apt. i r'Brien, a man of gigantic stature, who
knew no fear and was determined to hold his prisoner
at all hazards. Other mean- were resorted to to save
him from the gallows. A reprieve was forged, and
on tin- day appointed for execution it was sent t" the
sheriff, who, doubting the genuineness of the reprieve,
sent it by messenger to Mr. Frelinghuysen, at Mill-
the asseaament roll of 17s.
the lt.-v. William
. T tin- church at N.w lb im.itil.-w n and Piuckamln.
SOMERSET COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.
stone, who declared the reprieve a forgery, and, tak-
ing the responsibility, ordered the execution to pro-
ceed. The messenger returned in haste, arriving at
twelve o'clock, the hour appointed for the execu-
tion. The culprit was led to the gallows by Sheriff
Vredenburgh, and soon his lifeless body was dangling
from the beam. It is said that Col. McDaniels and
Ruth Lafferty (the mother of the young man) were
seated in a carriage on the mountain road and wit-
nessed the execution. This is the current version of
the affair, but another statement is to the effect that
Sam was a negro belonging to a McDonald, and still
another that he was a son of a McDonald (not Mc-
WEST OF TEEPLB AND REEMER, NORTH OF " THE DUCHESS."
Leonard Streight, or Streit, lived in 1756 on the
property now owned by Jacob Powelson. Mr. Streight
remained in the township until after 1774. May 29,
1766, he sold 260 acres to Jacob Van Derveer, who,
on the 1st of May next, sold to John Powelson.
This family was originally from Norway, but re-
moved to Holland some years before any of the name
came to this country. Capt. Jacob Powelson, the
grandfather of John, came to New Jersey in 1640.
The family was numerous and became scattered, John
coming north to this township. He had ten children,
â€” John, who died in 1788; Cornelius, who married
Catharine Sutphin and settled near Peapack ;f Abra-
ham, who settled on the homestead where his son,
Jacob V. D. Powelson, now resides;! Hendrick, who
settled first on the east end of the original farm, but
a few years after sold to his brother Mannah and re-
moved to Washington Valley. In 1787, John Pow-
elson owned 100 acres; Cornelius, 210 ; Mannah, 50 ;
Abraham, 235 ; Henry, 105 acres.
Charles Duryea and John Colshee settled north-
west ;of Mr. Powelson as early as 1755, the latter in
1767 owning land at the junction of North Branch
and Lamington. One Peter Colshee in 1787 owned
142 acres. None of either families remain.
The name of Eoff has been connected with the his-
tory of the township as far back as any information
* A careful and exhaustive examination of the record of the Court of
Quarter Scsoious of Somerset County from 1783 to 1814 reveals the fact
the year 1786, amoug the indict-
i that of
Sur felony "
that in" the January term of court i:
ments brought in by the Grand Jury v
" The State of
Samuel McDonald. J
The records do not show that this case was ever brought to trial, al-
though they do show that in 1788 three negroesâ€” Dine, Sam the elder,
and Sam the younger â€” were indicted for arson, tried, convicted, and sen-
tenced to be executed. Theodore Frelinghuyson was attorney-general
of the State of New Jersey from 1817 to 1829 only, as is shown by the
" Legislative Manual." Mr. Vredenburgh was sheriff for 1847-48. It is
singular that a case which created such intenso excitement should not
appear on tho records of the criminal courts of the county, if sentence
and execution resulted, as indicated by tho above popular tradition.
t Ho was an elder in Bedminster Church. Tho proporty on which he
settled is in other hands, and his descendants are in tho West.
X The old house is still standing.
of it can he obtained. Jacob Eoff, a native of Hol-
land, purchased (some time before 1766) of Dr. Lewis
and Mary Johnston a tract of 500 acres, embracing the
site of the present village of Pluckamin and extend-
ing eastward to the top of " Pigtown Mountain." The
old Eoff tavern, the centre of attraction in early days,
was built by him and remained standing until about
1814. His sons were Cornelius, Jacob, Robert, Garry,
and Christian ; his daughters were Mary, afterwards
the wife of Capt. Abram Van Arsdale, and the wife
of Capt. Samuel "Bullion" (Boylan). Cornelius was
in the Revolutionary army, and settled north of Pluck-
amin, on the road to Van Derveer's Mills. He had
several children. John, Cornelius, and Archibald
removed to the West. Richard married, but had no
children. He owned a farm in the valley, now
owned by James Hunter. Garry moved to New
York, and died there. Christian remained on the
homestead, and in 1791 commenced keeping tavern.?
His daughter married William I. Hedges, later of
Somerville. Jane, a daughter of Cornelius, married
Capt. John Van Zandt, who was captain of the ship
"Flora," sailing from New York to West Indies. In
the last trip he intended to make he was attacked
with the yellow fever and died in the tropics. John
Van Zandt, of Somerville, is a son. On a part of the
old Eoff farm, a few years ago, there were the ruins of
stone huts built by the soldiers in the Revolution.
The family of Eoff in this section is extinct. A de-
scendant bearing the name is living in New York
William Gaston was a grandson of Joseph, who
emigrated to this country from Ireland in 1720. He
married Naomi, daughter of John and Margaret
Teeple. He was a harness-maker, and had a shop
between the present store and tavern. His house was
a little west of the village, where a grandson, Robert,
now owns. His children were all born there. John
W. remained in Pluckamin, and was in business;
William removed to the South, where he obtained
great wealth as a cotton merchant. Daniel Gaston,
now of Somerville, was a son.
Abraham Brown in 1787, as per assessment-roll,
owned ten acres of land near Pluckamin, and later
was the possessor of a large tract east of the McDan-
iel's farm, north and west of the village. Elias Brown,
long a justice of the peace, was a son. J. Mehelm
Brown, a grandson, now occupies a part of the farm
which Abraham purchased.
The common ancestor of the Van Arsdale family
in this country was " Symen Jansen Van Arsdalen,"
who emigrated in 1633. His descendants are mostly
in New Jersey, and settled in or near Millstone and
Bridgewater, where they were as early as 1750, and in
1756 one Hendrick Van Arsdalen was a subscriber to
I All licenses for keeping tavern having previously boon in the namo
of Jacob Eoff. About this time the old tavern was discontinued, a new
one having been built on tho site of tho present one, in which Christian
was the landlord for many years.
(In- Lutheran Cluircli. In I7S7, Philip Van Ars-
<l:il. ii owned lit acres; Henry, - 1 '; William II., 00.
At a later ilate Aliraliain \'an Arsdale, who married
a daughter of Jacob Eoff, purchased the mill prop-
ertj ofMcDaniels (now Kline's Mills), and built the
house in which Mr. Jacob Kline now lives.
John and Matice Appleman were residents in this
seetion in 1756, and were still here in 177:;. Their
name- do nut appear later.
Bryan Lafferty, Esq., was buried in the Lamington
churchyard in 1710, a"v.| -i \t \ -four. A | mi ..I'
the same name is mentioned in a road record of 1 755
as Justice Lofl'erty. He lived at Pluekamin, ami
owned property mirth of Chambers' or Lafferty's
Brook and wesl of the road running to Peapack,
which was laid out prim- to 1774. He was a noted
Tory in the Revolution, bul continued as justice of
the peace till about 17sii. I a the next year the prop-
erly, consisting uf 1 17 acres, jâ€ž .,-..,. .â€ž,| |,, " \| ,-^ laf-
ferty." It was sohl about l.soo to John Davenport.
In the charter of the township of Bridgewater
(1749), the mirth line is "down the said gap to
Chambers' Brook l>\ McDonald's Mill, thence down
sail I Brook to tin- North Branch." The books of John
Boylan in 1773 giv( the names of Col. William Mc-
Donald ami a sun Richard, probably the Maj. Rich-
ard McDonald of later days. The old mill mentioned
above Stood up the ravine of ( 'ham hers' Brook, a short
distance above where the road from Somervillc to
Pluekamin crosses the brook; the property in 1787
consisted of 470 acres. Maj. Richard was an influ-
ential man in both town and county; his son, George
McDonald, became a noted lawyer at Somervillc.
The earliest record found of the Traphageu family
i- I?s7. David Traphageu owned Km acres north of
the Elias (or Dr. Henry ) Vim Derveer property. It
is situated east of North Branch, at the foot of the
Second .Mountain. In 1800, Ruloff Traphageu was
in possession. John Davenport, of Pluekamin, mar-
ried Margaret, Ruloff's daughter, for his firs) wile.
The old family mansion was destroyed by fire Oct. 16,
1880; Patrick Moore now owns the farm.
Thai portion of the Van Derveere who settled inlicd-
minstei was a branch of tin' family who early settled
on the Raritan. Jacobus was a -on ,,t' Jacobus ; the
time of his purchase in Bedminster is not known.
His name is found in the subscription li-i of the St.
Paul's Church, at Pluekamin, in 1766. He pur-
chased a large tract north of North Branch, on the
Axtell tract, also land south of the Branch in 1767
thai he afterwards sold to .lohn Powclson. The place
of his residence was in the plot of lido acres south of
the Lesser Cross-Roads. In 17"'S the property on
â€¢ Tho following to from the court record r> of Col.
Mi e uulil, wiu hulicl.'il o, t. ... 177>, i>>i lut >-. Ho iiirnii guilty, uuil
It vrai" ordered thai ba raoalYa, i otwwn Ibi noun o( l and 3 o'clock
tliin aftarno '.!'> lushes on tho bare bnek, nud on Honda? ncxl the lik"
nnmbar,at Pluokamin, betwoan tha boon of i and 8 r.n., and Tony,
negro of John Phoalx, tho Ukt in all things,"
which the I'.edmiu-ier church now stands was do-
nated by him. lie had three children, â€” Mary, Von
Stoy, and Jacob. The homestead of Jacobus is now
owned by Henry Ludlow, the north part by John
Whitenack, the south by Peter W. Melick.
Elias Van Derveer, a brother of Jacobus and father
of Dr. Henry, settled, much later than his brother,
on the land he left to his son Henry. He died in
177s, aged thirty-three. Dr. Il>nr_\ Van Derveerf
and Phebe Van Derveer were the only children. A
large property reverted to them, on which they lived
and died. The family mansion is still standing, and
owned by John F. Van Derveer; the north part of the