James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 101 of 190)
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the superintendence of C. R. Gordon.

The earliest interment that occurred within the
limits of the township, so far as known, was that of
the elder William Beamer, who was buried upon the
boundaries of his own farm, on land adjacent to the
present village of Branchville. The date of this in-



torment is not known, ;unl can In- only a nnittiT of
conjecture. It is at least one hundred and fifty years,
and probably much longer, since William Beamer's
labors as the earliest pioneer in Frankford ended.

The oldest cemetery in the township is that located
On Frankford Plains, opposite the site of the Methodist
Episcopal church. It is very advantageously located,
and has been neatly inclosed by a substantial stone
wall. Inviting shade-trees adorn its numerous walks,
and many beautiful memorial stones evince the tender
regard of the living for those who have "gone be-
fore." The oldest burials are said to have no stone
to indicate their presence. Among the earliest in-
scriptions are the following:

"In memory of father, wife of John Oustin, who departed this life
August 2Mh, 177a, in the twenty-sixth year of her age.
"Oropt like a dower,

8ho withered in her bloom,
Though flattering life
Had promised yean* to come."
■ In memory of Samuel Price, who departed this life in the year 17''.s,
nly-tllth year .if hie age."

" Mere lien the Iswly of Philip Snook, v. ho .1 as.-.l this life February

26th, 1773, aged fifty- throe years."

" hi memory of Abigail, wife of Robert Price, who departed this life
Deccmbor 3rd, 1773, in the thirty-fifth year of her ago."

"In memory of John Price, who died on the 30th of October, 1820, aged
fifty-four years, Ave months, and live duyB."

"Hero lies Maasoy, wire of Lc»l Lewis, whodled March Slat, 1786, In
the forty-fourth year of her ago."

" In memory of Catharine, wife of John Hewitt, who died on the 20th
.f September, lHor,, aged si\ty-tive yearn.

" My husband dear, I am entile her.'
Ahuie. with you to rest

I nlil the tr pet's glorious sound,

When we shall leave this hallowed ground
To dwell ai If; the blest-''

" In momory of Francis Price, Jr., son of Francis and Ester Price, who
departed this life December lHlh, 17s.'., aged twelve years."

"In momory of John Dewitr, who departed this life March loth, lsoi,
aged seventy-two years, live months, and twenty-two days.

"Our aged fri I is gone, we know:

He's paid the debt we all do owe ;
Therefore, whoe'er these bios may read,
Prepare to meet your Ood with speed "


This burial-place issitmtted on an eminence beyond
She site of the now decayed hamlet of Augusta, and
is probabl] at least one hundred years old. At the
same point once stood a Baptist church which waa
tlourishing at the time it was erected, and for years

after, but was long since abandoned ami the building
removed or destroyed. The cemetery antedates the

history of this church, and is principally identified
with interments by the Sirnlilc and Morris families,

It is still need to a limited extent, and the residents
of the vicinitj whose dead Bleep within its limits have
taken means to guard it from intrusion.

TIIK UNION illi BCD Hi EU ii.-ruci:.

An aninclosed burial-ground surrounded the old
Union church" at Branch ville; as nearly as can be

tlctcrmincd.it was first used about 1800. Over the

graves originally stood memorial-stone-. I ofwhich

have yielded to the ravages of time or lorn ruthlessly
destroyed by BacrilegioUS hands. It is probable that

the individuals who gave the site for the church also
bestowed the ground for burial purposes. The fol-
lowing epitaphs an- the only ones that remained un-
impaired :

" In memory of Hannah, wife of Job Cosad, who died March 2nd, 1816,

In tho eighty adyoau t herage.

" Loom on , .eel yon may -••■-.

Al I am now so you must b<- "
"In memory of Hannah, wife of John Klli.-tt, who died September
20th, 1813, age. I thirty-five years, seven months, and sixteen days. A good
wife, a kind mother, and obedient child."
"Sacred to the memory of Mr. John Klliott, who departed this life No-
14th, lJvia, ae.e-1 lift; -■ months, and twenty-six

days.* 1

This association was organized under an act of the
State Legislature passed March 14. 1X.~>1, and the pro-
ceedings of the meeting held for the purpose of incor-
poration were officially recorded .Ian. .".0, 1 -o-.

At this meeting it was determined thai a board of

nine trustees should be elected, and tin- following

gentlemen were chosen :

First Class.— Squire Dslrymplo, Israel Mi Danohls, Martin It. Breritt,
.sve,„ei fl„.. Nathan B. Roe, 1 Irgll H. Crlsman, John
Tlnr.l Clou.— William HoDanolda, .1. I.. Kv.riti. s. II. SUvera.

Judge William McDanolds was chosen president of
the association, and John L. Kveritt secretary and

A committee was appointed to make an examination
of grounds adjacent t<> liranehvillc with reference to
the selection of tin advantageous site for the cemetery.
Their report recommended the purchase of land on
the (arm of Nathaniel Roe, and lying near what are

known as the " < lalamus Bocks." With a view to the
picturesque location of the latter point, they also
rei imended that a portion of it be included in the


i )n i tat 17, 1868, the business details with Mr. Roe
were consummated, and a deed was given by him for
14 acres, which included a tract of :\ acres embracing
the " Calamus Rocks." The ground thus secured was
dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, Dec. 17. lNliK.
A set of by-laws was then adopted by the association,
which were printed and generally distributed. An

executive committee was also appointed, consisting of

the president, Squire Dalrymple, and Martin R. Bver-
itt. The price fixed by the trustees for lot- was ten
and fifteen cents per square foot, to be governed by

location, and this was t,, |„. modified on the applica-
tion of poor persons who desired ground within the
limit- of the cemetery.

A mat structure has been erected ai the entrance
for the accommodation of visitors and the convenience
of the sexton, and a ragged hedge forms a picturesque
inelosure around the grounds.

There are in addition two private burial-places in

the township; they have for years been maintained
by a few of its older families, and arc -till used by

the later generations of these families.




Very few facts regarding the early settlement of
the village of Branchville have heen preserved. It
is conceded, however, that the pioneers to this spot
were of German nationality, and that William Bea-
mer, as early as 1690, was the first to discover the
superior advantages the locality afforded. Very little
is known of Mr. Beamer.

Mr. Beamer, on his death, was buried upon land
adjacent to the village of Branchville, where, after
a peaceful slumber of a century and a half, his bones
were recently exhumed. With him came from his
native land a son John, who had a family of five sons.
The eldest, William Beamer, Sr., was born July 10,
1769, and was married, June 20, 1793, to Mary Kan-
auf. They had six children, — Margaret, John W.,
Elizabeth, William, Jacob, and Catherine. Of this
family of children the only survivor in the township
is Catherine, now Mrs. Peter Williams. William
Beamer, her brother, resides in Ohio. Two sons of
John W. Beamer — David C. and Charles L. — still
reside in the township.

No indication of the future progress of Branchville
was apparent during the lifetime of the elder Beamer.
In 1793 the property was acquired by James Hagerty,
whose presence gave an impulse to its later growth.
The following facts regarding the Hagerty family are
gleaned from a descendant now residing in the town-

The progenitor of the branch of the family identi-
fied with Frankford was Patrick Hagerty, who emi-
grated from Ireland in 1750 and located at the point
known as Papakating. With him came his brother
Hugh, who found a congenial field of labor at Au-
gusta, where he settled. To the former were born two
sons, — Patrick and James, — the first of whom died in
New York, while James removed during the Revo-
lutionary war to Goshen, N. Y., where he embarked
in mercantile ventures. His steps were later directed
to New Jersey, and, having removed to Branchville,
he purchased, in 1793, as above stated, 1000 acres of
the land originally acquired by William Beamer.

Mr. Hagerty was a man of enterprise and business
capacity, and at once actively engaged in business
ventures. He built a grist-mill, a rye-distillery, and
a fulling-mill, all of which he successfully conducted.

Mr. Hagerty retained the property during his life-
time, and died, as nearly as can be determined, in
1812, having by his capital and energy already made
the spot on which he settled a considerable business
centre. Of his children, one son, Uzal C, and four
daughters survived. The son inherited the Branch-
ville property, which also embraced several adjoining
farms. Uzal C. Hagerty having been elected sheriff
of Sussex County, removed to Newton during his offi-
cial term, and there died. Each of the daughters of
James Hagerty was comfortably established upon a
farm inherited from her father. Tliey all married in

Branchville, but the only descendants of this vener-
able gentleman now living in the township are Mrs.
John Bray, the daughter of Mary (Mrs. Jacob L.
Struble), and a brother, Canfield Struble.

Hugh Hagerty, the brother of James, before men-
tioned as having settled at Augusta, where he pur-
chased a farm, left five sons and two daughters. Of
these children, John only remained in the township
and settled at Papakating. The homestead was di-
vided, and ultimately sold by the heirs to Col. John

The direct descendants of Hugh Hagerty now in
the township are James R.,the son of James S. Hag-
erty, and John Bray, son of Mary, who married Abram

Uzal C. Hagerty retained the ownership of the
Branchville property for a series of years, finally dis-
posing of the land to Judge John Bell, Samuel Price,,
and Joseph Stoll. With their advent began an era
of prosperity for the hamlet, and its early growth
may be spoken of as identical with this period. The
property was by these gentlemen divided into lots and
tracts, and settlers, attracted by the impulse thus
given to the development of the locality, purchased
and built houses for themselves.

Various names were given to the embryo village,,
as pleased the individual fancy of the inhabitants.
About 1821, Mr. Samuel Bishop, the aspiring peda-
gogue of the district, christened it by its present ap-
pellation, — Branchville. What first attracted him to-
this name is not related by the older settlers. That
it possessed for him peculiar charms is demonstrated
by the fact that on emigrating later to the genial
climate of the South, Mr. Bishop bestowed the same
name upon a little hamlet in South Carolina, which
has since outstripped its forerunner in the rapidity of
its growth.

A hotel was soon opened by John Johnson, Esq.,
more familiarly known as "Farmer Johnson," one of
the pioneer hosts of the township; and mercantile
enterprise found an exponent in Dr. John Beach, who
came to the place about 1800, having married a daugh-
ter of James Hagerty. He established himself in the
practice of his profession on his arrival, but, not having
found the field a lucrative one, repaired to Hacketts-
town. Having there met with reverses through dis-
asters by fire, he returned again to Branchville and
opened a general store, Mr. Hagerty having erected a
building for his use. Mrs. Beach was the agile clerk
of the establishment, and assisted him greatly in
business. The doctor later built a forge, located
opposite the present hotel of George J. Bowman, and
also a grist-mill, near the site of the present residence
of William H. Bell. The store first occupied by Dr.
Beach was long since converted into a dwelling.

The advantages of Branchville as a business centre
were apparent to the settlers, who were not slow to
take advantage of them. Still, little advancement
was made, and the village awaited the impulse that


Charles Crisman, bom in Germany, Sept. 9, 1749, emigrated
to America and settled in Warren County about the year 1770.
He resided in the township of Knowlton, was a blacksmith,
and resided on the property now owned by his grandson, Mor-
ris Crisman, son of Isaac. His wife, Mary Kimball, born in
Germany in 1755, whom he married Feb. 17, 1779, died Dee.
24, 1823; he died July 30, 1817. They had five children,-^-
Isaac, Jonas, Jacob, Margaret H. (wife of William Hankerson,
an early merchant of Blairstown), and Ann.

Of these children, Jacob, father of our subject, born Aug. 25,
1788, married Margaret, daughter of Gen. Hill, of Knowlton.
She was born May 27, 1789, and died March 31, 1860. Their
children were John H. ; Charles L., of San Francisco, Cal. ;
Mary Anne, wife of Joseph Clark, of Elizabeth, N. J. ; Gideon
L., served in the late Rebellion, was killed at the battle of Cold
Harbor, and there buried ; Margaret H. (twin of Gideon L.),
wife of ex-Sheriff Samuel H. Lauterman, of Oxford; "Virgil
H.; and Jonas, of Paulina, Warren Co.

Jacob Crismnn was a carpenter and millwright, and followed
this business during the latter part of his life. He inherited a
part of the homestead; afterwards resided at Marksboro', War-
ren Co., and at Elizabeth, N. J. Ho was killed at Paulina by
the bursting of a cannon while celebrating the election of Gen.
Harrison, Dee. 12, 1810. A piece of the cannon was plowed
up in 1880 by Theodore Cornell, of that place, and is now in
possession of the subject of this sketch.

Virgil H. Crisman, son of Jacob, was born July 17, 1828, and
married, Nov. 13, 1852, Sarah E., daughter of Tunis and Anna
Tunison, of Stillwater; she was born May 3, 1830. Their chil-
dren are Anna M. (wife of Charles F. Strublo, a merchant at
Newton), Charles H., Ellen G., Martha I., Emma E., George
T., Ormento, and Isabella.

During his boyhood Mr. Crisman reeeived only a common-
school education, and at tho age of fourtocn years began serving
an apprenticeship in learning the milling business with Wil-
liam Drake, of Blairstown. Ho had obtained tho rudiments of
the trade of a millwright from his father, and quite naturally
learned this businesB. Here he continued for throe years, and

for six years following he ran the Shaver mill at Stillwater on
shares. He had very little pecuniary assistance from any
source in starting out in life, but by this time, by economy and
strict attention to business, he had saved enough for a start. In
the spring of 1855 he came to Branchville, Frankford town-
ship, and purchased the flouring-mill of the MoDanolds estate,
consisting of three run of stone. This ho carried on until
1868, when he erected his present mill, of four run of stone
and large accommodations for storing grain, near the site of
the other, which he continues to carry on. In 1876 he pur-
chased a second grist-mill at Branchville, of William Sly and
Robert H. Beatty, which he has since run, and in 1881 controls
the milling interest at that place. His mills are supplied with
water by the outlet of Culver's Lake, a part of which he pur-
chased when he first settled at Branchville; the remainder,
since. This outlet is about one and a half miles from the vil-
lage, and a second lake, nine feet above the other, from which
the water flows into the first, is situated about three and a half
miles from the village of Branchville. It is aftirmed that at a
little cost this water-power could be made to furnish equal to
sixty horse-power for ten hours a day, through a severe drought,
and would be one of the finest water-powers to be found any-
where in the State.

On Feb. 5, 1881, Mr. Crisman, with others, purohased an
interest in Culver's Lake. His life-long business has been
milling, and his familiarity with the business and thoroughness
in manufacturing flour have made his name familiarly associ-
ated with the best quality of flour, and especially buckwheat

Mr. Crisman is a man of great energy and practical ideas,
and whatever he undertakes or conceives to be right he carries
forward to a successful completion. In matters of a local nature
he is over ready to do his part, and promptly aids all worthy
objects. Politically he is a Republican, but has sought moro
the quiet of business pursuits than the bickerings of political
strife Ho is a director in tho Sussex National Bank, at New-
ton, and ranks among the sound finanoial business men of
Sussex County.



should quicken into activity and life the dormant
possibilities of the place. This came at length in the
Sussex Railroad, which was projected, and by the aid
of its inhabitants completed. This brought new
capital to the place, and greatly increased it- oppor-
tunities for business enterprise.

Improvements followed rapidly, and extensive tracts
were devoted to purposes of building. Streets "ere
opened in various directions, and the place speedily

doubled its area, the advance of a lew \ ears Car cclip—
ing the growth of the previous balf-century. As
early as 1*4) it contained three Houring-mills, two
Maw-mills, one cloth-dyeing and dressing establish-
ment, one carriage-factory, two cabinet-making estab-
lishments, ( harness-shop, one cooper, two weavers,

two blacksmiths, two taverns, an academy, a church,

and thirty-two dwelling-houses.

The population at this time numbered 200; in 1871
it exceeded lint), and was still increasing. The fol-
lowing extract from one of the hading county papers
indicates the advance made previous to the year
abo\ e mentioned :

" llniuil Street, lew lie lui-.. I ;ui'l litest in Hie |.|ii' .-, Ii.-ejiiiiin- ;tt

the oDJtiieai centre "f the old town, crossing the railroad near the d.-(>..t,

itinl .-\temlilie. t'i 111-' lv, i,l, ic -■ -I \|. Humid It ■■■-. V->\., li:e- been .iJ-L-tt.nl

slitco tlio prqJecUon of tin- railroad, and every building thereoD — twenty

in number, iiiclmllng three .-it..r. - lt.ni.-.-s itn-l - lit.tel — orectetl since

Unit time. On this street Capfc X. K. Dmy lnu- in conrse of erection a
frame tlwclliiiy-hi.ti.st-, and "ill -'"it begin another, while Mr. Alexander
Bongh tutu in progress a large building Intended its a Bash-and-blind

i i on Street, running noi thwest from DunnlDg 1 sstore,on the rood
lea-ling towanla Culver's Lake, hits been improved by the remotleling
a ml enlarging of several dwellings ami tho erection of a blackBmlth- ami

" Wantage Avemie, together with the new Btreots, has been groatly

Improved, forty new bilthlhigH having been orectetl -in- e tilt- - . .iniii- te . -

mt-tit of tin- Sussex fliiili-'ii-l exlciisimi t-i Itrrtiielivillc. All these struc-

ire substantially built, uttil in tlio latest stylo of architecture."

The present condition of Branchville, as contrasted

with the period above described, does not indicate a
marked advance. Like many places, which from some
special circumstance have received a sudden impulse,
a reaction followed, ami for the past quarter of a cen-
tury there has been no advent of capitalist- to the

place, and consequently no development of its com-
mercial resources. The population has remained the

same, fluctuating but little, ami the general bii-im 8S

of the village shows no increase, mile - it be in its
more extended milling interests. Its fine water-power

remains yet to be fully developed. With the ample

resources supplied from the two beautiful lake- of the

township, the capacity of this power cannot easily be

estimated, and only tin- presence of capital is needed

to make Ihaiichvillc one of (he must flourishing in-
dustrial centres of the State.


The little hamlel of lugusta, located upon the east

branch of the 1'aulinskill, was once the centre of

commercial interest for the town-hip. The earliest
settler to develop it- advantages was Bugh Hagerty,
who came about 1760 and located on land, which he cul-

tivated, and upon which he re-ided until his death. It
was later Bold by the heirs to Col. John tin-tin, who
al-'i i urehased the property formerly owned by John
Stoll. The (lustin family conducted extensive busi-
ness interests at this point, the colonel having been a
man of intelligence and influence. In politics he was
the autocrat of the neighborhood, ami exercised an
imperious sway over hi- followers.

A post-oflice wa- early established here, with the

colonel a- postmaster, and a tavern offered hospitality

to traveler- very soon after mercantile enterprise
■ law ned upon the hamlet, the I rUBtin family being Un-
popular landlords. It was later purchased by Ahrain

Bray, who rendered it famous as a drovers' resort.

In 1812, Obadiah Pellet, together with a partner,
opened a Btore. Benjamin Curry at a later dale em-
barked in trade, and was followed bj Joseph M. Brown
ami William Crow. John Braj in 1835 purchased the

interest of the latter, ami became proprietor.

A fulling-mill was successfully managed during the
career of Col. (lustin, ami an ashery is also remem-
bered by early residents. Novestige of former enter-
prise is now seen in the hamlet. The last sanguine
exponent of commercial enterprise long since closed
his doors, ami a post-ollice, with William M. < 'ramor
as postmaster, is the only reminiscence 'if it- early



The name may with I v propriety be applied to a

district on the east line of the township. It embraces
a portion of the most beautiful valley in Frankford,
ami was one of the earliest to be improved. A postal
station has been established here, with Stephen .1.
Pellet as postmaster.

This is the designation of a locality in the township
settled In the Wykcr family. It is situated on the
Papakating stream, and was an early postal station,
with Philip Wykcr as the postmaster.

X .— V R ES E NT M A X V K A ( ' T V K I N G .

' KI-MAVS t'MIt niMi.Mii.i.s.

The oldest of these mill- wa- built in 1845, at.
Branchville, by John Hell, ami thrive- it- power from

the stream generally known a- the outlet of t 'nlvei's
Lake. He Conducted it successfully until his death,
w hen the property came into possession ofhis -tin, Wil-
liam II. Bell, from whom it passed into 1 he hand- of sev-
eral parties in succession, and was finally purchased,

in 1876, by the prc-enl owner. It was built with
three run of Btone, and has a capacity of 20,C00 bush-
el- per year.

Mr. Crisman, in ].%*, built a larger mill on the
-aim- stream; il is located about lion feet below the

former one, and is equipped with four run of Btone.

It has a capacity of 50,000 bu-hel- per ) car.

The grain consumed by tin -e mill- is principally
tin- product of Sussex County lands, ami the market,
for the Hour i- found in Newark. Morristown, New



York, and the West. It is shipped mainly in sacks,
the demand being greater thus than in larger pack-

These mills have established a reputation for the
excellence of the buckwheat flour they produce, the
West affording a considerable market.


The manufacturing interest of Mr. Chamberlain
embraces a flouring-mill, a saw-mill, and a distillery,
each of which, when run to its utmost capacity, does
a considerable business. The former has three run
of stone and supplies a local trade. The distillery
manufactures apple brandy, for which the demand
is unlimited.


This site was first occupied by James Hagerty, who
erected a fulling-mill at Branchville, which he con-
ducted for many years, and which was finally pur-
chased by Joseph Stoll and Samuel Price. They
rebuilt the structure and converted it into a finish-

William H. Bell later came into possession of the
property, which he remodeled and equipped as a
woolen-mill. It was by him leased to Joseph Hague,
the present controller of the mills. They are run by
water-power and are furnished with twenty-eight
looms. At present the mills are not running at their
full capacity, having but twenty-five workmen em-
ployed, while the estimated force when operated to
their utmost limit is one hundred and twenty-five.
They are at present manufacturing a coarse quality
of blankets, though a finer fabric made by the same
looms is also produced. The market is found princi-

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 101 of 190)