James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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Pierson; 1852-53, Rev. W. H. Megie; 1853-56, Rev. Daniel Higbie;
1856-63, Rev. Livingston Millard ; 1803-70, Rev. F. E. M. Bachelor;
1S70-71, Rev. R. S. Feagles ; 1871-75, Rev. W. B. McKee ; 1S75-78]
Rev. J. S. Hanna.

In March, 1878, Rev. Thomas' Tyack, the present
pastor, began his labors.

The church is now attached to the Presbytery of
Newton, and the Session is composed of Elders Job
Cory, F. C. Easton, F. W. Rochelle, and William
Riddle. The Sunday-school, which is in charge of
F. C. Easton, has a corps of seven teachers and an
average attendance of 60.


Although Presbyterian Church services have been
held at Ogdensburg with greater or less regularity for
fifty years or more, there has at no time been a
church organization, nor is there at this time. At
present, Ogdensburg church affairs are governed by
the Session of the Sparta Church, of which the Ogdens-
burg Church is now simply a branch.

The edifice at Ogdensburg was begun Aug. 19, 1879,
and dedicated Dec. 15, 1880. Mr. John George do-
nated the land upon which it stands, and agreed to
obtain subscriptions to the amount of $500, con-
ditioned that the church should not be dedicated
until fully paid for. The conditions were fulfilled,
and the dedication took place as recorded. Aside
from volunteer labor, which amounted to considera-
ble, the building cost, completed, $2400.

The trustees for 18S0 were J. D. Leiiterman, Sam-
uel R. George, William Riddle, J. B. Happaugh,
Reuben Stidworthy, James Stidworthy, and A. M.
Holden. Rev. Thomas Tyack, pastor of the Sparta
Church, preaches once a week at Ogdensburg.

The Sunday-school has an attendance of about 75.
The superintendent is-William Riddle.


In 1822, when Stephen Lyon and his wife became
residents of Sparta village, there were in the village

Juno 2, 1780 ; died April 10, 1802. The Rov. Albert Barnes remarked of
him I bat ho knew "of no minister whoso walk and labor and u
boon so admirable as those of Dr. King, of Rockaway."



or near it, according to Mrs. Lyon's recollection, but
three members of the Methodist Church besides her-
self. They were Ziba Nichols (who worked in one
of the village forges) and the wives of James and

John Geroloman. fanners near by. She thinly the

first attempt to hold Methodisl Church services with
any -how of regularity was not made until ls:!u,
when the minister living al Snufltown came over and
Organized a class in the village school-house. The
names of the constituent members of that class can-
not now I"- recalled, bul it is known thai Ziba Nichols
was the leader, and that until his death, in the spring
of 1880, at the age of eighty-four, he remained con-
tinuously a member of the organization. Mrs. Lynn,
who was one of the constituent members, i- still a
communicant, and the oldest. Eer class connection
covers a period of fifty years.

After the class organization, in 1880, preaching was
successfully maintained al regularly Btated periods in
spite of many drawbacks. For some reas t ex-
actly dear, the Methodists were after a while denied
the use nl' the school-house, ami lor a time they had
to meet in dwellings and an old storehouse. Never-
theless, they flourished, and in l s :!7 found themselves
able to build a church, which they placed upon a
site opposite where Jacob Timbrel's blacksmith-shop
now stands.

At that time Rev. Sedgwick Ruslingwas the pas-
tor. Before him, Rev. Mr. Eebener was in charge,
and, being doubtless compelled to economize, he
journeyed on fool over his circuit, which covered a
great extent of territory.

Lfter serving until 1868, the old church was re-
placed by the present structure, and in that year a
churchyard was laid out. The church property, in-
cluding a parsonage, cosl about $8000, and upon it
there rests an indebtedness of s2800.

Since 1 s 7 : • , iiev. A. I.. Wilson lias been the pastor.
The membership i- about LOO. The class-leader is
S. M. Fisher, and the church trustees B. M. Fisher,
Ho* Delaney, G. B. Fisher, S. Truax, S. B. Fisher,
< . SIcCormick, and C. Sanford. in the Sunday -si
of which II. B. Strait is superintendent, the average
attendance is 50.

'There Is at Ogdensburg a small Methodisl Episco-
pal class of about .", imbers. Rev. John Burrell

is the pastor and class-leader. Service- are held
each Sunday.

vii. i:i RIAL im

There arc in Sparta Ivvo public burial-place-, both

located at the village of Sparta. The Methodist
churchyard was laid out in 1868. The graveyard at
the Presbyterian church contains a tablet to the
memory of Robert Ogden, who died I7n. Burials

were probably made in the yard before that year, but

do stones now record the fact. The Robert Ogden

name. I was the lather of Robert and l'.lia- I

large landowners and settlers in Sparta township
about 1766. The inscription on the tablet reads:

u lu manor? of ' lied January, 1787, aged

seventy. In public life, both I" Church ami State, he Ailed man; im-
portanl offlcea with ability and dlgnltj. In l>i* private business he was
uprjght t emlnently useful, and diligent. He a ; immane,

r, hospitable aud get faithful, Indulgent,

and tender husband and i ;e.-nt. and, above all, las life and conversation
Irom lu* youth m be* omlng. A professor of religion and ;i believer In
the name of the bit seed Jeans."

Among the oldest inscriptions to be found in the
yard are the following: Mrs. Phoebe Ogden, widow
of the late Robert Ogden, died Dec. 22, 1796
seventy-six; Hannah, daughter to the foregoing, died
Nov. 1, 17s;t; Emanuel Newman, Nov. A, 1 7 ' '-"■ : Anna,
his wile, ()ci. it. L819, aged seventy-eight; Jepthah
Byram, June 9, 1807: Benjamin Chamberlain, Nov.
29, 1816; Hannah Piatt, daughter of Dr. Zophar
Piatt, and wife of Robert Ogden, I'.sq., serjeant-at-
law, May 7, 1812 ; Maj. Elias Ogden, born 1763, and
died March 81, 1805; .Mary, hi- wile, died Mav l:>.
1805; Richard Van Kirk, March 2, 1803; Thomas
Van Kirk, Nov. 2, 1802 ; Richard Dickson, ••husband

- rah Dickson," duly 1, 1805; Polly, wife of Wait
Munson, Sept. 29, 1813; Cyrus Condict, Oct. 27, 1818;
Joseph Hurd, Jr., Sept. 10, 1814; Louisa Elizabeth
Hurd, Aug. 6, 1817; Elizabeth, wife of Thomas
Van Kirk. An-. 27, 1818; William Corwin, Sept. 30,
1821; Stephen Hurd, Jr., Nov. 29, 1822; John C.
Hurd, Nov. 80, 1821 : Eunice Hayward, March 14.
1825; Han Hurd. Esq., March 29, 1835 ; Byram Pit-
ney, Aug. 28, 1827 ; Robert Ogden, born at Elizabeth-
town, 1746, died Feb. I t. 1826.

A broad tablet sets forth that it perpetuate- the
memory of < (liver < Ireen, A.I!., " who was the son of
Oliver Green, of Ashburnham, England, and a licen-
tiate of the South Worcester Association, Mass. He
graduated at Dartmouth College, Aug. 2i>. IS117. and
died at the house of Robert Ogden, in Sparta. May
24, 1810."


Settlements were made at the village of Sparta be-
fore the Revolutionary war, and as early as 1770 so
some authorities assert there were iron-forges at the
place, at which ore was received from the Ogden Mine

and forged into bar iron. The village vva- called

Sparta long before the earliest period to which pi' -1 in
human recollection can return, but why it was thus

called, and by whom, arc questions that no can

now answer. The pre-iimption i- of course natural
that he or they who christened it must have been de-
sirous to perpetuate an admiration of the place that
gave birth to Greece's most famous heroes.

Howevei that may be, it is known that not far from

the beginning of the nineteenth century Joseph North-

rup owned considerable land in and near the village,

and that at the village North rup carried on a Btore,
tavern, and grist-mill ; that .lame- Ludlam had also

mill there: that "Granny" Stewart kept tavern



(and had been keeping it for years) ; and that there
were at least four iron-forges at the place.

In 1810, Dan Hurd (always "Dan," and neyer
" Daniel"), an iron-worker of Doner, bought of Joseph
Northrup 256 acres of farming and 500 acres of tim-
bered lands in and near the village of Sparta, includ-
ing also the Northrup tavern stand, store, blacksmith-
shop, grist-mill, and saw-mill, as well as a forge or
two. Northrup then removed to Andover village,
and Hurd took active possession of his Sparta property.
He had then nine children, Charles, Isaac, Zenas,
John, Stephen, and Pierson being the sons. Of these,
only Isaac lives ; his age is eighty-six, and his home
Sparta. Whitfield H. Hurd, the last son of Dan
Hurd, was born in Sparta, in 1811, and lives to-day
in the house that became his father's home upon his
removal to Sparta, in the year named. The third of
Dan Hurd's living children is Mrs. Isaac V. Coursen,
of Stillwater township, now in her eightieth year.
Dan Hurd's wife died in her eighty-eighth year.
Longevity was the marked feature among the mem-
bers of Mr. Hurd's family.

Dan Hurd carried on the Northrup tavern until
1832, and in 1835 his son Whitfield reopened and
kept it seven years as a temperance house, — a novel
enterprise of that time, when such a thing as a tavern
without whisky was almost unheard of. In 1842 the
temperance house was closed, and since then Mr.
Whitfield Hurd has made it his residence.

To the time of his death, in 1835, Dan Hurd con-
ducted with his sons the tavern, store, mill, and forge
business, besides pushing forward a large farming in-
terest. Mr. Hurd was naturally a man of mark in
the community, and not only widely known, but held
in high esteem by all who knew him.

James Ludlam, to whom reference has already been
made, was in 1810 a man of note in Sparta; he owned
a grist-mill and a forge. He had been engaged there
for years in milling and forging, and was, moreover,
a large landowner and farmer. He experimented to
a considerable extent in growing hemp, and, although
the experiment was not a conspicuous success, it re-
sulted in reclaiming to the uses of agriculture large
tracts of lowlands now rich with handsome farms.

In 1S10, Ichabod McConnell was a blacksmith at
Sparta, and in that year John Hurd set up a shop.

Stephen Hurd in that year established a store in a
building near the Presbyterian church. The store of
his father, Dan, stood opposite the Hurd tavern, and
there the old building yet stands.

From 1825 to 1830 the Hurds were the only store-
keepers in Sparta, but in the latter year James Mor-
row commenced business, and after him came James

In 1822, when Stephen Lyon came to Sparta, he
found " Granny" Stewart and Dan Hurd keeping tav-
erns, and Stephen Hurd, Dan Hurd, and James Lud-
lam driving forges. Lewis Sherman married Stephen
Hurd's widow in after-years, and continued the forge

business. James Ludlam and Dan Hurd were the
village millers, Dan Hurd and Stephen Hurd the
storekeepers, and Ichabod McConnell the village
blacksmith. James Ludlam had a distillery, where
he manufactured a good deal of excellent peach
brandy. The iron made at the forges was carted to
Rockaway, Hamburg, and New York. John Len-
nington had a wheelwright-shop opposite the Pres-
byterian church. This John Lennington came to
Sparta in 1804 with his father, Thomas, who then
bought the property now owned by Isaac Goble, and
on that place carried on a distillery and forge until
1814. Thomas then sold out to James Ludlam, and
in 1820 removed to Ohio with all his family except
his son John. The latter apprenticed himself to learn
the trade of a wheelwright, and at the age of fifteen
resumed his residence in Sparta, where he lived after
that until his death. For forty years he was a wheel-
wright in Sparta village. In 1815 he built a residence
in the village, and vowed he would never leave it
alive. That vow he fulfilled. He died there in
August, 1879, aged eighty-nine. He was a justice of
the peace twenty-one years, and for forty-nine years
a ruling elder in the Sparta Presbyterian Church.

In 1827, Eobert Sinai, of New York, built a forge
at the place now known as Decker's Mill, and leased
it, among others, to Stephen Lyon and Joseph Young.
Not long after 1830, James Decker and Lewis Sher-
man bought the property, and in 1836 they took into
partnership Nelson Hunt, a Vermont Yankee, who
was to introduce the manufacture of iron anchors.
He not only did it, but did it successfully ; and before
long all the forges in that vicinity were making-

In 1854, James Decker and his son James L. (now
sheriff of Sussex County) built a grist-mill at that
point ; James L. Decker still owns and carries on the
mill. During the Rebellion he operated the forge for
a time.

It is difficult to say when the Sparta post-office was
established or who was the first postmaster. It is
likely that there was a post-office there during Joseph
Northrup's time, and that he, being the village store-
keeper, was also the postmaster. Mail was probably
brought in once a week on horseback. The village
was on the road between Milford and Dover, over
which thoroughfare there was a good deal of travel.
Those who were postmasters at Sparta after Northrup
may be briefly named as Stephen Hurd, James Mor-
row, John McCarter, Elias Beach, Whitfield H.
Hurd,' Benjamin Bradbury, Reeves Hudson, John B.
Bass, and James B. Titman.

Although Dr. Hunt, of Newton, visited and pre-
scribed for the ailing citizens of Sparta long before
1821, it was not until that year that the village
boasted a resident physician, — Dr. Charles Vail, to
wit, who came from Morristown. After a brief stay
he removed to Pennsylvania, and was succeeded at
Sparta by his brother William. He tarried but


Thomas Beatty and Margaret, his wife, paternal
grandparents of George B. Beatty, early settled in An-
dover township, and afterwards sold their property and
removed to < (hio.

Their son, Thomas Beatty, Jr., remained in New
Jersey. He wa- born about the year 1775. II'- had
opportunities for obtaining only a very limited educa-
tion, and early in life engaged in farming. Iii 1796 !"•
married Jane Mill-, who was 1m. rn in 1771. Eight
children were born of this marriage, — viz., Robert;
Mary, wife "I' Samuel Craig; John; Holloway 11.;
Margaret, wile of William Whitehead; Jane, wife of
Andrew McDevitl : Elizabeth, wife of David R. Flynn ;
ami Qoorgo B. Beatty, nil of whom oxcej G B

are now deceased.

Hi- rather, in politics, was :> Jcffersonian Democrat,
and in church relation was a Methodist. II' 1 was hon-
ored with official position in tin' church, and was a

liberal supporter of both church ami scl I-. His

mother wa- :i devoul member of the Presbyterian
Church, ami trained her children in that faith.

Thomas Beatty, Jr , died May 6, 1840, and was buried
at Sparta, N. .1. Hi* wife died June 5, 1887, from in-
juries received from a fall on the ice.

George B. Boattj was horn in what is now the town
of Sparta, N. J., April 10, 1811. II" had only Buch
opportunities for education as were afforded by the

common Bchoola of thai .lay till he attaimd t!

fourteen years. Ha was then put out t.. work tor his

brother at five dollars per month. On June 11. 1882,
he married Kli/ubcth Stiles, daughter of John and Ruth
Stites, of Somerset Co., N J., and there wore Lorn to

tliem six children. The first two died in infancy ; the
others were named Charles J., Christopher, Calvin, and
Alii ah. The latter die. 1 at the age of ten months. His first
wife died Aug. 2, 1843 ; she was a consistent member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church. His second wife was

Al.iali Duston, daughter of A - and Mary Duslon,

whom he married Oct. 22, 1844. Her father was a sol-
dier in the Revolution, and was present at the capture
of Bni-goyne. lleroie I do. id • nursed also in her mother's
veins. In an emergency she not only used her musket
with deadly effect against some of the treacherous rcd-
faces who then infested this country, but took their
scalps as trophies of her valor. Of this marriage there
were born three children, — Eliza J., wife of Daniel K.
Fisher; Sarah M., who resides with her parents; and
I'.., who died at the age of three months. Soon

after l.i- first marriage he rented tie- farm where he now

lives and assumed the support of Ids aged parents, and
eared for them till the close of their lives. This farm

he subsequently bought of Judge Morris; it then con-
sisted of two hundred and twentv acres. He ha- added

to ii by purchase till at present it exceeds four hundred

Mi. Beatty has been quite actively identified with
local politics, and at the closo of hi- present term will

bav rved twenty-live years continuously a- justice ot

the peace He has also been called to till other minor

township offices. His wife, Ahiah. is a devout and

earnest member of the Presbyterian Church. Although

both have lived t.. see three-, ore v.-irs in nl ten, they an-
slill well preserved in bodj and mind, and give promise

of activity and usefulness for yearc •



Briefly, and then located in Warren County. I>r.
Halsey was Sparta's doctor for :i miiiiln-r of years,
anil then migrated I" Mississippi. V 1j< mt I *:!<>, I Jr.
David M. Sayre came from Morris County, and after
a residence in Sparta of about twenty years li< rt -
turned to it. Daniel Stewart cami from Newton to
take Dr. Sayre'a place, but, the latter electing to re-
turn to Sparta, Stewart vacated tlie Held; 1 >r. Sayre
ultimately removed i" Newton, where lie died. Dr.
Havens, now of Newton, was Sparta's next resident
practitioner, and Dr. '1'. II. Andres., sine,- then the
Village physician, eanie in |Si>.">. During Dr. An-
dre - ' time, Dr. .1. I'.. I S< j — praetieed in tin: village,

and there died. Dr. 15. F. Ferguson was also in the
field, but only brief)} .
In July, 1880, Sparta village was reported to have

a population of L".l'J. It is an attractively-situated
rn nil village, eight miles southeast of Newton, and
three miles south of Ogdcnshurg, I he nearest railway
station. The Wallkill River, flowing near the town,
possesses there a power that is utilized by two grist-
mills. The country round about is rugged, but nat-
urally beautiful. The air is salubrious, and by its
health-giving virtue., as well as by the pleasing
prospects presented by the varied landscape of the
many penpl, ■ are templed during the slimmer

boson from even far-distant places.


Previous to 1 SIS, when the New Jersey Zinc Com-
pany inaugurated active operations at Stirling Hill,
there was very little in the way of a village upon the

present Bite of Ogdensburg. The beginning of min-
ing operations marked also the beginning of a con-
centrated settlement.

John tii-urge, who came in Is.",:: to take charge of
the business Of the zinc company, then ,, pencil the

first ..tor,, at the embryo village, and .till i

On business then'. I lis coi ction with the zinc

company ceased only in D( mber, L880, when the

Franklin iron Com] y gained control of the for-
mer corporation's interests.

The village must have been at first a sinful place,
i,,r it was christened "Sodom" so the story goes —

by dwellers in the vicinity, who looked upon it as
given over in the main to the consumption of cheap
whisky and the concoction of deviltry. The atorj

goes on to saj further that the name of Sodom grew

extremely distasteful to the villagers, and, resolving
to hear it no longer, they recliri-lrned the place " Og-

densburg," in remembram f the ' Igdens, « ho were

among the earliest settlers mar there.

When the New Jersey Midland Railroad was com-
pleted to that point, Ogdensburg looked up a little
and greeted its Grst tavern, now the Ogdensburg
House. A post-office had, however, been established
since 1853, and a mail-route opened to Newton,
Henry Perry was the first postmaster, John M. Grey-
cen the second, and John I teorge the third.

Ogdensburg's first physician was Dr. Roger-: he
remained but a few years, and was succeeded in 1874
by Dr. Condit, of Dover. I'h. pn -• hi village phys-
ician i. I tr. Potter.

Ogdensburg i- now possessed of an alleged popula-
tion of 562, of whom a considerable number are en-
gaged in labor at the zinc-mines. There is an excel-
lent graded school, two taverns, a church, and three

stores, which latter derive a good trad,- from the vil-
lage and surrounding agricultural district, as well as
from the residents at Ogden .Mine, two miles distant,

where there i. -i unci i 1 1 1 e- a population of 800 Or


Ogdensburg i- within easy communication with all
points bj the New Jersey Midland Railroad, and in

the mild seasons of the year ii receive . many visitors,

who come to enjoy the charming natural views that

lure meet the eye upon every hand.

ix.— minim; inti:i:i - 1 -.

The mining inter,-l. of Sparta an exceedingly

valuable, and in their development employ a gnat
number of people and a vast ai int of capital. I he

ore. include zinc and iron, and reach through a

stretch of country whose length, breadth, thickness,
or richness cannot begin to be estimated, although it
has been contributing its richness to the world for

upward- of a century.

zinc mil's STIRLING nil. I. MINE.

Ores of zinc in workable quantities are found in

N,w Jersey at but two localities. Both are ii -

-ex County, — one near Ogdensburg, in Sparta, and
the other at Franklin, in BardystOU.

Stirling Hill — so named because it was one- the
property of Lord Stirling — was purchased at sheriffs
.ale by Robert and Elias Ogden for '-'to. In L818,
Dr. Samuel Fowler, son-in-law to Robert Ogden, be-
came the owner of the tract, which lie -old in L886,

together with the mines at Franklin Furnace, to

Make. Ames and Nathaniel Wilhcrel. Statements
have been made- -hut how supported caniioi he -aid
—that ..hafts were .link and galleries seen in the
Stirling mine a. early a- 171". Dr. Samuel Fowler

mined franklinite at Stirling Bill in 1830, and un-
dertook experiment- to smelt it into iron, but the
etli.rt failed by reason of the presence in the ore of
manganese, which obstructed the fusion of other ores
in combination. It is -aid that red oxide ,,f zinc

from Stirling mine was first reduced to metal ill the

United States in 1885, but the process proved bo ex-
pensive as to discourage its continuance.

The Stirling Hill mine has it. outcrop ,,n Stirling

Bill, at a height of 100 feet above the valley of the
Wallkill. The report of the State geologist in 1868
remarks of the mine :

" It Ii uii.-..viT...| ud oxplorad torn »- DorUiMilarn txti It] ln»

lUUlOUl I"! 1100 fa I, llii'ii u.-l-l,"illnv-l '
hot, Mill i! hi- ""Oil ii 'i' 1 " ■-' n ■ I' '. »1» ■



beneath the surface. The breadth of the vein is from 4 or o feet in the
narrowest part to 15 or 20 in the widest part."

The report goes on to say :

" The largest portion of mineral matter in the vein is a variety of cal-
cite, in which the carbonate of lime is replaced by carbonate of mangan-
ese. The percentage of carbonate of lime is S2.23, and of carbonate of
manganese 16.57. Disseminated through this rock are the minerals
which contain the zinc. The most important of these minerals are
franklinite, red oxide of zinc, and willemite."

Although mining operations at Stirling Hill were
pursued to some little extent at odd times up to 1848,
it was not until then that anything like an urgent
effort was made to bring the mine's resources into
vigorous development. In that year the New Jersey
Zinc Company entered actively upon the woi'k of
mining at Stirling Hill, and placed English Kimball
in charge of the works. The first year there was a
force of thirty men, and, as business developed, the
force was strengthened. In 1853, John George was
called to be the superintendent, and directed affairs
until Dec. 1, 1880. Until the opening of the New
Jersey Midland Railroad, in 1872, lack of transpor-
tational facilities restricted the mining operations of
the company. After that date the business was pushed
to its fullest possible capacity.

The New Jersey Zinc Company and the Franklin
Iron Company litigated in 1868 touching the right to
mine in Stirling Hill ores containing iron and zinc in
conjunction (one company having bought the right to
iron ores, and the other the right to zinc ores), and
that litigation, carried on with much industry for
twelve years, at a cost of something like $1,000,000,
resulted, in December, 1880, in a compromise, whereby

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 105 of 190)