James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 116 of 190)
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of Hampton since 1776. In that year the great-grand-
father of William P. Struble came from Morris County
to Sussex, and made his home on the Allen tract, near
what is now known as the W. I. Shotwell house, on
Smith's Hill, in Hampton. The ruins of the old log
house in which he lived are said to be yet visible.
After a short stay in Hampton he moved to Pennsyl-
vania, taking with him two of his sons, and in Penn-
sylvania he died, at the age of one hundred. Of the
seven sons he left in New Jersey, two, named Leonard
and Daniel, settled on farms upon Smith's Hill.
Leonard's four sons were named, Anthony, Leonard,
Jr., Peter L., and Jacob. Anthony settled in Hamp-
ton, where his son Leonard now lives ; Leonard, Jr.,
in Franklin; Peter L. in Hampton, north of where
Oliver Struble (his son) lives; and there too Jacob
made his home. Of Daniel's sons, Peter and John
died in Hampton; Richard and Henry removed to
Ohio. Daniel himself moved to Franklin, and died
there at the age of eighty-five. Leonard, his brother,
moved to the present Oliver Struble neighborhood,
about the close of the Revolutionary war. His son
Peter L., who carried on the farm after his father's
death, married a daughter of Jacob Lance. Of his
sons, William P. and Oliver live in Hampton, and
Elias in Ohio.

Benjamin Hull, whose daughter married William
P. Struble, lived on the present William P. Struble
place before 1800. He was a bachelor for some time
after he settled, and had his sister with him as house-
keeper. He married a daughter of Christopher Case,
of Newton.

One of Hull's neighbors was Martin Ryerson, who
dealt largely in land and owned many acres in Hamp-
ton. He was a surveyor, and in the course of his
professional pursuits came frequently upon chances
to speculate profitably in lands ; and these chances he
was by no means slow in improving. Martin lived
a while near the present Merring place. His son
David was likewise an extensive dealer in lands. He
bought the Levison and Joy tracts for $8 per acre,
and sold at from $15 to $20 per acre. On one tract
he is said to have cleared $12,000.

Mathias Little was a sort of land-agent for the Ry-
ersons, and lived near Benjamin Hull's. His son-in-
law, John Chamberlain, built a log blacksmith-shop
near there before 1800. The shop was afterwards
used as a school-house.

Henry Smith came from England to Philadelphia
in 1760, and engaged in the business of stock-driving.
In its pursuit he and his son Henry frequently visited
Sussex County, and mile many a time over Smith's
Hill. His son Henry carried in a belt about his'body

II \ Ml TON.


the joil'l taken » « 1 1 1 In |.u ii Ii:i~i- stock, and W01

hips -'I sore that a hundred times be wished thedevi]

would take the n iy. Henry told the presi nt Pi tei

Smith in after-years thai when be and his father used
tn ride over Smith's Hill there was no house between
Harelocker's, al Newton, and Hollingshead's log

house, nl 1 lalsiw '- I 'orners.

During the Revolution, Henry Smith lived with bis
family in Morris County, and there he died. His sons
Henry and Peter farmed the present county-farm in
Frankford until about 1795, when they dissolved part-
nership. Peter then bought of the Allen tract, for
$1600, a parcel comprising 273 acres, where hie son
Peter lives (in Hampton . Daniel Struble bad been
living on the place perhaps some years. There had

al-o been therea tenant bj m i Joseph South, but

wlnii and bow long he lived there are questions that
eiuiiioi be answered.

Wm.ui the time Peter Smith bought his farm of

Allen, Jacob Lance bought the place now occupied

by Henry J. Griggs, and Matthias Lane a farm that

a the present site of Washingtonville. Both

Lanci and Lane boughl their land of Allen.

Henry Smith lived a while on the Shotwell place,
;iiel ended his days in Frankford. Peter, bis brother,
died in Hampton in 1822. During the wax of 1812,
Pi ti ' Smith was a captain in the militia, and used to
have company trainings at his farm. Once, when
there was a call to till a vacant majorship, the claim
lay between Capt. Peter Smith and Capt. Thomas
Qustin. Capt. Smith, who tipped the Bcales al the

healthy weight of 350 | ml-, i eluded that he

did mit want t" be a major, and so, in announcing
that fact i" Capt. Gustin, Baid, " I guess Pd look bet-
ter on the ground than I would on a In use ; you may
have i he majorship in welcome."

Altl gh Capt. Peter was a staunch patriot, his

brother was jusl as staunch a Tory, and for his pretty
freely expressed convictions was carried to Morris-
town and marched around the green as a show. He
■mil. to bis convictions, however, and during tin-
war ■ .!' 1812 was as violent a partisan of Engl ad
ping as America contained.

Jacob Lance died on his Hampton farm in 1880,
ami Matthias Lane about the same time. Of these
names, none are now to be found in I lam] 'pin.

In 1808, Benjamin Halsey and bis Bon-in-law,

I. run I'iteh, eaiue from New York Stale to the

place now called Washingtonville. and bought a
considerable tract of meadow-land, win-re they un-
dertook the cultivati f hemp. They opened a

.-.tore in ir, and from that time forward the

locality was known as Halsey's Corners. Thi
venture proved a failure, and in a little while the
-line was given tip. I itch moved fo Newton, where
be afterwards founded the Vew J n Hal-

Bey devoted himself to farming, and died at the
Corners in 1852, il the age of eighty-nine. He was
a man of note in the locality in which he lived, and

used to l.oa-t that during his long service as justice
of the peace he married more than fiftj couples.

The first tavern at Halsey's was opened by Grant
Fitch. The tavern and smithy were afterwards car-
ried mi by Alexander Drake. Tin- stage route be-
tween Jersey City and ( Iwego passed through 11:
Corners, and over it there was a deal of travel.
The tavern at Halsey's was not, however, a Btage-
house, for there was one at Augusta, a few miles
farther on.

Peter Case settled in 1823 on the William Snook
farm, in \*'il he located at Halsey's Corners. His
grandfather was crier of the Sussex County court
thirty year-, ami i- -aid never to have missed a -i —
sion. During the thirty years, be was constable
fifteen years. He made a pork-barrel in 1810, and
to this day thai pork-barrel has been in the pos-
session ami use of his family, hi~ grandson, B. S.
i lase, now owning it.

S. P. Case came to Halsey's in 1843, and built the
present Case tavern. In l^r. 1 he Bold the propertj to

15. T. Case, who has been tin- tavern landlord ever

.lain.- Smith and Alexander Huston lived on farms
east of the Paulinskill at an early day, and Daniel
Wahlruir, about 1800. on the Aluani Shotwvll place.
The farm was in the Levison traei, which contained

about lonn acres. David and Thomas liver-mi and

Richard Morris bought it. and parceled it out into
small farms.

In 17 I'.i. John Henry Couse came from I h-nnaijy at
■ of fourteen, and, joining a German family
living "ii German] Flats, in Andover, worked as a
farm-hand until he married. Then be settled on the
placi now owned by James F. Hill', in Andover. His
children were Maria, John, Margaret, Elizabel I
Peter, and Henry. John Henry, the father, d
Frankford, and his widow in Hampton, on the place

m.w mpied bj David Couse. Of bis sons, John

moved, in ) 7 s 7 , goon after his marriage, to what is

now Hampton, and located on a farm formerly owned

by a Morris, and on which a Predmore is said to have

made - improve I hi re was a log house on

in place, into which John moved. In 1808 he built

a new house, of w Inch a portion i- mm Used a- a resi-
dence I iy his son 1 lavid.

John Couse had nine children, Henry, Peter,
William, John, David, Catherine, Susan, Mary, and
Ann. Peter settled on the Francis Northrup place
in L813 Willi -.in li-l in Virginia llenrv dud in
Hampton, and John in New York State. David,
who was horn on the homestead in 1806, now owns
it, and proudly boasts that be has not been away
from ii more than two weeks at a time since he was

horn. I In only one of hi- Sisters now living IS the

widow of William II. Johnson, of Newton.

North of the Couse place in the olden day- was
Maj. Thomas Gustin, who kept a store on what is

now the town line. He died there, and after his



death his family moved westward. He was a major
in the militia, but his neighbor, John Couse, bore the
record of having been in the Federal ranks at the
battle of Germantown.

A Revolutionary soldier, by name Dermer, lived
over in the northeastern corner of the town, and died
there. Near him lived Moses Northrup, on the place
now occupied by Richard V. Northrup. Moses erected
a fulling-mill and saw-mill there, and did a thriving
business some years in carding and dressing cloth.
He died at Newton, in 1846, aged eighty-two.

Peter Space, a participant in the war of the Revo-
lution, lived on Germany Flats before the outbreak
of that conflict. He wore in his military service a
broad-brimmed hat, through whose brim a bullet once
made its way. The hat he clung to ever afterward,
and took a vast deal of pride in directing attention
to the bullet-hole. Fourteen years before his death,
at the age of eighty-five, he became blind. His son
Mannas was born on Germany Flats, and died there
at the age of seventy-seven. Mannas had fourteen
children, of whom seven were boys. The only one of
the seven to locate in Hampton was William, who in
1829 came to the place he now owns. James Ryerson
had been living on the place, which belonged to his
father, William, who lived in Frankford.

In 1835, Adam Van Etten came from Branchville
to the place now owned by his widow, and before 1835
•owned by Jacob L. Drake. In 1S40, Dennis Morris
came from Frankford and cleared the farm now owned
by his son Oliver. In the same year James Williams
bought of the Strubles, and settled on the farm now
occupied by Charles M. Williams. The great-grand-
father of James Williams was named Mathew Wil-
liams, and became conspicuous throughout the land by
reason of his extreme age. He came over to America
with Gen. Wolfe (after having served thirty years in
the British army and navy), and fought with Wolfe at
Quebec. The most of his life in America he passed
in Frankford township, and, at the age of eighty-six,
entering the Federal service for the Revolutionary
war, fought all through that struggle. He was blind
for some years before his death, which occurred in
Frankford township Jan. 3, 1814, just after he had
passed his one hundred and twenty-fourth birthday.

Among the early settlers in Hampton not already
noticed were William Snook (on the cast side of the
town), John, James, and Andrew Cassidy, the Pit-
tingers, Coursens, Sherreds, Hunts, Andersons, the
Griggs family, Samuel Jones, and Hiram Bell.

William Snook, now aged eighty-eight, came to
Hampton from Wantage in 1825, and bought a piece
of land of David Ryerson. Absalom Youngs had
been li\ ing on the place and had put up a log house;
but beyond that improvements were scarce. Andrew

Merring I ght his land of David Ryerson in 1831,

and in i hal j ear moved i<> it. I'm' about ten j ear
previous to that linn- Robert Morris, a renter, had
lived "u it.

Andover and Hampton townships were formed
from Newton under act approved March 10, 1864.
The section creating Hampton reads as follows :

"Be it enacted, etc., That nil that part of the township of Newton ad-
joining the lines of the townships of Green, Stillwater, Sand.yston,
Frankford. and Lafayetto which lies northerly and westwardly of the
following line— namely, beginning in the line between the townships
of Green and Newton where the road leading past the residence of the
late Obed Wilson crosses said line, and running thence by the line of
Andover township to the Devil's Hole (so called), on or near the line be-
tween the farms of William M. Babbitt and John McCarter, Jr., and
from thence to the bridge ovor the stream crossing the highway near tho
farm-house of William 51. Babbitt ; thence to a point of woods where one
fence intersects another on the farm belonging to tho heirs of John A.
Horton. deceased, a short distance westwardly of the mansion on said
farm ; from thence to a point in tho highway leading from Newton to
Washingtonvillo whore tho lands of George HI. Ryerson and Dennis
Cochran corner npon said highway : thence along the lino between their
lands and following tho lino of said ilyerson's land until it intersects tho
said ditch made by the I'anlinskill Meadow Company; thence down the
said ditch to the line of Lafayette township — be, and the same is hereby,
set off into a new township, to be called the township of ' Hampton.'"

The town was named by Robert Hamilton, then a
representative in the Legislature, in honor of Jona-
than Hampton, who seems to have aroused Mr. Ham-
ilton's esteem in this respect by his donation of land
to the Episcopal Church of Newton, and Mr. Hamil-
ton, himself being an Episcopalian, thus remembered
the generous donor.

It appears, however, that the organization of the
township was by no means in accordance with the
will of the people inhabiting that part of country set
off as Hampton. Better understanding of their sen-
timents in the premises and the circumstances leading
to the town organization will be gleaned from perusal
of a copy of resolutions passed at the first township-
meeting, on the second Monday in April, 1864. The
resolutions read as follows :

" Resolved, That we, the inhabitants of the township of Hampton, in
the county of Sussex, assembled at our first town-meeting, do most earn-
estly protest against the act creating the township and the gerry-
mandering of Newton township, and we pledge ourselves to spare no
honorable ellbrts to have the township of Newton restored to its former

" Resolved, That the conduct of the senator and two assemblymen from
this county in supporting said act in the face of our earnest remonstrance
against it, and without even a petition in its favor from the inhabitants
of this township or the township of Newton, deserves, and should receive,
the most severe condemnation of every citizen wdio believes iu the demo-
cratic doctrine that the representative should carry out the wishes of his
constituents, and that the assemblymen are particularly censurable for
the unfair and unscrupulous manner in which they stifled the remon-
strance unanimously signed by citizens of every part of the old township
of Newton."

Evidently, there was a desire on the part of the
representatives in the Legislature pledged to conserve
the interests of Newton to cut loose from any alle-
giance to the rural districts and to compel them to
shift for themselves, despite their outcries against such
proceedings. The idea was to give Newton village
practically a, government of its own, and that was the
idea that was practically evolved. There was, as has
been seen, a strong feeling of indignation among the
people of Bampton at the apparent arbitrary action



of h few alleged srlicmcrs, ami there was also loud
tali of efforts looking to the repeal of the act; bul
calmer after-thought brought the conviction that per-
haps the result would not be bo seriously damagin)
after all, and 90 in a little while there was a general
resignation to the situation, followed before Ion
general congratulation thai no better thing could
have happened, after all.

At the first township-meeting, held at the tavern of
B. S. Case, in Washingtonville, the following officers
Were chosen: Joseph Greer, Moderator; William P.
Btruble, Clerk-; Peter Smith, Judge of Election;
Harden, Assessor; Edward Curry, Collector ;
William M. Cox, Richard V. Northrup, Freeholdei
Benjamin Anderson, S. II. Roof, Surveyors of Sigh-
ways; Isaac Dennis, George L. Van Sickle, Commis-
sioners of Appeal; Levi Hendershot, Overseer of the

r Christopher Van Sickle, William S. Harden,

Willi. mi [. Shotwell, Christopher Roof, John Snook,
Town Committee; D. W. Moore, School Superinten-
Rent; Leonard Struble, Jr., Constable; B. S. Case,

Pound-keeper; Peter Smith, Christopher Roof, Ji

A. Smith, Benjamin Anderson, \. S. Morris, Alfred
Bnook, William Snook, Isaac Kint, Abraham Onsted,
John Jones, P. W. Struble, James L. Oliver, Mahlon
Bailey, T. L. Kindred, Abraham Pittenger, Overseers
of Highways.

Following is given a list of persons chosen annu-
ally from L865 to 1880 to be judges of elei
clerks, assessors, collectors, and freeholders:

!■ Smith IS08, W P. 3liotwell ; I860, SI leken >u
M. J. Williams; [878, M. tckenon; [879-80, 0. Struble.

i . W. Struble; 1870-71, A. 0. Smith; 1872, l.Strnbli

A. J. i:.i i .

I I Hardin 1876, J. H. Heu-
derakot . 1877 BO, P. w Strnble

mm CORS.

1-72, J. N. Boof; I-

.1. Boof.

.•■ Illlmii M. Cox, Richard \
Petor Smith; 1870-71, William 1 9hotwoll, Petor W. Struble; 1876,

Willi 1876, « llllam t. Shotwell,

Petoi W. - il up; 1870,

B. B, 6 I. I D S Harding, Albert


In December, 1880, the town w:i~ clear of debt, and
for that year had raised a tax of $4292.50. i
bf taxation was sj per $1000, for State, county, and

I own.

iv. .-i a

It is said that there was a school in what is no\i
Washingtonville District as early as L788, and possi-
bly before The schnol-house wt iin that
pood near Da^ id ( lou I mothy
phistin was the first, and perhaps only, teacher in that
old log house for the educational - i son therein was

a brief one). Amongf his pupils were Henry Struble

I James Kays, and they, it appears, were among

the leading spirits devoted to mischief-working
reco uized without much delay the fact that their
teacher, Timothy Gustin, was a painfully lazy person,
and they, to encourage him, no doubt, to the develop-
ment of a vigorous briskness, used upon divers and
sundry occasions to introduce pins into the seat of the
erudite ' riistin's chair, much to that individual's dire
discomfort, disgust, and indignation.

In 1808 or L809a frame school was built at Halsey's
< lornere, and, at the instigation of Benjamin Halsey,
was -h close to bis house, so that his children would
not have far to go to school. The first trustees were
Capt, Peter Smith, Grant Fitch, and " Blact I
Smith. The latter gave himself the title when, upon
being called to sign a document with Capt. Peter
Smith, he said, "Now. I musl Bign myBelf something
besides plain Peter Smith, for if I don't, i eople won't
know who's who. I guess I'll just sign ' Black Peter 1

Smith;" ami from that day he was known by that


When Benjamin Halsey's children finished their
schooling, Benjamin wanted the school-house moved
away from his dwelling. There was some opposition,
I nit Halsej carried the day ; and the school-house n as
accordingly started on its travels tor another location.
The house was pretty badly shaken up bj the journey,
and after passing a feeble existence until 18to. was
replaced upon the same site by the present structure.

Among the earlj teachers at Halsey's were a Mr.
Lucas, a Mr. Upson, Mr. Upton (who was also a sing-
ing master), Mr. Seger, Eunice Stevens a "Yankee
school-ma'am," who taught at Halsey's three seasons
a Miss Condict, Mr. Allwood, Mr. Warren, and Am-
brose Horton. Horton 1 ame converted to Meth-
odism and studied for the ministry. When he found
himsi If read] to preach, he died. Besides the public
school at Halsey's, private schools were taught in that
ni ighborhood by Jeremiah Willetts and a Miss Eber.
'flu- trustees of Washingtonville for 1880 wen- Moses
Ickerson, Abram S. Morris, and John Couse.

[n the Myrtle Grovi School District a log house,

built bj John Chamberlain about 1800 and used by

blacksmith-shop, was about L806 used a^ a

school-house. It bI 1 just west of A. M. Meninges

present residence, and in it the first teacher is Bup-
n have been an Irishman named Mcllvaney,
who was particularly conspicuous as a verj cross and
person and much given to flogging the chil-
ilren. John Brown, a one-armed Englishman, was
; her in I s ". : but, beyond being minus an arm,
was not especially famous. A Mi - Butler, niece to
" Billy" Rj erson, was also a teacher in the log school-
house, bul wlen i- not known. Among the children
ruled school in that temple of learn inj

jamin Hull, Anthony Struble, Moses

Samuel .lone-. Hiram Bell, and Mathew

Little. William B. Struble, who attended school in



the log house in 1807, taught school in the district
thirty years afterwards. The second school-house
was a framed building. It stood opposite the present
house, and was built in 1815. The first teacher there
was a Mr. Beach, who said he had run away from
Connecticut to escape the draft. The second teacher
was Robert Mclntyre, who taught two seasons. The
house now used, a substantial brick edifice, was built
in 1865. The trustees for 1880 were Alfred Winters,
William P. Struble, and Hiram Snook.

As to Laurel Grove District but little can be said.
There was a log school-house in the district in 1810,
near the present house, and in that year the teacher
was a Mr. Smith. Since the log house the district
has had two framed school-houses. The present
house was built in 1868. The trustees for 1880 were
Theodore Harding, William Harden, and Philip T.
Garris. Doubtless the first school taught in what is
now Hampton was held in Laurel Grove District, for
there the first settlements were made; but there is
now no evidence to tell when or where it was located,
or who were its earliest teachers.


The close proximity of the district known as Hamp-
ton to Newton and other villages where churches are
abundant has not made the want of home accommo-
dations for public worship strikingly apparent. Asa
consequence, Hampton has never had but one church
edifice within its borders, and previous to 1850 even
that was wanting. That church organization, now
known as "The Baleville Christian Church," was
formed in 1826, at Branchville, as " The Branchville
Christian Church."

During the year named, Mrs. Abigail Roberts, a
member of the Christian Church, visited Branchville
and vicinity and began to preach. Thereupon five
members of the Congregational Church — D. Rutan,
D. Compton, R. Corson, Sally Corson, and A. Alex-
ander — indicated a determination to join the newly-
presented faith, and the same year Elders Levi Hath-
away, J. S. Thompson, Simon Clough, and John
Spore, coming to the place, found that there were
thirteen persons anxious to be organized as a Chris-
tian Church. Twelve of the thirteen were named
Edward Lits, John Sargeant, Mrs. Sargeant, Miss
Sargeant, J. Haggerty, Mrs. Haggerty, Miss Hag-
gerty, David Rutan, David Compton, Richard Cor-
son, Sally Corson, and A. Alexander. These thirteen
were organized by Elders Clough and Thompson as
" The Branchville Christian Church," and they
thereupon chose Elder Thompson to be their pastor
for the ensuing live years. When at the close of his
five years' pastorate, Mr. Thompson gave place to
Elder O. E. Bryant, he left the church with a flour-
ishing membership of 70.

Elder Bryanl was expelled at the cud of two years,
and for one year Elder Thompson am} William F.

Thomas, a licentiate, officiated. During the next
three years there was no stated pastor, and no preach-
ing except for four months in the fall of 1836, by
Elder Amasa Stanton. The church became some-
what demoralized and sorely enfeebled, but in July,
1837, Elder J. R. Morris, accepting a call, set about
restoring its shattered energies. His success was not
of a cheering kind, for, although he found but 34
members when he began his labors, he found less at
the close of the year, and so discouraging was the
outlook in January, 1838, that but two active male
members were reported. Matters dragged along
slowly until 1840, when Elder Godfrey F. Hawk
took charge and infused healthful life and vigor into
the organization. He preached for the church more
or less from 1840 to 1861. During his pastorate, in
1850, the church location was changed to Baleville,
the name changed to its present designation, and a
house of worship erected. In 1862, Elder D. W.
Moore, of Ohio, was called, and remained several
years. He was followed by Rev. Mr. Soule, and, in
1870, Rev. G. R. Searles became the pastor. He was
succeeded iu the spring of 1879 by Rev. Isaac T.

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 116 of 190)