James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 124 of 190)
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leaving as net earnings $263,252.20. Ashbel Welch

is its president, and Hugh B. Ely secretary and

'NIK. WAHltKN l: All liOAIl

• in Feb. 1-, 1851, the Warren Railroad Company
procured a charter for the construction of a railroad
from New Hampton, on the Central Railroad of New

Jersey. Id a point since Called Delaware Station, on

the Delaware River. This road was designed to con-
nect with, if not lo form part of, the lit f the Del-
aware. Lackawanna and Western Railroad, then in
progress from the Delaware River to Binghamton,
of. Y., by the way of Seranion, I'a. The incorpora-
tors of the Warren road were Robert S. Kennedy,
Charles Scranton, Vdam Wandling, William P.

* 'lack, George W. Taylor, John 0. Stearns, ami

Beoi '■ Titman. The capital stock of the company

was placed at $400,000, with the liberty to increase it,
and the time for the completion of the road was lim-
M d to Bix years from June 4th following the passage
of the act. At the time the route was surveyed the
Warren ami the .Morris and Essex were rival compa-
nies, each contending for the ■astern extension of the
Delaware, Lackawanna ami Western Railroad, but by
the promptness and energy of Mr. John I. Blair tin;
survey and plan of the Warren road got into the Sec-
retary of State''- office at Trenton and was recorded a
few hours in advance of the paper- of the Morrisand
Mr. Blair and the engineer of the Morrisand
Essex went to Trenton on the same train, hut while
the latter was attending to some matters of toilet,
preparatory to making his debut before the secretary,
Mr. Blair slipped in and transacted his business.
Other anecdotes might be told illustrative of sharp and
energetic action by the Warren directors or their head
during this contest between the two corporations, but
this must suffice.

The Warren Railroad was constructed Under a tri-
partite agreement whereby each of the companies, —

the Central Railroad Company of Xew Jersey, the

Delaware, 1 .aekawanna ami Western Railroad ( 'oni-

pany. and the Warren Railroad Company, — in their
several corporate capacities, subscribed $150,000 of
Stock. The last-named company wa- to construct the

road, with the understanding that the Delaware.
Lackawanna and Western Company would take it on
a perpetual base, paying the stockholders of the
Warren Company seven per cent, as a rental. The
i lentral Railroad I lompany also entered into an agree-
ment to give the Delaware. Lackawanna ami Western
Companj the right of running over their road from
Elizabethporl to the junction at New Hampton. This
part of the contract was annulled when the Morris
and Essex division was leased by the Delaware, Lack-
awanna ami Western Company.

Early in 1854 the road was put under contract lo
Victor E. Piollet, of Wysox, Bradford Co., Pa,, Col.
Charles Wells, of New York, and Marcus Blair, son
of John I. Blair, of I '.lair-town, Warren Co., under the
firm-name of Wells, Piollet & Co. These principal
contractors sublel portions of the road. Barton >t
Ayer-. of Oxford, took contracts to grade the west
end, west of the Oxford tunnel, and Anthony Robe-
son built the stone viaduct over the Pequest at Butz-
\ ill.-. The engineer was Andrew V Rogers, assisted
by Homer S. Goodwin, now assistant superintendent
of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Mr. Rogers resigned
while the work was in progress, and the engineering
of the tunnel wa- intrusted to James Archibald, en-
gineer of the Delaware. Lackawanna and Western
Railroad. A tablet ereetod at the entrance of the

tunnel bear- bis name. The contractors for the con-
struction Of the tunnel were Tboma- Ruttcr and T.
II ask ins 1 In pay, w ho began the work, and ( It'll. Rob-
ert McAllister and < leorge W. Weistling, who finished
it in the spring of 1862.



The road was opened in May, 1856, from New
Hampton Junction to Binghamton, N. Y., a tempo-
rary track having been constructed over the tunnel,
which latter was not completed till six years later.
From 1854 to 1857, during the construction of the
road, the following were the officers of the company :
President, John I. Blair ; Vice-President, John Tay-
lor Johnston ; Secretary, Jehiel G. Shipman ; Treas-
urer, John W. Wyckoff; Directors, John I. Blair,
James Blair, Col. Charles Scranton, Adam Wandling,
James Hiles, AVilliam P. Clark, John Taylor John-
ston, William E. Dodge, Jehiel G. Shipman.

The principal tunnel, at Oxford Furnace (Van Nest
Gap), is 3500 feet in length, and wide enough for the
double track since laid down by the Delaware, Lack-
awanna and Western Railroad Company. At Vass
Gap, near Manunka Chunk, there are two tunnels,
one opened originally when the road was built, and a
second one when the double track was laid, the rock
being of such an unsubstantial character as to make
it necessary to separate the tracks and pierce the
mountain in another place.

The scenery on this road is very romantic from the
Musconetcong Valley westward, especially at the Del-
aware Water Gap, through which it passes on the
Pennsylvania side, having crossed the river at Dela-
ware Station, some seven miles below. The length of
the road in Warren County is eighteen and three-
fourths miles. It crosses the Musconetcong at Change-
water over a trestle-bridge of immense height, but the
company have in contemplation the springing of a
fine stone arch over this crystal stream and the filling
in of the valley on either side.

John I. Blair was first president of the Warren
Railroad Company, and has held this position ever
since. To his capacity and indefatigable energy the
construction of the road is chiefly due, and this honor
is cheerfully accorded by all his associates in the

We append the following statistics of this road
from the report for 1879 : Cost of road and equip-
ments, $3,150,000 (covered by capital stock, paid in,
§1,800,000, and bonded indebtedness of $1^350,000) ;
earnings for the year, $490,040.50 ; expenditures,
$176,842.20 ; floating debt, $13,141.49.


There are few railroads in the State which have
gone through greater vicissitudes or been more useful
in increasing the material prosperity of the sections
through which they pass than this road, which was
originally projected to connect Morristown with New
York and to supply the agricultural population of
Morris and Essex, and the mining sections of Morris,
Sussex, and Warren, with railroad facilities for reach-
ing market. It was for a long time a doubtful experi-
ment. The population was sparse and scattered, the
grades heavy, and the company poor. An old con-
ductor tells of the time when his obligations for sup-

plies were preferred to the company's. It is compara-
tively but few years since the Morris and Essex severed
its connection with the New Jersey Railroad. Before
that event trains changed engines at Newark, and
were taken in charge by a conductor of the latter road,
who collected the fares from that city to New York ;
and for many years the cars were drawn from Newark
to the top of the hill by horse-power, making the trip
from Morristown to New York an eventful one in
changes and delays. No wonder its stock was hardly
worth quotation in the financial market. But the
company persevered, and a few years saw an increas-
ing local trade which saved the road from ruin.

The extension of the road to Easton opened another
grand avenue to the West, and ambitious men toyed
with the new comer, ready to buy or lease, for the
privilege of reaching through its line the metropolis
of the Western world. The Atlantic and Great West-
ern was the first in the field, but the union of the two
roads failed of consummation. Then the Delaware,
Lackawanna and Western made overtures, and the
union was effected. Wonderful changes have taken
place since then, during the past ten years, which we
will not here detail, they being well known to most
of our readers of this generation.

The Morris and Essex Railroad extends from Ho-
boken to Phillipsburg, 83J- miles, with a branch
(Boonton) from Tunnel to Danville, 34J miles. It
has about 27 miles in Warren County, enters it a little
east of Hackettstown. and follows the beautiful Po-
hatcong valley in nearly a southwest direction to>
Phillipsburg. The road is leased to and operated by
the DeKware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad
Company, of which it is the Morris and Essex

Cost of road and equipments, $34,435,277.98 ; divi-
dends and interest paid during 1879, $2,460,057.66 ;
capital stock, $15,000,000 ; bonded debt, $20,123,000 ;
receipts (1879), $3,515,099.10; expenditures, $1,955,-
743.26. President, Samuel Sloan, 1880.


The Blairstown Railway is constructed on the south
side of the Paulinskill from Delaware Station, on the
Delaware River, to Blairstown, — a distance of eleven
and one-third miles, — and is wholly in Warren
County. This road was opened July 4, 1876, and is
intended to be extended eastward through the Kitta-
tinny valley to the Hudson River. It is owned and
operated by John I. Blair, president of the company.

Capital stock, $117,110; cost of road and equip-
ment, $169,110; income (1879), $5205.42; expenses,


The Lehigh Valley Railroad (Easton and Amboy
division) passes across the southern end of the county
from Phillipsburg and Easton. It bends to the north-
east in crossing the county, and a few miles beyond
its limits, at Bethlehem, Hunterdon Co., passes



through the greal tunnel of the Musconetcong Moun-
tain on its way to the valley of the Raritan, which it
allows to Perth Amboy. This road is popularly
Known as the " Packer Road," Mr. Asa Packer ha\ ing
been from the first largely interested in it. It is
leased to the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and is now
operated by that corporation.

Capital stock, paid in, *5,U00, ; bonded debt,

B,000,000; floating debt, $387,413.78; cost of road
and appurtenances, .*!!, -112, li.'il.l',:!. The receipts and
expenditures of this branch arc not kept separately
By the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, and the
exact figures cannot he given, hut the following is
an estimate for 1879: Income from passengers,
122,460.99; from freight, $290,140.88; from coal,
102.34; total, $978,504.21. Charles Hartshorne

is secretary and treasurer.


Besides the above-mentioned railroads, which are
in actual operation, a number are proposed to be
buili through portions of Warren County. Among
these we briefly mention the following:

The Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad is now in
process of construction. It is designed to fill up the
gap between Ihe Sussex Railroad and the Delaware,
and also between the Sussex road, ill McAfee Valley,
and the Warwick road, making a continuous line
from the Hudson River to the Lehigh Valley. The
route is located from Belvidere up the Pequest Val-
ley. The company was organized as " The Pequest
and Wallkill Railroad Company," Aug. 9, 1869, the
officers being Charles Seranton, President ; John W.
Wvckotr, Secretary and Treasurer; Charles Seranton,
Seidell T. Seranton, John Rutherford, William M.
Biff, James Titman, John W. Wyckoif, Crinell Hurt,
and others, Directors. The company was reorganized
Bs"The Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad Com-
pany" in 1881, with < Iii mil Hurt, of Warw ick, N. Jf.,
aS president. Mr. Hurt i- pushing the road forward

with a design to its completion during the present

year. Ties are being delivered along the line, and
the work of construction is going on at Bridgeville
and I >anville, in this county.

The Boston and South Momihiin Railroad has been

surveyed through this county and Sussex, IV the

Delaware River, bj the way of the Paulinskill val-
ley, to connect with the Warwick Valley or aome

road in New York State, and thus supply a link in

the contemplated through-route from Boston to the
U i si on a shorter line than any of the trunk-roads

now iii operation. The great Cittatinny valley,

through which it is proposed to construct thi- road.

has long been looked up, ,M i.\ sagacious observers as
the most feasible route from tin- East to the West,

and among lb,' Srs vements looking to the con-

Itruction of railroad- in New York and New ,

a line was decided upon substantially corresponding

with that of the present route. Charters were ob-

tained iii 1831 for the purpose of constructing con-
necting roads through the valleys of the Wallkill
and Paulinskill, connecting the Hudson and the
Delaware Rivers, and the route was surveyed in

The Delaware Branch of the New Jer*c>j Midland is
another of the contemplated roads in the same gen-
eral direction. The route has been surveyed from
Belvidere up the Heaver Brook valley to Bear Creek
valley, ami so on through Sussex I lounty.


Measures were taken about l.s'iii to inaugurate
steamboat navigation on the Upper Delaware. In
that year the " Major William Barnet : ' was begun at
Philadelphia, and was finished in the Bpring of 1861.
She was a Mat-bottomed boat, nearly one hundred
feet in length. This boat got aground at Trenton
with injury to her machinery, ami was so long de-
layed that she did not reach Phillipsburg and Easton
till March L2, L852. After this the boat ran quite
regularly during a greater part of the Beason between
Lauibertville — then the terminus of the Belvidere
Delaware Railroad — and Easton. But, the naviga-
tion proving unprofitable, she was withdrawn from
the upper river.

Another small stern-wheel boat, the "Reindeer,"
also attempted the enterprise, remaining on the river
some little time after the withdrawal of the other
boat ; but soon she too left the field, and steamboat
navigation on the Upper Delaware was suspended, —
once more to be attempted, a few years later, only to
result in a fearful tragedy, and then to be forever


In 1859 was again revived the old project of steam
navigation on the Delaware above Belvidere. Sur-
veys and examinations of the stream were made dur-
ing the low water in August, with a view to ascertain
and report on the feasibility of the project. The
report was favorable, and it was decided to build
a small steamboat, to be placed upon the Dela-
ware to run between Belvidere and Porl Jervis, — a

distance of about sixty miles. Three of the corpora-
tors qf the Kittatiiinv Improvement Company — viz.,
Messrs. William It. Sharp, Alfred Thomas, and Rich-
ard llolcomb, of Belvidere (acting in their individual
capacity i -were the projectors and proprietors of the

boat enterprise. They employed Thomas Bishop, of

Easton, to build the hull, the dimensions of which

were: Length (including wheel), eighty-seven feet;
width, fifteen feet ~ix inches; width over guards,
nineteen feet; capacity, about seventy tons.
The building of the machinery was intrusted to Mr.

ida In SiuBox Count/, anteMdant

+ TIk> itaa r "Mountain Bollo" mi mid in ls7J bj A. and j. s.

Hougb, <>f Brum loin*-, to parties at tho Polnwaro Water Onp, who
i ir in iii,- Delaware In Julj nx Dlnginani Fvrrjr, from
I (■, tbfl Gap. It create 1 qoJte im >■• boanlem

at DlngmanV.



Wills, of South Easton. Work was commenced at
once, and after one or two trials and alterations of
machinery, the boat was, on March 5, 1860, declared
ready to try the perils of the river. On the morning I
of Tuesday, March 6th, the "Alfred Thomas" (for so j
had the boat been named, for one of its owners), after
receiving on board a party consisting of gentlemen
belonging to Easton and Belvidere, — in all nearly one
hundred persons. — steamed away from the boat-yard
on the Lehigh and down that stream, passing into the
Delaware through the out-lock at Williamsport.
Heading up the river, about noon she reached the
Northampton Street bridge, and there she stopped to
allow such of her passengers as wished to do so to go
on shore. Many of them debarked at this point, but
there were between thirty and forty who remained to
make the trip to Belvidere.
Those on board were :

Prom Belvidere.— Alfred Thomas, Richard Holcomb, Judge William R.
Sharp, William Sharp, Jr., William Carhart and son, J. Depue Labar,
John Smith, Solomon Mclntire, Frederick Weichler, Peter Fisher, Isaac
L. Fisher, Andrew Mellick, and Dr. Redford Sharp.

From Easton. — Valentine Schooley, John Dehart, Benjamin M.Youells,
George Diehl, Joseph Weaver, George Smith, Charles E. Buck, George B.
Able, Eugene Troxell, Stewart Beatty, Peter Bercaw, Arthur Kessler,
David Troxell, Edward Mclntire, Richard Williams, Robert Bnrrell,
John Clifton, Charles Arnold, Samuel Tates, Henry Metier, Samuel
Schaeff (engineer), George Schaeff (fireman), William Diehl ; and Joseph
Losey from Washington, N. J.

The engineer's bell sounded, and the boat stood up
the river, but, as it became evident that she could not
proceed far without greater head of steam, she was
brought to shore at the island just above town, and
there moored till the necessary power should have
accumulated. After lying there for a time and having
generated sufficient steam to carry her over the ripple,
the word was given to cast off. Just at this moment the
upper works of the boat were lifted into the air, torn
and scattered into fragments. Simultaneously came
a loud report, which was heard through all the lower
portion of the town and for a long distance on either
side of the river. The boiler had exploded. Of the
passengers who a moment before had been seen stand-
ing on the deck, with no thought of peril, some were
killed instantly, some terribly wounded, some drowned,
and nearly all were violently thrown into the river.

The shattered wreck swung off from the shore and
floated helplessly (but with the Stars and Stripes still
flying) down the stream, and lodged against one of
the piers of the railroad bridge.

Boats at once put off from the shore to rescue the
sufferers. The dead, such as could be found, were
taken upon the island, and everything possible was
done to alleviate the dreadful sufferings of the maimed
ones. A gentleman of the press who was soon at the
scene of the disaster said, —

" With the rapidity of lightning the news of the disaster Bpread over
Easton, Phillipsburg, and South Easton, and crowds hastened to the
river-bank. All the bateaux that could ho found wero seized upon to
carry persons over to the island, where the wounded and some of the
dead lay. Such a sight as tho writer there witnessed ho had novor be-
fore looked upon, and hopes never to behold again. Some of tho unfor-

tunate passengers were blown into the river, others were thrown upon
the island, and others again, who had been but slightly injured, jumped
from the stern of the boat into the water and swam to shore. Nearly
all the physicians of the borough were on the island shortly after the
explosion, rendering all the assistance to the sufferers that lay in their

The following are the names of the sufferers :

Killed. — Judge William R. Sharp and Richard Holcomb, of Belvidere;
George Schaefl' (fireman), Samuel Schaeff (engineer), George Smith, and
Joseph Weaver, of Easton.

Mortally Wounded. — Valentine Schooley, Samuel Yates, Henry Metier,
and Arthur Kessler, of Easton.

Missing. — William Sharp, Jr., Belvidere ; Stewart Beatty, Easton.

Wounded. — Benjamin M. Youells (leg broken in two places) and Peter
Bercaw (leg broken), of Easton; Andrew Mellick (arm broken), Belvi-
dere ; Edward Mclntire, Eugene Troxell, and William Diehl, of Easton ;
John Smith, Salomon Mclntire, and Frederick Weichler, of Belvidere;
Jos. Losey, Washington, N. J.; Richard Williams and Robert Burrell, of

Peter Fisher, of Belvidere, being anxious to reach
that place, and doubting whether the boat would get
up, resolved to go ashore on the Jersey side and take
the train home. He had but just left the "Alfred
Thomas" when the explosion occurred.



There were several lawyers and judges residing,
before the county was divided, in that portion of Sus-
sex which is now Warren. It is proper that mention
should be made of them in this chapter. The lawyers
of that period — from 1794 to 1824 — have been placed
in the list of attorneys and counselors, which we give
below, accompanied by the names of those of the
Warren bar since the organization of the county.

Those regularly admitted to the bar previous to
1824 were all good lawyers, and were not only of
great service in the organization of the new county,
but their education and experience fitted them to take
an active part in its civil and political affairs. One
of them, Matthias O. Halsted, was clerk of the courts
of the county from its organization to Feb. 23, 1831,
a period of about seven years, in which he rendered
the couuty faithful service. Many of the early records,
written by him in a plain and legible hand, have fur-
nished valuable material for some of the chapters of
this work. John M. Sherrerd, admitted to the bar in
1816, was appointed the first surrogate of the county,
Jan. 3, 1825, and discharged the duties of the office
till February, 1830 ; farther on in this chapter will
be found a sketch of his life. William C. Harris,
admitted in 1818, was the first prosecuting attorney
for the county, which office he held for a quarter of a
century, — from 1825 to 1850,— a fact which speaks
well for his ability and integrity.

Of several of the first-mentioned lawyers in our list
we have been able to obtain little or no information.



(The Croxalls — Morris and Daniel C— were brothers,

ami wiir |,i-.'ictitiuiniN in tin- f i r~ t courts, aa appears

by the recnnls. I'hincas li. Kennedy was among (he

in 11 1 1 >-n t i;il members of the bar from 1825 for many
rears, and ser.ved the county in various capacities;
Bras ten years county clerk, — from 1831 to 1841, — and

prosecutor of the plea.-, from IS.jil to is.",.",.

This bar has furnished three members of Con
—viz., Hon. John P. B. Maxwell, 1887-89 and 1841-

-\:\ ; Hon. Charle-. Sitgreaves, two terms, 1865-69 J and

Hon. Henry S. Barris, 1881-88. Hon. Isaac Wil-

iliiek, who was in ( 'migress from tliis county, 1849-53,
was not a member of I he bar.

. The names of the judges connected with the bar
and the courts of the county will lie found in the civil
list and in the personal biographies included in this



The lawyers who resided and practiced in Wan-en
in iin the organization of the county were the fol-

Daths ", AimiMlftw

Namkh. As Attorney. As Counselor.

ll.io v BanklmoD* November, l T'j I .

Jacobs. Thompson' November, 1706. Muy, 1804.

, i i Peal Fobruary, 1808.

M . II il.t.-l N..v,. -r, 1814.

John M. Sherrerd November, 181B. February, 1831.

Willi. in i 0. MorrU Nov .„,. 1818.

Morris Oroxall* Septe ,r, i -.1 November, 1824.

Croxall November, 18'.H. November, 1828.

Idward R.SwaygeJ February, 1824.

Che folio v in is ;i list of admissions since the COUlltj

was organized, in 1824:

Dates of Ahmission'.

Names. AsAttornoy. AaC isclor.

1 loos B. Kennedy* May, 1826. Mov. 1- •

John P. B. Maxwell 1 May, 1827. May, 1880.

linn, D. Maxwell >.-|.i.-n,i.. ..i- a.

Williun, F. ci.-insoiit Septcuib r, 1 It Septerabor, 1838.

Bennington F. Rauilolphi Februnr, 1838 February, 1842.

ir in i VI. Mllloi i Septe , 1810. May, 1844.

Isiuu u. Nortonl May, 1843. tob, r, 1846,

.M ii .1 '. Rlohoyt February, 1844 April, 1847.

Jeblel Q.Sbipmau. Septoniber, 1844. January, 1848.

October, I - IT.

.too,- M. d. I n Ittliuury, l-ls. F.-I.iuurv, 1860.

J. ,l,i, F. lui nl in i bruary, 1862.

I,,,,,, I i. Depuef luly.l 10 February, 1858.

.1,- |,i, Fllel January I iry, 1866.

i. i M II ,1 ; Inly, i- ii Febra u

lvl\, in Sltgreavee* I .l.i no , , 1862,

||, Will i llnton Blali i

fcrtletl e. Froel Novcml

M.,iin, Wyckofl Fol iry, I860. Fobruary, is,, 7.

Al.i., In,,,, li,|,„„' November, 1861.

Betel I!. Winter* November, 1863,

Daniel B. Ilurvoy N,,,.-,ni. ,. I-, : IVIuuan. lsr.7.

Willi. ON 8, Hull, VO ■ I

o. I,, Jeffrey N, ml or, 1864 November. im;7.

Willi. on M Mackey.. November, 1864. Febnii

William M Davtn \ n mil, r, 1864. Nover,

w II Morrow Nov, niber, 1806.

.1. I'm, .11 Toadvluo*

' barb I I lb b Februal 1 ■• i v, 1870.

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 124 of 190)