James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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but by the advice of the attorney-general the court
considered that the requisite malice could not be
proved against the prisoner, and accepted a plea of
guilty of murder in the second degree, but, to show
how the case was regarded, sentenced him, Feb. 12,
1S76, to forty years in the penitentiary, that term
being the utmost limit allowed by the law.

At the September term, 1874, Andrew Oleson, a
Swede, was tried for the killing of Policeman Smith,
at Hackettstown. The jury found him guilty of
murder in the second degree, and he was sentenced,
Oct. 1, 1874, for seven years.

At April term, 1876, John Cunningham was tried
for the murder of Margaret Kays, in Greenwich town-
ship. The killing had taken place several years be-
fore, by some one unknown at the time. Cunning-
ham was subsequently charged with the crime by a
woman with whom he had been living in a Western
city, and he was brought here for trial. The testi-
mony, however, was not strong enough to convince
the jury that he was the murderer, and they brought
in a verdict of acquittal.

At the September term, 1876, Nancy Riker was
indicted for the murder of Alfred Leigh, at Rock-
port, on the Morris Canal. She was tried Sept. 29,
1876, and acquitted, the jury believing that the kill-
ing was done in self-defense.


During the last three years so much has appeared
in the newspapers of the country respecting the frauds
in this county that it has been suggested that this
history would not be complete without some refer-
ence to the ring by and through which these frauds
were made possible and carried on so successfully for
a number of years.

It is not intended to intimate that these frauds
were of a kind peculiar to Warren County alone.
The daily press throughout the entire country gave —
and still gives, though not to so great an extent — -
alarming evidence as to the low moral tone pervading
official circles everywhere. Nor is it the purpose to
discuss here the causes of these frauds. Such dis-
quisition belongs to another department. We can
only state facts.

The county debt of Warren in 1867 amounted to
but about twenty -five thousand dollars. In 1877 the
official tables given out by the committees of the
board of chosen freeholders showed that this debt
had increased to nearly eighty thousand dollars.
During these ten years the tax-rate for county pur-
poses had been the highest ever known, and under
its levies hundreds of thousands of dollars had been
paid into the county treasury. The taxes for county
and State purposes had increased from thirty-five



thousand dollars to one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars. When the incomes of farmers, producers,
and manufacturers began to lessen after the panic
made itself felt here and taxes were not so easily
bid, people began to ask themselves, What has

lea ■ of the large amounts already levied'.' They

had observed improvements in the county buildings,

and that a number of costly bridges bad been erected
Over the streams in various part- of the county, and,
i the bills of expenses rendered for these seemed
disproportionately high, they did not account for all
the public moneys.

The character of the persons having in charge the
management of the county (inane,- was not of a
kind to inspire confidence in their integrity; but, al-
though there was an almost universal murmur of dis-
content. -o strongly was the ring intrenched in power
Burt they could neither be dislodged from their places
nor could the public get an insight into their meth-
od-. It is not to he considered that either political
party was responsible for the state of affairs ; the fact
most probably is that the politicians and wire-pullers
of the lowe-i grade- in each party contributed either
bnsciousl] or unconsciously to the success of the
ring. Subsequent developments seemed to indicate
that a part of the plunder was regularly set apart to
control tin- primaries held just before the annual
town-meetings at which the chosen freeholders were
(fleeted, and thus the ring succeeded in electing them-
selves or their friends almost indefinitely.

Whether a majority of these officials were of the
ring set or not, it is certain that they managed for
■ears to control the organization of the official board.
They elected one of their own number director and
another clerk, and another county collector or treas-
urer. The director appointed the committee to settle
with the collector ; the collector took bis false vouch-
ers before this committee, who added them together
ami reported the gross amount to the board, which in

turn approved the auditing, when the vouchers were
lodged in the hands of the clerk for safe-keeping.

All this auditing was carried on in secret, in a back
room of the court-house, or in a retired quarter at

one of the tow II hotels.

In the spring of |s;s the < ireenhack part} polled

Id man\ votes iii Borne townships and wards that reg-
ular tickets were defeated and independent men elected
in their places ; in other townships local lend- di-
vided the ranks; so that when the members Of the

board of freeholders came to Belvidere at the an-
nual meeting, the ring found itself in a minority,
though the reformers were not strong enough to elect
more than the director.

ImmediateU upon the organization oi the board a
(resolution was adopted requiring that all a
should be settled at open board. Then the ring,

knowing that this was tor them the crack of doom,
abandoned the contest ami turned their attention to

ialing their frauds. Togel a breathing-spell, and

to settle upon some line of action, they procured an
adjournment for a fortnight, ami upon reassembling,
on Ma\ i'n. L878, the county collector produced a
book which he claimed was the one in which he had
kept his original accounts and had produced to the
board on the fir-t day of its meeting. But those
who had seen and carefully examined the first book
declared that the one produced was not the one it
purported to be, and then it transpired that in the
interval the collector bad made an entirely new book,
in which he had omitted many of the account- con-
tained in the original. He declared that the old hook
had been destroyed and he could not produce it.

The board then began a systematic investigation of

the manner in which the affairs of the comity had
been carried on tor some years, and. notwithstanding
the obstacles put in the Way, enough was developed
to show that tin- county had been plundered on a
most enormous scale. It was asccrtui I that pre-
vious statements respecting the county debt were
false; that the amount had been carefully under-
stated in order to disarm suspicion, and the real in-
debtedness was found to be nearly one hundred and
sixty thousand dollars. Every imaginable way that
could be devised for depicting the county treasury
had been tried. Bills had been paid again and again.
An undertaker's bill for burying an indigent person
had been altered in its date and name of payee, and
then paid again and again for four successive years.
County orders bad been paid to the person present-
ing them, and then raised in amount from tens to
hundreds of dollars. Note- for hundreds and thou-
sands of dollars which had been paid in former years
were taken out from the clerk's desk and altered in
date, in payee, and frequently in amount, and paid
again, and the money divided between the director,
the clerk, and other county officials. Property bought
by freeholders lor their personal use had been paid

for by the county; Brussels carpets, upholstery of all
kinds, bedding, rugs, cook -stoves, and lamps furnished
the private residences of the ring at the expense of
the c ,nnty.

At the September term of the Countj Courts the
grand jury were specially charged by Chief Justice
Beaslcy with reference to their dut] as to these frauds,
lie -aid to them that be was glad to know that there
Was a determination to wipe out the -tain resting on

the county, as tar as possible, by putting the matter

in the courts for investigation, and. if fraud existed, of

insisting upon the punishment of the offend* rs. Hi
told them it was their duty to investigate these mat-
ters, — to investigate them with care, -and to stand
firm ami steadfast on the ground of duty. He re-
minded them of the oath they bad ju-t taken to pre-
l rj man. no matter who he may be, QO matter
what his position, or what his influence, or what his

The grand jury remained in sc— ion about two
weeks, and at last returned to the court with seventy-



six bills of indictment. The trial of the indictments
began Jan. 3, 1S79, before Chief Justice Beasley and
his associates. The prosecution was conducted by
Henry S. Howes, Esq., prosecutor of the pleas, and
with him were associated Attorney-General John P.
Stockton and R. Byington, Esq., of Newark. The
indicted officials were defended by J. G. Shipman
and J. M. Robeson, Esqs., of Belvidere, and Wm.
H. Morrow, Esq., Newark, N. J. The trials continued
for nearly four weeks. The only acquittals had were
those of Jacob J. Stone, defended by B. C.Frost;
Gershom Trimmer and Charles S. Stroder, defended
by Wm. H. Morrow. There were, in all, ten per-
sons convicted of crimes against the county, and on
Saturday, Jan. 25, 1879, these were sentenced to hard
labor in the State prison for terms ranging from one
to four years. It is said that more people came to
Belvidere on that day than had been there at any
one time since the execution of Harden.

In an earnest appeal made to the court for mercy
towards his clients, J. G. Shipman, Esq., said, —

" I have often stood up, as Tour Honors well know, in behalf of crim-
inals before this court for almost every grade of crime and interceded
for them, but in all my life of practice — which is not very short — I have
never witnessed a scene like this, and I trust in God I shall never be
called upon again to witness another like it. It rends the very heart-
strings out to look upon it, and I cannot trust myself to speak further."

Chief Justice Beasley in passing sentence made
use of language worthy of being perpetuated in the
history of the county :

"This transaction is certainly a remarkable one. It is not surprising
that it has excited such a degree of attention and amount of interest.
This series of crimes which you and your associates have perpetrated
stands unexampled, fortunately, in the history of this State, and I think
I may say in the history of all the States of this country. It seems that
a number of men reputed to be respectable, holdiug elevated social posi-
tions, have banded themselves together for the purpose of plundering
their fellow-citizens. Now, such occurrences as these, from sad experi-
ence, take place at times in our crowded cities, where men of desperate
fortunes are congregated, — men who have had small advantages of moral
instruction: we know that they sometimes band together for these dis-
honorable purposes, — but in an agricultural community, where men are
brought up with the school-house and tiie church almost at their doors,
living in moral neighborhoods, surrounded by all the best influences
that can surround men, — when we see men under such circumstances
uniting for evil purposes of this kind it astounds and frightens society ;
men feel that they have no safety in their trusts, and the ground seems
to shake under their feet.

" Now, what led to this crime 1

" It is difficult to imagine what was the cause of this series of crimes.
I think that the citizens of this county, like the- citizens of most of our
counties, have been remiss in their duties. They have forgotten that it
is their business as citizens to supervise and watch all public affairs. A.
stern lesson has been taught to them, and I trust it will do them good.
I suppose they have learned that it will not do for them to permit one
set of knaves to nominate for office another set of knaves, and then for
respectable mon to affirm and sanction such an act by their votes. This
remissness, supineness, of your neighbors and fellow-citizens no doubt
gave you the opportunity of perpetrating these crimes for a time with
impunity, but what led you to undertake it is certainly a mystery.

" You are of mature years, acquainted with tlio affairs of life and the
wurld, and you theivforn eaimul way that you perpetrated these crimes

through inexperience or through tlio thoughtlessness of youth, nor can
you say it was a sudden lapse, — that your virtue was overcome in a
moment of temptation. You cannot say that, because you made crime
your business. If was schemed ami planned, thought over and arranged.
You had your secret meetings, and you vised the worst kind of instiu-
mentalities. You resorted to forgeries and the ordinary instrumentali-

ties of the cheat. All these things were devised, and then the crime \
deliberately again and again executed.

" Now, such a course of conduct is enough to excite any community,
and the court, in looking over the matter, can find hardly any circum-
stances of mitigation."




The first practitioner in Warren County of whom
there is record was Dr. Samuel Kennedy, who is men-
tioned in the chapter devoted to this subject in the
Sussex County portion of this work. He early fixed
his location at Johnsonsburg, near what, after 1824,
was the dividing line between the counties of Warren
and Sussex. He practiced here for many years prior
to the Revolution, and was the only physician located
in the county. He often made professional trips of
twenty or thirty miles, and his ride extended east and
west beyond the borders of the county. It is probable
that the southern portions of the county were sup-
plied from Easton and some points (Lebanon and
Bethlehem) in Northern Hunterdon. The northern
and eastern parts of what is now the county of War-
ren, in addition to the labors of Dr. Kennedy, un-
doubtedly received visits from the doctors located in
Morris. This applies more particularly to the Revo-
lutionary period and antecedent.

Dr. William Hampton was cotemporary with part
of Dr. Kennedy's career. He was located at Hack-
ettstown, and during the last quarter of the eighteenth
century shared with the pioneer Kennedy in minis-
tering to the physical ailments of the people of the
northeastern part of Warren County. The next gen-
eration of doctors were those of whom our immediate
ancestors, and some now living, tell, who, by lives of
toil and arduous devotion to duty, founded solid and
lasting reputations as practitioners, and were as highly
esteemed as the most prominent of the day. Through-
out the county the names of Gwinnup, Leeds, Palmer,
Kennedy, Sloan, Hughes, Stewart, Green, and Clark
are familiar to many a household.*

The period from 1769 to 1 809 includes the duration
at Hope of the Moravian settlements, the history of
whose location here is now mainly recorded in the
substantial stone structures erected by the industry of
their members, which structures are prominent fea-
tures of the present village. The medical men among
the Hope Moravians, so far as known, were Drs. Shu-
man (or Shurenran), Kampman, and Bridgen. Dr.
Shuinan practiced there, but removed with the Mo-
ravian congregation to Bethlehem, Pa., and from
thence to Salem, N. C, where he died.f Dr. Kamp-

* Dr. J. 0. Johnson's Roport to State Soc, 1800.

t He was known by tlio Iiov. E. F. Black, who has kindly given the



Ban is remembered by Borne elderly people as prac-
ticing at Hope, and also beyond the bounds of the
gongregation ; his descendants are -till supposed to
|ve at Bethlehem. I>r. Bridgen lived and practiced
lad died on a farm three miles below Hope, on the
bad to Belvidere. He died aboul L805. Dr. John
B. Johnson, in his manuscript notes, says, "A lady
latient "t mine, seventy-eight years of age, has a
blue-glass egg-cup which belonged to the doctor. He
was from Philadelphia, and was ■, friend of and visited
fe Professor William Shippen, of the I civersitj :t
Pennsylvania, who at that time was a part-owner of
the Oxford Furnace. The deed of the farm from his
jeirs to the late John Schwander sustains the above

"The District Me.lieal Soeiety for the County of
Warren" was organized in 1826. The basis of this
fcciet was the following wurrant, obtained from the
Medical Society of the State of New Jersey:

"Apotlii.ni presented to the Uedlcal Soclet} ol the State of New
j.-,-.-v by phyali lans in the county of Warren, praying » warrant to form
■ district i lered thai Jabei Gwluoup, W.

£ Clark, < Oreen, Stewart Kennedy, S.O. Cook, J. r. I>. Slouu,

1 1. - j, . P. Stewart, David P. Hunt, Gideon I Is, and David G

to con itltute a District Hi He d 5o [ol ■ for th iinty of

".I v.. w. Cram,

"Sec. pro tern.
"TbjeHtos, Mot • i

Pursuant to public notice, and in accordance with
mis warrant, a number of physicians I being nearly all

pf those above named) met, Feb. 15, 1826, at the 1 ->■

of John P. Ribble, in Mansfield, to form a district
i society. I>r. Jabez Gwinnup was chosen
lent, Dr. John Ball vice-president, Dr. Stewart
Kennedy secretary, and Dr. Gideon Leeds treasurer.
Drs. George Green and John P. B. Sloan were ap-
pointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-
jaws and report at the next meeting, which was voted
.. bi b.< Id on April 25th, at the house of Joseph Nor-
ton, in Belvidere. At that meeting the rules as re-
ported by the committee, with slight alterations, were
adopted. In L835 a new set of by-laws was adopted,
which, with a few amendments, are -iill in force.

The name- of the members of the society, from the
Bate ot organization to the present time, a- given in
the record-book, are as follows :

J ihn Ball,! K31d U

•Wm. I i . David P Hunt, 31 Ke nly.1


knv-*Bodi i

1828.— .In T Sharp.!

In.-j. .luin.-i'. Filch.

i h as Darling,! J i

ii :i r.

1836. — *!!.!.
■837— »Wm. B. MoCullotigh,i Alexandei K.G»iton,1 W B.Dey.

lM.V-Williuiii '

—P. F. Drakeley.

lit C. Wllson.f "Lewis 0. Cook.f

—SaniuolS. t'lurk.
—Garner II. Cllne.
—•William Kennedy,! John C. Johnson, P. F. Hulnliizer, John S.

-•li.af.,1.1 8harp,t •Edwin Bylngton.

I ii. Ii.t I.. 0. ii-iiiiiii, Jr., Peter N. Jiu:obU8.t

— Th lore Cram., L. C. Cook, Henry Ilulshliwrt, 'Lulhcr 0.

Bowlby, Samuel - Kennedy.
L. M ' i-niiiii.
i I , Bboppard.
, — Georpi- s. li-;u i
- B. T BlackweU, Wm. SI. B u
—•Henry II. Blnekart,J. Marshall Paul, Jr, *D. D. DUdlne, John

N l!...ll..t

—Henry s. Ilurris.

William ii U
.— T. T. Mul. III. r, William J. Boo.
—John II. QrUDUi.

— Goorgo H. Jonos, Jacob J Boe, Hilton N. Armstrong.
— Wm. M. Baird, Boberl Bond, Jr.
: ber, Boberl A. Stewart.
-J. Wm. Dalrymple.



onatltuUoD .

Thesuccessh e presidents and secretaries hai i

I -HI -lliKNTS.

label Gwinnup; 1828-29, Goorgo Leeds; 1830-33, Tims. }'.

Stewart; 1834-85, no i 1 ; I- 16-87, II. Hughes; 1838, no record;

1839 11, It. Iiyingi.iu ; 1842 W, no i I; 1848 18, The* Stewart;

i-i- 57, Wm, P. Clark ; I 58 19, Jaa 0. HI h; It
ton ; 1862 hi. John C. Johnson; 1865, S. s. Clark ; 1866, P. r. Ilnl-
, 1887, L.C.Cook; 1888, L.C. Bowlby; 1869, 8. B. Kennedy;
1-7' i, Theodore Crane; 1>T1, L. 0. Oemun; 1872, Geo. s. Dearborn;
1873, Wm. M. Hartpen e; 1874, J. M. Paul, Jr.; 1878, II. II. Rine-
Imri; 1878, Wm. II. Mi.... 1877, L. M. Oemun; 1878, Wm. J. Roe;
1879-80, John II. Qrlfflth ; 1881, Hilton X. Armstrong.

Stewart Koi Iy; 1830-37, Wm. P. Clark; 1888, no record;

1- ig ii, Wm. J. Johns in; 1845-4 I Bitch; 1847-81, P. I .


The followin;_r mliers have served as ]ire-i.lnii-

of the .Me.lieal Society of the State of New Jersey ;
Thomas P. Stewart, L840; John C. Johnson, 1867;
and John S. Cook, 1878. W. P. dark has officiated
a- \ ice-president of the State Society.

Ai thi annual session of 18(i7, l>rs. .lame- ('. Fitch
and Roderick Byington were complimented for their
forty years' attendance upon the sessions of the society
and their devotion to its interests ; and by resolutions,
unanimously adopted, they wen- for the future ab-
solved from paying annual dues, without abatement
of their rights or privileges as members.

The annual sessions are held at I'h I \ idere, generally
in .Tune. Semi-annual meetings are also frequently
held, ai different places, in the month of October.

In 1872 (June 1th) it was unanimously resolved

that a c mitli e be appointed to Collect material for

a history of this society, designed to be read at it-
semi-centennial anniversary, and Drs. Johnson, Brake-
ley, Fitch, Paul, P. !•'. Hulahizer, I.. M. Osmun, L.C.
t look, i rriffith, and ' hrane wen- made such committee.
The labor being greater than was anticipated, the
committee were not ready at the time designated, and
asked tun her time. Much maierial has been gathered,

Suaai County.



which will most likely be submitted to the society this
year (1SS1), and then be printed for the benefit of its

The following list of places where physicians are or
have been resident, with date of locating and time of
removal, is given from data in possession of Drs. Grif-
fiths and Johnson :


Uughesrille (Forge) —John S. Hughes. about 1792, until death, in 1825.
John B. Hughes, son of John S., 1820, for few years ; then went to Fines-

Finesville (including Middleville and MuBCOnetcong). — John B. Hughes,
1825, until decease, 1858. Abram 0. Stiles, 1S4U-41 ; went hack to Har-
mony. William Shipinan, 1837^12; now at Springtown. J. 0. Purcell,
a short time ; weut to Frenchtowu. Simeon S. Dana, 1852-54 ; deceased.
John Leavitt, 1S47-54 ; deceased. John Sharp, 1S54-5S ; deceased.
Luther C. Bowlsby, 1857-60; went to Vienna; deceased. Amos Harris,
1860-62; returned to Pennsylvania. W. H. Drake, 1863-71; retired.
Nathan Case, 1871, to present time, 1SS1.

"Straw Tavern."— Stewart Kennedy, 1822-29. H. H. Ahernethy, 1832
-35 : now in Easton, Pa.

Bloomsbury. — Hugh Hughes, 1822-56. Isaac Stewart, 1852, to present
time, but now retired. W. E. Little, 1878, to present time, 1881.

SUwartsville — James C. Kennedy. 1829-51. P. F. Hulshizer, 1851, to
present time. S. S. Kennedy, 1859, to present; not now in practice. S.
A,. McCosh, 1S75, to present time, 1881.

Springtown. — William Shipmau, 1842, to present time, 1881.

Old Maxwell Farm— a. H. Ahernethy, 1854-67.


Harmony. — A. 0. Stiles, 1828, to present time (except one year at Fines-
ville) ; now retired. Alexander K. Gaston, 1835-36. Dr. Mills, 1837-38.
Garner H. Cline, 1S40, to present time. James D. Dewitt, 1849, to present
time, 1881.

Montana— Daniel W. Fangboner, 1870-72 ; died there.


Asbury. — James Holmes, about 1790, to about 1S10 ; went to New Hamp-
ton. John Ball, about 1794-1834 ; went to Newark. Dr. Heintzelman,
about 1800, for short timo. Henry H. Southard, 1834-37 ; went to Belvi-
dere. Alfred Gale, 1834, to present time. William B. McCullough, 1834-
37 ; went to Ohio ; deceased. John P. B. Sloan, about 1837, a short time ;
went to Easton, Pa. William E. Mulhollan, 1841^4; went to Brooklyn,
N. T.; deceased. Thomas Darling, 1S44-47 ; went to Virginia; died in
Easton. John Leavitt, 1846-47; went to Finesville; deceased. Robert
B. Brown, 1846-61; went into army. Christopher Mackey, 1S59-60;
went to Danville; returned and died. Thomas M. Bartolette, 1864-66;
deceased. Frederick P. Sheppard, 1866-69; deceased. S. A. Welch, 1809,
to present time, 1881. Nathan Case, 1869-71 ; went to Musconetcong.

Broadway— -W. B. McCullough, 1842-43. Henry Weller, 1842-45;
went West, Samuel Glenn, short time in 1856; went to Washington,
this county. P. G. Creveling, 1859-66; went to Hampton Junction.
Daniel R. Delong, 1867-68 ; weut to Phillipsburg. John C. Purcell, 1S07
-71; went to New York City. Thomas T. Mutchlor, 1871-76; gave up
practice and entered the ministry. P. G. Creveling, 1876, to present lime,

New Village. — Samuel Glenn, 1852-56; went to Broadway.

David Braiuerd, about 1770, when preaching as a missionary to the
Indians here. John Cooper, 1791-95 ; went to Easton. (From this time
until 1843, Phillipsburg was dependent upon Easton aud physicians of

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 127 of 190)