James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 134 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 134 of 190)
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From L825 to 1848 the business of this society " :LS
conducted by the clergy and laymen of the Presby-
terian ' Ini i'li . The other de dnations had their

own Bible societies, and consequently did not affiliate
ii iety. After the burning ol the

Book C ■< in of the Methodist Episcopal Church

that denomination united with tin' American Bible
S iciety in this branch of missionary effort. After a

suspensi t' nearly eight years tin' Warren County

3oi ietj was r ganized, .Ian. 15, 1851, b

i reorge Sheldon, the State agent of the parent -'"'iety.
From thi- time the Presbyterian ami Methodist, and
more recentlj tin' Lutheran, Churches have heartily

ami liar liously engaged in thi- work.

Tli.' reorganization was effected by tin- election of
Wm. P. Robeson president; Daniel Hulshiser, Mar-
shall Hunt, Archibald Robertson, vi presidents;

Re\ . I liiii'v Reei bs si and 1 (r. Roderick

Byington treasurer. The executive coi ittee was

i iposed of Dr. J. M. Paul, Rev. II. M . Brown, John

M. Sherrerd, J. < '<■ Shipman, Rev. James McWilliams,
ami A. N. Easton. During thi- year the count] was
i ly Rev. I Soi ni lius < 'lark, and the two
hundred and forty-four families found destitute of
Bibles, sn|i|,iii',i, :>s well as the boats on the Morris
(anal. In 1856, Mr. (later the Rev. Th lore Bying-
ton was engaged t" canvass the county, and in 1 862
ii". John Agin made a verj thorough exploration,



visiting five thousand one hundred and fourteen fam-
ilies, supplying four hundred and forty-eight destitute
families, and donating and selling Bibles and Testa-
ments to the number of seven hundred and forty-
seven. In 1S62 a new constitution was adopted.

This society contributed three hundred and sixty-
three dollars and twelve cents as its quota of the in-
debtedness of the American Bible Society, incurred
in supplying the New Jersey soldiers in the late civil
war with Testaments and Bibles.

In 1871 the county was again canvassed by the so-
ciety's agent, John Travis, five thousand two hundred
and forty-nine families were visited, and seven hundred
and ninety -six Bibles distributed, of which four hun-
dred and seventy-six volumes were donated and three
hundred and twenty sold. At the anniversary meet-
ing held August 3d, this year, at the Methodist Episco-
pal church, Belvidere, a tribute of respect was paid
to the memory of John M. Sherrerd, Esq., late presi-
dent, and recently deceased ; he was one of the origi-
nal founders of the society, and the latest survivor of
that honored company.

The meetings have been regularly held since the
reorganization in 1851. In 1867 there were deposi-
tories at Belvidere, Hackettstown, and Washington ;
in 1868 one was established at Phillipsburg. These
are still continued.

The semi-centennial anniversary meeting of the
society was held at the Presbyterian church at Wash-
ington, Aug. 5, 1875. The annual sermon was
preached by Rev. John J. Morrow, of Belvidere,
from the text (Lev. xxv. 12), "It is the jubilee: let
it be holy unto you. - ' The secretary, P. F. Brakeley,
read a historical review of the society's operations
during the half-century of its existence. The Rev.
C. E. Little addressed the society, giving a brief
sketch of the English Bible ; the president and the
Rev. Dr. Sheldon, Revs. Sawyer and Stoutenberg,
from the Morris County Bible Society, and Revs.
Barrett and Hart, from the Sussex County Bible
Society, also delivered brief addresses on this occa-

In 1879, at the annual session held at Asbury
Methodist Episcopal church, August 14th, the Society
resolved upon " the resupply of the county at once,
on what is called the voluntary plan ;" but for some
cause this measure was not at once carried into effect.
It is stated, however, to be the intention of the so-
ciety to make the canvass the present year.

The officers of this society, from its organization to
the present time, have been as follows :

Presidents.— 1825-27, William Kennedy ; 1828, Abram Bidleman ; 1829-
33, John Clurk; 1834-58* William P. Kobeson, Esq.; 1859-02, Dr. J.
Marshall Paul; 1863-65, John M. Sherrerd, Esq.; 1866, Hon. John. White;
1867, Hon. Philip II. Hanu ; 1868, Selden T. Soranton ; 1809, Daniel Hul-
uliizer; 1870, .1. G. Shipman, Esq.; 1871, Joseph Vliet; 1872, Dr. John C.
Johnson; 1878, Dr. J. M. Paul ; 1874-70, Hon. Robert S. Kennedy ; 1877,
John S. Labar; 1878, CharleB E. Vuil ; 1879-81, Hon' Philip H. Harm.

Recording Secretaries— 1825, William H. Sloan, Esq. ; 1827, Rev. Joseph

1 The Bocioly wus inoperative and held i

etingsfrom 1811 to 1851.

Campbell; 1S28-32, Chapman Warner ; 1833-34, James Hiles; 1835-36,
Wm. C. Morris ; 1837-43 * George R. King ; 1851-58, Rev. Henry Reeves ;
1859, Kev. A. M. Palmer; 1800, George B. Day; 1861-81, Dr. P. F.

Treasurers.— 1825-26, Wm. C. Morris; 1827-31, Nathan Stiger; 1832,
John Kinney, Jr. ; 1833-35, Nathan Stiger ; 1S36-3S, John M. Sherrerd ;
1839-43,* Wm. K. Warne; 1851-69, Dr. Roderick Byington; 1870-81,
Win. H. Morrow, Esq.

According to public notice, a number of citizens of
Warren County met at the town-hall, Belvidere, on
the 17th of March, 1859. James M. Ribble was made
chairman, and Daniel Swayze secretary. This is the
first recorded date of any measures being taken for
organizing an agricultural society for Warren County.
After a free and general expression of opinion, it was
resolved by this meeting

"That the mutual interests of all classes of our citizens and the dif-
fusion of practical scientific knowledge require the formation of a society
for tile promotion of the agricultural and the mechanic arts."

A committee was appointed to draft a constitution
and by-laws, and to solicit information with regard
to the location, cost of proper grounds, etc. A com-
mittee was also appointed to solicit stock subscrip-
tions throughout each township in the county. The
meeting reassembled at the court-house on the 7th
of May, 1859, and was organized by appointing Judge
William R. Sharp chairman, and E. L. Campbell sec-
retary. The draft of a constitution and by-laws was
submitted, and adopted by the meeting. The follow-
ing officers were then elected viva voce, — viz., Presi-
dent, James M. Ribble ; Vice-Presidents, Abraham
McMurtrie, A. O. Bartow, and Jacob Sharp ; Corres-
ponding Secretary, Edward L. Campbell ; Recording
Secretary, Philip H. Hann; Treasurer, Israel Harris;
and the following Board of Managers : Samuel L.
Shinier, Elijah Allen, John H. Blair, Isaac Brands,
James K. Swayze, Simon Wyckoff, Abel Young,
George H. Shoemaker, Philip Mowery, George W.
Williamson, William Hamlin, Dewitt Ramsay, Jon-
athan Pidcock, William F. Wise, David Shields,
Theodore P. Cornell, Nelson Smith, Stephen D.
Wyckoff, William R. Sharp, William P. Robeson,
Peter Fisher, Dr. Samuel S. Clark, Alfred Thomas,
William Silverthorn, William R. Brokaw, Hon.
Isaac Wildrick, Judge David B. Hazen, William

Suitable grounds were leased of Abraham Mc-
Murtrie, situate about one mile south of Belvidere,
and a track was graded and buildings erected during
the season. The first fair was held on Oct. 11, 12,
13, aud 14, 1859. It was largely attended, and the
display of stock, farm products, machinery, etc., was
very creditable to the. county. Philip H. Hann, the
recording secretary, tendered his resignation on Aug.
12, 1859, and was succeeded by Jacob Sharp.

The second annual fair was held Sept. 11, 12, 13,
and 14, 1860. The receipts were not so great, but the
attendance was nearly as large, as at the first one, and


53 1

uie exhibition was generally satisfactory to the people

At a meeting of the directors on Jan. 12, 1801,
tames K. Swayze, Esq., was appointed president of
file association, and Israel Harris treasurer, and Je-
hid T. Kith secretary. Mr. Swayze continued to
lerve as president for ten years, and Mr. Harris as
treasurer :in<[ Jehiel T. Kern as secretary until this
fete I March, 1881).

I'ln association has held its annual fairs regularly
every year down to October, I SKI), with l'rc<|iienl

thanges of directors, but uever had anj other presi-
dents than the following: .Tames K. Swayze, ten
years; James M. Kibble, two years; John V, Deshong,
Isaac Brands, John Anderson, and George Lommas-
son for the balance of the time, — Mr. Deshong hold-
fag the position at presi ut.

The association has a deed for about eighteen or
nineteen acres of land, beautifully Located for a fair-
grounds, and I trade for speeding horses, etc. It

ha- bad to struggle againsl difficulties the past five

on a< unt, principally, of the dullness of the

time-, ami has also 1 a unfortunate in having much

rainy weather diirimj fair weeks, which together have

Brippled its resources. Ii- influence on the forming
and stock-growing community has, on the w hole, been
healthy and beneficial, in spite of disappointments
and jealousies among the exhibitor-.

It obtained an act of incorporation from the Legis-
lature of our Siate during the session of I860, author-
ping the association to purchase and hold real I State
not to exceed ill value ten thousand dollars, and to

mortgage and sell the same, to employ its own p. .lice
force, and is exempt from taxation, The original
share of stock was twenty-five dollar-, which has been

paid. There were about two hundred stockholders at

lir-t. but some of them have failed to pay. and their

h .i I bas been declared forfeited.

The premi - awarded from year to year on stoi k,

machinery, farm produce, and holies' haiidiworl

from eight hundred to twelve hundred dollars.
The tendency of its fairs of late year- ha- been to-
wards the spi id of horses, which, in an agricultural
bounty like this, should not be permitted. The county
Being rich in ii- mineral resources, as well as having

a very fertile soil, producing almost every variety of
•/rain and vegetables, and being very advantageously
situated for marketing its products, an annual exhi-
bition by an association like this of the various pro-
duct- of the farm, the dairy, and the orchard is
calculated to arouse and stimulate efforts of rivalry
and competition that will tend to develop the best in-
terests of the count] if it is properly en< raged and



At a meeting of teachers held at Washington in the

summer of 1868 it was resolved t ganize a county

association, and the initial step- were then and there
taken by the appointment of a committee to draft a
constitution and by-laws.

"The Warren County Teachers' Association" was
formed at Phillipsburg, Dec. 26, 1868, on which occa-
sion the teachers of the county assembled to hear the
report of the committee previously appointed to pre-
pare a constitution and by-laws for the association.
Mr. II. C. I 'ut nam was president and J. S. Smith sec-
retary of the meeting. The report was accepted and
th. constitution and rub's adopted. After signatures

were obtained thereto the following officers were

chosen: President, If. C. Putnam; Vice-Presidents,
W. II. Prouty, Mrs. Couch; Recording Secretary,
Joseph S. Smith; Corresponding Secretary, Miss
Maggie Yale.

The constitul ion provided for stated
January, May. and September, but the lir-t regular
meeting was held in May. 1869. Several meetings
were held, as provided by the constitution, quite reg-
ularly during its earlier year-, but for several years
past the a - . .eiation ha- held no sessions, and is now

"Teachers' Institutes" have been held nearly every
year ever since the enactment of the present Bchool
law.* The annual report- of the county school su-
perintendents give a full account of their proceedings
and the practical results of their work.

•Tho first (or ubout the Brat) Teachers' tnsti lot Warren Gaunt}

nu held Hi the rear 1853.


TOWN of belvidbre:


This village, beautiful for location, picturesque in
its surroundings, is pleasantly situated upon either
side of the Pequest Creek at its confluence with the
Delaware Eiver. That portion of the town lying
upon the south side of the creek, and oldest in point
of settlement by the white race, is upon a broad,
level plateau, some 30 or 40 feet above the level of
the river, and regularly laid out in squares. Here,
too, is the public square, with its noble old elms,
pines, and buttonwoods, neatly trimmed, surrounded
by a suitable railing, the whole presenting an air of
solidity, neatness, and comfort. Here, also, is located
the AVarren County court-house, occupying a central
position opposite the north side of the park, while the
Protestant Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, Presby-
terian, and Baptist churches face the east, south, and
west sides of the park.

With the exception of Water Street, that portion
of the town lying upon the north side of the Pequest
is upon ground more or less uneven, with an abrupt
bluff running from. Market Street, in rear of, and
nearly parallel with, Water Street, easterly to the
vicinity of Miller's bridge, showing unmistakable
evidence that it was at one time, far back in the
misty past, the low bank of the then unnamed Pe-
quest Creek, the outlet of a small lake then covering
an area back of the vicinity of what is now Miller's
bridge. The north side of the creek is also full of
historic associations. There are located the Second
Presbyterian church, the Hoops, and later the Paul,
property, the pioneer tavern, and other points of in-

The town is located geographically in latitude 40°
47' N., and longitude 1° 50' E. from Washington ;
65 miles west of New York, 65 miles north of Phila-
delphia, and 13 miles above Easton, reckoning dis-
tance by turnpike.


The well-known habits of the aboriginal tribes
that inhabited this region of country previous to its
occupation by the white man, the large number of
their warlike implements found, and the topography

* By W. II. Slmw.


of the surrounding country, all furnish unmistakable
evidence 1 that the beautiful plateau upon the south
side of the Pequest was at one time an Indian village.
Whether there were any remnants of the Indian
tribes here when Kobert Patterson, the pioneer of
Belvidere, traveled this way and asserted his sover-
eignty by squatting upon the site now occupied by the
Warren House, is not definitely known ; but it is pre-
sumable, however, that they had left this their happy
hunting- and fishing-ground in accordance with a
treaty made with William Penn, he having pur-
chased (as it was called) of them the tract upon which
the town of Belvidere is situated. This was in the
early days known as the " Alford tract."

The next landowner in that portion lying south of
the Pequest was Robert Morris, who, Nov. 15, 1793,
gave a deed of the entire tract to his son-in-law and
daughter, Charles and Mary Croxall. The deed of
Morris to Croxall was one of those peculiar instru-
ments in writing so frequently made in those days, en-
tailing the property to the heirs of Charles and Mary
Croxall forever ; but by an act of the State Legislature
passed Feb. 14, 1818, the entailment imposed by the
deed of 1793 was discharged, and the estate unfet-
tered and converted into a fee simple.

The family history of the Croxalls and the devolu-
tion of this property — i.e., so much of the town of Bel-
videre as lies on the south side of the Pequest — be-
tween 1793 and 1825, showing the different titles,
tides the property over a period of so many years, and
finally settles it in possession of its present rightful

Charles and Mary Croxall had four children, —
Thomas, Daniel G, Anna Maria (who married Clau-
dius F. Le Grand), and Morris. The three eldest
had become of full age prior to November, 1817.
Morris, the youngest, became of full age in 1820.
Prior to his coming of age Peter Gordon was his duly-
constituted guardian.

Previous to 1817 the life estate of Charles Croxall, by
judgments, sheriffs' sales, and otherwise, had become
vested partly in Mary Croxall and partly in trustees
in trust for her; and Charles and Mary had, in 1814,
conveyed one undivided half of the lands to theirsons,
Tiiomas and Daniel.



In 1818 tin- Legislature of New Jersey, on the ap-
plication of Thomas, the eldest son, and by the con-
sriii of Charles and Mary Croxall, and the younger
children and the guardian of Morris, passed an act
authorizing a division of the entire tracl of 614 acres
among the four children in li->- simple. This di-
vision was made, and the family arrangement thus
agreed upon and authorized by legislative enactment
was further carried oul by mutual deeds of bargain,
gale, and release by the several childn n to each othi t
respectively for their respective shares in fee simple,
bonfirmed by Charles and .Mary ( !roxall, and contain-
ing covenants of non-claim. The chain of titles since
of Robert Morris are as follows:

Legislature datod Feb. 14, 1818, and the division made

n the . ■■in in i- in ler that act.

Deed fr.uii Thomaa Croxall anil "it-. Daniel C. Croxall and wire, 0. 1'.
i ■ Morris Croxall, in fee simple fur the slm
I.. Morris Includln i inestlon, dated March IS, 1823.

i given by Morris Croxall to Tl is

H. Wall.
di Morris i i in i ■ Garret D. Wall, dated Sept. ■

'■i'i: i in fee simple, with lull covenants and war-
Deed from Charles Croxall (alter the death ol Mai ■ i Garrets, Wall,

.in! . i sopt.ao,]

Deod from Garret D. Wall to John M. Sherrerd, dated .Tun. ■

■ ii house and lot, containing two acres of land, Thtawas the

i'ii-mi Mtli- Diode "i ■mv .-i Hi.- 1 roxnll |

Tin ( Iroxall property, over which there has been -■>
inurli litigation, was embraced within the following

■ the - Ii -i le of Second I the rlvor, .it low-

•Mtcl mark ; running in a straight line to the northeast corner ol Bou.
w . II. Mori ■•■■■' I il iu Grei nv, i. Ii Stn ■ :. opp all ■ Ftili I , thi

jweon Third and Fourth and publii - hool grounds, between Fourth

ami Fifth Streets, on tin llneol Independence Street totl 11 Hllea

property «■ uw t by bevl s Johnston; thence horpy In a straight

■ Oxford tnd Pat I bi

i i > t.> near the upper end of 1

( ii Water Street, following thatdown to Wall Streot; thence

north to i' Inwai 3trco1 the Del ware Rivi rj thorn e


Tin- embraces :ill the water-power within tin:
town "I' Belvidcre, tin- county buildings, four of the
churches, the mosl prominent residences, ami the
business portion of tin- town.

During its ownership by Mr. Wall In- verj
buslj donated in Warren County tin- public square,
also tin- grounds upon which the county 1 . 1 1 i 1 ■ 1 i 1 1 -_i -
Hand. Mr nl-" gave to the several churchi
rounding the public park the lots upon which their
Church edifices ami parsonages stand, except tie- Bap-
ti-i church Int. which was purchased of Son. George
M. Robeson in 1 866.

Pro inn- in the purchase of the ' Iroxall property by
Mr. Wall, that portion of Belvidcre was very slow in
growth, ami a there was not half a dozen

Swellings mi the south side of the Pequest, an. I in
1826 iloy numbered but -even.

The pioneer house was probably that built b
'i' Patterson, and torn down in 1838 bj Maj. Depeu.
This was a block-house, or doubli -it was

styled in those days. Just when it was built is not
known, hut it must have been near the middli o
last century. It was built of hard-wood timber, 10
by 14 inches square, ami white-oak plank ■". inches'
thhk. ami dovetailed together at tie- corners of the

building, ami the major said In- hail a "tarnal tough
job a-giten 'em apart." This was no doubt tl

house in what i- now I !.-l\ iih.-re.

I in Croxall mansion, -till standing on Greenwich
Street between Front and Second Streets, was built
"mi 1780, and is now owned by the J. M -

.it.-. It was known for many years a- the

lovili -i -| .t in Warren Ccuntv with a beautiful

lawn between tin' mansion anil tin- road that swept

around the hill below.

I ivi other and smaller dwellings was the sum total,
down to 1826, upon the south side of tin- Pequest.

I ir. Paul, in an article entitled "Belvidere One
Hundred Years A.go," says there was in !780aBtone
distillery standing on the corner between the east end
of South Water Street ami the bridge, and the bridge
at that time was a very primitive affair, built of logs
ami p. .Ii-, n here now stands a substantial iron bridge.
The double log house of Patterson's, afterwards known
as the ".Man-ion House," was in 17'Sn tenanted by
Robert Patti rson, who was a tinman.

After Patterson's removal, the doctor say-, a store

was kepi in tin- house tor some time by old Mathew

Lowry ami brothers . tin- father ol' John Dowry, -■>
well known throughout this region as "Captain Jack,"

and who was -o fatuous for hi- expertnes- iu steering

Durham boats ami ran- of lumber down through the
rapids of the Little ami Great Foul Rifts.

The two houses on the northern side of the Pequest
were a double log house, on the site of tin- late Dr. J.
M. Paul's residence, in the grove up Market Street,
ami the other was a small log house built against the

hank southwest from tin- Dr. Paul mansion, in rear of

what was known as " i >hl Juddy's" lot, ami occupied
i Matthew, a day-laborer.
The Rev. Mr. Treat, a Presbyterian minister, resided
iii the double log house on the hill, ami officiated at
the old Oxford log church. The dwelling of Mr.
Treat wa- known afterwards a- tie- "Cottman house,"
ami was subsequently occupied by Maj. Robert Hoops,

nsiveland proprietor in and about this
II.- came to Belvidere about 177". ami purchased the
mill- ami water-power, together with the adjoining
properties on either ride of the Pequest, amounting to
some 600 air.- of land, know n since a- the Paul ami

( Iroxall trait-.

Some years subsequent to tin- purchase of the water-
power, Hoops erected an extensive slaughter-house
..ii tin- lot where now Btand the fine barns of D. C.
I tlair. on the north rideof the t txforil readjust across
from tin- Belvidere House. In thi- building great
numbers of cattle ami hogs were slaughtered ami

• Itrs. I.uiini and Gwli p both lived In the old doable log house.

The Paul mansion w«i built b} Dr. George Orei



packed, which, together with the flour manufactured
at the mill, were transported to middle Jersey for
the use of the Revolutionary army ; and not unfre-
quently, at that period, all the farmers' wagons and
sleds were put into requisition to convey these articles
to the half-starving thousands under the command of
Gen. Washington, in the vicinity of Morristown.

Dr. Paul, in his "One Hundred Years," says the
first frame house erected in Belvidere was put up hy
Maj. Hoops, on the site now occupied by the first
house below the Second Presbyterian church, on
Market Street. It was occupied by Messrs. Hoops
& Hyndshaw as a surveyor's office. The frame of
this house was removed in 1827 by Dr. Clark, Sr., and
converted into a dwelling for a blacksmith by the name
of Wright.

Hon. J. P. B. Maxwell says in " Historical Collec-
tions," 1841, that shortly after Robert Patterson lo-
cated here "' a small block-house was erected on the
north side of the Pequest, some 30 or 40 yards east
of the present toll-house of the Belvidere Delaware
bridge. Some time previous to the Revolutionary
war a battle was fought on the Pennsylvania side
of the river between a band of Indians, who came
from the north, and the Delawares residing in the
neighborhood, aided by the whites, in which the latter
were defeated and driven to the Jersey side."

"About that time the principal part of the lands on
the north side of the Pequest was owned by Maj.
Hoops, while that on the south side was owned by
Robert Morris," who entailed it, as has been stated.

While Maj. Robert Hoops owned the north side of
the Pequest he surveyed it into town plats, and gave
the town the name of " Mercer," which it retained
for many years. This was then the business part of
the town, for iu fact there was no town or business on
the south side, except the double log or block-house
of Patterson's, which was occupied as a store, and
subsequently as a tavern, and the Croxall — now known

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 134 of 190)