James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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as theSherrerd — mansion, which was in all probability
built by Robert Morris about the year 1780. It is
quite positively known, says Dr. P. H. Brakeley, that
the well in front of his office, standing next south
of the old mansion, was dug as near 1780 as can be
ascertained by Robert Morris. The water in this well
is so strongly impregnated with iron as to be unfit for
culinary purposes, and after J. M. Sherrerd came into
possession of the property he caused it to be filled up.

This well was on a line with and about half-way
between the old mansion and the pioneer barn, that
stood for nearly a century in the corner of the lot just
south of Dr. Brakeley's office, and was taken down by
the doctor a few years since. In 1876-77, Dr. Brake-
ley caused the old pioneer well to be cleaned out, and
found in the bottom an old-fashioned claw-hammer
and a piece of white oak pump-log, from the latter of
which he had a walking-stick made. Both hammer
and cane are preserved by (lie doctor as relics of the
last century.

Another of the old landmarks of the town of Bel-
videre is the old stone mansion on the southwest cor-
ner of Mansfield and Second Streets, and known as
the " Robeson Mansion," built in 1834 by Hon. John
P. B. Maxwell.

Among others whom we find have borne a promi-
nent part in the development of Belvidere is Maj.
Benjamin Depeu. He is a descendant of the Depeu
family who settled in the Minisink or Pahaquarry
valley nearly two centuries ago, whose descendants
are scattered all through the country, and many of
whom have become honored citizens of other States as
well as this. Mr. Depeu was born Sept. 1, 1796, two
miles below Belvidere, on the farm now owned by
Mr. Britton. He located in the towu of Belvidere in
1838, and for many years was one of its most promi-
nent citizens, and is yet, although deprived of his eye-
sight, quite active, and as conversant with the busi-
ness affairs of the world as most men at half his age
and with perfect sight.

John Shay, another of Belvidere's early residents,
was born in Easton, Pa., Aug. 10, 1812, and came with
his parents to this place in 1816, where he still resides.

Daniel Hull was born in Hunterdon Co., N. J., Feb.
7, 1801, and has been conversant with Belvidere since
1810, and finally located here in 1844, where he ex-
pects to spin out the brittle thread of life.*

Frederick Searles, from whose storehouse of written
memoranda pertaining to the early history of Bel-
videre we have been permitted to make oft-repeated
drafts, was born on Rattlesnake Hill, in Oxford town-
ship, in 1804, and as early as 1820 was doing business
in Belvidere for himself. Here he has since resided,
having been prominently identified with the building
up of the town, and for ten years having served as one
of the justices of the peace.


The good physician is one of the men in a com-
munity identified with the whole people, especially
in a new country. Among that class of pioneers at
Belvidere, or rather " Mercer," as it was then known,
was Dr. Jabez Gwinnup, who came to this towu during
the latter T>art of the last century and located on the
site of the late Dr. Paul's mansion. He remained
here till 1815, when he removed to Delaware Station,
where he died. Drs. Larabee and Fell were here
about the same time. Dr. Moreland was here about
the close of the Revolutionary war. He was a sur-
geon in the British army, and for reasons best known
to himself he decided to spend the remainder of his
days and usefulness on American soil, which he did.


Previous to 1800, but the exact date we were un-
able to ascertain, a tavern was kept in what was then
the " Town of Mercer," on the north side of the

* Mr. Shay ami Hi-. Hull have both turnishod tlie historian with valu-
able data for thin work.



Pequest. The little old dwelling standing on the
ride liill up against the southeast corner of the l>r.
Paul property on Market Street was :i tavern as early
as 1800, and kept at tliai t i ■ ■ t ■• by Capt. William
McHenry, who was subsequently succeeded bj James
McMurtrie. This was at one time the only tavern in
Mercer. The property i- now owned by Mi ■ II.
The next of the three taverns there in 1800 is the

yenerable-looking long, low, rniokeil two-story wooden

structure dignified by the title of " Franklin Bouse,"
and kept in 1825 30 by John Deitrick. This is one
of the ancient of ancients, in which a tavern lias been
k<i>i most of the time for nearly or quite a hundred
Bears, its present keeper being Mr. < '•. Cn sr,

Third, and by no means known to be the youngest,
i- the " Washington House," Unit prim- to ]siio,
purned in 1833, rebuilt in 1834, and kept from that
time until 1840 by Daniel Winters. It was kept
prior and subsequent to 1874 by John G. Schenck,
It was again destroyed by lir<- in 1877, and rebuilt in
1881, being completed about April 1st. It is located
on 1 1 » « • west Bide of Market Sunt, near Wain-.

In 1820 another tavern was opened in "Mercer"
h\ i 'apt. John ( 'raii;-, up Market Street, east side, mar
the railroail €-ru-~iiijr, now owned and occupied by
'I'll as Payne as a dwelling.

The pioneer tavern on the sonlh -ide of the IV-

miesl i^ conceded to be the old double log or block-
house of the pioneer Robert Patterson. After it was
vacated bj Patterson it was occupied as a store,

and then again as a tavern by William Craig, who

was succeeded by Joseph Norton, and in L838 it was
purchased by Maj. Benjamin Depeu, who removed it
and built the present brick structure, known as the

"Warren House," which the major kept for many

I Now owned by Widow Anderson, and kept
by Vincent Smith.
The "Belvidere Hon-.," cornerof Hardwick and

Front Streets, is of w I, built in 1831 by Chapman

Warner, uncle of S. T. Scranton. It was originally
built for a store and a dwelling ; the corner room, now
the bar-room, was occupied as a store. Mr. Warner
also kepi a lumber-yard in connection with his store.
Ii was converted into a hotel and named " Belvidere
Souse" in 18 , and kepi bj William Butler, I te
wa- succeeded by William Craig, who was followed
in 1844 by John P. Ribble. Then came O.Taylor,
Mr. Floyd, Peter Fisher, William Brockaw, and then
purchased bj Petei Fisher. He was succeeded by
hi- -"" Hu h ind William I isher, and they by
Joseph fisher, the pn opt ietor.

\s early as 1810 or 1812, when the name of "Bel-
videre" had not yet seen the light, a tavern was kept
by a Mr. Todd mar where Judge W. II. Morrow's

new house -lands.

Che American Hotel," located on the east Bide of

Mansfield, between from and S id Stn

built originally by Nelson Jaj in 1885. John Young

mxt owner. He was succeeded by Peter

Fi-her and l-aac HoUghawOUt, when l'i-ln r

quentl] purchased Houghawoufs interest, and in 1 865
the properly was purchased by Mr. Augustus I.

bach, tin- present proprietor. He has fr time to

time enlarged and improved the house, until it is at
present one of the best hotel- in Warren County.

The old "Franklin House," on Market Street, was
built in sections. The old tavern part, or upper end.

was built first, and Samuel Loder, a tailor by trade,
built the next section, and in ]<'■'■'. the now venerable
John Shay built the lower end, and finally the upper

end absorbed the rest, and the whole became th<
'• Franklin Ilou-e," kept in 1834 by Daniel Winter-,
who was subsequently sheriff of Warren County.


In the latter part of the last century a stone build-
ing was erected on what is now the northwest corner
of Market and North Water Street-, and occupied as
earlj as 1792 98 bj Capt. John Kinney and Thomas
Paul, general merchants. They were succeeded in

[g00 i,, Messrs. Wares & Waterfield. This store wa-
in the cornerof the building, on the site now occupied
by Freeman Brothers, clothier-. Wans & Waterfield
subsequently kept store in a small building west of
the Warren House. In 1818, and to 1821, Brown
kept a store in the west end of the old stone store-

1 1 1 is store was about on the site now occupied

by the drug-store of A. (!. Smith. The old stone

-i"M I -e was destroyed by fire in 1877.

Another of the pioneer merchants, and probably
the first in Mercer, was Robert Hoops. His store-
house was on the site now occupied by Mr. Carhart's

residence, first south of tin' Second Presbyterian

church. Hoops wa- -uicedcl in the mercantile
business at this place by Peter Klciiiliau-., in about

, 1800. A- earlj a- 1810 there was a store kept just

south of Judge Mi. now'- new residence by Francis

Dunlevy, who was succeeded by Daniel Hopkins.
The old store building long since disappeared.

When Patterson's "Id log house was still standing

a frame addition was attached t" it. and when pur-
chased by Maj. DepeU the frame part was moved
across the road on the site now Occupied bj Kerns'

drug-store, converted into a storehouse, ami occu-
pied by Robert Boyd a- a drug-store. Boyd was
succeeded in the drug trade at that place in 1854 or
>;, 1 >r. Byington.
The pioneer crookery-store in Beh idere was opened
in the spring of 1871, by T. W. Hilton, on Front

it. the Warren House, who is still in
trade at llial place.

The pioneer clothing-store in Belvidere was opened
in the spring of 1856, bj Charles Freeman, in the room
• npied by W. T. Daubach, on Water Street.

Among the merchants of Belvidere ill the early

part of the p irj was Theodore 1 'an', who

in I 826 built a brick -torchon-, • on the' northeast cr-



ner of Water and Market Streets, in front of his pres-
ent residence. In 1868-69 the unsightly pile of brick
was removed.


Previous to 1838 the bridge across the Pequest
where the lower bridge is now located, and known as
the " Market Street bridge," was a wooden structure,
or rather several of them, at different periods. Its
successor was an improvement, but not up to the
times. In 1838 a stone arch-bridge was built by Pe-
ter Baylor, contractor. March 9, 1839, a portion of
the arch-bridge was destroyed by water, and immedi-
ately rebuilt by Frederick Searles. This last stone
bridge remained till about 1858, when it was replaced
by the present iron bridge. This bridge is of the
truss pattern.

The Prospect Street, or upper, bridge.was built in
1870 by the Continental Bridge Company, of Phila-
delphia, Pa. It is of wrought iron and of the arch

Previous to the building of a bridge a log thrown
across the stream served every purpose, except when
the log was covered with a thin coating of ice. After
the old foot-log had served its day and generation a
log bridge was built and remained for several years,
when a more modern frame bridge was in use until
the present iron bridge was built.

Previous to the building of any bridge across the
Pequest at Belvidere (or, rather, Mercer) the creek
was forded by teams. The old fording-place was be-
low the Market Street bridge probably about 100
feet, or just below the old Yellow Frame block, at
the south end of the present bridge.

The present town-hall, situated on the north side
of the Pequest, on North Water Street, is a two-story
brick structure, built in 1855 by William Zearfoss. It
is 38 by 39 feet in size. The lower part is occupied
by the Belvidere fire department, and the second story
is fitted up for the accommodation of the mayor and
common council of Belvidere.

In 1850, Maj. Benjamin Depcu built the house on
the corner, west of the Warren House, now owned by
Mr. Young, of Allentown, Pa.

The brick used on the county buildings were made
on the farm now owned and occupied by Isaac Hough-

The old frame house owned and occupied by S. J.
Raub, near the head of Mill Street, was one of the
pioneer houses in Belvidere, built prior to 1815, and
then stood directly opposite where it now stands, on
tint smith side of Front Street.

The Warren Journal building, on Front Street, was
built by J. Mackey in 1833, and subsequently owned
by Maj. Benjamin Depeu, who added the third story
and fitted it for a Masonic hall.

The brick building on Front opposite Mansfield
Street now known as the " Apollo" block was built
in 1840, by Henry Smith, for a storehouse.

The old frame storehouse on the west corner of

Mansfield and Front Streets was built originally by
Capt. John Kinney, in 1828. The brick building on
the opposite corner was built in 1825 by Peter Klein-
haus. The old " Yellow Frame" block, on the south
side of the Pequest, opposite Baird's grist-mill, was
built in 1828 by Levi S. Johnston. The frame block
on the north side of the Pequest, at north end of the
bridge, west side of Market Street, was built about
1837-38 by John Shay, Anthony Robeson, and Mr.

The Theodore Paul mansion, northeast corner of
Market and Water Streets, was built prior to 1800, by
Thomas Paul, who came here in 1792 or 1793.

The first postmaster of whom we can give any in-
formation was Capt. John Kinney, who was postmaster
in Belvidere as early as 1820, and had been such for
several years.

The first daily mail to this place was brought in
1841, from Easton by way of Washington, by Maj.
Benjamin Depeu, who was then the contractor for
carrying the mails from Easton, Pa., to Morristown,
N. J., with a branch from Washington to this place.


Before the happy days of canals and railroads the
commercial transactions of Belvidere with the outside
world were carried on principally by means of the old
" double-enders," known as " Durham" boats. The
wharf or landing-place at Belvidere was at the foot
of South Water and Front Streets, just below the
mouth of the raging Pequest. The approach of these
"steamers," propelled by "setting-poles" when going
up stream, and floating with the current when going
down stream, was usually announced by the bowsman
of the boats "Depeu," "Shoemaker," or "Van Cam-
pen," just as they swung around the curve in the river
above " Mercer," where he would " wind his mellow
horn" to inform Maj. Robert Hoops (whose mill stood '
where John Baird's mill now stands) that a little more
freight could be taken on board for the Quaker City
to exchange for molasses, tobacco, sugar, Santa Cruz
rum, and such like household necessities.

The river travel and trade have long since been
transferred to more speedy channels.

In Chapter V. of the Warren County general his-
tory, on preceding pages, will be found quite an ex-
tended account of the steamboat enterprises in which
Belvidere has been interested in the past, with a de-
scription of the tragic loss of the " Alfred Thomas."

The town of Belvidere was incorporated by act of
the Legislature passed on the 19th of March, 1845.
The first section of the act defines the boundaries of
the town as follows :

" Be it enacted by the Semite and General Assembly of the State of New
Jersey, That all that part ol" the Township of Oxford, contained in tlio
following limits, — to wit, beginning at the month of Popliandalsing
Creek, and running thence (1) up said creek to where the line between
George W, Scrantou's farm ami Jacob- Shoemaker's farm crosses the sumo;
tlienco (2) in a straight line, in a northeasterly direction along said lino,



between 8cranton and Shoemaker, and until said straight line strikes
Hi.' middle of the rood running from Belvidere and Oxford road past

Philip Miller's tothouppei Pequesl Bridge; tli - i (3) In a straight line

i,, Hi. nui.il. .1 hi i. ... i. thence (4) ln,a straight Hue to the north-
east corner of Theodore 8. Paul's lands, being a cornci between him and
Aiili 1 Koung; thence (5) In a itralglil line along the lines between Able
Young's lands on 1 1 ■ * side, and Theodore B. Paul's lands and Dr.

' . en's lands on tl ther, to the Delaware Blver; tl

Sown tli<. said rivei to the placo of beginning,— ehall be and hereby is
hrected Into a borough and ii.nn corporate, which shall be called and

known liy the nan f the Tow nol Bolvidere, and the inhabitant

Blnill be and hereby are incorporated by the name of the ' Inhabitants

nfthe Town of Belvidere.' and by that na they and theii m

forever hIiuII aud may have perpetual succession, and -bill be persona
In law, mi. ni. I- ..I suing aud being Bued, pleading and being impleaded,

.. mill being answered unto, defending nnd belugdefi
all manner of actions, suits, complaints, matters, and causes whatever,
may bave a corporate seal, and niter tin. '.mi', at their pleasure i

. recelvo, hold, aud conroy

We herewith give h complete li>t of the mayors,

town council, town rink-, assi re, collectors, and

chosen freeholders, with years of service, from the first
Borough election to 1 380 :

. . irge Oroen ; 1846, flonrj Hi Miller; 1 - IT. William 0. M irrl .
1-I-, Henry UcHiller; 1840, Frederick Searlea; 1850, G
., 1861, Phlneas II. Kennedy; 1862, Jobs M B
1863-64, Benjamin B. Cooper; 1865, William II. Hemlnover; 1856,
Peter S. Campbell; 1867, William 1'. Robeson; 1868-69, James H,
ICii.i.i..; I-.." ..I. I'liiiu;.- 11. K.-iiii.mIv : l~fij, Chnrlea Wadi
M, William F. Wire; 1800, Johlol S Kern; 1867, Paul T.Fairclo;

1808, Watt Iherry; 1800-72, John T. Desbong; 1878-74, William

M. Uackey; 1876,8 II Lantermau; 1876, William Salmon; 1*77,
William M.Bfackey; 1878-79, Tl ; 1880, Levi Ott.

I i.MMi.N i nfNl II..

te46— Kodorli I. Byington, Anthony II. Bobeaon, George W. Tunis, Isaac

II, n..i ton, II. -in | Hi M [lie] . Jeremlab Pa
IBM.— Jeremiah Pen lease Plunierf.lt, Al.rani It. Rumlnlph, K...l.i i. k

Byington, Levi s Johnston, Honry D. Swayae,
1847.— Ju - I. Brown, A. B. Randolph, Daniel 8. Fitch, Bpbn I

Philip V. Braki 1 ,1 ri8 Jol 1. I ...
1848.— Juno- I. Brown, Frederick Searlea, A. B. Randolph, Epbraim

Camp, Christophoi Bolnor, Petei H.Schmder.
t840.— Lorenxo Honsoworth, Daniel v»n Buskirk, William Bowman,

1 IT. Dl (.in N 1 ..11 Johns!

111 Slack, Michael Vanhart, A. N. Kanton,

Nolson Johnston, I U S
ISM.— Boeder T.Shu k,M, Vanhart, Theodore 8. Paul, John M. Sherrord,

K. Camp Ji 1. 1111 1 Stlllwell.
11 , II. Vanhart, J. B. Stlllwell, George Snyder, John

1853.— M. Vanhart, Martin Blttenhonso, Jean King, William Taylor,

Si Wyckotr.T U>) 1.. Una.

1- 1 -1 WyckoiT, Jam . k, Bdwln

1: Crane, 1 lias Butts. Levi 3, Jol

1 . . - 1 Dl . irnoi II.Galloway, R lei T.Slai k,J

' ;. I. ..lb r. Simeon ' look.
1 hi i .'..|"i. P. 11. ilann,Jobn V. rjeahon& William Brokaw,

I opb N.i I. 'O.

111. B. 1 an, A. B. Randolph, Alfred Thomas

Roul 8ti m . Pel 1 1 1-I11T.

1 imi. 1. M ,J v i'. 1 [,81 n Wyckoff, Jacob Sharp, Peter

.m, 11. 11. in. 1 m, 11 mi '■ D

1850. — Ju. .1. Sli irp, Philip 11. ", John J. Bill

11, . 1 H tdo, Vt HUam Corhart
I860.— Th lore S. Paul, William BUverthorn, William Norton,

S, bwal l.li 3 ' 1.,, k.

In accordance with an a ndraenl in the charter

bassed March 17, I860, the Com •' nil met

April j I -i of that 3 ear and divided the Council by lot,

which resulted us follows: Mi-srs. Norton, Clark, anil
Schwartz were chosen to serve two years, and Messrs.
Paul, Hani-, and Silverthorn were ch*

one year.

! 1801.— William siiv.-rthorii, Theodore 8. Paul, Israel Harris.
LBS! .1 :." i D li mg, Jehlel T. Kerr, Lo ill 11 luaeman.
1803.— WUIlam Allshouse, William B I Wade.

1864 — .i"bi. P. Di man, John V. Deshong.

i. is I.. Smith, Joseph 0. Donaboe, William B. White.

Kitchen, Willi. an I.. Hoagland.
1807. — Thereappeal ■■>>•■- "f the town-

meeting ibi- year, but we tin.] tin- names .-f link - , Hendrii k-

i Mill.- r Ilfferent commltl

1808.— William L. 1 I Harris, Adam B. Si

i- I. Haughawout, Alfred Tl.

1870.—] II .hi-. William Balm Mired Thomas, for short term.

1 . ■ 1 |.li.

1872.— Willi.,.,, - ,Joel Mann.

... George Petty.

i .... William K. Lair, Jonathan B
187b. — Ml. Brand i Gai in UcOammoD.

1877.— II. II. Fishi i. ■! K. Wildrlck, W. Barrett

' William Salmon,

1879.— Nathaniel Barrett, Philip Haughawout, .1. II. Elllenberg.
1880.— Matthew Howard, John Hyman, John Gardner.


18-15-48, B. R. Jones; 1840-62, Adal l 1. Willi.


Brokuu ; 1866, William Carbart ; 1866, William Person; 1867, Wat-
son Cherry; 1868-60, Alfred Kern; 1861, William W. Ilolcomb;
1862,BIcbard T. Drake; 1803-65, John Bii Hugh A.

Searlea; l-.-T. N Tom.-; 1868, Hugh II. Fisher; 1869, James N.
His,-; 1870-71, George K. Melllck; 1-tjt::. I.. D.Taylor; l -t i :■..
William ii. Soil ; ls77-7'.', Mil.. K. Dewitt; 1880, James M. Snyder.


Tin.' proceedings of the first town-meeting were not
recordt-il. therefore we ran give the assessors, collec-
tors, ami freeholders only from 1846.

1846, Benjamin Jay; 1847, II. -my I). gwayze; 1848, David W. Klein-

1849, Henry D. Swayxe; I860 , I I re Oart i

A. bun B.Searli I ! I860, Ad im B

idamB. Searles : 1861, Benjamin
i n B.Soorlee; 1804, George G. Galloway; 1886, William

Allshouse; 1806, Adam B. Searlea; 1867, proceedings of town- t-

Ing ure not on record; 1868, William It. Brokav. ; I860, John J.

hi 1871 71,1 U Fleming; 1872, William R. Brokaw; 187B-

71, i:. M ri. I.. . Sailor; 1878, James A. Ja

1-77-so, William It. Brokaw.

l-a. it. i . ... ,-.■ < ' si.y.b.r: l-i-i'. Nalson Jay; I860, Peter H. Schra-
der; 1861-62, George W. Tunis; 1888, Peter Fisher; 1864, Henry T.

William Zearfl -i . 18 7. BII
1858, William 2
Hamilton; i-.


1-',:', Suiiiu.d Reese; 1S7U, Ahr.iluiln II. Ituii.lolph ; 1-71. Si, no. .1

Reese; ndi lokaou;

i. Hi Uurtrla; 1877 79, William SI. Main rrj

.1 J. Kline.

im i n RS,

H 1111 im i- i: i aon; 1847 is. Phlneas B
William I', i: H. n irton, "ill. ,.,, P I

lla, key, Daniel II. .11. i

B. Randolph; 1-' I Ki Dm lyj 1- i I ■.

Henry v. Hum-, i-
WUllam M I




The following tavern rates were fixed by the pio-
neer Council, 1845.

"It^was ordered that the following rates be established to regulate the
prices to be received by Inn and Tavern keepers for the following
articles :

Breakfast $0.25

Dinner 37}<

Supper 25

Lodging for night 12%

Madeira wine per quart 1.25

Sherry " " 75

Lisbon " " 75

Porter or ale per bottle 1S%

Fresh lime punch per quart 37J4

Brandy per gill 12V?

Geneva " 12U

West India ruin per gill 12vJ

New York " " 00'4

Cider spirits " " O6J4

Methiglinper quart 25

Strong beer per quart 12Vo

Brown stout per bottle 37^£

Oats per quart 03

Stabling a hoi-se per night and good hay 18%

" " 24 hours and good bay 25

Pasture for night 12J4

24 hours 18%

Liquid happiness and solid comfort were cheap in
the pioneer days of our city fathers, compared to the
present Belvidere rates at the same old hostelries.

Philip Larew was appointed police officer and door-
keeper for the Common Council during its first year's
existence, and tavern licenses were fixed at $12.62
each, and at that rate Henry Smith paid for the privi-
lege of keeping a " Temperance House." In this year
the, "town of Belvidere" was divided into two road
districts, the Pequest Creek being the dividing line,
and $25 allowed to each district.

The first meetings of the Council were held in the
court-house, and in May, 1845, Mr. Robeson, who had
been appointed a committee to procure room, fuel,
and light for the use of the Council, reported that the
necessary accommodations could be obtained of Fred-
erick Searles, at his tavern, for $12,621 per year, and
that . Henry D. Swayze would furnish the same for
$12. Of course that five shillings was saved to the
town by contracting with Mr. Swayze.



The first school-house was erected on the Croxall
property near the late residence of B. B. Cooper, de-
ceased (now of Surrogate Lommason). It was a small
frame structure about 14 by 20 feet, built in the rudest
manner. Its furniture was of the primitive style, —
rough desks standing with their backs to the wall,
and seats of slabs with round sticks driven into holes
bored in them for legs. The date of the erection of
this building is unknown. In 1822 it ceased to be
used as a school-house. It must have been erected
some time during the last century.

The oldest teacher of whom any record can be had
was Hyman McMiller. He taught from about 1815
to 1820, occupying his summer months in surveying.
He was followed by a Mr. Greenleaf, who taught for

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 135 of 190)