James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 140 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 140 of 190)
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Tax warrant
Tax warrant
Tax warrant

JIcjii:iiiil. r ■■

Cash, in band

Cash in band

t 1K7:1-7S 511,491.56



it S. A. Leibelsperger 1,139.35

-. treasurer 2,383.90

;tor 169.46


* Charter reamondod.

•|- Disqualified. Josepb Melroy chosen at special election.


Public school bonds $9,100.00

Registered war bonds 21,515.00

Municipal coupon bonds 8,800.00

Renewal war bonds 22,550.110

Registered municipal bonds 17,350.00

Renewal coupon bonds 5,200.00

Funding bonds 20,500.00

Renewal coupon bonds 5,000 00

Funding bonds 8,000.00

Due overseer of poor 45.00

Orders outstanding 957.02



No. 1, lot on Main Street, opposite M. E. church,

First Ward $1,300.00

No. 2, on Main Street below M. E. church, First

Ward 8,000.00

No. 3, on Main Street, in Fourth Ward, and en-
gine-house 5,070.78

No. 4, in First Ward, Market Street, and engine-
house 11,664.47

No. 5, school-house and lot in First Ward 10,000,00

No. 6, school-house and lot in Fourth Ward 9,000.00

No. 7, school-house and lot in Third Ward 46,250.00

No. 8, school-bouse and lot, North Main Street... 3,199. 8S

No. 9, lot on Mercer Street 4.000.00



Mr. Jeremiah Reese, Phillipsburg's oldest inhab-
itant, says the first school-house within his recollec-
tion in Phillipsburg was a log house that stood, in
1801, below the stone railway bridge over Main Street,
in the Bidleman neighborhood. In that house a Mr.
Cohen (known as "Old Cohen") taught school at the
time mentioned, and to that school Jeremiah Reese
went two years afterwards, but only for a few days.
In 1803 a stone house replaced the log cabin. The
first teacher in that was Mr. Simpson, and there also
Cohen taught afterwards. In 1812 the stone house
was burned, and that year a new stone school-house
was built near where the Andover Iron-Works are,
where also, in 1815, Cohen taught. Among other
early teachers in the last-named school were Aaron
Chamberlain, William Down, Mr. Scott, and Mr.

While Phillipsburg was a portion of the township
it was divided into two school districts. Ihrie Dis-
trict, No. 10, included the Second and Fourth Wards,
and Phillipsburg District, No. 11, the First and Third
Wards. In 1861, when the town was incorporated,
Phillipsburg District was called No. 1 and Ihrie Dis-
trict No. 2. Thus they remained until Feb. 2, 1869,
when the two districts were consolidated at the request
of the tax-payers at a meeting held Jan. 14, 1869. The
county superintendent then appointed as trustees Dr.
J. F. Sheppard, John P. Lesher, and J. J. Troxelli
who were to serve until the next annual election for
trustees. March 9, 1869, the Legislature constituted
the town one school district divided into three sec-
tions. In March, 1870, the sections were changed in
name to wards. At the same time provision was made
for the election of three school commissioners from
each ward. These commissioners were to form a body
politic to be known as " The Commissioners of Public
Schools of the Town of Phillipsburg." They were
charged with full control and direction of the public

' ^<^^?%^2^^C^^yr—^

Joseph Henry Brensinger, the second son and fourth child
of Henry Augustus and Sarah Brensinger, was born in Ridley
township, Delaware Co., Pa., on the 20th day of February, 1846.
His parentage on his father's side was of Teutonic extraction,
his father being a native-born American, his grandfather being
from Switzerland, his parentage on his mother's side being
of Quaker extraction. His parents removed to Media, the
county-scat of Delaware County, in 1857. Joseph received a
grammar-school education, and commenced the trade of a
printer in the office of the Delaware Comity American, where
he remained until the war. Enlisted in Company B, One Hun-
dred and Twenty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and served
nine months, participating in the battles of Antietam and
Chancellorsvillc. After his return homo the rebels invaded
Pennsylvania. Governor Curtin called out the nine months'
troops for the emergency. Ho then enlisted in Company F,
Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Militia, and served until the rebel
hordes were across the Potomac; was discharged, and then en-
listed in Company G, Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers,
for three years; served in a.ll the battles of the Army of the
Potomac until he was wounded at Green Plains, in front of
Petersburg (fracture of the tibia); was taken to hospital at
Fortress Monroe ; gangrene set in ; was transferred to MeClcllan
Hospital at Philadelphia. Caught measles, then ceratitis,
and was sent to Satterlee Hospital, West Philadelphia, for
treatment of the eyes ; was discharged from said hospital July
5, 1805, by General Orders from War Department.

Entered the classical school of Rev. James W. Dale, D.D.,
and was prepared for college. Entered Lafayette in September,
1860, and graduated in 1870. Commenced select school in the
basement of the Presbyterian church in Phillipsburg, N. J., in
September, 1870, and taught until November, 1871, when ho
was selected among tho many other aspirants to organize the
Phillipsburg High School, and was its most efficient principal
until April 24, 1870, when he was elected superintendent of all
tho schools of the town, which position ho has occupied with
great, acceptability up to the present time.

lie was seven years a member of the Easton Grays, — Com-
piuiv F, Fourth Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania, —
as third sergeant, and second and first lieutenant, and rendered
very important servico during the railroad riots of 1877 at
Reading, l'a.

It is said that no member of that famous company (Easton
Grays) showed greater valor than did Lieut. Brensinger upon
the occasion when the Fourth Regiment was ordered to march
through the " Cut," where it seemed that an earthquake hud
taken place, or a volcano had burst forth upon their devoted
heads, from the amount of stones and other missiles thrown
upon them.

His kindness of heart is best shown among the poorer
scholars of his graduating classes in the high school, many
of whom can testify to and fully appreciate the helping hand
in many, many delicate ways of Joseph H. Brensinger. His
classical education and his acute knowledge of human mature
place him among the best observers as to the wants and neces-
sities of the splendid corps of teachers under his charge. Tho
high appreciation in which he is held by them speaks in tones
louder than any mere words can express. To know him per-
sonally is to love and respect him.

In 1S75 he was married to Miss Ida Jones, daughter of Geo.
II. Jones, M.D., of Phillipsburg, N. J., an accomplished young
lady and a graduate of the Phillipsburg High School, by whom
he has had two children. The same rule holds good in the
domestic circle as among his fellow-men, making him one of
the best of husbands and kindest of fathers. The general
contour of his countenance indicates nothing but feelings of
friendship, love, and truth.

Superintendent Brensinger stands five feet ten and one-half
inches high, and weighs about one hundred and eighty pounds.
His form is erect, and to any ordinary observer he prcsonts a fine
military bearing. He is also a very muscular man, which fact
arises from his fondness for outdoor sports and athletic exercises.
Ho has a sanguine temperament, which causes him to look on
the sunny side of life, and he has such perfect control of him-
self that he has never been known to willfully incur the ill-will
of any living person.

As an educator of tho rising generation- he has few superiors,
and as a disciplinarian it would bo a very difficult matter to
find his superior. Standing as ho does to-day among tho best
educators of the land, his advico is sought by teachers from
far and near upon questions of importance. In his social
relations ho is generous to a fault, having naturally that suavity
of manner among all classes that makes his company so much
sought after and adds so much to his popularity.



school interests. The lirst room ever occupied for a
bchool in what are known as the First and Third
Wards was located in the stone building now used in
part by the Warren Democrat. The school was opened
|jy Eliza Davis in l8!)o and laiiL'ht by her until l.S:;s.

Tin second scl I was taught by Jane Weller from

1888 to L843.
The first school building erected within the presi Ql

limit- of the town was the Ihrir school-house. It
was built in IS12, by siibseription. upon lands do-
nated bj John Carpenter. In 1846 the trustees of
this Bchool were Enoch Green, Charles J. [brie,
. i] ;e Bruch, Jr., Joseph Howell, and M. M. Rose-
berry. The building was demolished in l-~it. The
la-t teacher therein was II. P. Marsden. In August,
1842, the trustees of Phillipsburg District, No. 11,
were John R. Wise, Jeremiah Reese, Petei Carling,
Richard Hagcrman, John Beers, John Howell, Jr.,
and Charles Sitgreaves. In 1843 a brick building,
our story in height, »as pui up, and cost, with the
lot, about 1500. In 1852 the school -house was aban-
doned for the more commodious one on Hudson

The house buill in L843 stood in tin
Ward, near Maj. Sitgreaves 1 residence. Charles
Reese, the firsl teacher in it, taught from 1842 to 1846.
@ucceedin teachers were Nieholas ( >lin<icad, Jacob
1!. Lo veil, and Messrs. King, Carroll, and McCarty.

Tin- Hudson Street scl 1 was opened in 1852-; The

building cosl $3500. Edward Clark was the first
principal. Oct. 10, 1854, the trustees "i I>i-iriet No.
2 resolved to build a new school-house, to take the
place of the Furnace school-house. It was opened
May 14, L855, with II. B. Mies as principal and Bliss
Mary Kitchen as assistant. Earlj in 1869, it being
apparent that the existing school accommodations
fell far short "i Bupplj i ' > ■_• the town's needs, measures
were undertaken to till the want. May 10, 1869, a
lot in the Third Ward was purchased of Henry Se-
graves for $1800, having a front of 240 feet by a depth
6f 100. The erection of the building was begun in
September, 1869, and in October, 1871, it was com-
pleted and occupied. Tin- structure is of brick, with

sandstone tri ings, measures 62 by il feet, reaches

to the height of three stories, and has two addition-,
81 b) 12 and 16 by 12. I In tbe Bret Hour are the

primary and sei larj acl Is, on the second il :

[he intermediate and grammar schools, and on tin-
third Hour the high school. The cost of the building
and lot was $46,131.84.

In 1871 the Howell school-house, in the Firsl Ward,
was erected, at a cost of $4082, including lol and fur-
niture. In 1873 increased acl 1 accommodations

I'm- the Fourth Ward were furnished bj converting
the Andover engine-house into a scl l-house capa-
ble of seating I7"i pupils.

Sept, 13, 1875, the building was destroyed by fire.
In 1877 the building known as the parochial school
of Saints James and Philip Church was ren
public Bchool purposes, and is still devoted to that use.

l'ri \ ion- to 18 16 the supervision of the schools was
delegated to trustees. In 1846 the township was au-
thorized to elect a town school superintendent an-
nually. Hon. Charli 3 was chosen in 1846.
I lis sui llul-li .i.n -oh H. Lo-
vell, Joseph C. Kent, William K. Wilson. Mr. Wil-
son was the I :i-t incumbent of the office chosen by the
people. In l 567 a change in the school laws abol-
ished tin- office. The act approved March 9, 1869,
empowered the board of commission! re to eleel a su-
perintendent, and, April 13th, Samuel Freeman was
chosen. Hi served until 1874, and was succeeded by
F. ('. Tollrs. Upon his death, in 1-77. .1. II. Bren-
singer, the present incumbent, was appointed.

The school census of I 83 the number

of school children in the town; in 1866 then
ll.ii; and in 1S7U there wen- 2ii;i. The enumera-
tion of July, 1880, -it the number of school chil-
dren between five and eighteen years of age at 2268.
i If that number the adance at the public

Bchools i- about 1600. The report of the superintend-
ent for January, 1881, present- the following:

Whole Dim

Average attendance

Enrolled In iiis'ii school


"I 1

" B 1'l.nv KbooUl I'll

" |

Tin- value of school property, February, 1881, was

estimated at siis, For the liseal year ending

\ n.ir. -'!1, 1 SSI, the appropriations for school purposes
from all sources aggregated $15,274.56. Of that

amount the State appropriation was $798.72 ; the two-
mill tax yielded $6125.84, and the town appi
tion $8800. The school commissioners, February,
1881, were Joseph F. Sheppard, L. M. Osmun, James
Draki Patricl D. < Ironin, Jacob B. Smith, Isaac
Vanatta, Isaac Miller, John II. T. Christern, F. II.
Wildiiek. Charles Morgan, Thomas Heaton, John
Pursell. Isaac Vanatta is president, Isaac Shields
i.. I. II. Brensinger superintendent and sec-
retary. The teachers i mployed in the public schools
are J. 1 1. Brei ipi rinti ndent . E. I . Be i -

(principal of the high school , J. C. Butler, M. M. lisk,
Michael Fogartj . John Sheppard, M^. C. W. Couch,
Emeline I. mason, Helen Gallagher, Sarah Wood-
ward, Martha Waller-. Man Coolbaugh, Hattie Grif-
fith, Mary Caffrey, Mary Patterson, Kate McKinney,
Mary A. • ribni rie Hull; Ida Beers,

Mary Conncll, Emily Harwig, Allie Lamb, Ella
Schlabach, Phame Dinsmore, Kate Walmsley, Kate

l.eidv, I. aura T. Bowers, Annie Bennett, and Clara


\ t l;t LIGIOl - BISTORT.

The religious history of Phillipsburg goes back to

the ti when David I'.raineril. the "apostle to the

Indian-," labored in this region, and indeed before.
In 17-7 the Presbytery of New Brunswick sent mis-
sionaries to the " Forks of the Delaware" to preach

to the Indians. In 17 1". Brainerd was the Indian



missionary, and during his term of service — 1740 to
1744 — he caused a log church to be erected in Phil-
lipsburg, and therein preached to the Indians and
whites alike. The log church stood on what is now
Randall Street, close to Mr. J. S. Bach's house. All
traces of it disappeared before the opening of the
Revolutionary war. There was a Lutheran Church
here prior to 1762, but whether it occupied the log
church above referred to, is not known.'"'

Until 1851 Easton supplied the people of Phillips-
burg with methods of religious worship. By the
time mentioned, Presbyterians being quite numerous,
the advisability of organizing a Presbyterian Church
was discussed. On April 19, 1853, the Presbytery of
Newton authorized a committee to organize a church
in Phillipsburg "should the way be clear," which
was effected Dec. 13, 1853, in the "Academy," by a
committee composed of Revs. A. H. Hand, George
C. Bush, and A. Tully, and Elders R. S. Kennedy,
John A. Creveling, and Jacob Kline. Rev. Geo.
C. Bush preached a sermon, and then 32 persons gave
in their names as members of the new church. They
were as follows :

John Lander and wife, Benjamin Burwell and wife, Thomas Reese and
wife, Catharine Segraves, E. C. Roseberry, M. Furguson, Mary
Searies, Jane Leach, Christiana Casvliart, Amanda Lodwick, James
and Agnes Dempster, Richard and Christiana Dempster, Sophia Mc-
Phie, Sarah Large, Charlotte Emery, John T. Rarick, John C. Ben-
nett and wife, W. D. Hawk and wife, Mary Deitz, Elizabeth Metz,
31. A. Lomersou, John R. Bartow, M. A. Carter, Mrs. Sturges, and
Eliza McPeako.

John Lander, Benjamin Burwell, and J. C. Bennett
were chosen elders, and Thomas Reese and R. Demp-
ster deacons the same day. Rev. S. S. Sturges, who
had beeu preaching at Phillipsburg since July 29th,
continued his labors until April 16, 1855, when he
was called as pastor, and continued to Sept. 7, 1856.
To that date 63 persons had united with the church.
Meanwhile, in 1854, the erection of a church edifice
was begun. It cost more than had been set apart for
it, and consequent financial embarrassments delayed
completion ; so that the church was not dedicated
until Sept. 12, 1858. . Rev. W. C. Cottrell preached
seven months as supply, and May 11, 1857, Rev. J.
Y. Mitchell was called, and installed July 26th of
that year. Thenceforth the church occupied sure

* The following is documentary proof of the assertion that there was
a Lutheran Church at Phillipsburg as early as 1762, or earlier:

The following has been copied from field-notes of Dr. John Rockhill,
deputy surveyor, now in possession of Capt. William P. Rockhill, of Pitts-
town, Hunterdon Co. : " May 27, 1702, Surveyed a Lott in Philips-
burg, Whereon is a Lutheran Church and Burying Ground, — Beginning
at the rear of Lott No. 88, being the S. E. Corner of said Lott, and Run
thenco 1st, N. 25 deg. E., Perches, to a Slake; 2nd, S. C5 deg. W. 20

" May 28. — Begun at Lott No. 85, and Run 8 perches to the Comer Of

the Widdow Sigler'a Lott, upon Rent at 20». pr. year. The Grave yard

i list 5 porches Distance from this Corner, and the Oourse across,

of N. 56° E., will Cut off a Corner of the Meeting-House: and to Run 1

Bod Wiilcr, to lake it in, Spolles the Next Lott.

" Mado a Draught of the Same, and present the samo to Wm. Coxo,
that ho may Convey 1 acre for the use of the Church to Matthias Sagor,
Frederick Dick, .Martin Durshimer, Peter Morgan, and Daniel Sharer,"

ground. Mr. Mitchell resigned January, 1862, and
Rev. Mr. Burrell was sent as supply. July, 1862,
Rev. James Petrie was chosen to be the third pastor,
and remained until Nov. 11, 1866. Of the 256 per-
sons received as members to that time, 74 then re-
mained. March, 1867, the present pastor, Rev. H.
B. Townstend, was called. April 20, 1873, Howell
Sunday-school was organized, and in 1874 and 1877
two additional schools were formed, making four
schools under the church auspices. These have now
a combined membership of 727. The superintendents
are George W. Wilhelm, of the home school; Charles
Davis, of the Howell school ; Gen. Charles A. Heck-
man, of the Second Presbyterian school ; and Samuel
Freeman, of the Lopatcong school. Eighty-one mem-
bers were added to the church in 1880. The mem-
bership February, 1881, was 443. The church pro-
perty is valued at $20,000, upon which there is a
mortgage of $2000. The elders are John Lander,
L. M. Teel, A. R. Reese, and J. K. Stevens. The
trustees are George W. Wilhelm, J. C. Butler, J. K.
Stevens, Alex. Johnston, John Eylenberg, Joseph
Ewing, and J. H. Hagerty.


It is said that the first person to declare himself a
Methodist in Phillipsburg was Philip Reese, who re-
turned to the town after an extended absence about
1824. He used to say that he brought his Methodism
from the house of William. Roseberry, at the mouth
of Fishing Creek, on the north side of the Susque-
hanna River. While visiting his sister there he was
converted at a religious meeting. Shortly after Mr.
Reese's return he sought to secure a Methodist minis-
ter for the purpose of inaugurating regular Methodist
worship. In 1828, Rev. H. Bartine visited Phillips-
burg, and preached in Mr. Reese's stone house the
first Methodist sermon in the town. The first conver-
sions to the Methodist Episcopal faith took place on
the stone steps of the Reese mansion while it was
being used as a house of Worship. Soon afterwards
a Mr. Downs, a school-teacher and member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, took charge of a school
in Easton, and Mr. Reese induced him to come to
Phillipsburg and open a school. In Mr. Downs'
house in Phillipsburg was organized the first Meth-
odist Episcopal Class known to the village history.
The members numbered five, and were Philip Reese
and wife, Mr. Downs and wile, and a Mrs. Bell. Mr.
Downs was the leader. The effort to maintain a
Methodist organization in Phillipsburg was, how-
ever, a fruitless one until 1855, to which time the
Methodists of Phillipsburg worshiped in Easton.
In 1855 the Methodists in the town were numerous
enough to feel warranted in having a church organi-
zation of their own. The New Jersey Conference ac-
cordingly sent Rev. E. B. Lockwood to preach for
llii'iii, and when the church was organized, May 20,
1855, it was set off to Newton District. June 1, 1855,



a society was formed l>y the election of J. B. Lovell,

Jeremiah I ;.-• - ■-. Nel-OIl Lake, Daniel Mover, < liarle-

Reese, William Hixson, and A. .1. Farrand as trus-
tees. A.ug. 13, 1855, the corner-stone of the present
church edifice was laid, and Jan. 27, 1856, the base-
ment was dedicated, Revs. Lewis R. Dunn and K.
Vanhorne officiating. About this time a great revival

set in and nearly 100 persons eame into the church.

In 1857, Mr. Lockwood retired, and Oct. •". 1858, the
church structure was dedicated, Revs. James Veil and
Wiley conducting theservices. Following Rev. Mr.

Lockwood the pastors to the present have been Revs.
.1. R. Adams, S. T. Moore. E. A. Hay, A. M. Palmer,
B, « >. I'arvin, Solomon Parsons. T. II. I. an. Ion. .1. \V.

Beran, W. N. Searles, D.Walters, R. 1'.. Lockwood,

and A. M. Palmer.

The church now enjoys great prosperity. The

membership is al I 375, apportioned to seven classes,

of which the leaders are Thomas J. Titus, J. 8. Niese,
T. West, E. T. Barnett, Edward Lamb, Lewis
Dick, and Man Smith. R. N. Lauer i- superin-
tendent of the Sunday-school, which has an enumera-
tion of 850. The church property, including church
and parsonage, is valued at (86,000, upon which there
is :. debt of but s-jLi.",o. The trustees for 1881 are

Jacob II. Lovell, Tl ias .1. Titus, David Wesby,

[saac Shields, John Ingham, Jesse Flummerfelt, and
Peter Fishbaugh.


In November, 1871, members of the Main .Street
Methodist Episcopal Church living in the Third
Ward began to have class-meetings in the Fitch

school-house, anil continued them there about a year,

I ;. I'. Peacher being the leader. In the fall of 1872
a church was organized, and in October, 1*7-. Wes-

leyan chapel WBS OCCUpied and dedicated. \. II
Belles was the first pastor, and following him came

D. B. F. Randolph, W. E. Blakeslee, and .1. F. Dodd.

There are now lour classes. The combined inher-

ship is L94, mihI the leaders Jacob Crotsley. Klias
Bavecool, Rev. J. F. Dodd. and <;. E. Fuller. The
trustees arc Reuben Wait. .1. II. Person, I'.. I'. Kim-
ball, William Keel, i; ■ge II. Millern. Jacob Crots-
ley, and (i. I'.. Fuller. William Reed is superin-
tendent of the Sunday-school, which has about 180


In 1868, Rev. Arthur Campbell tonne. 1 a class of

Free Methodists numbering lour, and named Evan

Thomas, Susan Thomas, William Willn I in, and Mary

Lamb. Campbell was a local preacher, and held ser-
vices in private houses. Prett] soon tie- membership
increased, and Rev. Mr. Adam- was engaged a- pas-
tor. Revs. Dickson and Markharn followed him.
During Mr. Markham's pastorate, in 1876, a church
was built. Mr. Markham's successors were Revs.

Glynn and Hart. Mr. Hail, the present pa-tor,

n, ■ i I . i i". 1881.

preaches once a fortnight. The membership i- not
large, but it is an earnestly active one. William

Nixon is the- leader, and William Wilhclm superin-
tendent of tie- Sunday-school. The church trustees
tire Alfred Lloyd, William Wilhebn, and William


Services were tir-t held in Phillipsburg in I860 by
Rev. John Smith, of Paterson, who was -cut hither
bj Right Rev. Bishop Bayley. Before that the Cath-
olics of Phillipsburg worshiped at Easton. Mr.

Smith organized a congregation and bewail at once

t., collect subscriptions for the building of a church.

When the enterprise was but fairly started, he died,

October, I860. Rev. C. J. O'Reilly was -em by the

bishop from St. .lames' Church, Newark, to continue
the work at Phillipsburg, Dec. 20, I860. He toot
charge of various scattered congregations in Warren
County as well, and pushed the construction of the
Phillipsburg church so rapidly that it was completed
in the spring of 1861. Then the congregation num-
bered about ")00.

In 1864he built the parsonage, and alter that his
' entire time was given to the charge at Phillipsburg.
[n L873 hi- congregation included upwards of 3000
people, and to provide for such increased demands
he set about the erection of a mw and larger church
edifice. It is now (February, 1881] in proi

i -miction. It will be of brick and brownstone,

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 140 of 190)