James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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means," had now " become so few and weak as not to
be able to contribute their quota towards his support,
and that sundry of them had consented to his leaving
them. . . . These things laid him under the disagree-
able necessity of asking to be wholly dismissed from
his present charge." Presbytery did not grant the
request, deferring action until the fall session, and
recommending that if Mansfield-Woodhouse fail to
pay their quota as usual, his labors should be taken
from them and given to Greenwich and Oxford. That
year (1768) terminated his relations with this church,
although he remained another year with that of Green-
wich, then removed to Pennsylvania. He became in
1777 a chaplain in the American army, and was killed
at the battle of Assunpink.J

Mansfield-Woodhouse had no supply from 1771 to

The original deed for the church property was sub-
stantially as follows :

John Bowlliy and Mary his -wife, "for and in consideration of five
shillings proclamation money," convoyed to "Thomas Van Horn and

* Ho was called to Liunington, Peapack, Readington, and Bethlehem
in 1740, was dismissed by the Lamington congregation in 1755, and re-
called in 1750, the following year.— Ileo. B. X. Junkin, D.D.

f Oxford Church was early known as "Greenwich upon Delaware,"
and subsequently as "Upper Greenwich, " "Axford's," and finally " Ox-
ford." The old Greenwich Church appears on the records first ns "Mr.
Green's," later as GreenVridgo, Qreenidge, Greenage, Lower Greenwich,
and at last as Greenwich.

J "A few days after the battle of Trenton he was surprised by a party
of British horse, in a farmhouse near to Pennington. Finding that lie
was a Presbyterian, and of courso a Whig, they stabbed him in cold
blood, and be died under their murderous hands, a martyr to the cause
of American liberty. Elder Thomas Kennedy told me that ho saw the
stricken widow, when she, accompanied by her daughter, passed through
Greenwich, on her mournful mission to Pennington to recognize and
bury the body of her husband." — Rev. Dr. Junkin.

I Rev. D.X. Junkin, D.D.


5 :

Bobert Howell, elders and the reel of the En Hell
gallon or Mansfleld Wbudbouse (and for the use and behoof of said Eng-
lish Proeblti riaii I i II >n to I I » " I them !•■

ki-i-p Hivim- W.,r-l.i[, ini ami tu tliiir ti'ii ■- and

of land, situate, lying and being In HansAeld w n -•■ al >n

being II tld pi e ol . i rond '•>!" re Ihe old

;ttl ,l Uo' bill funded In manner

Beginning at a -mall hickory sapling marked fbi
{standing on the weal side of the road that I

nth 71 weal J i bains and 88 links
to another hickory sapling marked foi a cornoron tl" ildeol the hill,
thence soutl ilns ami I- llnki I sapling

marked for a corner and stones about It, theno north 71° east 2 chains
anil 88 links i" a stone cornel on Ihe weal il le ol said road, thence north
place "i boglnuin
,1." This "ludentnn mil" the twenty-ninth day of October,
in Mm sixth year "t the Bolgn ol on Lord Phil

■ a Qreal Bi [tain, Fi , and Iroland, King, inn

Band seven hundred ond sixty-live."*

Another deed, of date of Oct. 20, 1825, from John
I;. Parke one of the party murdered al Cbangewater,
May 1 . 1 B 18 1, " "i" the township of Mansfield, county
of Warren," in consideration of the sum "i $60, con-
veyed i" the church l ,',,",, acres for an addition to the
burying-ground. Another addition was made to the
churchyard in 1848; December 21st, Edward and
Mary Youmans deeded ,';,', of an acre in the trustees
df the church fur a consideration of $27.

It was upon the property mentioned in these deeds

that the ancienl church -i I. It was built of logs,

:tinl mi ii- -it.' was erected tin' stone church which
was occupied until 1837, when the brick church was
built in tlic village ofWashington.1 The land, about
an acre and a half, was given to the church bj Ger-
shom Rusling"for il nlj proper use and sole pur-
pose "T a building for a church," a- expressed in the
deed dated Feb. 9, 1837. This i- the site of the pres-
ent edifice.

Tin parsonage l"i was purchased of Abraham I'..
Btewart, Sept. i. I860, for $800. In 1869 an adjoining

lot mi the west was purchased for $225 from i -

Lomerson and added in the parsonage property, the
grounds now embracing six-tenths of an

May 19, 17N. the following trustees were elected:
William lla/.l. ii, Esq., Jacob Pyatt, John Petty, Har-
1 1 1 ■ 1 1 1 1 1 - Cline, ami ll.i.r\ Dusenbury. At the same
time " the dove with an olive branch" was i bo

i device il ion." I 'ornelius < 'arliart,

previously elected, qualified as a trustee i.ug. 22, 17.^7.

Sub i quent trustees were :

tl llllam Hash u, i

, Esq., Cornelius Garbart, ll.-nry Dusenbury,
John Riehey.

bra, an. I John Shorrerd, \
Etta, John Eveland, Capt William '

* Tin' genuineness ol the a I «

dai ii -i Th i B • '

' taking acknowl-
■ t.v. " tint in- knew the

t the tvltni torn, thai It

tlmt the mi I : bandw i It*

itot "

Che brick church ' nd burned down Dt

it was robntll in i-> I BI, and i> the

1792. — Same an preceding year, except Ihe two l;L-t named wore suc-
j Rolwrl Miller a.,. I ElUati
William lla/l.it, Moses Beavers, Dr. Eiekiol ir.lnu-a, Elisha
Bird, Samuel 81 Little,

rge Warne,Georgi \
John Eveland, William Runkle.

lacob 0| dyko, Peter Petty, John
Kerr, J I ihn HcKinney.

a Crevellng, David Dagi rtjr, Ja obO] lyi k, Pi tei Pi tty, John
Kerr,Judlab Bi hooleyj John McKlnnoy.

Opdyke, abnn. Lunger, John Petty, John
is Force, BUjab Warn-.
1800.— James Little, John Blchey, Alum. Lunger, John Petty, John
rrerd, Capt Thomas Force, I

Tu name each of the trustees for all tin.' eighty fol-
lowing years is unnecessary. Tin/ members of the
board in 1837, when tin- "lirirk" was erected, were
hi ; Phineas Barber, John
Strader, Jr., l>r. William .1. Johnson Becretarj
Weller, .Ir., Joseph Carter, and William M. Warm-.
The committee to circulate the subscription was
Furman, La wren i e Lomison, John Strader, Phineas
Barber, ami James Mills.

The following is a li.-t of the pew-holders in L791;
u ho were al-.. the persons by whom tin- pastor's salary
h a- paid, semi-annually, in that ami subsequent years.
The uumber "t' the pew, ami amount paid annually
I.-, each holder, are given in the church rei
□amelj :

Ho. £ .. j.

a o

i. Isaac Deremer a o

Little 3

■1, io ii a o o

:.. John Eveland _

b Pyatt, Esq :; o o

7. Joseph llagenuau

- Aaron Van Etta -i l:. o

v n in hoi- i tin. 2 Ifi "

-j is o

it. Blank In record

14, erased _

IS. Daniel Riehey 8

i.i Bird 2 16 n

b] ii Lannlng *j lo

I- Robert Beavers. Esq a


h Warns

BI. William lla/h-ll. Esq

; :, Duaonberry

24. i spl I ot

This provided a salary of £57 10». Od. per annum,
equal to about $250. In 1 Tn.t ami subsequent years,

Rev. William Sloan :90 per aim in

1816, Rev.S. Robertson was paid $300. In 1852 the
amount paid was $500; 1858, $750; al tin' present
time, 1881, the pastor receives a salarj of I
use of parsonage.

In 17>7 considerable repairs were made to the old
..I ui' the trustees reads :

Eveland t.. do the following repali
Build a stone wall at Ho' weal end, and point the same, ,t put nan -ill »
steps ai Hi" door, Chunk 1 plalstei
lii-i'h' ft o oi larger Windows A BI th<

m ike and hang Shutters kTor ail the
in -ai. ih ii-". i,. . which we agree to paj him Blghl pounds tan shillings."

.In in- -jo. 1791, "a small part ofthecongregatioD nut
at tin- meeting-house t.. qualify the new trustees and

ley declined to sorvi let John WyekoS




agree upon some method in order to build a new
meeting-house. It was unanimously agreed to draw
a subscription paper in order to gain the sentiments
of those met ;" when drawn " every member of the
congregation then met signed liberally, except Mr.
James Little, who said he would set his name down
some future day." It was also ordered that Mr. Sher-
rerd make copies of the subscription paper and fur-
nish one to each trustee. May 26, 1792, the trustees
met and signed a petition to send to the Assembly,
praying leave for a lottery to raise the sum of £350
towards defraying the expense of building a- meeting-

Monday, Dec. 31, 1792, the congregation of Mans-

"Met at the House of John Coleman, in order to come to some conclu-
sion, and make proposals in regard to building a meeting-house. After
sundry debates in regard to moving the meeting-house to where William
McCullough now lives, tu New Hampton, and likewise where the old log
meeting-house now stands, it was carried by one vote to he erected on the
last-mentioned place. Likewise it was voted that the house should be
built of stone, ..." the dimensions to be 45 by 35 feet. Thos. Bowlby,
Esq., Henry Dusenberry, Thos. Force, and John Sherrerd were chosen a
building committee. From the records it would appear that the stone
«hurch was not completed until 1800 or 1801. Dec. 31, 1801, and Jan. 1,
18U2, the committee met to "examine all the subscription papers and
every account for building and finishing Mansfield Presbyterian

In 1799 it was resolved " that the possessor of each
pew do pay to the person who is appointed to make
fires in the church and take care of said church one
bushel of buckwheat, or the value thereof, for the
ensuing winter."

In 1810, John Van Nest and Henry Winters were
chosen elders.

In 1822 the Rev. Mr. Castner " published from the
pulpit that, as the present times seemed to be very
pressing and hard, he would deduct from his salary
one hundred dollars for the present year." The col-
lectors in that year were George Creveling, John Mc-
Kinney, James Mills, Peter Weller, Jr., John Lake,
Richard Henry, and Samuel Drake.

In 1822 it was resolved " that it is expedient that the
church be incorporated, and that it be known by the
name of the Mansfield Presbyterian Church." It was
so changed May 18th of that year. Prior to this it
was known as the " Mansfield- Woodhouse Presbyte-
rian Congregation." In 1877 its title was changed
by an act of the Legislature to " The First Presby-
terian Church of Washington, N. J."f

Dec. 2, 1836, the erection of a new house of wor-
ship was resolved on, but for a time the church could
not unite on a location, many being in favor of the
old site, but the larger number desiring it to be located

:: " i in Monday, May 10, 1800. after sermon preached by Rev. William
Sloan, the congregation met," chose trustoes, and then "very spiritedly
opened a new subscription . . . towards paying of debts due and Jhuali-
Ing Mansfield Presbyterian church, and requested John Sherrerd to write
One for eacli trustee." — Ohurch Records.

John Sherrerd was father of Samuel Sherrerd, and grandfather of tho
late John M. Sherrerd, of Belvidere.

t This act went into effect March 0, 1877.

in Washington. The latter was finally chosen, and
the brick church erected the following year. It was
50 by 80 feet, with a basement story. The building
committee was George Creveling, William M. Warne,
and William Miller.

The elders in 1840 were Joseph Wilson, Ebenezer
Stilson, George Creveling, Moore Furnian, Henry M.
Winters, and Phineas Barber.

It may be interesting to future generations to know
who were the early members of the old Mansfield
Church. The oldest list extant is for the year 1817,
just prior to the coming of the Rev. Jacob Castner.
The names recorded therein are :

George, John, and Mary Van Nest, Elizabeth Rodenheimer, Elizabeth
Brooks, John, Ann, and Jane Bryan, Jemima Mclutire, Francis and
Mary Strader, Jnmes, Mary, and Hannah Little, Samuel and Ann
Carhart, John M. and Ann D. Sherrerd, Elizabeth, Hannah, and
Margaret Warne, Sarah Mattison, Adam and Margaret Waudling,
Daniel and Catharine Osnian, Catharine McMenry, Ebenezer and
Mary Stilson, John and Ellen McKinney, Joseph, John, and Eliza
"Wilson, Christeena, Eleanoi, Mary, George, and Rachel F. Creveling,
Catharine and Lydia Beavers, Nicholas Labaugh, Ann J. Carhart,
Henry M. and Catharine Winters, Jane, Hannah, and Sarah Bowlby,
Eunice Cowel, Aaron and Elizabeth Van Atta, Michael and Sarah
Miers, Elizabeth Lomerson, John and Esther Eveland, John and
Jane Krusen, Flora (colored), Maria Thompson, Ann Miller, John
and Julia Fitts, Hannah Lake, Mary Taylor, Mathias Crater, Agnes
Davis, Hannah Williams, Phrebo (colored), and John Connelly,—
total, 70.

Those of the above who were serving as the elders
of the church that year, 1817, were John Van Nest,
George Van Nest, John Eveland, Ebenezer Stilson,
John McKinney, and Henry M. Winter.

The earlier pastors have been mentioned. Of Rev.
Peter Wilson, who preached at Mansfield and Hack-
ettstown from 1791 to 1798, little is known other than
the fact stated. The pastorates since have been as
follows :

William B. Sloan.J 179S to 1S15; Samuel Robertson, December, 1815, to
November, 1S16; vacancy until Jacob R. Castnerg came, in spring
of 1818, and who served until his death, April 20,1848; James LillieJ

J The Rev. William B. Sloan served Mansfield with Greenwich for
seventeen years— installed in 1798— and then was pastor of the latter
church alone until October, 1834. He was a native of Somerset Co.,
N. J.; horn about 1722; graduated at Princeton, and studied theology
with Rev. Dr. John Woodhull, of Monmouth ; was licensed by the Pres-
bytery of New Brunswick, and took the Mansfield and Greenwich
churches as his first charge. He was above medium height, erect,
slender, but well formed, his features finely chiseled, yet manly and
dignified in expression; his eye a clear, expressive blue, his gait and
bearing stately, yet unconstrained, his manners were those of a gen-
tleman of the old school. He was a man of warm affections, and easily
moved to team. His style simple and unaffected, aud his sermons rather
of the admonitory and practical than argumentative or doctrinal. He
was an earnest and affectionate preacher, lie died July 3, 1830, in the
house in which he was born, while on a visit to his brother, near Lam-
ington, N. J.

§ Jacob R. Castner, horn at Liberty Corner, Somerset Co., N. J., pur-
sued his classical studies at Princeton, and studied theology under Dr.
Finley at Basking Ridge. German Valley, Fox Hill, and Black River
were the first fields of his labor. He was pastor of Mansfield from 1818
until his death, which occurred suddenly at Washington, April 20, 1848.
He is described as a good preacher, with a hold, off-hand style. He was
fond of preaching doctrinal sermons, and Dr. Yeomans says of him that
he preached thirty or forty sermons upon " Election" which would have

deceived, if possible, the elect themselves.

|| Rev. .las. Lillio, a Scotchman of flue talents and erudition, but sorely
lacking in what his countrymen cull "gumption." He seemed to think



1840 to 1851 ; John Tnrbilt," fr-.m November, 1851. to Korember,
\ - .i; Solomon M. Nuii.I 1863 to 1880; I. D. Bryan, 1881 to 1870;
A. M. Jelly, July 1,1870, to Dec. 81, 1-71; Samael E. Webster, April
] 1875, to Aug. 8, 1880; Cbarla D. Nott, I> !>., in December, 1 - ",
and at present officiating.
Tin- present elders (1881) are Joseph Rosenberry,

Boseph K. Van Natta, Joseph Johnson, William G-.

Dufford, B. M. Barrett, A. W. Weller, Daniel Spang-

enberg, and A. M. Xuun.
At the present time the church numbers about 550

members. Joseph Johnson is the superintendent of

the Sabbath-school, . I it 1 1 1 » — Johnson librarian.

the Methodist: bpmi opai chi bohj
The history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
She borough of Washington, like the history of the
great ecclesiastical organization to which it belongs,
bad its beginning in small things. The earliest time
tliat Methodist preachers found a spot to lift their
Standard, of which there is any record or recollection,
Eras at the barn of Abraham Woolston, in Tort < lolden
(a mile i run i the church), in about 1810 or 1812, in a
fog house, once in four weeks, on Tuesday afternoons.
When Mr. Woolston built his stone bouse (which is
Kill standing at the foot of plane No. 6 west on the
Morris Canal) preaching was continued there. The
lunilies who would meet there were " few and far be-

nreen." Mr. Emery lived at Karrsville I or, as at that

time called, Timber Swamp); John Potts lived at
Brass Castle; Betsy Mount and Mr. Mathews, with
Mi. Woolston, lived at Port Colden. To these were
added by removals into the neighborhood David Ross,
.lonali Smith. Francis William-. Rev. Benjamin Col-
lins, and others. In 1820, Col. William McCullough
became converted and joined the Methodist Church.
Hi- son-in-law, I [enry BankiDson, a lawyer, who was
admitted to the bar in IT'.'l and practiced law in

Washington, becan i cted with the church, and

through additions bj conversions and removals into
the neighborhood the society deemed itself strong
enough to begin the erection of a church. On June
L\ 1825, Col. William McCullough and Mary, his wile.
executed and delivered a deed to James Rusling, Ben-
jamin Colli ns, Barnabas 01 p, and Imla Drake, trus-
ses, for the acre of ground upon which the church i-
ereeie.l anil the bur) ing-ground, lor the consideration
6f $150, which deed is recorded in the Warren County
Berk's office, in Book I of deeds, pages 25 and 26.
afterwards, on the 14th daj of March, 1829, the or-
ganization became legal!} incorporated under the laws

premlllennlal adrenl the moal Imp irtaul part of the
H hllsl .-till Hi- i ' ■ !,,,„ be-

in od, end repairii fo; Dr.!

Pn ibytory, April
■i Oth.
i ilin Turbltt, installed in NoTcmber, 1851, nn.l .limnlned in
BoTeniber, I- .'. Ho wan from the I

i i. Hi. "crack

li ii lully and wondorlullj m

rx\\i\. in. Ho -nil Uvea In Illinois, 11 n\ i in the liiini-lrv.

3 lomon M< S'alr, nroilonslj ol I .1 Presbytery, was in-



of the Stat uting a certificate of incorpora-
tion and taking the name. " The Trustees of the First
Methodist Episcopal Church of the- Village of Wash-
ington." The certificate of incorporation was signed
by Henry Hankinson, Francis William-. Jonah M.
Smith, Cornelius Benjamin, Gershom Rusling, and i -
recorded in Hook I of corporations. The church was
built in 1825, but at what time it was dedicated we
have no knowledge. It was the lir-t church edifice
that was ever erected within the limits of the borough
of Washington. The Presbyterian church then -t.....|
in the old Mansfield burying-ground, and was not
built in the borough of Washington until twelve

year- alter the Methodist church was completed.

The church became a part of the Asbury Circuit,
which at that time included half of Wan-en County
and part of Hunterdon, and was within the bounds
of the Philadelphia Conference, which was divided
in 1836, and the New Jersey Conference formed,

which C priseil the State of New Jersey anil a -mall

pan of the stales of New York and Pennsylvania.
In 1856 the New .Li-, \ Conference was divided by

icral Conference, and the Newark Conference

formed, which includes the borough of Washington.
I be church has been in three Conference -.

The original edifice was very small, — not much larger,
if any, than the present chapel, — with one aisle down
the middle. The tir-t church was taken dofl D
and a new church 56 by 44 feet was built in its place
while Rev. William Copp was pa-tor. ami remained
as then constructed until 1864, when it was enlarged
ii\ an addition of 30 feet at a cost of several thousand
dollars, which added greatly to the appearance and
convenience of the building. It was dedicated after
the enlargement on the 10th of May, lsi;.">, by ISi-hop
Simpson. The improvements were made under the
pastor, Rev. John Hanlon. who was the pastor from
18JJ8 i" 1866; he was a young man of great ability and

energy, and withal was very popular.

The church in the fall of 1^" again had another
addition made to it. which was a recess L6 feet deep
by 20 feet wide, constructed for a large pipe-organ,
when it was refrescoed and otherwise improved, until

it is now one of the prettiest audience-r ns in

Northern New Jersey. These last improvements
were made under the present pastor, Rev. R. Van-

The church always formed a part of tlie Asbury

Circuit until the year 1855, when it was taken oil' the

Asbury circuit, and with the church at Broadway
formed a separate charge; the two churches had a
ership of 149 white and 2 colored members.
The two charges continued together until the year
1861, when it became a separate charge, and Rev.
Joseph R. A. lam- was appointed preacher in charge;

the lir-t report he made to the Annual I '.inference was

L15 members and 75 probationers, and the probable

i the church was 16000. In L856 the trustees

purchased a house on Washington Avenue of Alex-



ander McClary for a parsonage. This was, in 1S66,
sold at public sale to John Walmsley for §1500, which
sale was confirmed by an act of the Legislature. The
trustees then purchased two lots on Jackson Avenue
of James Allen, and the same year erected the present
large and commodious parsonage. The Annual Con-
ference has looked upon this church as a very im-
portant appointment ; being located in a beautiful
and fertile valley, it was a point worthy of being-
cared for. Since it became separate from Asbury
the ministers appointed were among the best in Con-

The first was Rev. Win. Copp, who was appointed in 1855, stayed two
years ; in the spring of 1857, Rev. Martin Herr, who is now superannuated,
continued for two years. He was succeeded by Rev. Amos Belles, who was
continued for two years. At the close of his term Broadway was set off from
Washington, and Rev. Jos. R. Adams was the first minister ; he served
two years, and was succeeded by Rev. John Hanlon, who stayed three
years (the law of the church being altered so that a minister could re-
main three years). In the spring of 18G6 the Annual Conference met in
Washington, and Rev. Wm. Day was appointed from Heading Church,
Jersey City. He continued for two years, and was succeeded by Rev. N.
Vansant, who had been piesiding elder in tile Jersey City District. Mr.
Vansant continued oue year, then was appointed presiding elder in the
Newton District. Mr. Vansant was succeeded by Rev. Roht. B. Yard,
who continued for three years; he then went to Hedding Church, Jersey
City. Mr. Yard, while in Washington, made himself an active and use-
ful citizen ; he became proprietor and editor of the Washington Star in
1872. Rev. J. II. Dally was appointed pastor; he continued until the
spring of 1S74, when, owing to ill health, he was succeeded by Rev. M.
E. Ellison, who had been presiding elder in the district for four years
preceding. He continued the allotted term of three years, and was suc-
ceeded by Rev. J. J. Reed, who was appointed from Orange, N. J., in the
spring of 1877 ; he continued for three years, and was succeeded by Rev.
R. Vauhorn, who was appointed in the spring of 18S0.

All of these ministers ranked high in their Confer-
ence, and most of them were from the best churches
in the cities. The salaries of the ministers grew apace
with the church, commencing with $600 as soon as it
was set apart by itself, and continued to increase until
it reached, in 1873, $1800. Owing to depression in
business, it receded to $1200 in 1880. While Rev. J.
H. Dally was pastor a large number withdrew to form
a new charge at Port Colden, with a church organiza-
tion of its own.

Some prominent men of the county have been con-
nected with this church. Among the earliest were the
Woolverton and the Rusling families.f Also Maj.
Hankinson, a lawyer and a man of means, and James
H. Groif, who died in 1879. The latter made his
house a home for Methodist preachers, and in his
will bequeathed the church $1000, having previously
given it the chapel lot, on the corner of School Street
and Washington Avenue. He was president of the
board of trustees when he died. Another prominent
member, Judge Philip H. Hann, has been the treas-
urer for seventeen years, and Oscar Jeffery, a lawyer,
has been the recording steward for fifteen years.

From this church have gone some very able and

* The appointments to the charge during the time it was connected
with Asbury Circuit are beyond my power to get at present.— 0. J.

t James Rusling, the father, was among the first to be buried in the
graveyard ; his grave is on the wcBt side of the church. He lived at

useful ministers of the Methodist Church. Among the

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 143 of 190)