James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 146 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 146 of 190)
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Washington. When he commenced, prior to 1860,
he thought he was doing big work in making one
organ a week. Now there are made an average of
170 per week, or 28 every day.





Daniel Fisher Beatty, the subject of this sketch,
was born "ii the summit of Schooley's Mountain
Beattystown), in Lebanon township, Hunter-
don Co., N.'.l.. on the 1 Ltfa of August, 1848. Hi i-
the jon of George W. and Elizabeth (Fisher Beatty,
the former being a son of James, who emigrated from
tin north of Ireland and was eighty-eight years old
at the time of his death. John Beatty, one of the
sons of James, of Ireland, was the father of Maj.-
Gen. Samuel Beatty, of Stark Co., Ohio, who served
with distinction in the Mexican war, and in the lab

War of tin- Rebellion ro.-f tlirnii^h all tin- grades In tin'

rank ol major-general.

.1; - Beatty came to this country in the latter part

of the eighteenth century. Hi- , (icnr<_'e \\\, mar-
ried when quite a young man. and brought up a
family t ten children I ur daughters and ix sons, i I
Whom the third son, Daniel !•'., has become noted for
J j i — extraordinary genius and enterprise in the devel-
bpment and manufacture of the popular musical in-
.1- which bear his name. In early life he
evinced not only a rare business capacity, but a de-
cided taste for music and for the rustic scenes sur-
roundinghis native home in the mountains. In the
reception-room of the old homestead the visitor is
shown the instrument — an old-fashioned melodeon,
long since out of date— which first inspired the subject
of our sketch, while he little dreamed that in after-
fears he should be the means of introducing instru-
ments far superior to this one on which he practiced
his first youthful lessons. Amidst these early associ-
ations we Irani for the first time the reason why we do
hoi fcnd him establiohe i ic the city, like other large
and influential manufacturers, carrying out his ideas
amidst the hum and bustle of the busy mart, but pre-
ferring i" remain near the place of his birth and to
build up a business which has now become the chief
industry of Washington, N. J.

It is said that " y< g Beatty gave early indications

that lie was nut 'cut nut' I'm- a farmer." Tucking his

book under his arm, he would sally forth to the
fields, and. while perhaps his lather would berate him
for not taking his hand at the plow, he would be
deeph Immersed in the mysteries of the theory of
music, or making out impromptu advertisements of
his contemplated occupation, or, beside the cool spring
nt never-failing water, he would con his book, and
amidst the rustic scenes and sounds instil into his
mind his first rude conceptions which in after-years
moulded his tastes and pursuits to that refinement
« hie], early musical associations ;

While at home on the farm, Mr. Beatty led the choir
in the church of his neighborhood. His opportunities
for education were such only a- the common schools
afforded, but his lack of classical culture is compen-

sated for in a ; ■ i ■ ': perception,

clear and rapid insight into the nature of things, the
characters of men, and the readiness with which he
appropriates the results of science and philosophy.
He sees and generalizes rapidly, and cornea directly
to his conclusions, which are generally found to be
safe and accurate. Above all, that which gives Mr,
Beatty his great success i- his practical common sense

in lui-incss matters, which enables him to arrange his

plans with reference to the best financial results, — a
quality of mind which appeared early in his life, and

which induced his lather to entrust him with all his

finances while he was yet in hi- minority.

Starting out in life for himself without one dollar
in hand, he commenced business as a sale-man, and
finally advanced to the manufacture of the instru-
ments which hear his name; and, in the -Imrt pi rind
of his industrial lite and lair dealiicj. !

poml that he imu nwus ., no of the largest factories in
this country; has large ami commodious offices, di-
vided i seven departments, connected by electric

bells, telephones, and telegraphs, by which news is
received and transmitted to all part- of the world,
adapted to all branches ■.!' his extensive business,
His sales of musical instruments arc simply enor-

1 1 may lie truthfully said of Mr. 1 '.catty that he is a
natural genius, a sociable, clever man, and has aluni-
dantl\ prospered 1 \ I in:, so liberal m giving to hio
customers the profits of the middle man by selling to
t lulu dirctiy. He is a liberal and cheerful giver of
his substance to benevolent purposes; and, as a token
of the high appreciation of his fellow -townsmen, he
w as elected mayor of Washington, N. J., the place of
his residence, which office he holds at the pi
writing. The community which has thus honored
him with its confidence is indebted more to him than
to any other person for the prosperity it now enjoys,

on account of the immense organ and piano trade

which he has centralized there. 1 1 i- generous dona-
tions of order- upon the largest local -tor.- to supply

flour to the needy during the severity of winter, and

his liberal contributions to the various religious
organizations, without regard to denomination, are
indicative of but few of the many incident- that are
continually transpiring, and which have made Mr.
Beatty exceedingly popular among his fellow-citizens.

The following ai nt of the growth and extent of

Mi. Beatty's business is taken from the New York
5j ,,- ■

D i : i I:. ■.,!!>■ ti »iill a young dmd, trol I In build-

if (i- kind In ili-
world, and iii* nunc i- ramlllarly known loeTery Btaieol the I ni.'ti, un-l
- ntn \ ti' ii. end in man i

• option, iplete in detalla, and inc ftal In achlarunrot. 1 1 1 — atteo>

ill - -ill.- and Anally in tbe mannfai

lie, 'nt nil ecUva and progi-waino

ininil -.e\ wlda flalda open to energy and a rprbe In In- en

baa nerei waren d noi faltered In in- prajocta, Mr. Beatty



ved the idea of embarking in busing for himself, and being a man
with whom to conceive was to perform, he at once established himself in
a small office and began to manufacture organs in a small building. By
his shrewd, skillful, and persistent advertising he attracted wide atten-
tion at once. His business grew to such an extent that he was forced to
employ assistant after assistant, until to-day he employs forty men and
women to keep his books and manage his correspondence, besides adding
hundreds of workmen at the factories. The growth of his business was
a surprise to him, and resulted from his peculiar methods of advertising.
Letters and orders poured in very rapidly with every mail, and the in-
struments were sold in such numbers that he was unable to supply the
demand without largely increasing his facilities.

" His organs are known in every part of the civilized world, and every-
where favorably known for their cheapness, elegance, and durability. Mr.
Beatty is the man who first conceived the idea of reducing the prices of
organs and pianos to a reasonable basis. He exposed the deceptions
practiced by the leading manufacturers, and in face of established prices
and customs he boldly bid for the patronage of the musical public. He
was ridiculed and misrepresented by the monopolists who saw their
profits in danger, and no stone was left unturned to defeat and ruin him.
But conscious of the justice of his intentions, assured that the intelli-
gent public would support him, he gallantly met and repulsed bis foes at
every turn, and they, instead of crushing him, were forced to curtail, and
some go out of the market. This was a great thing for one young man
to accomplish from an obscure inland village, but Daniel F. Beatty did
it. These operations indicate the character of Mr. Beatty's mind.

"But amid all the rush and hurry of a vast and far-reaching business,
Mr. Beatty never forgets the duties of a man and a citizen. He was ele-
vated to the Mayoralty of Washington entirely without his seeking it.
His fellow-citizens chose him. He conducted no campaign, and w r as not
even present on election day, business having called him to New York
on that day, and the news of his triumph was telegraphed to his head-
quarters at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. He bears his honors modestly, and
is the same genial, open-handed, free-hearted man as ever, not forgetting
to relieve the pauper, to donate freely to his church, nor deeming it be-
neath him to preside at Children's Day service in his own church."


His grandfather, Joseph Sweeny, was born and
reared in Lycoming Co., Pa., and was a soldier in the
Revolutionary war. His wife was Anna Praul, a
native of Bucks County, in the same State. Daniel,
son of Joseph and Anna (Praul) Sweeny, born in
Pennsylvania, June 28, 1789, came to Greenwich
township, Warren Co., N. J., in 1809, and on Feb. 11,
1816, married Miss Catharine Reiley, who bore him
the following children : Willett, George, Margaret,
Daniel, William, Anna, Jacob, and John D. She
was born Feb. 21, 1796, and died April 10, 1867. He
carried a musket in the war of 1812, and in the latter
years of his life received a pension from the govern-
ment. For many years he resided at Stewartsville,
where he kept an inn. He was a Democrat of the
old school. He died in August, 1872.

William, son of Daniel Sweeny, was born June 20,

1820. Most of his minority was spent at home. Be-
fore reaching his majority he came to Washington
and began learning the wheelwright trade, in which
business and carriage-manufacturing he subsequently
established himself, in the same place, and success-
fully carried it on until 1856, when he was elected
sheriff of Warren County, and during his term of
office took up his residence at Belvidere. Notable
among his official duties was the hanging of Rev
Jacob Harden, who was tried and convicted for the
murder of his wife. Mr. Sweeny's wife, formerly
Miss Barbara C. Cowl, of Franklin township, born
Sept. 23, 1823, whom he married Oct. 23, 1845, died
Dec. 4, 1858, while he was a resident of Belvidere.
The children of this union were Daniel S., George

C, William, David R., John M., and Mary, wife of
Charles P. Bowlby, of Washington, N. J.

Upon returning from Belvidere he established a
supply-store on the canal at the outskirts of the
borough, which he carried on for some time. He was
interested in the " Washington Land and Improve-
ment Company," and a director in the First National
Bank of Washington for many years prior to his
death. Mr. Sweeny built a fine residence for himself
on the corner of Jackson Street and Washington
Avenue, which is, in 1880, one of the finest locations
and most pleasant places in the village, where his
widow now resides. In early life he began to take
an active part as a member of the Democratic party,
and his influence in local politics gave him place in
the councils of the party in the county. Mr. Sweeny
was a man of strong convictions and force of charac-
ter. Although unassisted pecuniarily in making his
start in life, by energy, economy, and judicious man-
agement he secured a fair competency. Although
limited in his opportunities for an education in early
life, by reading and observation he was well informed
upon the current topics of the day, and he was always
interested in the material prosperity of the village
and the welfare of its citizens. On Nov. 7, 1865, Mr.
Sweeny married Annie M., daughter of Mark and
Ruth K. (Smith) Thomson, and granddaughter of
Robert C. Thomson, one of the early settlers of
Changewater. She was educated in Trenton, where
she was for some time a teacher, and at the time of
her marriage she had been for some time a teacher in
Washington. The children of this union are Ruth

D. and Susan D. Mr. Sweeny died Aug. 31, 1874.

K.cJ- j&^$

DANIEL Puts, grandfather of Elijah N. Pilts, came from
Germany daring toe earl; j>:irt of the eighteenth century and
settled in Hunterdon Co., N. J., whoro ho reared a family, and
where he resided tli'- remainder of his life. His son Punic!,
liurii in 1711, in Hunterdon County, resided there fur many
years, nnil was offioioui us a recruiting officer in raising troops
for service in tho war lor independent. II*- hold the office of
constable. 1 1 ■ 1802 he rein. no, 1 t<. Washington town-hip. ill
tho county of Morris, N'. .7., where ho purchased and settled on
a farm of aboul one hundred and seventeen acres, ami on this
plaoe I"- died, in 1S27.

Mis wife was Rebecca Murlatt, born in 1750, who lived to
the advanoed age of oighty-tbreo years. They were among

theoarlii'-i mi" r- .»t tin- M.t ),..IL-t Episcopal Church where

they resided, and their house was not only toe wol le h e

and resting-place of th rlj traveling Methodist preachers,

bnl their hospitality lod them to open their house for church
in thai early day. Thin pions and devoted oouple lived
during the days of primitive Methodism in New Jorsoy, before
places of worship wen- established by oharoh-edifices, and when
tho gatherings of a few wcro held in private houses, and the
mi ionun pi nichcr found his way on horseback from place t i
plaoo on his long circuit.

Their children were ivtcr, John, (loorgo, Joseph, Daniel,
Sarah, Rachel, and Rebeoca. Of these children Daniel was
father of our subjeol : born in Bunterdon t lounty, Jan. 22, 1 780 ;
married Elisabeth, daughter of John Neighbor, of Morris

t'ouulv. She was horn in 1 7*.'.">, llll'l 'lied .lulu' '_".!, I >.'l I . II.'

died July 17. 1867.

Their children arc Nathan, of Washington, N. .1.: Anna,
died unmarried; Elijah N.: Julia, died unmarri I: 1
became the wife ol Poti i 8. Boi ren, oi 3 imei i I Co., N. J.;
i r, iii deoei ed , was for man) yoon a prominenl lawyer at
Somerville, N. J. : Aim. r N., resides on the farm in Oerman
V ill ley, Morris Co., whore hla father livod and died ; at IG
8., praetioed medioine for several year- at Raritnn, N. J., and
in New York City, was for four years a major-surgeon in the
Union army oi the Robollion, and died in Baltimore, where he
had taken up lii< residonoe.

Daniel Dills, the father of these ohildren, purchased of his
father the homostead in Morris County, in 1812, which ho
owned as long OS ho lived. Be was man of temperate hal.it

and sterling principles. lie was known as a man of strict in-
tegrity in all his business relations. He was never a seeker
alter place or political preferment, but led a quiet and unos-
tentatious life. His liberality was always bestowed upon the
needy and for worthy objects when such a course seemed to
him to be right. Ho was prudent in the management of his
affairs, and sought tho happiness and welfare of his fellow-men

a - well a- hi- own c.imfort.

By his industry and judicious calculations he acquired a good
i v, which he left for his children. Both ho and his
I under tho influences ol the Methodist Church,
and lived devout Christians.

Elijah N., son of Daniel and Elizabeth Pilts, was born in
Morri- County, Feb. 10, 1818, His early education from hooks

was lined to the district school of his native place. Until

ho was twenty eighl years of ago ho remained on tho horoc-
stead where he was born, and Dec. II. 1845, married Marga-
i.tia. daughter of Henry I. Hoffman, of Morris County. She
was born April 18, 1819, and died Nov. 20, 1877. Their chil-
dren are Henry <'.: Annie, died at the age of twelve year- :
Eli, died iii infancy; Emma E.. i- the wife of Benry Johnson,
..I Washington, N.'.l. ; Ella: William C. ; and Ulysses Q. Dilts,

tin Vpril 8, 1848, Mr. Dilts removed t.. Washington town-
ship. Wan. ii i ... N. J., and settled on a farm of ono hundred
and forty acres, then belonging to his father, but which he
! ui ii. ed of Id hi in i-i". lying within the limits of Washing-
ton borough. Upon this ho has since resided. Ho is also the

owner of tho homestead-farm in Morris ty, settled by his

gl aii.lt ather. which ho has purchased of the heirs of his father's

Mr. Iiilts. like bis father before him, was formerly a member
of the old Whig party, and upon the organisation of the li<-
publican party became a member of it. Although not solicit-
on- ..I "tli.e. he ha- often been proffered place on the ticket of
his party.

His life has bcon ono of industry nnd activity, and almost

wholly devoted to agricultural pursuit'. Mr. Hilt- is a man

oonviotions, ai : fir f character and

resolution t" -airy forward to u -u - fill cmpl.t ion whatever

he undertakes and OOI IVOS t" '"■ riirl.t. Both he and his wife

beoame members of the Methodisl Episcopal Church at Vfaih-
Ington in 1851, i" whiob they have been liberal contributors.


r» the county of Warren then- are few places
with :i more beautiful natural location than is pos-
Bcssed by the busy borough of Hackettstown. The
town ran be seen to the besl advantage from the sum-
init of Buck's Bill, a rocky height half a mile from
tin' business centre, which rises abruptly to a con-
siderable height above the surrounding country.
Standing on its summit and looking off to the south,
:i- far as eye can reach stretches the fertile valley,
preserving nearly the same width throughout. The
Sehooley Mountain ranjre mi t lie east forms the hori-
zon in that quarter. Towards the north the valley is
■ Hi Bhorl by the threatened juncture of the hills on
both sides. Through the midst of the valley runs the
Musconetcong River, on whose banks the town stands.

Along the northwestern bonier, ami marly at the loot

of the hill, lies the Morris Canal, while still farther
below in the valley is the track of the Morris and His-
ses Railroad. The panorama presi nted is indeed
ii.. .-i picturesque.

I'ii. circumstances connected with the naming of
the town are not fixed with much precision. It was

after it- firel settlement called Helms' Mills, fr

the man who buill the first mill. It was located
where is now the mill owned by Lewis J. Ybung-
its present name, as near as can
rtained, about the year 1764, being named after
Samuel tlackett, at the tim.' of the raising of the
frame of the tir-t hotel on the Bite of the present

Warren 1 [oUSe.

It was incorporated as a borough in 1858, and has
now 1881 over 2500 inhabitants. Hackettstown is
second in Bize and importance among the towns of
Warren * lounl ographical boundarii s an

north and easl bj Morris County, south by Mansfield,
and west bj I adept ndence.

The ares ol Hai ki ttstown i- ., square miles, or 177'.'


The exact date of the first settlement i- nol known,
hut it was not tar from 1720. Samuel Hacketl was
tie- tirst settler of which there is any record or tradi-
tion, llr received 10,000 acres of land from bis
father-in-law, win. bad large grants from the king of

i Hadloj,

t T) lortown tl...i. .in}-

other lUtton on the mill ad I twooo Pbillipsburg and Now fork.

England. He lived at one time in a log house on the

bank of Bowers' foundry pond, and hi- last

residence was tin- Lozear house, which was removed

not many year- ago by Thomas Shields, .lr. II.- was

a i 1 1 . 1 ■_• . - ..f Morris County before the .livi-ion of Mor-
ris, Sussex, and Warren. II.- was reputed t.. be a
"hard" man. with lew virtues, ami died at an ad-
vanced age, leaving no heirs.

During the tenure of his judgeship, previous to
17-".:;. an event of historic importance occurred, which
was the execution of one of the town's residents lor the
crime of passing counterfeit money. This was a capi-
ta] offense under the laws of New Jersey at that time.
David Reynolds, tin- unfortunate man, lived in the
upper part ol' the town, ami kept a small hotel on the
present -in- of the American House. II.- was accused
of passing the bill on a pack-paddler, who, on discov-
ering that it was counterfeit, had him arrested ami
confined in the Morristown .Tail. He was tried, eon-
victed, and condemned to be hanged. His friends used

all the means in their power to have the punishment

mitigated, but, failing in their efforts, organized a
m. >b for th< purpose of rescuing him. The authori-
ties, hearing of the intended attempt, erected a scaf-
fold ami made preparations to hang him on the first
attempt at rescue. The mob rode as far a- Mendham,
wh.-rr they were met by a messenger from Reynolds,
imploring them to desist from their intentions ami
leave him to his fate, as he was prepared to die, and,
if they persisted in his rescue, tie- lives of those un-
prepared might be lost. His wife ami eldest -hi
thru started for Morristown to plead for tin- lib- of
their husband and lather, ami net Judge Hackett,
returning from court, on tin- bridge crossing the Mus-
conetcong, at Newburg. < In bended knees they begged

him to intercede for tin ndemned man. bat without

avail. I Ii- was executed on the .lay appointed, brought
home, ami buried in the churchyard adjoining the old
Presbyterian church. No stone was ever erected, ami
tbr exact locality i- unknown, it was the custom in
those days to preach a sermon on tin- scaffold before the
execution ; tin- one on this occasion was from the text,
" II.- that getteth riches, ami nol by right, shall leave

them in the midst of his days, ami at his rinl shall

!." Jer. wii. 11. His widow afterwards mar-
ried a man named James.

About 1760 there were other settlements made by
two distinct parties, one of which included the A.yera,




Landons, and Hazens, who came from Vermont.
Their descendants to the present day are dwellers of
the town and vicinity. The other party, under the
leadership of Thomas Helms (father of Gen. John
Helms, who figured conspicuously in the early his-
tory of the town), came in the same year from the
neighborhood of Omagh, the county-seat of Tyrone,
in the northern part of Ireland. They were undoubt-
edly influenced to locate here by Hackett, who was
also an Irishman. To Gen. William Helms is given
the honor of building the first mill on the river, just
above where the present brick mill stands. It was a
wooden structure, and had a saw-mill attached. Just
above was a shop where nails were manufactured by
hand by Jerry Castner. Directly in front was a store,
kept by Helms at that time, and for many years after-
wards the only store in the town. Helms was a man
of prominence and a firm patriot. At the outbreak
of difficulties with England he joined his interests
with the colonies, and enlisted in the army as a cap-
tain, but was afterwards promoted to major. Subse-
quently he was a commanding general of the militia,
succeeding Gen. Jonathan Hill, but (it is said) to the
great dissatisfaction of Hill's friends, who constructed
an effigy of Helms and placed it one dark night on
the bridge in front of his mill, which the general,
rising early, discovered and removed. He had two
sons and three daughters. His eldest son, Thomas,
was a major in the regular army, served in the war of
1812, but died soon after. The whole family removed
to Tennessee. The general died in 1815, at the age of
sixty-six years.

There were several slaves owned in this place at
that time. Gen. Helms owned several ; Robert
Thompson, on the John M. Young place, had one;
William Thompson, on the Judge Boyd place, owned
three, one of which ran away, and another he took to
Rochester and sold; Maj. Dan Vliet, at Danville,
owned two ; Samuel Stephens, Job Johnson, William
Sharp, Ziba Osmun, the founder of the Osmun family,
and Archibald Stewart, an Irishman, all owned slaves;
and Ross Crane as late as 1825, publicly advertised
one for sale.

The land in the north part of the town was settled
by Ezekiel Ayers prior to 1750.' He died in 1796, at
an advanced age, and was buried in the old church-
yard, where his gravestone may still be seen. He left
four children ; Ezekiel, who was a Revolutionary sol-
dier, died in 1835, aged eighty years. He also was
interred in the old churchyard. Obadiah, the oldest
son, lived in the eastern side of the town, directly in
the rear of the property now owned by Aaron Mitch-
ell. He owned all the land on the east side of Main
Street. He sold out and moved West. Amos and
Aaron removed to the upper part of the county about
1806. The wife of Ezekiel, Sr., died in 1778, and was
buried by the side of her husband.

The first Methodist sermon delivered in Warren
County was in this town, in the house of Obadiah

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 146 of 190)