James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 154 of 190)
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built the pioneer furnace at this place. '1'aking the
Oxford Iron Company's store ti>ra centre, there are
three or lour suburban villages around it, — Tunnel
Hill village "it the east, Jonestown on the south,
Dutch Hill on the west, Pittengerville on the north-
west, and Smithville on the north. From no one of
these places can the other be distinctly Been, and no
one would imagine, from passing through the town or
towns, that the census enumerators found 3000 bouIs
at this place. The mercantile business is monopo-
lized by the company store, which La a mammoth
concern, though not a monopoly in the sense in which
tin- term is generalK tisnl. There is a general Btore
at Jonestown, a small store on Dutch Hill, another
small our at Smithville, also a drug-store at the same
place, kept by J. A. Allen. Bare are also four
churches, — Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, Roman
Catholic, and Lutheran, The rolling-mills, nail-
works, and other branches of industry at this place
employ several hundred hands. (See Iron Industries,
by Col. Scranton, pp. 7s -80 of this work.)

I'.i i i ,\ 1 1 i i is a -mall hamlet in the east part of

thr township, in the l'r.pirst valley, ami on the line



of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad.
At this place are a Methodist Episcopal church,
school -house, grist-mill, store, and post-office.

Bridgeville is another small hamlet farther down
the Pequest valley. This place was settled originally
by the Titman, Banghart, and Mackey families, whose
descendants are the principal inhabitants in the vicin-
ity. Here are located the Cedar Grove grist-mill,
school-house, and a few dwellings, with a railroad

Sarepta is a small hamlet in the north end of the
township. The early settlers in this vicinity were
the Hopler, Quick, Boyer, and Derenberger families.
Here are a grist-mill, school-house, and five or six

Oxford, known sometimes as " Old Oxford," "Lit-
tle Oxford," but more familiarly known in early days
as "Hog Holler," has lately assumed the name of
" Hazen Post-Office," and hung out a sign to that
effect, in honor of the third assistant postmaster-
general of the United States. Here are located the
old Oxford church, a distillery, school-house, store,
blacksmith- and wheelwright-shop, and several dwell-


There are in Oxford township nine school districts,
named and bounded as follows :

Oxford Furnace District, No. 32, is bounded on tlio southeast by Wash-
ington township; on the west by Pittengerville District; and on the
north by Buttzville and Pace's Districts.

Pittengerville District. No. 33, is bounded on the east and south by Ox-
ford Furnace District; on the southwest by Little York District ; on the
northwest by Oxford Church District ; and on the northeast by Buttz-
ville District.

Little York District, No. 34, in the south part of the township, is
bounded on the northeast by Pittengerville District ; on the southeast by
Washington township; on the southwest by Mount Pleasant District;
and on the north by Oxford Church District.

Mount Pleasant District, No. 35, located in the extreme southeast end
of the township, is bounded ou the northeast by Little York District;
on the southeast by "Washington township; on the southwest by Har-
mony townBhip ; ou the northwest by the Delaware River: and on the
north by Belvidere District.

Oxford Church District, No. 36, one of the interior districts of the
township, is bounded on the southeast by Pittengerville District; on the
south by Little York ; on the west and northwest by Belvidere; and on
the north by Bridgeville District. The settlement of this district was
commenced as early as 1740, and the old Oxford church built in 1744.

Bridgeville District, No. 37, is alBO an interior district, and bounded on
the east by Buttzville District; on the south by Oxford Church District;
on the west by Belvidere District; and on the north by Sarepta District.

Sarepta District, No. 38, located in the extreme north corner of the
township, is bounded ou the northeast by Hope township; on tho south-
east by Buttzville District; on the south by Bridgeville District; on the
southwest by Belvidere District; on the northwest by Delaware River
and Knowlton township.

Buttzville District, No. 39, on the east side of tho township, is bounded
ou the northeast by Hope township; on tho east by Pace's District; on
the south by Oxford Furnace District ; on the southwest by Pittengerville
District; on the west by Bridgeville District; and on the northwest by
Sarepta District.

Pace's District, No. 4(1, located in the east angle of tho township, is
bounded on the northeast by Hope township ; on the southeast by Mans-
field township ; on the south by Oxford Furnace District; and on tho
southwest and northwest by Buttzville District.

The school statistics of the township for the school
year ending Aug. 31, 1879, are as follows:

Total amount of money received in 1879 from all sources for school
purposes was S4S81.85. Value of school property, $18,325. Total num-
ber of children between the ages of 6 and 18 years was 1232, with an
average of nearly ten months' school. Total number of children enrolled
on school register was 1061. Average attendance, 502. School-house
will accommodate 735 scholars. Thirteen teachers were employed, of
whom six were females.


This is one of the oldest churches in Presbytery of
Newton. As early as 1739 there was occasional
preaching in the bounds of the congregation. In
1744, Rev. James Campbell preached several times
and baptized some children. The Rev. David Brain-
erd, Indian missionary, and Rev. Daniel Lawrence
also preached sundry times till the year 1749. At
that time the congregation unanimously put them-
selves under the care of the Presbytery of New
Brunswick and made application for supplies, and
have ever since considered themselves belonging to
said Presbytery.

In 1755 the Rev. Thomas Lewis officiated as stated
supply for some time. In 1764 three elders were
chosen, and ordained by Rev. Benjamin Hait. About
the same time a call was made out to the Rev. John
Rosebrough to officiate in connection with Greenwich
and Mansfield- Woodhouse, which call was accepted,
and he continued as the stated minister for the space
of five years, one-third of his time. This man should
be remembered at this time for his services to his

After his leaving Oxford, several supplies officiated
till 1775, when application was made to the Rev. John
Dabow, who supplied Mount Bethel and Oxford, and
afterwards accepted a call and continued for some
time as pastor to serve the two churches alternately.

In 1777 the Rev. Philip Stockton accepted a call in
connection with Knowlton and Mansfield- Woodhouse,
and continued three or four years. From this time
several supplies officiated until 1787, when the Rev.
Asa Dunham became pastor of the churches of Oxford
and Mount Bethel. He continued pastor till 1797.
His salary from Oxford for one-half of his time was
£50. The last two years of his ministry it was raised
to £75. He was a native of Hopewell, N. J. He was
three times married, his second wife being a daughter
of Abraham Axford. In appearance, it is said, he was
stout and tall, with a fair, full face and sandy hair.
He was a man of pleasant address and a good

Some time between the years 1797 and 1802 the Rev.
John Boyd was stated supply. As a preacher he was
rather heavy. After several attempts to secure a pas-
tor, the Rev. David Barclay was called, and became
pastor of Oxford, Mount Bethel, and Knowlton from
1805 to 1812. He was eccentric and brought much
trouble to himself by his oddities, but he was a good

* From a sermon by Rev. John Pollock.

f See further notice of Rev. Rosebrough, the soldier-chaplain of the
Revolution, in the history of Greenwich township.



man, of good abilities, ijuick , tamest, and energetic
in liis motions ami speech, of stunt, athletic frame,
and in temperament impetuous and imprudent.

In 1814, Rev. Garner A. Hunt supplied the pulpit for
some time. In 1818, August 29th, Lemuel F. "Leake
received a call to become stated supply of the two
congregations, Oxford and Harmony, and afterwards
became pastor, continuing in this capacity till Oct.
19, L825. Be died in 1866, at Mount Nebo, Pa. From
L826 to 1828, Sylvester Graham was stated supply.

In 1829, when the Rev. Isaac N. < !andee was called,
bis whole time was devoted to Oxford, to which all
tin- Presbyterians and many if not all of the Method-
ists of Belvidere belonged. .Mr. Candee continued
with Oxford Church as stated supply till the First
Presbyterian Church .if Belvidere was formed, when
he became its pastor. Mr. ( 'aider's ministry was the
most successful that Oxford Church has ever enjoyed.
He died June 19, 1874. He had admirable helpers;
his elders (John Clark, William Loder, Chapman
Warner, John M. Sherrerd, ami George I!. King)
were men of mark as well as of fervent piety.

When the First Presbyterian Church of Belvidere
was formed, in 1824, Flders (leurge K. King, William
O. Morris, Chapman Warner, and John M . She ire id,

and 87 members were dismissed to join the new

organization. Deprived of so much strength, the
mother-church felt unable by it-elf to support a
pastor. They therefore again made an alliance
with the Presbyterian Church of Harmony, and to-
gether they called the Rev, Robert Love. He sup-
plied the two pulpits February, Is:',."., to October,
1838. lie died (let. '.>, L888, lamented by all who
knew him. His rial remains -hep in Harmony

Presbyterian burying-ground. A substantial me-
morial, erected DJ these churches, marks his resting-
place and the respect in which he was held by the

people. During the years I s ".'.i to 1842, the Rev. John
Carroll, now of Faston, Pa., »as the pastor of Oxford
and Harmony. They wisely resolved to have the

next pastor all to themselves. Accordingly, tiny cx-
i> ml. d a call to the Rev. .lames MeWilliains, which
was accepted, and he continued with them from Dec-.

6, 1842, till November, 1853. He came here a young

man, this church being his first charge. He was a very
scholarly man, and bad he been more Belfish anil less

diffident he might have "on more fame and glory
for himself, hut less honor to his Master. Next to
Mr. Candee's ministry for success comes that of Mr.

MeWilliains. This earnest worker died Aug. 20,
1878, in the fifty-fourth year of his age.


:u Oxford Furnace, is a daughter of the old mother-
church "i' Oxford, known a- "Oxford First.',' Ii

-i mm ed Ma\ s, 1*63, by a committee of the
Presbyter] ■ •! Newton, consisting of the Rev. \. H.
Hand, D.D,, the Rev. I'.. D. Bryan, and tin I;, v,
W. II, Kirk, ami Ruling Elders, James Hiles, Jo-

seph Roseberry, and John M. Sherrerd, Esq. The

original roll of members is a- follow-, all coming
into the new organization by letter from the First
Church of Oxford: Mrs. Frances Addis, Mr. Elisha
Beers, Mrs. Rachel S. Beers, Miss Margaret Beers,
Miss I.avina Beers, Mr. Henry A. Kingsbury, Mr-.
Sarah R. Kingsbury, Mrs. Margaret Meredith. Mr-.

Elizabeth Poole, Mr. Selden T. Scranton, Mrs. Ellen
C. Scranton, Mr. Charles Scranton, Mr-. Jane A.
Scranton, Miss Ellen H. Scranton. Mr-. Margaret
Stout, Mr. William Stout, Mr-. Sarah StOUt, Mi- Re-
becca Van Syckle, Mr. Henry Wollinger. Mr. Fred-
erick Wolfinger, and Mrs. Mary Young. From these
Messrs. Elisha Beers, Henry A. Kingsbury, and Sei-
dell T. Scranton were chosen and ordained to the
office of ruling elder.

The congregation worshiped for a time, a- it bad
for years previous to the organization, in a little stone
chapel, built in 1848, during the pastorate of the Rev.
James M< Williams, at ( )ld Oxford. ( )n Jan. ::] . 1 <>',.;.
the present church edifice, a neat brick structure, 44
by li'i feet, was dedicated to the worship of God, the
Rev. W. II. Kirk, then pastor of the First Presbyte-
rian Chinch of Belvidere, preaching the dedicatory
sermon. Rev. Isaiah B. Hopwood, now of Newark,
X. J., was elected pastor almost immediately at the

organization of the new church, and though never
installed served the people faithfully and with a large
measure of success till July 1, 1865. The present oc-
cupant of the pulpit came by invitation of thi S

sion, and preached in the old chapel on the Hrst Sab-
bath alter the retirement of Mr. Hopwood. The

invitation was repeated and accepted. He was soon

called to the pastorate, but by request of the people

his installation was delayed till the completion and
dedication of the new church building, which took
place, as already stated, Jan. :;l, |si;.">. In 1873 a
debt of over si.nnn that had been resting on this

house of worship was removed, ami a parsonage,
costing about $8000, was erected through the liber-
ality of the congregation. The present value of the
church property is si.",, nun.

The Sabbath-school in connection with the church

was for a long time under the superintendence of
Mi. s. f. Scranton. Mr. ( lharles Scranton i- its pres-
ent superintendent The number of officers, teachers,

and scholars on the roll of the Bchool i- about 825,

and the average attendance about - 1 "'.
The present membership of the church is 211, of

whom "2 are living without the bounds of the con-

gregati ami have neglected t" secure letter- of dis-
mission to Other Churches. The entire membership of
the church -ince it- organization is :'.1"> ; 1'.' have
died, and 86 ha\e been dismissed.

Mr. Elisha Beers, Mr. Henrj A. King-bury, ami

Samuel Bherrerd, Esq., in addition to the present

board, have served the church as ruling elder-, and

Messrs. Charles Scranton, John .lone-, ami William
stunt a- trustees. The present officers of the church



and congregation are as follows: Pastor, E. Clarke
Cline ; Ruling Elders, Messrs. Selden T. Scranton
and John Schoonover; Deacons, Messrs. Samuel
Jones, Oliver N. Perry, and James H. Lukens ; Trus-
tees, Messrs. Selden T. Scranton (president), William
A. Jones, Charles B. Weston, Isaac F. Ward (secre-
tary), and Theodore P. Burd (treasurer).


More than fifty years ago Methodism was estab-
lished in this place by the traveling itinerant whose
voice was heard in school-houses, shops, and barns,
and other places where congregations could be gath-
ered to hear the Word of God.

Father Best, as he was familiarly called, is said to
have preached here about fifty years ago; Rev.
James Long somewhere about the same time. These
were followed by Jacob Hevener, Caleb Lippincott,
George Banghart, Edward Sanders, Isaac Winner,
James Dandy, M. S. Swain, B. Chattels, James More,
W. C. Hudson, Vincent Shepherd, David Bartine,
and Milford Day. Manning Force, Abraham Gear-
hart, and F. A. Morrell were also among the earlier

In 1840 the Methodists had become so strong as to
build a church (the school-house had been used for
services previous to this), and the next year the build-
ing was completed and dedicated, Rev. David Bar-
tine officiating at the dedication, Rev. William Baker
being preacher in charge, and Joseph Blamie as-

During the dedicatory services the soul of Brother
Blamie passed to his eternal rest.

Among the preachers who occupied the pulpit of
the church, which is now forsaken and going to ruin,
were Ichabod Carmichael, M. S. Swain, George Bang-
hart, E. M. Griffith, J. T. Crane, J. W. Seran, R. Van-
horne, J. W. Cole, Thomas Diedrick, James I. Mor-
row, J. D. Hays, W. H. Haggerty, C. A. Wambough,
J. T. Michaels, and Henry Littz.

In 1876 a new, pleasant, and commodious church
■was finished and dedicated, Dr. Ives officiating at the
dedication. The whole debt was provided for on the
day of dedication.

Most of those who joined the church forty or fifty
years ago have gone to their rest above. The society
at this place now numbers about 60 members. Value
of church property, $2000. Rev. P. G. Ruckman
closed a three years' pastorate in April, 1881.


This church or society is located at Oxford Furnace,
and was organized in 1867, at the residence of John
C. Gould, by Rev. J. L. Hays, with the following-
named persons : Baxter Booth, Fanny Booth, John
C. Gould and wife, Jacob R. Smith, Nancy Smith,
.AIis. Henry Forrester. They resolved at the same
meeting to build a church. According to resolution,
a lot was secured, and in due time a small frame
building was in readiness for dedication. The dedi-

catory services were performed by Revs. A. L. Brice
and John Hanlon, assisted by the pastor. This
church was built with a seating capacity of 75.

Accessions having been made, it was decided in
1872 to secure a more eligible lot, on which to build
a larger and much more commodious edifice. This
new enterprise was inaugurated during the pastorate
of Rev. S. K. Russell, who succeeded in securing lots,
upon which was erected a building calculated to meet
the demands of the times and the requirements of
the people.

The original intention was to construct a two-
story building, with a Sunday-school and class-rooms
in lower story and an audience-room in upper story.
Only the lower story has been completed ; the upper
room remains unfinished. The basement was dedi-
cated in the fall of 1872, by the presiding elder, Rev.
M. E. Ellison, assisted by the pastor, Rev. S. K. Rus-
sell. The building thus far has cost $7000, and,
owing to the shrinkage in values, it is now estimated
at $4000. Present membership, 112.

At one time Buttzville was united with Oxford,
when Rev. J. L. Hayes was pastor; since then the
following have been the pastors :

J. P. Macaulay, 1867-68 ; W. H. Haggerty, 1868-70 ;* G. Smith, 1870-71 ;
S. K. Russell, 1S71-73; M. V. Warner, 1873-74; J. P. Macaulay,
1S74-77; A. L. Wilson, 1877-78; E. N. Craeto, 1878-81.

The first Sunday-school superintendent was J. S.
Matthews ; the present one is the pastor in charge.

There are seven cemeteries in Oxford township, —
two at Oxford Furnace (union and Roman Catho-
lic), two at Oxford village, one on the church lot, and
one between the residences of Mrs. Davison and L.
Mackey. Summerfield cemetery is located adjoining
the Summerfield Methodist Episcopal church, in the
south part of the township, in which are represented
the Myers, Cole, Rittenhouse, Appleman, Stout, Golds,
Willever, Frome, Sarson, Pierson, Voorhees, Cox,
Radle, Kugle, Mathews, Parks, Milroy, Woolverton,
and other families. Buttzville cemetery, located at
Buttzville, on the east side of the township, adjoining
the Methodist Episcopal church lot, contains repre-
sentatives of the Vasbinder, Stevens, Jones, Lanning,
Petty, Banghart, Bailey, Smith, Schuyler, Anderson,
Major, Shannon, Widner, and other families. There
is also an old graveyard on the Young farm, in the
southwest corner of the township.

The Pequest Creek furnishes some of the most val-
uable water-powers to be found in this part of the
State, and many persons well versed on the subject
of water-powers throughout the State claim for it
equality with, if not superiority to, any stream of
twice its size in the State.

Mount liotliul '


CI 3

The "Cedar Grove" grist-mill, on the banks of the
Pequest, about two miles above Belvidere, wa
in 18Co by William Mackey, who is still proprietor
and operator.

The Buttzville grist- and plaster-mills were built
many years ago by Daniel Axford. They arc- a- an-
ri.ni as they appear to be, and are now owned by John

< ireell.

The Oxford Furnace grist-mill was built soon after
the settlement of the town-hip, probably as early as

1760 or 1755. It is now owned by the Oxford Iron

( 'ompany.

i )ld ( Ixford grist-mill is also one of the centenarians
of thi> township, having been built a< early as L780.

In L 835 the addition was built for a elover-niill. It
i- now owned by John < '. Trail.
The Sarepta grist-mill, on Beaver Brook, in the

north part of the town-hip, was built by Charles

( Iroxall. in about L760, as near as can be ascertained.

lie also had a -aw-mill at that place, and tradition

says and that, too, with an air of confidence in the
truthfulness of the Btory -thai when the saw-mill re-
quired a new roof, Mr. CroxaJU was very desirous of

Baving the nails, and, in order to do BO, ordered the

roof to be burned off, which of c Be partially de-
stroyed the mill, but he saved the nails, with which
he put on the new roof.

The " Foul Rift" grist-mill was originally built in

181 I by William Sherlock, on the bank of the Dela-
ware River, about two miles below Belvidere. It was

rebuilt in 1886 by the Sic nerd & Co. Mill Companv,
and destroyed by fire in 1856 57. The mill was
operated two or three year- by Abram McMurtrie.


The water-front, or that portion of Oxford lying

along the Delaware II her from the mouth of l'ophau-

dusing Creek, extending down the river for a distance

of one and thrce-.piartcr miles, to below "Great I '"ill

Rift," affords - i of the best mill-sites and water-
powers to be Found anywhere in this part of the


In or about L886 the Belvidere Water Company
was Formed, and a Burvey made in 1847 by Caleb II.
Valentine, civil engineer. The strip of laud along
the river, as surveyed by the company, crossed the

lands of Hoff & I'aul. at the mouth of the creek,

I loir, Abraham McMurtrie. John Mackey. Philip
Mowrey, and Lommason .v White. A village plat
was al-o aurveyed at the lower end of the com-
pany's tract, which contained twelve and one-half
acres, according to maps shown. No improvements
have been made since the destruction of the com-
pany's mill in L856 67.

o\l OKI' MINI -

These mines are situated in the townships of Ox-
ford and Washington, near the line o) the Warren
Railroad. Some of these mine- have been worked for

about 1 in years.

The original Oxford Furnace, -till in operation,
was built by Jonathan Robeson in 1741-42, and put
in operation in 17-b'l, Mr. Richard Bhackleton having
had the contract to construe! the race-way to carry
water for it- motive-power, Tradition says that the
water-blast was first used, and that the product per
week was from 13 to 17 tons of pig iron, consuming
from ."mi to too bushi l- of charcoal t" a ton of iron ;
at a later period large bellow-, similar in shape to
those used by blacksmiths, were used, increasing the
product two to four tons per week. From the years
lsoo to 1809 the power was bo increased as to pro-
duce from 17 to 22 tons per week. In l,s:;:> what were
known by furnace-men as tub-bellow-, with a working
receiver, were introduced, and the make, with cold-
blast, reached about 22 ton- per week, consuming

al i 275 bushels of charcoal. This was un Li

in; gemenl of William Henry, Esq., who, as early

as 1834, applied hot-blast, obtaining a patent there-
for. Soon after thi- period the subject of I
the blast by means of the waste-heat of bla-t-liiruac.-

was much talked of, and every improvement or
thought in this line was eagerly caught up. In 1887

the hot-blasts had been BO much enlarged and im-
proved that a yield of 27 to 28 tons per week was the
result. This satislied the public want at that time.
The same stack is at present in u-e, having I" ■
larged in it- interior diameter and height, and. using

anthracite coal as fuel ami Bteam a- it- motive-power,

produces over 70 tons per week, or more than three
times its early product.

(11 the several vein- here, the Franklin vein and

the new vein at the west of the property have not

he, n worked for ore; only searches have been

■ hi these. The Harrison vein has been worked to
-oine extent, and contains an immense quantity of
ore, a vein of about 12 li-et in thickness having been
opened For about 250 feet along the surface, and for a
depth of '.'l Feet.

The ore in this mine contains a considerable per-
i . ntage of pj rites, but, with the recent improvements

in working sulphurous ores, tin- large mine ha- be-
come a valuable one.

The Washington vein i- close to or a part of the
llarri-on vein, being separated by not over L2 feel
thickness of rock. Ii run- parallel to the Harrison

vein, and has been worked about 100 feet in depth

and 700 feet in length. It- width averages about is
feet, and is traced in length 2100 feet, showing about

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 154 of 190)