James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 165 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 165 of 190)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

continue until this day, although the first, which was

never satisfactorily worked in all the districts, has
fallen very much into disuse of late. Enough has

been seen of its good results, however, to lead to the
belief that where faithfully worked the system would
he of the highest possible value to the congregation,
he-ides the as-i-tance afforded the pastor, and the re-
lie., inlluenee exerted upon the -piritual life of the
faithful elder.

After several preliminary meetings for the purpose
of ascertaining the view- of the congregation as to the
desirability and feasibility of building a new church,
it was on the Kith of I'el.iuary, 1 .mI'.i, finally resolved
to undertake the work, and the following pi rsons
were chosen a- a building committee, — viz., Isaac
Wildrick, John Bunnell, Pett t Lanterman, Dr. John
( '. Johnson, John Hull. John I. Blair, Andrew N.
Snovcr, A bra in Swisher, and Charles E. Vail. It was
not, however, until the lapse of Over a year that, OH

the 26th of April. 1870, the work of demolition ac-
tually began, nor until the 17th of May following

that the work on the trenches of the new church was

commenced. The corner-tone was laid with public
i lercises on the 1st of June, L870. The basement
was first occupied 29th October, 1871, and the com-
pleted building dedicated L6th July, 1872. On the
latter occasion Rev. John Hall. D.D., of New York,
preached the dedicator] sermon from 2 Cor. iv. 6.
This building, the comj lious and substantial edi-
fice in which we still worship, is 80 by 58 feet, exclu-
sive of the projecting tower and pulpit recess. It is

built of native limestone, atuci d, and Burmounted

with a graceful slated spire rising to a height of 170

1 llr in the gr id line to top e| |n:i il. I he main

audience-room will seat 600. In the basement area
spacious lecture-room, library-room, two class-r i-.

a kitchen, and a coal- and oil-room. The COSt com-
plete, with furniture, heater-, and a 2000-pound hell.

was .<i">, , ji;::.|ii, of which amount (4189.64 was raised

on the day of dedication, Mr. John I. Blair, who had

already given with hi- ii-ual liberality, contributing,

in hi- Own name and tho-e of his friends, the major

part of the debt. The church was huilt alter a plan

furnished by the Messr-. Graham & Son, of Eliza-
beth, V .1. lie contract for the masonry was
by Messrs. Andrew Yetter and Thomas S. Bird; that
for the carpenter work by Charles 1'. Beldemore;
the painting by Alvin 1". Edmonds; and tin- tinning
and beating by Robert II. Rusting, all of Blairetown.
The carpets and cushions were furnished by Messrs.

A. '1'. Stewart & Co., of New York, and the frescoing
done by S. I:. Ryder, of Elizabeth, N. J. The bell,
first raised to it- place the day before the dedication of
the church, wa- made to order by Messrs. Meneely &

Kiinherly, of Troy, X. Y. It weighed 2014 pound-.
bore an inscription lt i \ Lng tie name of the church and

the date oi the en ction of first and second buildings.
This bell having cracked, a new one wa- made by the
-anie founder-, weighing 20!lX pound-, with the same
inscription, and was elevate. 1 to it- place Aug. 5, 1 875.

Twenty year-, lacking one month, from the death

of Philip Raub the Session was for the second time in

tin- history of the church called upon to mourn the

loss of one of it- number. Jacob Lanterman, its

-t venerable and exemplary member, after having

served both as elder and trustee from the organiza-
tion of the church, was removed by death, in a se-
rene old age, on the L'*th of April, 1ST 1 '. This was
two 'lays after the commencement of the work of
taking down the old church preparatory to the erec-
tion of a new one, — an enterprise in which, from the
first, he had manifested the deepest interest.

At a meet in": of the congregation in the new church

on the 20th of February, 1 ^ 7 1! . I leorge Carter and An-
drew X. Snovcr were elected trustees to fill v.l
occasioned by the death of Jacob l.anternian and the
removal of Samuel H. l.anternian.

Sept. ii, ls7::. Elder S. S. Stevens, having r.
the principal-hip of the academy at this place and
accepted that of the collegiate institute at Newton,
was dismissed to the church at that place.

In the early part of August, 1874> the church was

presented by Mr. Blair with a pipe organ, made bj

\lr - r-. George Jardine \ Son, of Xew York, at a

cost of $2000, which organ was dedicated with appro-
priate exercises on the evening of August loth.
June 26, 1875, flu- Session resolved to adopt for the

use of the congregation in its public worship the
" l'r ( -b\ terian Hymnal," in place of the old I k of

" Psalms ami Hymns," formerly in use.
Jan. 26, 1876, Henry I). Gregory, Ph.D., for many
b prominent educator in Philadelphia, and

more recently principal of the Geneseo Academy,
Geneseo, X. Y.. having in the September previous

taken charge of the Blair l're-byterial Academy, was.

on the nomination of the existing Session,

li r of this church, and duly installed on tl

■ ■I' the same month.

Sept. 80, 1879, the following additional trust*
elected,— viz., l>r. John C. Johnson, l>r. Milton N.

Armstrong, and Samuel McConachy.



The membership of the church at the present time
is 215.

Present Organization. — Pastor. Rev. Thomas A. Sanson; Elders. Henry
D. Gregory, Ph.D., John L. Teel, Isaac D. Lanterman, Abram Swisher,
George B. Shipman, John C. Johnson, M.D., Charles E. Vail ; Trustees,
John I. Blair, Isaac Wildrick, John Konkle, George Carter, Andrew N.
Snover, John C. Johnson, M.D., Milton N. Armstrong, M.D., Samuel
McCouachy; Organist and Chorister, John C. Johnson, 31. D. ; Sabbath-
school Superintendent, Charles E. Vail.


Just when, where, or by whom the first Methodist
class was formed, as a nucleus around which has
grown the flourishing society at Blairstown, or who
the pioneer class-leader was, we are unable to give
the reader any accurate account, but present such
items as we have gleaned from the Blairstown Press,
Conference Minutes, and tradition.

The lot upon which the church stands in the vil-
lage of Blairstown was deeded by John I. Blair and
wife to John R. Lanning, John Harden, William
Tinsman, John Howell, Alexander Decker, and Wil-
liam Sears, trustees, in trust for the Methodist Episco-
pal Church in the vicinity. The deed is dated Jan.
16, 1838, and filed in the county clerk's office in June
of the same year.

" The old Methodist Episcopal church or meeting-
house, as it was modestly called, stood nearly on the
same ground as the present one, but a little nearer
the maple-trees, on the west side of the lot, and was
built in 1838, and dedicated about the 1st of Novem-
ber of that year."

It was a plain stone structure, 35 by 45 feet, with
Gothic windows, two front doors opening directly
into the audience-room, entered from a porch nine
feet wide, running across the front of the building,
with steps at either end, galleries on the sides and
rear, and rear end reached by open stairways on either
side of the pulpit. The building was rough-cast, sim-
ilar to the old academy, and was innocent of spire or

The contract for the work was sold at public auc-
tion, Feb. 3, 1838, to Jonathan D. Calvin and William
Sears, the former taking the masonry, including all
material, for $639; the latter the carpenter work.,
including painting, etc., for $999. This primitive-
looking old church was demolished in July, 1873,
and the stone basement — in which is a lecture- and
Sunday-school-room — of the present handsome frame
building, 40 by CO feet, was dedicated Feb. 28, 1874,
by Rev. R. L. Dashiel, assisted by Rev. J. R. Buttz.
The auditorium was dedicated Jan. 23, 1875, by Rev.
L. R. Dunn, D.D., assisted by the pastor in charge,
Rev. T. C. Mayham.

We find it among the impossibilities to give a cor-
rect list of the original members of this society, but
it is generally believed that John R. Lanning was the
original class-leader, and, whether first or second, he
remained class-leader until 1842, when he removed to
another section of country. Of all the persons that
belonged to this church in 1841, only three are known

to be living at the present time, — viz., John Labar,
Elisha Cook, and Mrs. Sophia Wass, or Vass, or Voss.
One of these, Elisha Cook, was appointed a class-
leader in 1842, and filled that position for many
years. When the society at Blairstown was formed
it was connected with the Harmony circuit, the
preacher living at the latter place. This arrange-
ment continued until 1862, when the Blairstown
charge was formed, and the preacher located in that

Subsequently the society purchased the property
in the village of Blairstown known as " The Isl-
and," where the Methodist Episcopal parsonage now
stands. The following are the names of most of the
preacherswho have supplied the Blairstown Methodist
Episcopal pulpit from 1838 to the spring of 1881 :

William Nelson, 1S38 ; S. W. Decker, 1842^13 ; Westbrook, 1844-^5 ;

Pierson, 1846; Martin Herr, 1847-48; William M. Burroughs,

1851-63; Jonah Mathis, 1864-55; Manning Force, 1850-57; C. Clark,
Sr., 1S5S-59 ; William Chamberlain, 1800-61; Jacob Tyndal, 1862-

64; J. F. Dodd, 1565-67 ; Voorhees, 1868-70 ; S. F. Palmer, 1871-

72 ; T. C. Mayham, 1873-75 ; Charles E. Walton, 1S76-78 ; George W
Horton, 1879-80.

Present membership, 160 ; present value of church
property, $12,000 ; present Trustees, John W. Cook,
Elisha Cook, William Brands, Peter K. Vanscoten,
Adam Teets, Frederick Vough; Stewards, Elisha
Cook, John W. Cook, Adam Teets, and Nelson
Kishpaugh ; Class-leaders, Adam Teets and John
W. Cook ; Sunday-school Superintendent, Peter K.
Vanscoten, with an average attendance of 80 scholars.


There are but three cemeteries in this township
that are used as such at the present day, — one at Blairs-
town, one at Jacksonburg, aud one in School District
No. 72, in the southeast corner of the township, on
the road from Blairstown village to Hope village.

The following are a few of the inscriptions upon
the headstones and monuments in the burial-ground
in School District No. 72 :

James Bartow, died June 6, 1797, aged 71 ; Joanna Bartow, died March 4,
1810, aged 73 ; John Bescherer, died July 13, 1830, aged 53 ; Elizabeth
Bescherer, died March 6, 1853, aged 71 ; Isaac C. Read, Sr., died March
1, 1868, aged 75 ; Mary Bead, died May 10, 1835, aged 73 ; Elder Jona-
than Thompson, died Feb'y 2, 1S29, aged 37; Sarah Thompson, died
September 13, 1831, aged 40; Gershom Bartow, died January 10, 1851,
aged S4 ; Margaret Bartow, died September 25, 1828, aged 58 ; Anna
Park, died January 29, 1S4S, aged 23; Sarah Ogden, died April 1,
1829, aged 38; Mary Lanterman, died August 12, 1839, aged 38; Isa-
bella Lantcrman, died February 18, 1845, aged 53; Rachel Lanter-
man, died January 16, 1848, aged 61; William Lanterman, died
March 12, 1858, aged 59; Isaac Freese, born AuguBt 7, 1795, died
February 15, 1873 ; Hannah Freese, born August 26, 1800, died April
10, 1875 ; Mark W. Davis, died July 10, 1860, aged 45 ; Benjamin Og-
den, died August 26, 1794, aged 32; Mary Ogden, died January 17,
1806, aged 72 ; Gabriel Ogden, died December 26, 1815, aged 85 ; Eliz-
abeth Wintersteen, died February 22, 1852, aged 76; Rev. Daniol
Vaughn, died May 29, 1810, aged 63; Dinah Vaughn, died October 1,
1794, aged 46; Daniel Vaughn, died August 16, 1846, aged 58; Cath-
arine Vaughn, died February 9, 1879, aged 85; David Read, died
April 25, 1831, aged 49; Josoph Read, died April 13, 1792, aged 58;
Sarah Read, diod August 31, 1792, aged 49 ; John Allen, died October
13, 1872. aged 81,; Isaac Crisman, born Nov. 28, 1779, diod August 20,
1844 ; George K. Siploy, died July 18, 1860, aged 65 ; Aaron Haggorty,



born January 6, 1806, died Mm. i i Wee, died Norem-

ber 22, 1871, aged 75; Martin F. 11 1, died September 4, 1876, aged

68; Jonathan Mai tin, died January 29, 1807, aged 72; John
nun, died Jan'y 22,1887 lesL.Ci

-, i -7a, aged 72.

There lire no civic- nr military organizations in tins
township. The principal corporation is the Blairs-
town Railway Company, one of the numerous feeders
of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad.
The first train passed over the road July 1 1877.
111. present officers are J. I). Vail, Superintendent :
Charles E. Vail, Secretary and Treasurer : And Hon.
John I. Blair, President Rev. W. D. C. Rodrock is
conductor, Girard Staples engineer, and W. ( '. Eowell

baggage and freight agent.

For a township thai lias m. special manufacturing
establishment where a large number of pi rsons are

employed, it can, however, boast of rjnitc a number
of industrial pursuit*. Anions the early hranehes of

industry engaged in was the manufacture of potash

from w l-ashes. The building used for that purpose

Stood on the Methodist Lpiseopal parsonage lot, in
the village of Blairstown, near the Bpot where the
parsonage formerly stood.

Subsequent to the erection of Smith's mills, men-
tioned in the early history of Blairstown village,
there seems to be uo record of, neither does tradition
point out, any grist- or saw-mills for quite a number

of years.

The pioneer grist-mill in this township, after
Smith'-, was built at Blairstown village, in about
1819, by William Hankinson. The building was of

-lone, and is still occupied a- a grist-mill. In a few

years after the jtone part was built the frame addition

was put up. It is n"» owned by Bon. John I. Blair.

The grist-mill at Jacksonburg was built in 1826 by

Cornelius Stout, and is still in use and owned 1>>

Samuel Met 'onaehy.

The next grist-mill in this township was built by
[saac Smith in ls::i :;l', now owned by the heir- of

Martin I'ai liter, and known as " I'ai liter's Mill-," and

located small i>t Walnut Vallej Post-office.

In or about the year 1800, Joseph Stout built a saw-

mill at Jacksonburg, and after a \'r\\ years it was

The saw-mill now owned by Isaac Lanterman, at

Walnut Valley, was built about 1810 by Samuel Hilt-.

Qeorge Titman built a saw-mill up Walnut Valley

('nek in 1820, which Weill to decay many ye I

Zebedee Stout also built o saw-mill on Yard's

Brook the same year, which ha- -bared the -aim- (ate.

The saw-mill niiw owned by Matthias Place, about
a mile above Jacksonburg, was built in 1825 i i


There was : ,t one lime an iron foundrj and a roof-

ther Qienfli u |

slate factory on Walnut (.'reek, a short distance above

Walnut Valle] Post-dffice, both of which were aban-
doned man;. J I ai- ago.

Samuel Brugler was the pioneer blacksmith of this
town-hip. lie located at Walnut Valley in 1807, and
built a frame -hop opposite I laniel Vanscoten's, where

he carried on blacksmithing for many year-. The old

frame was subsequently moved to the opposite corner
in front of the post-office, where ii -till stands, and is
used as a wagon-hi

Jo ph Smith, another blacksmith, located on the
south side of 1'aiilin-kill, opposite Walnut Creek, in
Isi'l-^L', where William Smith now lives.

John Hardin bad a blacksmith-shop at Jackson-
burg in 1885. The shop was built by Cornelius Stout,
Mr. Horton i- the present blacksmith at Jacksonburg.

In 1818, Joseph StOUl had a black-mith-shop on

the opposite side of the creek from Thomas Morgan's
i. sidence at Jacksonburg.

The wheelwright-shop at Jacksonburg was built in
1 B25 by i 'orneliii- Stout

In 1882, John Lame commenced the wheelwright
business at Walnut Valley. Anthonj Lance is the
present wheelwright, about half a mile west of Wal-
nut Valley Post-office.

G rge Lance has a bending- and repair-shop half
a mile north of Walnut Valley Post-office, built in

George Reeder's wheelwright-shop at Jacksonburg
was built in 187 I.

At Blairstown the blacksmith business was con-
ducted by Isaac Newton as early as 1820. He was
succeeded bj a Mr. Young. Robert Bunnell came in

1833, and in 1836 the old shop burned down, and was

rebuilt by John I. Blair. The wheel wright-shop was
built in 1886 bj Isaac Bunnell, and, in 1840, John
Bunnell bccam.- proprietor, when it was enlarged, and
for twenty year- he carried on an extensive busi-
ness, employing 2" men most of the time in the
manufacture of sleighs, carriages, and wagon-. Bun-
nell was sii leded by Rice & Carter in 1859, and

they, in 1861, by Bunnell A Lanterman, followed by
Henry Bunnell and George Carter, from i-
1 870, w In ii Bunnell subsequently sold to [saac Lan-

The -lone -hop now occupied by McConnell A:
Carter for black-iiiithing 1 carriage ironing "a-

built in |sis by John Bunnell. Levi Drake ha- car-
ried on the wheelwright business here since 1871.

The lailm- of Blairstown have been, lir-t. a Mr.

Quering, then Joseph Parr, in 1886, -

Charles Vesterbelt, - — Bunting, John Peters, and
George McGuinness, the present tailor, who came
hi i. Maj 9, 1868.

The shoemakers have been Joseph Bogart, who was
here in 1853; Beaty Emery, Thompson Ryman, in

I860; Sandford Lyman. Charles Strickland, came in
ml William King, in 1876. The two last

named are In i



The first harness-shop was huilt here ahout 1820.
Mr. Hankinson gave to William Crisman a deed of
what is known as the " Island," on which he put up
a four-story building, in which were a dwelling, tan-
nery, and harness-shop. The old "four-story" has
quite a history connected with it that will probably
be left for the lovers of traditionary lore to pass down
to future generations. The next harness-shop was
operated by Ephraim Hardin, on the site now occu-
pied by the Bunnell Block. W. C. Larzelier, the
present harness-maker, located here in 1860.

The pioneer stove- and tin-shop in Blairstown was
kept by Lyman Edwards & Sons in the old " Hall"
building, when it stood just west of the old willow-
tree, in front of Auble's temperance boarding-house.

The cider-mill and distillery now owned and oper-
ated by Isaac F. Read & Brother was built in 1868.


Most prominently identified with the interests of
this township, and worthy of mention, is the Hon.
John I. Blair, whose head is silvered o'er with the
frosts of more than fourscore winters, yet, in the en-
joyment of all his faculties, his mind is still engrossed
with business interests and railroad enterprises. See
a personal sketch on following pages.

Hon. Isaac Wildrick, who came to this township in
1830, locating on the farm where he now resides, one
and a half miles south of Blairstown village, has
served his township as constable and as justice of the
peace. He has served Warren County three years as
a deputy sheriff', and one term as sheriff, being elected
in 1839, and for two successive terms he represented
his district in Congress.

Daniel Vanseoten, or " Uncle Dan'l," as he is
familiarly known throughout this township, was born
Jan. 16, 1796, near Wolftown, in what is now Knowl-
ton township (then Sussex County). He came to
Walnut Valley (in what is now Blairstown township)
in the spring of 1813, where he has lived ever since.
In 1826 the present mail-route from Columbia, on the
Delaware, was not troubled with post-offices between
that point and Gravel Hill, now Blairstown.

In 1827, "Uncle Dan'l" was appointed postmaster,
under the administration of John Quincy Adams,
and still holds the position, being the oldest post-
master, both as to his age and time of holding the
office, of any man in the United States. Twice he
has given bonds to the post-office department : first
when he was first appointed, and again, a few years
ago, when the post-office department sent him a blank
to fill out and execute in the sum of $2500, as the de-
partment did not know whether his former bondsmen
were living or not.

Fifty-four years have rolled around since "Uncle
Dan'l" was first appointed, — nearly a lifetime has
he been found at the post of duty. In politics " Uncle
Dan'l" has nearly always voted the Whig or Repub-
lican ticket.

In his sixteen votes for President of the United
States, he has been on the winning side eleven times,
and has voted for the last sixty-three years. He has
been twice married, and is the father of seven chil-
dren, five of whom are still living.

He has entered his eighty-fifth year, and is hale
and hearty ; calls around every morning to see his
children, who live near him ; converses with the
same fluency and strength of mind as in years long
gone by ; walks to Blairstown, a distance of four miles,
once or twice a week ; and delights in entertaining
his auditors with the 'scenes of his younger days,
which he does in a very pleasing conversational

He purchased the Walnut Valley Hotel property
over fifty years ago, which he has owned till quite
recently, when he sold it to his son, Charles Van-
seoten. He still owns what is known as the Sipher
farm, in this township.

Among the other officials from this township we
find that Abram Wildrick was elected a State Sena-
tor in 1866 and served one term ; Samuel H. Lanter-
man was in 1869 elected sheriff and served one term ;
William L. Hoagland, elected surrogate in 1864; and
Simeon Cook, elected county clerk in 1850.


At the breaking out of the Rebellion of the Southern
slaveocraey, in 1861, Blairstown township responded
to the call for volunteers in a most noble manner, and
when, in 1862, the conflict began to assume a more
serious aspect, the township aroused from what might
seem to be lethargy and put forth renewed efforts for
the suppression of the slaveholders' rebellion.

Special meetings were held in 1862, 1863, and 1864,
at which the fire of patriotism and loyalty to the old
flag were plainly manifest in the resolutions passed
and ways and means provided for filling all quotas
called for from this township.

The following is a complete list, as near as can be
ascertained, of the officers and men that enlisted from
this township for the suppression of the Rebellion of

Major William C. Larzelier, John Stiles, Austin E. Armstrong, Charles
C. Shotwell, Jacob V. France, John T. Bobbins, Samuel C. Brown,
Theodore H. Barker, Samuel C. Snover, William Aumick, John
Brown, Jacob Gimtryman, Elias Harris, David Carter, William H.
Decker, Jacob Smith, William H. McKeim, Henry Oberkirck, Sam-
uel Brittenheimcr, Austin EmmonB, David M. Emmons, William M.
Emmons, Abram F. Lance, Theodore Maines, William Parr, George
Quick, Abraham A. Bico, Nathan II. Bice, Manuel C. Suover, Nathan-
iel C. Snover. Austin Stiles, Uriah Stiles, Theodore II. Andreas, Con-
rad Miller, Hiram France, David V. France, Alexander Myore, Bal-
tus Titman, George B. KirkutT, Thomas Cooper, Lemuel Titmau,
James E. Ervine, Jonas Group, Lewis Vankiik, James Ervino, Jacob
Kiso, Eichard Franco, Ira France, James Calvin France, Andrew T.
Liuaberry, Ralph Maines, Alexander Maines, Moses N. Maines, Wil-
liam II. Bowers, Isaac Harris, Joseph L. Bogart, Charles Boeglo, John
O. Martin, Isaac L. Lanterman, Jacob Eice, Isaiah Swczey, David Car-
tor, George F. France, John W. France, William O. France, Isaac B.
France, Frank Beegle, Condit Warniick, Joseph Losoy, Philip Garris,
George Decker, Jacob Aumick, George Parr, Lorenzo Higgins, An-




drow J. Myers, Jamoa Kyno, Joseph Bogart, John Robin., Joseph
Gonger, William Shaw, Lyman Sbaw, UaasSbav, BUM B
Smith, George II. Wcatfall, Abrai.i Swisher, Samuel Brown, Jacob D,
Vaughn, Martin v. Butan.


The Blair family ia of Scotch extraction, the an-
cestral seal being located in County Ayrshire, Scot-
land, where for Bis hundred years its members have
been prominently represented. Early renowned for
physical prowess and personal bravery, the Ayrshire
Blairs for centuries claimed the chiefship of all of
thai name in tli.-s.mih and Wesl of Scotland, their
surname being derived, etymologically, from two
words "belle" and "ayre" signifying "a battle-
field." On the beautiful Ayrshire hill- ami fertile
plain- generation after generation of the clan have
lived lives of usefulness and honor, and now sleep
their i ; ,st. Bleep beneath the blooming heather thai
adorns theirnative Bod. Still another generation of
the name now occupy the ancestral Boil, manifesting
in a remarkable degree the Btrong characteristics of
their race and lineage.

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 165 of 190)