James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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John Howell, of Trenton, in 1790. About that year
Howell .located upon some land near the site of the
Andover Iron- Works, and, after living there seven
years, moved in 1797 to the farm of his father-in-law,
George Geasarrh. John Howell's son Joseph, now
living near Phillipsburg, was born upon the Geasarrh
place in 1798, and that year, in the month of April,
at the age of two months, floated down the river in a
boat, with his father, mother, brothers, and sisters, to
the township of Hopewell, in Mercer County, whither
his father was at that time proceeding in search of a
new location. That location John Howell found there.
Joseph Howell, now aged eighty-three, living near
Phillipsburg, believes, and with a show of probability
on his side, that he, of all living inhabitants of Warren
County to-day, is the only one who floated down the
Delaware as long ago as 1798. An older brother,
John, who was with the boating party on the occasion
mentioned, lives now in Northampton Co., Pa., at the
age of eighty-seven.

John Howell remained in Mercer County twelve
years, and upon the death of his father-in-law, George
Geasarrh, in 1810, returned to Phillipsburg, to make
his future home on the Geasarrh place. Joseph
Howell says his father used to go over to Person's,
on the mountain-side, to mill. Bidleman's mill, just
down the river, below Phillipsburg, was much nearer
at hand, but Bidleman did not care to do custom-
work, for he was kept busy making flour for shipment
down the river, and so the neighboring settlers, with
a mill at their very doors, had to make a journey of
four miles or more to get their grists ground.

The Bidlemans were a somewhat noted family be-
cause of the prominence the elder Bidleman held by
right of being a merchant miller and the owner of a
good deal of land, while his sons after him continued
and enlarged the Bidleman business interests and
made themselves known at home and abroad. The
first of the name to settle near Phillipsburg is sup-
posed to have been Valentine Bidleman, who lived
there as early as 1770, and perhaps earlier. He
bought considerable land on the river, and engaged
not only largely in farming, but built two grist-mills,
— one near the site of the Andover Iron- Works and
one on the site now occupied by R. K. Shimer's mill.

Mr. Bidleman manufactured flour for the Philadel-
phia market, and did a large and profitable busi-
ness in shipping flour and grain to the down-river
markets. He was so earnestly concerned in doing
merchant milling that he found but little opportunity,
or inclination perhaps, to grind grists for his neigh-
bors, for merchant milling paid him infinitely better,
and so the neighbors had to look elsewhere and some
distance away for such accommodations. Later the
Shinier mill fell to the possession of Henry Bidle-
man, and the furnace-mill to Col. George Bidleman,
sons to Valentine. Abraham, a third son, carried
on a tannery, and, in connection with it, worked the
farm now owned by Joseph Howell. Ellis, a fourth
son, owned a farm that adjoined Abraham's on the
east. Each of the two grist-mills had also the attach-
ments of a distillery and a farm, and so, altogether,
the Bidlemans were more than ordinarily strong in a
business way. They carried on also a store near the
lower mill, and there has been a small settlement
there for many years. Just when the Bidlemans dis-
appeared from the surface of events in this vicinity
is not known, but their once extensive landed and
other interests passed long ago from their hands.
Not one of the name remains hereabouts.

In the northeastern portion of the town is a small
hamlet called sometimes Uniontown and sometimes
Stumptown. The latter name — bestowed, it is likely,
in the days when stumps were the embellishing fea-
ture of the landscape — clung to the locality pertina-
ciously for years, and was indeed the only designation
known for the village. Uniontown displaced it after
a while as a more pleasantly expressive name ; but
"Stumptown" has refused to be utterly pushed aside,
and to this day that appellation is used by many in
alluding to the place.

Henry Segraves, aged now eighty-eight, was born
in Stumptown in 1793, and says the village was in
his boyhood quite as much of a settlement as it is to-
day. With a faithful determination to remain fixed
upon the rock of anti-progress, even while empires
were crashing and history changing everywhere,
Stumptown has, for a period of perhaps seventy-five
years, continued unchanged in material features.

When George Segraves (father to Henry Segraves
spoken of) located in Stumptown, in 1781, he found
people there, but not in abundance, for that was a
pretty early period in the history of Stumptown.
Herman Shipman was living in a stone house now
the dwelling of Lorenzo Drake. George Segraves,
who came from New York, was the son of a school-
teacher, who came from England to America early in
the eighteenth century, and straightway began to
teach school in York State. George himself was a
boatman on the Delaware for a time after he came to
Jersey. He died at the age of eighty.

One of Stumptown's earliest settlers, coming, per-
haps, about 1790, was a man named Ennis. He was
a carpenter, and soon after opened a carpenter-shop



for the accommodation of himself and neighbors.
He worked at the bench until the infirmities of age
called a halt, when he relinquished hi- Bhop to his
Bona Alexander and John. In 1*11, Henry Segrave-
was apprenticed to them, and in due time succeeded
i>i> m in business. Segraveswas a well-known car-
penter in those day-, and for thirty-five years fol-
lowed hi- trade in the country roundabout. In 1816
he built a dwelling-house for Jacob Roseberry, and
n 'it long afterwards married one of Roseberry's daugh-
I he house Segraves built in b-Utifor Roseberry
i.s now his own home.

The Roseberrya were among the conspicuous early
families. John Roseberry owned much land east of i
Phil] ipsburg, and lived in a stone house now occu-
pied as a residence by All en Waller-, uol far from the
present home of Henry Begraves. The structure is
supposed i" be inure than a hundred years old. Rose-
berrj had five sons, named Jacob, Joseph, Godfrey,
John, Jr., and William, and tn each of them he gave

;i I'm in.

Returning to the settlement at Uniontown, men-
tion is offered that Charles Johnson, still living there,
made a location at that place in 1817, when he set up
a blacksmith-shop on the lot which is now occupii d
by his residence. The da) that saw Johnson's arrival
witnessed also the coming of John Van Ness, who,
soon alter, built the wheelwright-shop now carried
on by Theodore Johnson. Henry Mellich had been
the blacksmith at the village (as early as 1810), but
before Johnson got there had abandoned the business.
A few year- before Johnson became a resident of
Uniontown -perhaps 1812— John sharp built the
atone grist-mill now known as Holdern's mill. < >n
the same stream near bj Capt. Person had a mill in
1812, and had been carrying it "ii for some years. Mr.
Johnson found Alexander and John Ennis the car-
i in the village, and anothei carpenter named
James McGinley, who lived when- John Melroy now

lives. The grist-mill was then owned by Jacob Kline,

an early settler in thai neighborhood, and for years

afterwards was known as Kline'- mill.

Some time afterwards Melchor Van Horn opened a

'.ii the present Michael Messinger place, but,

a rding t" the best obtainable authorities, Van

Horn's tavern was not much of an affair,

John Shai|i, the miller at CJniontown, lived lor a
while on the presenl Cline Roseberry place, which

riginally BCttled by Isaac I lender-hot I. of whom

mention bas been made in connection with the settle-
ment of Mathiaa Shipman.

Jesse Barber, Robei I Barb r, Micha I Mi ssiuger,
Charles McCracken, Hiram Dewitt, Isaac Wilson,

Willi w I I Samuel Lambert were among

itelj e ii l\ Bottlers at Uniontown, but their time
was considerably later than that of the Eunia and
other families.

The Samuel Lambert Bpoken of, qow li\inL' at
I oiontown, came to New Jersey in 1 821, and worked

that year a- a hand on the farm of William s. Mel-
lich, al t two miles from Uniontown. In 1828 be

worked on the -ame place for Christian sharp, father-
in-law to William Mellich. In tin- Mellieh neighbor-
hood at that time lived M" - lie Witt. Harnett Ue
Witt, James Mellich, John Metz, and Petei Ehme.

The Mellichfi, Of whom William Mellieh was a de-

Bcendant, were landowner- in the neighborh I of

Phillipsburg as early at all event- as 17"'-, as i- evi-
denced by an old deed bearing date that year, and
now in possession of William Shipman, of Green-
wich. Jacob |[. Mellich, who was born near Stew-
art-\ ille in 1790, lives now below Shiner's mill, upon

a place he first occupied in 1820. The deed above

referred to sets forth that on Nov. 28, 1758, John

Mellieh. of the township of Reading, in the-county
of Hunterdon, and western division of the province
ni New Jersey, -old to i .oilfrcy Mellich, of Green-
wich, in the town-hip of Greenwich, and count} "t
Sussex, a tract of land in the said town-hip of Green-
wich, lying upon the river Delaware, and containing
181 acres, " together with the woods, waters, mines,
minerals, quarries, pastures, feedings, houses, barns,
buildings, gardens, orchards, fields, fences, in
mem-, liberties, privileges, etc."

In the same year 1758) the Godfrey Mellich pur-
chased of William Lovet Smith, of Springfield, in the
count] of Burlington, 150 acres in Greenwich for
£100. Previous to that date the -ame William Lovet
Smith deeded to John Sharp 150 acres of land.

John Sharp was doubtless the man who built the

-tone mill at Uniontown, or el-e an ancestor of the


The De Witt-, now a numerous family in Warren
County, trace their origin in America to three brothers
bj nam.' Peter, Lbram, and Isaac DeWitt, who came
i" America from Holland some year- before thi
iiiiu of the Revolution. They located inNewJers

Peter and Isaac in Harmony township, Warren ( '"..and

Alirani on the place in Lopatcong township now occu-
pied by Mosea De Witt, bis grandson. The De Witta
ii famous in their day ami generation for feats

of manly strength, and in physical development were

noted the COUUtrj over as men out of tin iiuoii.

The three brothers -Peter. Abram, and l-aac — were

soldiers in the federal army during the Revolution,
as was Peter's Bon, Barnett, who entered the service
toward the close of the war. and saw considerable
active service. He was : ,t one time in charge of a
bevy of Tory prisoners confined at the

1 1 ii In -\ ille, and on another occasion performed sim-
ilar duty at Easton. Barnett, son to Peter De Witt,
married a daughter I rrh.a farmer living

on the river near Phillipsburg, and iii 1810 he moved

with hi- famih to the place now the home "I

t, who when he came t" the place with Ids
lather was five years of age. Hi- residence on that
farm therefore ha- now counted upwards of seventy



About that time— 1810 — George Brakeley came from
Pennsylvania and made a settlement close at hand,
upon land now owned by Dr. Lott. Christian Sharp,
neighbor to Barnett De Witt, was there before 1810,
and near there, too, lived Abram De Witt and a Ger-
man named Dreisbach.

The township now known as Lopatcong was in
1851 erected from the townships of Greenwich and
Harmony, and called the township of Phillipsburg,
from the village of that name. The Legislative act
creating the township was approved March 7, 1851.
It reads as follows :

" Be it enacted, etc., That all that part of Greenwich and Harmony
townships in the county of Warren lying within the boundaries and de-
scriptions as follows — to wit: Beginning in the Pennsylvania line in the
river Delaware, oue mile below the middle of Lopatcong Creek, where
it empties into the said river Delaware; thence in a straight line to the
corner line of the townships of Greenwich, Franklin, and Harmony;
thence in a direct line to a corner one half a mile east of the north
corner of Moses De Witt's house ; thence continuing the same course to
the line between the States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the river
Delaware ; thence down said line in the' river Delaware to the place of
beginning, shall be and hereby is set off from the townships of Green-
wich and Harmony in the county of Warren and called the township of
Phillipsburg. The inhabitants of the township of Phillipsburg are
constituted a body politic and corporate in law, and shall be styled and
known by the name of The Inhabitants of the township of Phillips-
burg in the county of Warren, and shall be entitled to all rights,
power, authority, privileges, and advantages, and subject to the same
regulations as the inhabitants of the other townships in said county of
Warren are or may be entitled or subject to by the existing laws of this
State. The first meeting of the inhabitants of the township shall be
held at the hotel of Henry Bowers, in tho village of Phillipsburg, on
the second Monday in April next."

Robert S. Kennedy, William R. Sharp, and Robert
Cline were appointed to run the division lines under
the act.

The first town-meeting was accordingly held at the
house of Henry Bowers, in Phillipsburg, April 14,
1851. The meeting was organized by the appoint-
ment of Charles Sitgreaves as moderator, and G. A.
Coob as clerk. It was thereupon resolved to divide
the town into nine road districts, apportioned as
follows :

No. 1, to commence at Howell's, running to the Harmony line, Asa
Heitsman, Overseer No. 2, commencing at the foot of Easton Hill and
running to Harmony, Chas. Segraves, Overseer. No. 3, commencing at
Mellich's and running to the Greenwich line, John I. Kitchen, Overseer.
No. 4, road running up Low's Hollow, Marimus Low, Overseer. No. 6,
from P. Skillman's to the Harmony line and Greenwich corner, Peter
Skillman, Overseer. No. 6, from the Uniontown school-house to Green-
wich line, Win. Cline. Overseer. No. 7, road running by Wm. Hamlin's
to Joseph Howell's, Wm. Hamlin, Overseer. No. 8, from Ihrie's to the
Morris turnpike, Peter Rhoad, Overseer. No. 9, from Easton Hill to
Greenwich line, G. G. Palmer, Overseer.

Four hundred dollars were voted for road-tax, and
$1 per scholar as school-tax. A reward of $25 was
voted at the same town-meeting for the capture and
conviction of the murderer or murderers of the infant
child found in the Morris Canal.* At the same meet-

* The murderer was not found ; nor was the murderer of Edna John-
son, a young woman found dead in the canal in 1874. A man named
Gould was tried for her murder hut acquitted.

ing a vote being taken whether the township of Phil-
lipsburg should remain a township or be set back to
Greenwich, it was carried by a large majority to re-
main the township of Phillipsburg. The voters then
proceeding to an election of township officials chose
the following :

Judge of Election, Barnett De Witt ; Assessor, John Segraves ; Collector,
Lowrance Lommason ; Justice of the Peace, Jacob Cline; Town
Clerk, Wm. R. Beers ; Constable, John Segraves; Surveyors of High-
ways, J. P. Winters and Wm. H. Hamlin; Freeholders, Moses De
Witt and John M. Roseberry ; Commissioners of Appeals, Peter
Skillman, Nelson Lake, and Jacob C Reese ; Superintendent of
Schools, Jacob R. Lovell ; Town Committee, Enoch Green, Wm. Ham-
lin, Henry Segraves, Thomas Reese, Wm. Mellich ; Overseers of the
Poor, Wm. R. Stone and Wm. Cline; Pound-Keepers, Jacob Lefler
and Nelson Stryker.

From 1852 to 1863 the following persons served in
the township offices named below :

1852, Barnett De Witt ; 1863-54, J. T. Rarick ; 1855-57, J. Green ; 1858-
59, Valentine Mutchler; 1860, C. S. Mellich; 1861-62, Wm. Hamlin.

1852-57, Lowrance Lommason ; 1S58-C0, A. K. Metz ; 1861-62, W. K.

1852, W. R. Beers ; 1853-54, William Hayden; 1855, W. R. Beers ; 1856-
58, L. M. Teel; 1859, E. C. Cline; 1860, J. G. Hulshizer; 1861-62, J.
S. Weldon.

1S52-53, Moses De Witt; 1854-55, Barnett DeWitt; 1856-57, J. Green ;
1858-60, Charles Reese; 1861, Lowrance Lommason; 1862, P. K.-

1852-53, J. R. Lovell ; 1854-55, J. C. Kent; 1856-60, J. R. Lovell ; 1861-
62, J. B. Weldon.

In 1861 the incorporation of the town of Phillips-
burg eliminated a small tract of territory from the
township. The similarity of the names of town and
township occasioned more or less confusion, and so, in
1863, in response to a petition of the citizens of Phil-
lipsburg township, the name thereof was changed, by
act approved March 18th of that year, to Lopatcong,
after the creek of that name. The first town-meeting
of the township of Lopatcong was held at the house
of J. A. Young, April 13, 1863. The township chose
annually, from 1863 to 1881, the following-named
persons to serve as mentioned :

1863-07, William Hamlin; 1868, P. K.Snyder; 1869-70, Barnett De Witt ;
1871-72, Moses DeWitt; 1873-74, Jacob Allshouse; 1875, George
Mutchler ; 1876-79, Jacob Allshouse ; 1880-81, Clark Cole.

1863-78, J. B. Weldon ; 1879-81, John Melroy, Jr.

1863, P. K. Snyder; 1864-67, George Mutchler, Jr.; 1868-70, William
Hamlin; 1871-73, Wendell Messenger; 1874-75, J. H. Boyer; 1876-
81, Moses De Witt.

1863-67, J. B. Woldon.f


1803-81, W. K. Metz.

f Office abolished.


Henry Seagraves, son of George and Rachel (Mer-
rill) Seagraves, was born Sept. 15, 1793, and survives
in 1880.

His paternal ancestors came from England. On
account of the limited circumstances of his parents
young Seagraves was at the early age of ten years
obliged to go out into the world to care for himself.
For seven years he met the obstacles incident to
humble circumstances and the competition of boys
born of wealthy parents. He early in life learned
self-reliance and industry, and these inestimable lessons
were the foundation principles upon which his future
success rested.

At the age of seventeen he went to learn the car-
penter and cabinet trade with Ennis Rros., with whom
he remained until he reached his majority, at which
time he started business for himself.

At about the age of thirty he made his first pur-
chase of ten acres of land, upon which he built a
house which he made a home, where he has resided
since, and from that time he gradually increased in
property, and at the age of fifty he was the possessor
of a large tract of land.

Most of his life has been spent in carrying on his
trade, and many of the most substantial residences in
the vicinity where he resides are the result of his
design and work.

Mr. Seagraves was one of the nine original stock-
holders to charter the Phillipsburg National Bank,

and is the only surviving one of the number in 1880,
having been a director since its organization.

He is a member of the Lutheran Church, and one
of the board of trustees.

His good business ability has led his fellow-men to
honor him with places of trust and responsibility, and
as a member of the Democratic party ho hus officiated
as one of the township committee for upwards ( f
twenty years, and has held the office of freeholder.

Mr. Seagraves is only another of the long list of
self-made men whoso life began with overhanging
clouds, but in due time was surrounded with all the
comforts of this world.

He married, in 1817, Miss Hannah, daughter of
Jacob Rosebury, of Lopatcong township. Of this
union have been born twelve children, seven of whom
are living :

Caroline, born Jan. 25, 1818, wife of Abram Menck,
of Lambertville ; Mary A., born May 4, 1819, wife
of George Hitsman, of Lopatcong ; Sarah C, born
May 17, 1821, died Aug. 5, 1868; Charles, born Feb.
3, 1823 ; Hamilton, born Oct. 29, 1824, died Feb.
24, 1855 ; Lewis, born July 29, 1826 ; Rachel, born
Aug. 6, 1828, died May 11, 1872 ; Eliza, born Aug.
6, 1828, wife of Henry Walters, of Phillipsburg
Martha S., born Aug. 1, 1830, died Dec. 24, 1860
Louisa, born Jan. 29, 1832, died Aug. 5, 1854
Christiana, born Nov. 24, 1834; and Henry M., born
Aug. 21, 1837.


John F. Shipman \v;is bom in Lopatcong
township, formerly Greenwich, Feb. 2, 1809.
His grandfather, Matthias Shipman, served as
a colonel in the Revolutionary war with con-
siderable distinction, and was a resident of
Lopatcong. His lather, Isaac, born in the
same township on the homestead, reared a
family of six sons and six daughters, all of
whom raised families except one, and of whom
four are living in 1880, — viz., Philip, Jesse,
William, and John F. Isaac Shipman was

in every sense of the term a representative
man. He was for many years justice of the
peace, sheriff of the county for one term, and
a member of the State Legislature for three
terms. lie was a member of the same church
as his father, — the Lutheran, — and an elder of
the same for many years.

John F. Shipman resides upon a part of the

original homestead of his grandfather. Ili-

education from books was confined to the com-
mon schools. His life has been thai of a quiel
and peaceable farmer, He married, Nov. fi.

1832, Rachel, daughter of John Smith, of
Greenwich, of which union have been born
two sons and seven daughters, — viz., Isaac, born
Oct. 13, 1833, died young; John, born May
10, 1836, died young; Sarah Elizabeth, born
March 27, 1839; Mary Margaret, born Dec.
6, 1842, wife of George Koch, of Harmony;
Catherine, born November, 1845, at home;
Label, born Nov. 3, 1848, wife of John W.
Strykcr, of Lopatcong; Emma, born March
10, 1850, wife of James Kline, of (Vntreville,

Mr. Shipman, like his ancestors, was firmly
intrenched in the principles of the old Whig
party. Upon the formation of the Republican
party lie became a supporter of its principles,
although he has been no aspirant after place
in bis party. He is a member of the Lutheran
( 'lunch, and has been for many years an elder

in the same.

Mis wife, a devoted woman to every good
work, died May 11, 1869, esteemed by all who
knew her.



John H. Boyer was born Jan. 21, 1827. His
grandfather was George Boyer, who was born in
Pennsylvania in the year 1776. In March, 1800,
he located in the township of Lopatcong, Warren
Co., N. J., upon the farm that is still occupied by
his descendants. His occupation through life was
that of a farmer. He died Jan. 10, 1868.

His son, Michael Boyer, father of our subject, was
born March 26, 1804 ; he succeeded his father in
carrying on farming pursuits on the homestead-farm,
and passed away Sept. 10, 1869. In politics he was
a Democrat, and was a member of the Oxford Pres-
byterian Church, officiating as one of its elders. He
was a man of usefulness in the community in which
he dwelt, and one who enjoyed the respect and
esteem of all. His widow resides in Belvidere, N. J.

John H. Boyer passed the earlier years of his life
upon the home-farm in Lopatcong, attending the
district school of his locality, and completing his
education at a select school in Easton, Pa. He gave
his principal attention through life to agricultural
pursuits, cultivating the old home-farm. He was a
man of integrity in all the relations of life, a liberal
contributor to all worthy objects, and one who en-
joyed the confidence and esteem of many friends. In

politics he was a Democrat, though never a seeker
after political place. He filled the office of free-
holder of his township for two years, and was for
many years a director in the Phillipsburg National
Bank. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church
at Stewartsville, where he filled the office of trustee.
A few months preceding his death he removed to
Stewartsville, Greenwich township, where he died
Aug. 27, 1876.

His widow, who survives him, was formerly Sarah
H. Cline, daughter of John Cline, of New Village,
N. J. Their marriage occurred Feb. 18, 1847, and
resulted in the birth of three children, of whom the
first died in infancy ; the others were John C., born
Aug. 3, 1850; and Annie E., born April 17, 1853,
wife of Caleb Cline, of Harmony township.

John C. Boyer occupies the old homestead, and is
a member of the Presbyterian Church at Stewartsville,
being a member of the board of trustees and church

A view of the family homestead, together with the
late residence of John H. Boyer at Stewartsville.

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 172 of 190)