James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 173 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 173 of 190)
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appears elsewhere in this work. The principal im-
provements on the farm were made by John H.
Boyer, the residence having been built in 1857.




In 1875 the Methodists living in and near the lo-
cality known as Green Bridge — a suburb of Phillips-
burg — built a church and effected a church organiza-
tion under the direction of Rev. William X. Searls,
then in charge of the Main Street Methodist Episco-
pal Church of Pliillipsburg, at which place the mem-
bers df the new congregation had been worshiping.
About forty members gave in their names as members
at the outset, and of them George Mutchlerwas chosen
class-leader. The church was occupied as soon as the
lower story was finished, hut before the upper portion
could be completed a high wind played such havoc
with the structure that it was adjudged unfit for oc-
cupancy. In 1879, therefore, a new house of worship
was built on .Main Street. The trustees are Jacob
Young, Joseph Young, Daniel Bowers, William
Moyer, and Ji a Price. The pastors of "Green

Bridge" have been llevs. Terbush, Egbert. Sharp,

and Martin. The membership I February, 1881) is 65.

One of the earliest schools in Lopatcong (or what
is now Lopatcong of which there appears to he any
knowledge was taught in 1801 in a log school-house
by "Old Cohen," somewhat famous as a fat man.
That house stood near where Joseph Howell lives, in
District No. 9. In 180:5 a stone house replaced the
log cabin. These schools were at the time mentioned
used not only by the children of Phillipsburg, but by
children who came some miles to attend them. Jo-
seph Howell, now an octogenarian, went to that
School in 1810, to :i teacher named Simp-.. n. Mr.
John Feit says he has heard his father tell about at-
tending school in 17'."i in a log school-house that
stood in a corner of the garden now attached to his
(John Keifs i residence. One of the teachers of that
time was Mr. Stewart, an Irishman. The trustees of
School District No. 9, in L881, were Edward Paulus,

(ieorgc I'rice, and Mr. Shivcly.

District No. 8 includes Uniontown. At thai point
a log Bchool-house Btood in 1810 near wli.ic ihc pres-
ent house stands. Jacob Mellich was then the teacher,

and was the teacher there for many year- afterwards.

Tiring of teaching he went to storekeej m.; in I- rank-
lin township. Uniontown Bchool was frequented by

children from a i siderahle distance, and in the

winter as many as forty scholars daily drank in learn-
ing there. The trustees in L881 of No. 8 were John
Btryker, I leorge I'utt, and James A lUhouse.

The first school-house put up in District No. 11
was a frame, built in L818, upon the line between

ll.e lands of Christian Sharp and Burnett DeWitt.

The first teacher was a Yankee named Miller. Be
ma] have been a g I teacher, hut the boys did not

like him for the reason that they did not like Yankees
anyway. William Uo-ehcrry sent six boys to Mil-

ler's Scl 1, and the Six boys, aided and abetted by

other boys, made Miller's life a burden. On one oc-
casion thej raised a row because of his attempt to

coi rce them into obedience, and in the course of the

ni'lrr they bundled him oul of '1 - by tl,

The Boseberrys had also a habit of shooting at Miller

with arrows through open windows, and pursued, in

Bhort, divers and sundry schemes with the one fell
purpose of persecuting him. Miller stood it one
quarter, and then retired permanently in
Goodrich, another Yankee teacher, followed him,

but he fared quite as badly, and in a -hurl time was

beaten off. Alter that Yankee teachers fought shy
of the school.

The present school-house in District No. 11 was
built in 1850. The trustees in 1881 were George
Brakeley, Alvin Mellich, and II. S. Shimer.



George Boyer, the grandfather of John H. Boyer,
was born Sept. 26, 1770. near Durham. June 16,
1799, he married Anna Maclin. who was born Dec. 23,
1770, in Hunterdon Co., N. J. In March, 1800, they
moved to the place which is now known as the old
home.»tead, where they spent the remainder of their
lives. Mrs. Boyer died April 6, 1865, and Mr. Buyer's
death occurred Jan. 10, 1868. They had three chil-
dren, — viz., Michael. David W., and Catharine.
Mi.hacl, whose biography appears on another page
Of this work, was burn .March 26, L804, and in March,

L826,was married to Naomi Howell, who WBS b

Oct. I, 1802, iii Phillipsburg, N. J. They had three
sons and four daughters, of whom one son and three
daughters are now deceased. Michael Boyer died
Sept. 10, 1869, at his residence in the town of Belvi-
.1. re. John II. Buyer, son of Michael, was bora Jan.
21, 1827, and Feb. 18, 1847, married Sarah 1 1 .. daughter
of Hon. John and Ruth P. < 'line of New Village,
Warren Co., N. J. She was born Feb. 24, 1825.
They had three children, the first of whom died in
infancy: the others were John C. and Annie E. The
old homestead, on which sum,, member of the Boyer

family ha- resided since 1800, is located in the town-
ship of Lopatcong. about three and a half miles f r ,,iu
Phillipsburg. It consists of one hundred and ninety-
sis acres, of which one hundred and eighty are in a
high Mate of cultivation. The buildings are in good
repair, the farm is well watered, and it has ,\ ,r\ con-
venience that could be desired by a modern farmer.
This property was owned previous to 1769 by John
and Allan Turner, at which time it was sold to John

Wel-h. and from him or his descendants it was pur-
chased by George Boyer in 1800.


This is one of the northeast border townships of
Warren County, and was formed from Hardwick
township in 1848, and named in honor of Hon. Theo-
dore Frelinghuysen. It is bounded on the northeast
by Sussex County, on the southeast by Allamuchy and
Independence townships, on the southwest by Hope
and Blairstown townships, and on the northwest and
north by Hardwick township, the Paulins Kill Creek
being the dividing line. The township covers an
area of 22.69 square miles, or 14,522 acres, and con-
tained in 1880 a population of 1042.

Nature seems to have dealt roughly with this town-
ship in covering its surface with hills and hollows and
rocky knobs. The Jenny Jump Mountains form a
part of the southeast boundary line. " Mount Bas-
cal" is a high limestone knob in the village of John-
sonburg, whose crest is covered with evergreens and
scrub oaks; it is a resort for Sunday card-players, etc.,
hence the name. The several small tributaries of
Paulins Kill drain the northwest portion of the town-
ship, while "Bear Creek" and its several branches
rising in this township drain the southeast corner,
and " Trout Brook" the southwest. There are several
small and beautiful sheets of water bearing the names
of Sink, Hazen, Cook's, Savacool, Glover's, and Luse


Long before Warren County was known, and even
before Sussex County (from which Warren was taken)
was thought of, and more than a century before this
territory was named Frelinghuysen, the township was
settled by a few German pioneers, whose love for free-
dom and religious liberty had led them out into this
then howling wilderness in quest of a home where
they might enjoy the freedom of thought and act ac-
cording to the dictates of their conscience without
fear of molestation from any one. Among those hon-
est, industrious pioneers were such names as Green,
Armstrong, Kennedy, Pettit, Van Horn, Linn, Hazen,
Dyer, Cook, Shaw, Everitt, and others, who settled
the country in and around what is now Johnsonburg.

Other pioneers there were who stopped along the
Paulins Kill, and among those we find the names of

* By W. H. Shaw.

Laing, Thompson, Boyles, Mizner, Hankinson, Hunt,
Goble, Collins, and others, previous to 1770.

Among those hardy pioneers we find Samuel Ken-
nedy, M.D., who located at Johnsonburg, and who
was the first practicing physician in all this section of
country of a fixed location. His practice extended so
far over the country that professional visits of twenty-
five or thirty miles were no uncommon event in his
career. He is said to have been an able practitioner,
and prepared a large number of students for the pro-
fession. Drs. Linn, Everitt, and others 6f later gen-
erations, received their first instructions in the manip-
ulations of the old " Turnkey" from this old Escula-
pian veteran. He died in 1804, at an advanced age.
The Mott family were also among the early settlers
in this township, and located in what is known as the
Mott settlement, yet there is scarcely one of the name
left in the township.

The Thomson family, Jacob and Mark, located near
what is now Marksboro', and were men of much in-
fluence in the early history of old Hardwick. Col.
Mark Thomson, after whom Marksboro' was named,
was a colonel in the Kevolutionary war, while Jacob
was one of the enterprising men of his time, and a

The landed estate now owned by Jacob Mingle,
above Paulina, was settled upon over one hundred
years ago by the father of Henry Mingle. The Bice
property, on the hill above Paulina, is now owned by
J. V. Van Campen and John V. Allen. Judge Elias
Mushback, George Van Horn, and Bobert Denman
were among the early settlers at Johnsonburg. The
Vasbinder, Lundy, Cooke, Durling, Albertson, Vliet,
and Wildrick families located ill the south part of
the township.

The Vasbinder property was owned by Uzal 0.
Howell, and he at one time had a saw-mill at this


June 8, 1753, the Assembly passed "An Act for
erecting the upper part of Morris County, in New
Jersey, into a separate county, to be called the County
of Sussex, and for building a court-house and gaol in
each." It was provided, however, that " all her citi-
zens, legally qualified," might at the proper time
" appear at Trenton, or elsewhere in the county of
Hunterdon, as occasion should be, and there vote in
conjunction with the freeholders of Morris and Hun-
terdon for two persons to serve as members of the



said As.-icmhly." A- Trenton was quite distant, and
the ni:i<l- uol :ii ;ill in\ iting, il i- reasonable to pre-
sume thai the i pleofwhat ifi now Frelinghuysen

did not often exercise the privilege of voting.

The lirsi court of justice held in Sussex (now War-
ren) County was opened in the house of Jonathan
Pettit, in Hardwick i now Frelinghuysen), in what is
now thevillageof Johnsonburg, Nov. -J". L758. Bis
Majesty's ordinance constituting the Courts of Com-
mon fleas and Quarter Sessions was read, as also
were the commissions of Jonathan Robeson, Abra-
ham Van ' iampen, John Anderson, Jonathan
and Thomas Woolverton, Esqrs., judges of the Pleas.
These men were likewise empowered to act as justices
of the peace, in connection with Richard Gardner,
Obadiafa Ayres, Japhet Byram, and Peter Decker.
Jeremiah Condy Russell was appointed clerk, and
Joseph Brackenridge was duly qualified to Berve as
heriffof the c ity. Joseph Perry, of " New-
town," was -worn a< constable, and the organization
of the court was completed, with the exception of the
attendance of grand and petit jurors who aecessarily
had not been summoned for lack of otlieers duly
empowered to Belect and notify them. Nothing

Was done at this term except to grant tavern li-
censes ami fix the rates at which innkeepers should

dispose of their liquors, provender, etc. Among others

thus licensed was Jonathan I'ettit, of this township.

I | the formation of the county one of the most

pressing med- to be supplied was the erection of a
jail. Accordingly, on March 21, 1754, the board of

justices and freeholders ithe first body of the kind
ever convened in the territory now emhraced in the
counties of Sussex and Warren) met at the dwelling-
house of Samuel Green, in Hardwick (now Freling-
huysen, and near where the village id' Johnsonburg*
now stands |, and appointed a meeting of all tin- • j 1 1 : 1 1 -
died persons in the county to he held at the house of
said ( treei] on the lfith, 17th. and 18th day- of April,

1764, "to elect a place to build a jail and court-house."

This meeting of the citizens was duly held, and the
jail was ordered to lie built near Jonathan Pettit's
tavern, and the county to hear the expense.

Jonathan Pettit and Richard Lundy, Jr. (both of
Frelinghuysen), superintended the erection of the
jail, and Samuel Green, upon whose premises it was
located,! gave a bond in the penalty of £500 to secure
the i ntj of Sussex " the uninterrupted liberty and

use of the ground where the jail is built by Jonathan
Pettit's while the court is continued there, and when
removed from thence, the liberty of taking away the
iron in said jail whenever the board of justices and
freeholders -hall see fit to do so." In the course of a

few weeks the building was completed. The cost was
•:ii 8a. I./., about 680 "hereof were expended for

iron and black-smithing. It may well be imagined that

• Pormorly ipellod Jobneonabnrgh,

t The old "IjOg Gaol" stood >'ii tie- r-iti- partly covered by the wogon-
bo i Robert BUlr, in the nil,,.- ,.f Jubmooborg.

a building thus cheaply constructed was not very well
adapted to the safe-keeping of prisoners, and so it

proved. Escapes from it were frequent, notwith-
standing that ii was guarded from time to time by a
watchman, who was paid tin- sum of five -hillings tor

every twenty-four hour- lie wa- on duty. During the
nine years it was used a- a place "f public detention

the cunt;, became responsible, on account of the
(light of imprisoned debtors, t" tin- amount of nearly
£600, or fourteen time- the expense of building the


The courts were held at the holts,- of Jonathan
I'ettit, mar the log jail, in what is now Frelinghuy-
sen town-hip. from November, 1753, to February,
1756, when they were removed to Newton. During
the brief time the courts were held iii this township
the business mainly related t" the collection of debts,
some ea-e- of assault, and a few offenses against
chastity ; but no crime of special magnitude required
to be judicially investigati


We have been permitted to appropriate the follow-
ing from Mr-. Robert Blair's scrap-1 k. written by

Dr. W. P. Vail, one of the early physicians ol 1 ■ -
linghuysen :

" England, in son f her warfare

North America, was aided by the colonists, for which aid pensation

waa rendered in money, paid yearly for a number of yeara.

"Tii.. share thai fell to New Jeme] waa sufficient to defray tl *.-

ponsesof thu internal administration, - ■ tl, .t ii was not n my tu levy

taxes, thereby rendering the election of assessors and collectors almost
a matter of mere form. During this state of things, at a certain town-
meeting somewhere between IV.: I . Ii Dyer, who had m
New Jersey from Docks Co., Pa., was persuaded, though raii.li
his will, to accept the office of assessor, In view of the almost certain
fact that It would of course r.-.|iiire no a. live seme.-. HoWOTer, it so
happened that the annual pnrtl.ni falling to New Jersey from Great Hrit-

tinii u:i- not .'iinn-li tu I t the public demand of that year, ami Mr.

I>vr, in <i.ii-...|n.n. ■■, i.teived the unexpected and very unwelcome
order t.. assess the township of Hardwick, then comprising the townships
of Independence, Green, 8UUwater,Frellnghnyien I Allainnchy,and what
Is now Hanlwiek.

" This order came Inst as Br. Dyer was preparing for his fall
yet everything had to be dropped for tho assi - le-iinn-.l

thewholi ling, thereby lnTolvtng a tots

winter grain. His next labor was to attend the meellne rthi

asaesion at Morris T..»n, tl mty-seal Sussex and Warren then both

belonged <■■ Morris), and In this Journey his trarellng expenses in those
i i roads, or rather no rna.is at all, and slew locomotion, wholly
nlvorbed his foes, and left him niiiiiu a small nmoiiiil l> -i I. - "

This incident was related to Dr. Vail by I-aae
Dennis, who was cognizant of the facts. There i- a
wide difference between the labor and pay of an
assessor of one hundred and forty years ago and at
the present day.

in this township wa- that of Jonathan I'ettit, and
before mentioned. A- near as can he ascertained, the
Old tavern, built of log-, stood on the site now occli-
pied bj the residence "t' William Van Horn. After

the county-seat was locate. l there tie- old log tavern

became small to provide r a for panic- having

■ i- work.



business at court, but, instead of enlarging his house,
Mr. Pettit built other log houses as increased business
demanded, until he had four or five of these outside
lodging-houses standing in line on the opposite side
of the road.


This pioneer hostelry was located about U miles
from Log Jail, on the road to Greensville, and was
kept prior to, and a long time after, the Revolu-
tionary war. Its large old-fashioned swinging sign
had a black moon painted on a white ground, which
gave to it and the surrounding neighborhood the
name of "Dark Moon Tavern." Those acquainted
with the topography of the county in that vicinity
are aware that it is well suited for a place of the kind
for which it had a wide reputation. Many stories
and thrilling adventures are told of this tavern, which
in its palmiest days was the rendezvous for the most
desperate characters for miles around.

The Sunday amusements were horse-racing, quoit-
pitching, card-playing, etc., and tradition has it that
the monotony of these scenes was enlivened occa-
sionally by the murder of some unsuspecting guest.


The ministry was not, and is not now, without its
" odd characters." Joseph Thomas, one of the pio-
neer preachers in this section of country, was one of
those living oddities, and known far and near as the
"White Pilgrim." He always rode a white horse,
wore a white hat, white clothes, and boots as near
white as the native leather could be without blacking,
hence the name, " White Pilgrim." He was an
evangelist of the "Christian" order, and lived in
Ohio. He came to Johnsonburg, or Log Jail, in
1835, during his wanderings up and down the earth.
His first and only sermon was preached in the old
Episcopal church, now the residence of Mrs. Van
Ness. Immediately after preaching he was taken
sick with what proved to be smallpox, from the
effects of which he died in a few days, and was buried
in the old graveyard near the " Dark Moon Tavern."

During a convention of Christian ministers held
at Johnsonburg in 1846, his remains were removed
to the Christian burying-ground near the present
church, where a fitting memorial was erected by the
church at a cost of $125.

His zeal as an evangelist seems to have been almost

While standing beside the old grave of Mr. Thomas,
at Dark Moon graveyard, Mr. J. Ellis, of Irvington,
N. J., wrote the poem entitled "White Pilgrim."
Notwithstanding nearly every one has read the poem,
the first and last verses are here given :

" I came to the Bpot
Whore the White Pilgrim lay,

And pensively stood by his tonib;
When in a low whisper
I heard some one say

How Hwootly I sleep here alone.

" tell ray companion
And children most dear,

To weep not for Joseph, though gone ;
The same hand that led me
Through scenes dark and drear

Has kindly conducted me home."


Nearly every community has its "character," its
"living oddity." Log Jail had such a one, for a
while at least. In the summer of 1828, William
Rankin, while teaching school at the " Log Jail" and
boarding at the village tavern, first met and became
interested in the " Old Pig Drover," who at that time
was a man about fifty years of age, of burly appear-
ance, laughter-loving, and had in a high degree a
gift of inciting others to laugh.

Mr. Rankin determined upon finding out something
more of this unique character; from Judge Mush-
back he gleaned the following : The old man had been
known for a number of years previously in that sec-
tion of country, and all that time had diligently fol-
lowed the humble occupation of purchasing shoats and
driving them to market. No one seemed to know
whence he came or whither he went, further than
that he would collect a drove, drive them to mar-
ket, and return about every two months. The judge
said it had been surmised by himself and a few others
that he was " a character in disguise." The old man
continued to make his periodic trips, always tarrying
as he passed at the " Log Jail," as this seemed to be
his headquarters.

The time at length arrived when the "Old Pig-
Drover" was to return to his home and friends in the
sunny South. In the summer of 1829 he assumed
the rdle of farmer, instead of pig drover, and
worked for a Mr. Blair in what is now Knowlton
township, where he was found by friends that had
years gone by given up all hope of ever again looking
upon the bodily form of Samuel Fulton. This was
the result of a lengthy correspondence between Mr.
Rankin, Dr. W. P. Vail, and Fulton's friends. In a
letter from his son, James Fulton, of Fayetteville,
Tenn., he says that in the great financial crisis at the
close of the war of 1812 his father, who had been do-
ing an extensive business, failed. After an almost su-
perhuman struggle to meet his creditors' demands,
he broke down entirely and withdrew from the world
and knowledge of friends and family.

There may be many still living who remember the
"Old Pig Drover," for he was indeed a " character in
disguise." Sixty years ago, when he used to take his
drove of pigs from Warren County through Morris,
and even into Essex County, all along the road he
was an object of curiosity. It was evident that he
had not always been in his then ragged and dirty con-
dition. When animated in conversation relating
what he had heard and seen, he would kindle into
true eloquence, his eyes would dilate and flash, and
his face would beam with the expression of a soul as-



sorting its native dignity and power. lie had heard
with appreciative sympathy such orators as Patrick
Henry, and lie loved to personate them, and could do
it effectively, and to listen to him on such occasions
was no small enjoyment. His true character was a
higher and loftier one than that assumed as "The
Old Pig Drover of Log Jail."

By virtue of an act of the Legislature of New
Jersey passed March 7, LS48, " all that pari of the
township of Hardwick lying south of the Paulin'e
Kill" was Bet off into a separate township, to be called
and known as the •township of Frelinghuysen,"
and in obedience to the third section of said act the
inhabitants of the township held their first annual

town-meeting at the I se of Jonathan Jones, inn-

, in Johnsonburg, on Monday, April 10,1848.
It was organized by choosing Robert T. Johnson judge
of election and Frederick Cool town clerk. The fol-
low in . persons were then elected to the several offices

named lor the ensuing year, — viz. :

Frederick Oook, Town Clerk; Robert T. John lodge of Klectlon;

Davi'l H. Armstroii r; Bobert 1 in, Collector; Sam-

ion G. Howoll, William II. Cooko, I i ■ I. i ■• II lers; Henry Min-
gle, Isaac ii. \ hi Horn, Surreyon ol Highways; Nathan K. Bazen,
[ra Kerr, Philip 8. Howell, Commissioners of Appeals; William

Armstrong, Q "go Crockett, * '. .n>i ui.i. - ; I i.-nni i.in.n.-y, .i..iin

Graveling, Orersoei 10I Poor; Abnun H. Cooke, Lot! Canning, Henry

Mott, John W. Vaablnder, Dennis Bice, Town O litteo; David

Miil.r, Pi I-Keeper; Joseph L'Homadlen, Peter Helllck, Justices

i the Peace ;0' n ol HI jbvraye i Ho. I, John Harris; '-', Goorgo

Wilson; S, William 0. Hlblei , I, Joseph Hodden ; 6, Charles D. Sim-
mons; 0, Potor S. Slackbower; 7, John U.WIIdrick; -, John Sher-
wood; 9, Abrnin H. Cooko; 10, Job J. 8taaw; II, Herbert P. Smith;
12, John W.Vaebinder; ,1 lai - Bendershott; 14, Aaron Ln
16, Goorgo Crockett.

The following appropriations were alsu voted bj
the township: For township, $125.00; for repairs of
highways, $625.00; interest of surplus revenue appro-
priated to Bchools. It was also decided by vote that
the next annual town-meeting should be held at
Marksboro', and the next annual election at .John-

The following is a complete list of the principal

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 173 of 190)