James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 178 of 190)
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of one of the elder members of the family was named
Lawrence LomerSOn, who came in 1810 to Franklin,

then Mansfield, and acquired the trade of a carpenter

and millwright.

He married Flizaheth Ca-key, of 1 laekett-town,
and settled upon the farm now occupied by his grand-
son, William M. Lomerson. The deed of this land
hear- date I 7'.".!, and conveys Pin acres of land from

Philip, Peter, and William Weller and their wives to
( 'hri-tian Smith, who conveyed again to Philip < 'line,
from whom it was purchased by .Mr. Lomerson. Mr.
and Mrs. Lomerson had 1 li children, as follow-: Jane
(_'., William, Robert Caskey, Kliza Ann. Margaret,
Julia Ann, James, Rebecca, Mary, Caroline, Sarah,
and Lawrence. Hut two of this number survive,
— James and Mrs. Philip I). Weller. The log house
which was occupied by the family on their arrival

gave place to a substantial brick structure in 1818, in
which Mr. Lomerson resided until hi- death, in 1864,

in his ninety-fourth year.

Christian Cole and wife were early settlers and of

ID extraction, having located, on their arrival,

upon b farm on Bcotfs Mountain now occupied by

John Rinehart, when Mr. Cole resided 'luring his

lifetime, lie had three -on- and one daughter. < >ne

of the sons, named Christian, inherited the property,

upon which he resided until his death. He had a
family of -ix -on — John. Staullle, William. Samuel,
.lame-, and Jacob — and four daughters, — Margaret,
th, Mary, and Catharine. Of these children,
Samuel, the youngest, purchased the homestead and
remained as the only repre-entative of the family in
the town-hip. Others removed totheWe-t or settled

in Washington and I Ixford town-hip-.

The willow and one .laughter of Jacob Cole now
reside in Franklin.

< i i 1 1 Warm- removed from the southern por-
tion of the State :,t tie- close of the Revolutionary

war and located near liroadway on the hum at pres-
ent occupied hy N. Warn.. lie died on the home-
Stead, and was interred in the McKinncy burial-
ground. Mr. Warne had six <,,ns and one daughter,

l.ut on,' Stephen) of whom remained in the town-
ship. He had three children, 01 f whom. Ni.o-

deniun, continued in Franklin, and re-ides upon the
original purchase.

Peter Fritts arrived at the beginning of the present
century, and purchased what is known as a portion of
the ProboscO property, upon which he resided until
hi- death, lie left two son-, Benjamin and Jesse, and
several daughters. Jesse removed to Illinois, where
lie died, and Hen jam in resided in the township. Ill-
icit a family of nine children, three of whom are lo-
cated in Franklin.

Henry M. Winterwas among the earliest ami most
enterprising of the fanner- of Franklin, though the
date of his advent is not recalled with precision. He
located upon the land now occupied by Moses Wool-
verton, upon which he built a substantial -tone man-
sion, -till standing. This he retained tor many years

as his reside , but finally removed to Washington,

where his death occurred.

William McKinncy wa- of Iri-h descent, and on
his arrival in the township settled one mile west "!'
Broadway, on the Morris turnpike. On this farm he
spent his life, died, and was buried. Among his chil-
dren was John, who alfi CUpied the laud, and whose

remains slumber in the same burial-plan .

\ son of John, last mentioned, is still living in the

township in his seventy-ninth year. The homestead
i- occupied by John McKinncy. a son of the latter.

(iiiy (>'I!rien located at liroadway. where he Spent
his lifetime. Mr. O'Brien was a teacher b\ pj
sion, and also represented the legal profession in the
town-hip. lie was at one period of hi- career a jus-
tice of the peace for Franklin, lie died many years
since and left thr hihlreii. one -on and two daugh-
ter-, none of whom mm reside in the town-hip.

William Wille\. r wa- the earliest exponent of the
saddler'- craft in Franklin. He resided for many
year- mar the \|..rri- Canal, but later removed to

Broadway, where his death occurred.

I'he Beers family, on their arrival, chose land on
Bcotfs Mountain. On the death of the elder Been



the property was divided among the children. The
survivors of the family are Elisha and Henry, who
hoth reside out of the township.

John Frome also settled early on Scott's Mountain,
as did a family named Rush, a younger generation of
whom are still residents of Franklin.

Jacoh Weller was a soldier of the war of the Revo-
lution. After serving his country with much credit
he retired to Warren County and purchased 1200
acres of land, for a portion of which he paid 75 cents
an acre. A portion of this land — probably about 800
acres — was in Franklin, Mr. Weller having located on
the farm now occupied by George Thatcher, where he
remained until his death. His remains were interred
in the family burial-ground. He had 13 children, of
whom Jacob, Samuel, and John resided in the town-
ship, as did also two daughters. None of the sons
have descendants in Franklin. The daughters mar-
ried into the Cline, Baler, and Kinaman families.

The Cline family are of German extraction, two
brothers having left their native land for the hospit-
able shores of America at an early date and settled
near New Brunswick, N. J. Lewis purchased 200
acres of land in the township of Greenwich, where he
remained during his lifetime. Among his children
were four daughters and two sons, Lewis and Michel.
The latter removed to Indiana and Lewis remained
in Greenwich, where he was surrounded by a family
of ten children, nine of whom grew to mature years.
Of these children John is the only one now residing
in Franklin. Two are located in Harmony, and one
in Greenwich. Mr. and Mrs. John Cline have been
married sixty-one years, and are still among the ac-
tive and enterprising citizens of the township.

Archibald Osborn came to the township in 1824
and located at Asbury, having formerly been a resi-
dent of Hunterdon County. He early engaged in the
pursuit of his calling, that of a saddler, which was
later abandoned for a more active life. He served as
constable, and later as collector, and was also elected
justice of the peace. For many years he followed the
business of a drover. Mr. Osborn was chosen as rep-
resentative to the State Legislature for the years 1855
-56. He still, though advanced in years, leads a life
of activity, and resides in the village of Asbury.

Abram Shipman removed from Harmony to Frank-
lin township in 1805, when he purchased the land
now occupied by William W. Shipman. He had five
children,— Jacob, William, Elizabeth, Naomi, and
Charles. Mr. Shipman died in the township in his
seventy-fourth year. Two of the children still sur-
vive,— Mrs. Christopher Little and William W., who
resides on a farm one mile west of Asbury.

John Haselton, one of the oldest of the early resi-
dents of Franklin, is more than one hundred years of
age. He has lived in various portions of the town-
ship, but is at present located one and a half miles
west of Asbury.

Christian Snyder, of German descent, came early

to the township, where he purchased a farm. He
had eight children, — three sons and five daughters.
The sons, William, Jacob, and John, were born and
each settled in the township. They are now deceased,
though the widows and children of these brothers
still reside in the township.

William Runkle was among the early and influen-
tial citizens of the township. He resided in the vicin-
ity of Asbury, where he purchased a considerable
tract of land at very moderate prices and became a
large landed proprietor. A grandson, Daniel Runkle,
now represents the family in Asbury.


Information regarding the early roads of the town-
ship is very meagre. A very early road, known to the
first settlers as the "New Road," passed from Easton
through Asbury to New Hampton. This road was
much traveled at the time. Another road of equally
early date began at Easton and passed through Stew-
artsville to New Village, and formerly to Washington.
A portion of this road was superseded by the turn-
pike, and consequently vacated. The oldest turnpike,
known as the Morris turnpike, was completed in 1811.
Its objective points were Easton and Morristown, the
villages of New Village, Broadway, and Washington
being on its route. The road-territory of the town-
ship is now divided into thirteen districts, over which
the following overseers are appointed :

District No. 1, John K. Riuehart; No. 2, Moses Woolverton; No. 3,
Sylvanus Cook; No. 4, M. B. Myers; No. 5, Joseph Willever; No. 6,
James G. Apgar; No. 7, Isaac 0. Smith; No. 8, Ahram Shipman; No. 9,
M. B. Bowers; No. 10, Philip Hyner; No. 11, William Allahouse; No. 12,
C. B. Rush ; No. 13, Peter Willever.


The act of the State Legislature which erected
Franklin as an independent township was passed
Feb. 15, 1839, and reads as follows:

" Be it enacted by the Council and General Assembly of this State, and
it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That all that part of
the townships of Greenwich, Oxford, and Mansfield, lying within the
descriptions and boundaries following,— to wit, beginning at a point in
the centre of the Musconetcong Creek half a mile above the Bloomsbury
bridge ; thence to a white-oak tree on the north bank of Men-si's Brook,
one mils and a quarter above its junction with the Morris turnpike;
thence to a point where the Brasscastle stream crosses the Oxford and
Mansfield township line; thence to the point where the bridge crosses
the Musconetcong Creek, near ths house of William Runkle; thence
down the middle of said stream to the place of beginning,— shall be and
hereby is Bet off from the townships of Greenwich, Oxford, and Mansfield,
in the county of Wan-en, and made a separate township, to be called and
known by the name of the ' township of Franklin.'

" And be it enacted, That the inhabitants of the township of Franklin
shall hold their first annual township-meeting at tho inn now occupied
by Benjamin C. McCullough, in the village of Broadway, in the said
township of Franklin, on the day appointed by law for holding the
annual township-meetings in other townships in the county of Warren."

By an act passed by the Council and General As-
sembly of New Jersey, Feb. 15, 1839, it was ordered
that part of the townships of Greenwich, Oxford, and
Mansfield should be laid off and called the township
of Franklin in the county of Warren. In obedience
to that act the inhabitants met in Broadway, at the



inn of Benjamin C. McCullough, on the 8th day of
April, 1839, to incorporate themselves as citizens of
the new township. Since thai time the following
officers have been elected for the said township of
Franklin :

1839-40, Stephen Warne, Hi

(lin.- ; iK-i.-p hi, Kit. I. -ii Iliti t[..-ti. > , 184" Kib ben

Hartpence, Ja iS Williamson; 1848 10, Benjamin Frills, Peter

P. Willever; 1851, Hulloway II. Kline, John K Smith; 1862, John
K. Smith; 1853 54, John H. Crevellng; 1855, John K Smith 1886,
Benjamin Frill 1857-58,
man; 1862-64, John a V

Tip, Lawrom i L. H tlet . I 11, fl 111] - Hul hi '

8. Dehart; 1815-77, Cliarloa Hazard; 1878, Adam W lllerei ; 1879-81.

James I. m

i -1111' CLERKS.

1839, Guy A. Bryan; 1840-41, William Winter; 1842, Gnjr A. Bryan;

lohn C Wl i ; 1844 15 Edwin T.D

Vlicit; 1861 .5, James Lumerson; 1851 62, James Vllet; 1803 74,
BJchard Q. Woolverton ; 1876-80, William II- Lomenon; 181
M. Williamson.


1889, William Ucllroy; 1810 13, Kitchen Hartpence; 1844 i.

0. Kline; 1848-49, Philip D. Wellei ; I860, John Harlpenco; L861,
John Thatcher; 1852-64, John C Hartpence; 1855, William Parcel;
1868-66, John C. Hartpence; 1866-72 Henrj Hlcki 1873, Aaron H.
Onrlls; 1874-76, U -■- \. Burd; 1-77, w llllam Frltl
. Hummel ; 1881, Philip Cook.


1839-42, Jiinics Doollttle; 1843, Archibald Osl ; 1844 16, William 0.

McCullough; 1846 17, John H. Crevellng; 1848-61, J ph Wlllevei ;

1862 S3, [saai Smith ;18M,Jncob

61, Charles Blazer; 1862-64, William Winter; 1865-67, James
Vllot; 1868-GV, John II. Lantz; 1870-73, James Vllet; 1874 I
topher Burd; 1876 77, 0. r. States; 1878 81, I. S I.. I reveling.

1858, Jacob V. Wilson; 1860, Abram N. Carpenter; 1866, J I

Mahlon Johnson; 1867, H. B. Dalrymple, Sylvanns Cook ; 1871, R.
O. Woolverton ; 1878, Geoi Praatei 1876, William Fritta, John
Allen; 1880, Charles Blazer.


1-17. A. i :. BJehej . 1848 50, Joseph Vllet; l-ii

nel Glen; i- .3 4, W llllam Wi i ; 1856 65, James Vllel

William B. Hevouer.


1839-10, Elljiib Warne, Jr., Jaoin S. William : 1811-42, David W.

Boyer, Elijah Warne, Jr.; 18*1 n, rge Wlllla William

. Bhlpman; 1846, P. D. Waller, William Shlpman; 1846-49,0 ge

W, Williamson, WllUnm Shl| 18 it, George W. "ill. imson,

i IMnli W. Cummins; 18 .3 .... William Crevellng, Petei P W

1861 9, W. Williams Elijah W. Cummins; I860, William

Qrevellng. George Rlchey; 1861 04, G ge Rlchoy, Henrj w slc-

BJ v ; 1866, II " . Hi Kinney, Da I \ liel ; 1866 69, 11.11 . I Una,

William Shlpman; 1-.7", John II. Lantz, William Shlpmai

77, William Shlpman, luram Kb I I n Bryan, Abram

Kinney; isT'.i BO, Ja • Eyleuborg, I barlesShl) in.

Am old school-house was erected on land belonging
in John Cline al an earlj day, and located a short
distance from New Village. It was in us,, for a pe-
riod of al leas) fifty years, when the present structure
superseded it. \ log school-house was built not far
t'nim the location of the depot, near the village ol
Broadway, as early as 1820. Another frame structure
was erected in i^_i on land at present occupied by
Moses W'linluTiiiii. M;i-i. •[■ ( ...ii and \1.i-i. r M;trlin
YV. Nesbit were among the earliest instructors. These

two scl I- were consolidated at a later day, and an

edifice i rected in the village of Broadway, where the

youth of tin- neighborhood assembled lor instruction.

The school territory of the township is divided
into bus districts, as follows: I'i-triii No. 20
Village; District No. 21, Broadway ; District No. 22,
Hick-; District No. 28, Good Springs; Distri
24, Franklin; District No. 25, Lsbury. Over these
preside the followim: corps of teachers ; New Village,

Joseph A. [lift*; Broadway, Bai 1 Freeman

Howard Smith; Good Springs, Miss L. M. Rymond;
Franklin, E. W. Dillon; Asbury, S. A. Everitt.

The tow aship received as her share of the two-mill
tax during the last year, $1707.19 ; of the State ap-
propriation, $133.85 ; and of the township school tax.
$418. She also raised a special tax of $807 for three
of the districts of the township.


Although the Methodist Episcopal Church is fully
a i • ti' ii rs old, not a single record of it- organization
or later progress is extant. The historian was
to find from the pastor more than a list of its trusti i -
and stewards at the present time, He has, however.
from other sources, obtained a few facta regarding its
early history. A class was formed at nearly the
period of the Revolutionary war, almost contempora-
neous with the founding of the hamlet of Hall's
Mills, as Asbury was then called. No church build-
ing had then been erected, and services were held in
the few scattered dwellings of the neighborhood. Lh
L786, Col. William McCullough, then a young man

of twenty-seven years, was converted, and connected

himself with the Methodist Society. Through his
influence a church edifice was erected, the corner-
stone of which was laid by the distinguished l!isho]i

Francis Asbury in the year 1800. At the same time
the 3pot was christened Asbury in honor of the event.
The old building, which was simple in construction,
and lmt 28 by !'u feet in dimensions, became dilapi-
dated, and it was determined to construct a new one.
This w-as accordingly don,-, and the building dedi-
cated with impressive ceremonies on the twenty-second
daj of December, 18 12.

The Bloomsbury Church was connected with the
Asbury charge until 1 s .">s. w leu Re\ . Benjamin Cole-
man was assigned to that Held of labor, and it became
a separate organization. The record of the pastors
who were stationed here isverj imperfect Rev. Dr.
Coke, who afterwards died while on his way to the
East Indies as a missionary, was among them. Rev.
Edward Page was also at one time pastor, as

Rev. Jacob Heve \ Rev. George Banghart, and Rev.

Dr. Charles M. F. Deems, now distinguished aa the
pastor of the Churcb of the Strangers, in N< w York

City. Rev. ge Hitchens also preached on the

Asbury circuit at nearly the same time. No informa-
tion relative to the later pa-tor.- IS at hand.



The present incumbent is Rev. A. N. Harris. The
trustees are Barnet A. Smith, Daniel Osmun, Morris
Hoffman, David Bowlby, R. M. Henderson, Robert
K. Richey, Joseph S. Smith. The stewards are B. A.
Smith, Morris Hoffman, Adam Willever, John Allen,
R. A. Henderson. The Sunday-school is in a flourish-
ing condition, with 20 teachers and 110 scholars.
The church roll numbers 120 members.


If this organization cannot claim prestige on ac-
count of its own age, it may at least claim the honor
of an old and distinguished lineage. Presbyterian-
ism has a known record in this region of more than a
hundred and forty years. In the year 1739 the Pres-
bytery of New Brunswick, in response to a request for
preaching " in Mr. Barber's neighborhood," directed
two ministers to preach certain Sabbaths at Laming-
ton and at Mr. Barber's. It afterwards becomes ap-
parent, from the records of the Presbytery, that " Mr.
Barber's neighborhood" was identical with parts of
old Mansfield and Greenwich, for mention is often
made of supplies being sent to Mr. Barber's and Mr.
Green's. The former seems to give place on the rec-
ords to old Mansfield, while the latter changes on
the records to Green's-ridge, Greenidge, Greenage,
and at last to Lower Greenwich. The first Presby-
terian houses of worship in this neighborhood were
doubtless those of Greenwich and Mansfield-Wood-
house, as the present church at Washington was first
called. Which of these was first built it is impossi-
ble with accuracy to determine.

" But it is quite certain that the first meeting-house in Greenwich was
erected between the years 1730 and 1744, for in the journal of that man
of God, David Brainerd, lie mentions having preached in Greenwich on
Sabbath, Dec. 9,1744; and when it is considered that this first log church
was so far decayed in 1775 as to render another building nocessary, we
may infer that it was the first old church in which lie preached."

The church of Mansfield could not have been built
much later; so that at this early date two strongholds
of the sturdy Calvinistic faith were established at
either end of the Musconetcong valley to stand guard
over the religious development of the people.

Over this ground have passed the forms and
sounded the voices of such men as Rosbrugh, the
patriot and martyr pastor of the Revolution, who
was the first settled minister over the congregations
of Greenwich and Mansfield-Woodhouse ; of Joseph
Treat, who fled from New York to escape the hands
of the British, and who gave twenty years of faithful
service in the parish that extended over all this re-
gion ; of David Brainerd, who on many forgotten
spots amid these surrounding hills told the simple
story of the cross, and whose pure and lovely charac-
ter has left behind it a lasting fragrance ; of William
B. Sloan, whose stately presence and impressive ad-
dress and genial manners are yet remembered by

' From a sermon preached by the pastor, Rev. Georgo W. Tomson, on
i of the twentieth anniversary, Oct. 10, 1880.

some here ; of Jacob Castner, the orator and fearless
expounder of the truth, whose name and form are
yet fresh in the memory of many who hear me.

Such have been some of the grand men the theatre
of whose life-work we survey as we cast our eyes up
and down over the fertile acres of this valley, and a
part of whose original parish is now occupied by this

Asbury, too, received preparation for the establish-
ment of a separate Presbyterian organization by the
residence here of two of the ablest and most influen-
tial men that the Presbytery of Newton has ever had
the honor to enroll. I refer to the Rev. Jacob Cast-
ner and to the Rev. James Lewers, both of whose
homes were here, and whose ministries were very in-
fluential in moulding and fixing the Presbyterian sen-
timent of this community. It may not be amiss for
us to pausaa moment and recall these eminent and
godly men, who have passed to their reward, but
whose labors and influence lie deeply inwrought into
our church-life to-day.

Of Jacob Castner it has been said :

'■ He was a natural orator and one of the best if not the very best ex-
tempore speakers in the Presbytery or Synod. He was au able, laborious,
and successful minister of the "Word. Au early and fearless champion
of the temperance reformation, he probably did more for that cause than
any other man in the Presbytery. Once convinced that a thiug was
right, nothing could swerve him from its advocacy. He was utterly
fearless, — a man of unwavering moral courage. A warm-hearted frieud,
a sympathizing comforter, he was one of the most delightful conversers
I ever met. A natural gentleman, lie could be firm without arrogance
and entertaining without egotism. He was almost idolized by his con-

When we speak the name of James Lewers we
shorten the radius of memory and come within the
recollection of almost all the adults of this vicinity.
I myself remember hearing him preach in the old
church at Milford, my home, after his transfer thither,
though I was, of course, too young to appreciate the
beauty of his rhetoric and the remarkable power of
his pulpit efforts. He was a man of exquisite taste
in the belles-lettres, of superb genius, a natural poet,
an impressive orator, and one of the best writers the
church has produced. Only a lack of perseverance
and an apparent distaste for notoriety kept him from
gracing a metropolitan pulpit. He possessed many
eccentricities and was remarkable for his singular ab-
sence of mind, but, withal, was a successful pastor,
an excellent Christian gentleman, a natural and im-
pressive orator, and his name is inseparably linked
with the history of Presbyterianism in this place.

The academy was built during his ministry at the
valley and his residence here, and its walls have re-
sounded many times with his eloquent voice. The
faith he there expounded has grown until, contrary,
perhaps, to his expectations then, it is embodied to-
day in this organization. Under the magnetic influ-
ence and personal power of these men, it was most
natural that a nucleus should be formed here that



itself at last should be an important centre of Presby-

This church is the granddaughter of old Mansfield,
its nearer relative being the Musconetcong Valley
Church, which colonized from old Mansfield in 1837
and became a vigorous and powerful congregation.

Oct. 10, 1860, a committee of the Presbytery of

Newton met in the academy to art on mi application

for church organization. The committee consisted of

Revs. George 0. Bush, A. II. Sand, D.D., Solomon
McXair, and William II. Kirk, together with Elder
George Creveling, of the church at Washington. The
oames of 28 persons were presented as desiring to be

nigani/.ed into the First Presbyterian ( 'Imivli of \ -

bury, 26 of whom brought certificates from the church
at the valley. The committee unanimously voted to

grant the request, and thus the First Presbyterian
( Ihurch of Asbury was constituted and entered upon
tin' roll of the Presbytery of Newton.
Rev. J, R. Eckard, D.D., a professor in Lafayette

College and a returned foreign missionary, was in-
vited to become stated supply of the new organiza-
tion, and remained in that connection until Novem-
ber, L867, when th. ndition of his health required

him to tender his resignation. The mini-try of Dr.
Eckard, though pursued under the disadvantage of

being a non-resident, was in a large measure si ■—

ful. Thirty-nine members were added, making the
total membership 61 at the time of his resignation.

A Sabbath-sehool of i.-iderahle size was also in sue-

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 178 of 190)