James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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cupied by Adam Bowman, a grandson. Catharine

married John Hornbaker, lived here for several years,
and finally removed to Prince William, Va. Eliza-
beth married John Bowman (deceased), and is now
living with her son Adam on the homestead. Ann
married John Rube. Mary married the late Samuel
Creveling, and is now residing with her son, Adam
Creveling, in AVashington borough. Margaret mar-
ried Levi S. Johnston, of Belvidere, and lived there.
Sarah married John C. AVinter, and is a resident at
AVashington. Catharine and Ann are deceased.

John Hornbaker was an early settler in the same
neighborhood. His son, John, Jr., built and run the
first mill in that section used for cleaning clover-seed.
His wife was a AVandling.

Another old settler at Brass Castle was John Potts,
who lived near the AVandling homestead, and whose
land adjoined the farms of AVandling and Hornbaker.

" Brass Castle" derives its name from the creek upon
which it is situated, and is possibly of Indian origin,
although its signification is unknown. About half
a mile above the village, at " Roaring Rock," was
formerly an Indian village and burial-place, where
mounds are, or were recently, visible.

The mill-races on the upper and lower banks of the
Musconetcong, at the " Forge," in carrying the water
out of its natural channel, into AVarren and Hunter-
don Counties respectively, gave rise to the name
" Changewater." It was known by that name prior
to 1787.

Other early settlers who are recollected by our old-
est residents were Charles Johnston, Gershom Rus-
ling, and Henry Van Nest. The former was a saddle-
and harness-maker by trade, which he followed for
some years after coming to this place, and only relin-
quished it to embark in the drug business. He es-
tablished the first drug-store in AVashington. Prior
to this our citizens had to go to Easton for nearly
everything in that line. He made quite a specialty
in manufacturing and dealing in " burning-fluid."
He is remembered by many as being a very particular
man, and one who, while aiming to keep almost all
the popular " patent" preparations of his time, was not
slow to express his opinion of many of them, and that
quite emphatically. His store, which was located on
the site of the Beatty Block, he disposed of to Dr.
Mattison only a short time before it was destroyed in
the fire of 1869. Mr. Johnston died some four or five
years ago, aged about seventy-five years. An only
daughter, who married Dr. Osborn, is deceased. A
son, who was engaged in the drug business in Phila-
delphia (Johnston, Holloway &Co.), and who was in
the habit of spending his summers here, died in Wash-
ington, of paralysis, while on a visit in the summer
of 1877. Mr. Johnston's residence was on AVashing-
ton Avenue, near the Centre Square, where now lives
his widow, who is the only one of the family now left.

Gershom Rusling, son of James Rusling, of Beattys-
town, lived on the place formerly owned by Henry
Hankinson. He purchased the Hankinson farm

W \S!!I.\i;T()X.


about 1880. Some twenty years later he Bold it to
Henry Winters, who occupied it until about the year

1857, when Abrain H. Stewart became its owner, di-
vided it into town lots, ami soli] oil' to sundry persons;

the old farm-house, tlie Ilankinson homestead, became
the property of Dr. Cook, who now occupies it. Ger-
Bihom Rusling was the father of Gen. .la - I". Kus-

ling, of the Trenton bar. Judge Rusling, of Back-

ettstown, was a nephew. None of the name are now
found in the township.

John Sherrerd, the ancestor of the Sherrerd family
in Warren County, emigrated from the city of Lon-
don in the early part of the last century. He settled
al Pleasant Valley, in what i- now Washington town-
ship (then Mansfield in old Sussex). The place is now
generally known as Mattison's Mill, and is one and a

quarter miles southwest from (lie villaire of Washing-
ton, on the Pohatcong Creek. At this locality the
elder Sherrerd lived and died ; his children were born
here, where one sod spent his rutin- life; here, too,
several of his grandchildren commenced their busi-
ness career. 1 1 « - was al this place engaged in busi-
ness prett] extensivrh for those times, carrying on
a large farm, a store, and grist- and saw-mills, Be
was married al leasl twice, and lef) two Bons sur-
viving him; one of these, John, removed to Phila-
lelpliia, where hi- descendants are still residing.

Si '1 Sherrerd, the eldest aon of John, remained

at the old homestead, and succeeded his father in the
business there. Be married Ann Maxwell, daughter
of Capt, John .Maxwell, of the Revolutionary army.

Samuel Sherrerd died in L832, and, together with
his father, mother, wife, and other relatives, is buried
in the old Mansfield burying-ground, near Washing-
ton \ illage.

Samuel Sherrerd and Ann his wife were the parents
of two sons and eighl daughters, who arrived at ma-
turity, and these were al one time, with the exception

ot on, -.in, :i 1 1 married, and settled within thirty miles

of their lather. Eliza, the eldest daughter, is -till
living, at Shawnee, Pa.; she married Joseph V. Wil-
son, and several of her descendants are living in liel-

videre; Mary married Rev. John Plavell Clark, the

lather..)' Dr. Samuel S. Clark and Mrs. Ann S. Me-
tier, l.oth of Belvidere; Susan married William M.
Warne; he purchased the Pleasant Valley property,

alter the death of her tat her, and rebuilt the Bouring-

mill there. One son, Joseph, is the only member of
thio branch of the family remaining in the county
Ann married Charles S. Robeson, a brother of Judge
.lames M. Robeson ; her descendants now reside at
Si. Louis, Mo.; Sarah, who married Richard Green,
but is now the »id..w of [saac N. Carpenter, and

• i i, the wife of William Green, arc still hiving al

Easton, Pa.; Betty, the widow of Dr. James Clyde
Kennedy, resides with her son, Dr. Samuel S. Ken-
nedy, at Stewartsville, Warren Co.; her daughter is

the wife of Dr. Samuel S. ( lark, of I'.i lvider. ; Ka.li. I
was married to Daniel Bollingshead, and died in the

West, where her son -till resides; William M.. the
younger boh, marries! Sarah Barton, of Belvidere,

removed to the West, and died at Shakopee, Minn.,
where his widow and daughter a iw live.

The eldest Mm. John Maxwell Sherrerd, was the
no .-t closely connected with the hi-tory of Warren
I oiiniv. and during his business lit'.- occupied a prom-
inent position in regard to it- affairs. iSee personal
aketches of John M. and Samuel Sherrerd, in the
general chapter on the Warren Bench and Bar, ante-

Henry Van Nest was an early grain-merchant. On
the bank of the canal he had a warehouse, which is

still standing. At om- time he carried on a mercan-
tile business — a grocery — in addition to his grain
trade. In the latter he was quite extensively engaged.

lie subsequently lca-cd the warehouse to I'.t.r T. I'..

J Van Doren, who there commenced his career as a
merchant in Washington. Mr. Van Nest lived on
Belvidere Avenue, north of the canal. Be departed
this life some twelve or fifteen years ago, leaving sev-
eral children, of whom one son and two daughters

reside in Washington or its vicinage.

David P. Shrope, of Dutch descent, but a Dative of
Bethlehem, Hunterdon Co., — born Nov, 1. 17-.
tied in this town-hip about the year 1810. He com-
menced about thai date to ofliciatc a- a clerk in the
store of Samuel Sherrerd, located about a mile west
of the village. He subsequently went South, but
after a temporary stay returned to his native Stale,
settling in Plemington, at which placeand Anderson-
town he resided until 1849, when he returned to
Washington. From that time he resided here until
his death, which occurred March 28, 1876, at the age
of eighty-eight years and five months. He was buried
in the old Mansfield burial-ground. Be was promi-
nent in civil affairs, both in Hunterdon and Warren
Counties, — for twenty-live years was a justice of the

peace, fifteen years a judge of the c t, and for thirty

years a master in ( Ihancery, holding the latter position
at the time of his decease. Be joined the Masonic

fraternity in 1818, and was al the time of his death
the oldest Mason in the State. lie married Eliza

\ii.|. T-on, a daughter of Joseph Anderson, of Mans-
field township, she died in 1848. "Squire" Shrope
was also an earnest and consistent member of the
Presbyterian Church, lie had four children, but two
only arc living, Joseph A. and William. Joseph A.,
now living in the borough, has been a resident here
t r the past thirty -one •years. Sixty years of his he
have been pas-e.1 in Washington and at Anderson-
lown, but a few miles distant, William re-ides at the

latter place,

Rev. Jacob Castner settled iu Washington in 1S18
as pastor of the Presbyterian Church. One of his
daughters married Dr. Jacob Winters, son of Jacob
Winters, of Broadway, ibis county, who died at that
...in subsequent to 185o. Mr. Castner died in



Col. Jacob T. Thomson, a son of Col. Mark Thom-
son, was a native of this township. He was born at
Changewater, Nov. 26, 1811. He moved to the West,
and died Feb. 22, 1876, at Princeton, Bureau Co., 111.

John M. Sherrerd, before mentioned, was an early
lawyer, practicing in Washington village from the
time of his admission to the bar, in 1816, until 1826,
when he removed to the county-seat.

One of the old landmarks — the ancient Creveling
blacksmith-shop — was torn down in 1874, and on its
site Dr. Osmun has erected a fine brick building.

Jacob Cole was born in an old house on the Rine-
hart farm, on Scott's Mountain, Sept. 17, 1797. In
1820 he married Margaret Prall. He retired from
active life by moving from the farm upon a lot situ-
ated along the slope of the mountain, which place he
occupied most of the time for forty years. He died
June 11, 1875. He left seven children, eighteen
grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. He
was buried in the Washington cemetery.

Just north of Changewater, and near where the
road from that place to Port Colden crosses the rail-
road, are the graves of Carter and Parks, who were
hung in the year 1844 for the murder of the Castner
family, — John Castner, his wife, and infant child.
All were residents of this township, Parks living in
the village of Washington. The latter was a brother
of Castner's wife. Carter was one of the overseers of
highways. The Castner family resided near Change-
water, where two sons, the only survivors of the trag-
edy, now reside. The Castner farm, of 71 acres, was
sold in December, 1880, by Aaron Pence.

Near where is now Gerard's tannery was, early in
this century, an old apple distillery, of which Edward
Youmans was the owner for many years. Long since
— fully forty years ago — it went out of existence.

The first school-house in Washington was, without
doubt, an old log building which formerly stood near
the old Mansfield- Woodhouse church. This remained
from about the period of the Revolution until some
time after 1800, when it disappeared. From the tra-
ditions concerning this old school-house, handed down
to our oldest living residents by their fathers, it may
be safely called the pioneer, notwithstanding no defi-
nite data can be obtained.

Early physicians in this township have been Dr.
Hugh Hughes, at Washington, from 1816 to 1822;
Dr. John P. B. Sloan from 1822, as Dr. Hughes' suc-
cessor, who finally went to New York and engaged
in the drug business ; Dr. Jacob T. Sharpe, from 1828
to 1834, or later, removing then to Camden. Other
prominent physicians in Washington were Dr. Wil-
liam Johnson, Dr. Glenn (who came from Broadway
in 1856), and N. Jennings, who also kept a drug-
store. In 1868 he sold to Dr. W. H. Seip, but the
following year, associated with J. Arndt, re-embarked
in the same line "in the building formerly occupied
by J. Shields, Jr., as a dry-goods store." More recently
Drs. Mattison, Herrick, Joseph Cook, Joseph J. Sovv-

erby, and William Cole settled, and practiced in this
township. See chapter in general history, antecedent,
on the medical profession, for sketches of many of
the above.


Washington township was set off from Mansfield
in 1849. For its civil history prior to that date see
history of the latter township. As an integral part
of Mansfield this township had passed from infancy
into maturity under the jurisdiction of Sussex County,
and twenty-four years more of companionship was
spent, after Warren was formed, before Washington
set up civil and political housekeeping for herself.
Although comparatively young, she has grown to
be one of the most important townships in the

The act of incorporation was approved Feb. 28,
1849, and thus rehearses the boundaries of the newly-
formed township :

"An Act to set off from the township of Mansfield, in the County of Warren,
a new township, to he colled the Toicnsldp of Washington.
" 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and general Assembly of the State of
New Jersey, That all that part of the Township of Mansfield, in the
County of Warren, lying southwesterly of the following line, to wit:
Beginning at a point on the Southwest side of the public Road running
through the Van Nest Gap near Oxford furnace, wilere the Mansfield
and Oxford line crosses said Road and running nearly an easterly course
across said Township along the southerly side of said Road the different
courses to the end thereof in the public Road leading from Easton to
Taylor's Mill in front of the house of William Gardner and from thence
a straight line to the Northeast end of the eight-square school-house on
the Easton and Morris turnpike; thence continuing on the same Course
till it strikes the Musconetcong River, the dividing line between the said
township of Mansfield, in the County of Warren, and the township of
Lebanon, in the County of Hunterdon, and to end there, shall be and
the same is hereby set off from said Township of Mansfield and estab-
lished as a separate Township, to be called 'the Township of Washing-

The records of the annual town-meetings of this
township have gone the way of so many other of our
early records, — have been lost or destroyed. The
only books now in the possession of the town clerk
are one recording the doings of the town committee,
and two others in which are recorded the oaths of
office and bonds of the officers of the township.
From these, by persevering effort, has been extracted
the following list of officers of the township from its
formation, in 1849, to the present time :

Clerks. Assessors. Collectors.

50. J. G. Johnson. Philip Johnson. Adam Wandling.

851. Andrew W. Bray.f " " " "

852. Jonathan Petty. William Cole. " "

853. " " " " John O. Winter.

854. J. G. Johnson. " " " "

855. J. W. VanDoren. John B. Woolston. Jonathan G. Robbing.
866. " " William Cole. " "

857. Jonathan Petty. " " Samuel Shields.

858. " " A. B. Stewart. " ''

859. Charles S. Strader. " " John Gibson.

860. " " " " Philip Johnson.

861. Jonathan Petty. J. A. Shrope. A. B. Stewart.

* Pamphlet Laws of 1849, page 222.

f John W. WyckofT was sworn in as clerk March 27, 1852, probably for
the unexpired term of Andrew W. Bray, justice of the peace.



Clerks. Assessors. Collector".

1862 S3, Jonathan l'utty. riiilip II. Bjura. William W. Johnson.

18C4. " " " " Churlos S. Strader.

W,!,. John F. \v Iran". Philip Johnson. William H. Uoyd.

1800-07. l'etor B. Winter. John 0. Hartpence.

1868. Bearing P. Bowers. " " Samuel L. Gardner.

1869. " " William Weller. " "
1870-71. B. A. Ohiihiii. John C. Hartpenee, Jene J. Lake.
1872. " " John Webber. " "
1873-75. " " J. B. Woolston. A. M. Noun.
1871 i i B It. A. Osmun. Shi W. Nunn.

1880. " " William Campbell.

1881. " " JobnSherer. John B. Dalrymple.


1849.— S. W. Garrison, Ja - II. tiioll. John \V. Wy. I , .luni. Ii.ii.lil-

tie, Lewli ii. Martini .
1850 John WyckolT, W. L. Ciphers, John W. WyckolT, James Doollttlo,

William Weller.
1861.— John Bltts, W. I.. Clpboi , John W. WyckolT, Daniel Osmun, Wil-
liam Weller.
1852— John Fitts, W. L. Cipher*, Joseph Vliet, Daniel Oamun, David P,

1863.— John Flit*, Samuel Shi.lila, Joseph Vli.-I, lli.ni.l li,mnn, lMvi.1 I',

1864.— Jamca II. Groir, Lewli II. Martenis, John 0. Bowers, Philip 0.

Cook, [8. Shields?].
1855.— John 0. Winters, Jasper Smith, John C. Bowors, Stephen Yard,

S, Shields?].
I860.— John P. Davis, Jasper Smith, Jacob V. Crevcllng, John C. Bowers,

Samuel Bblelds.
1857.— Jn - B.Groff, Samuel Miller, Jacob T.Johnson, Michael Bowers,

John 0, Bower.
1858.— Ja a ii. Grot*, Samuel Miller, P. B. Winter, Michael Bowors,

John 0. Bower.
1859.— Joel. v. Crevollng, Samuel Miller, P. B, Winter, Michael Bowors.

John B . -
I860.— Jacob V. Crevollng, 11. 11. Hutchins, P. It. Winter, William E.

Warns, Daniel Osmun.
1861.— John P. Davis, B. 11. Hutchins, A. P. Berthoud, P.Cramor, Samuel

1862.— Philip Johnson, John WyckolT, Jr., Samuel Shields, C. s. Strader,

Samuel tflller.
180.1— Philip Johnson, John Wyi toff, Jr., Daniel Oamun, 0.8. Strader,

Samuel Millor.
1804.— Pliilip.lohiH.n,. Willi. on II, Boyd, Daniel Os Cornelius Car-

hart, Samuel BIHer,
1866.— William G, Dufford, William M. Boyd, J. D.Taylor, Cornelius Car-

Inirl, Sun I Miller.

I860.— William G. Dufford, William Shields, John W. WyckolT, J. D.

Taylor, Samuel Miller,
1867.— William G. Dufford, William Shields, William Sweney, Jumos J.

Betas), Jacobs. Vought
1868-70.— Georgo Vosslor, William Shields, 'William Cole, M. P., John K.

WyckolT, William B. Melroy.
1^71. II. T. r.. Van Attn, Goorgo Vosslor, WUllam Cole, M.H., John B.

Bowlby, WUllam B. Melroy.
1872. — John C llurlp.'iice, (loorgo Vosslor, Christopher Colo, John B.

Bowlby, Bobert Llak.
187:t.— Peter Cm r, M. It. Bowers, George Tosslor, Charles Mayberry,

WUllam Mlllei

isrC r, John B. Bowlby, G geVoselor^H. T. n. v.m \ii:i,

William Mlllei
1878.— Peter Oramor, 0. P. Colo, William P. Bush, II. T. B. Van Atta,

William Miller.
I er,( P. Cole, William P. Bnsh, B, T>. Bush, George

P. WyckolT.
1S77— IVtor ('miner, ('. I'. CI,.. William IV l;n,h, Mi i

Goorgo P. WyckolT.
1878.- Peter Cramer, B. D. Bush, WUllam P. Bash, Michael Roscborry, I

George P. WyckolT.
1879-80.— Potor Cramer, William P. Bush, Goorgo P. Wyckoff.

1849-60, Bobort P. Strader, James II. Gruff; 1851-52, William Sweeny;

I, Junta Doollttlo; 1866, John Wl ; 1886-02, William

Shields; 1863, Samnel Shields: 1884, J J Lake; 1865, John

Arndt; 1861 S8, Ml l.aol B. Bowers; 1869-71, William Shields;
1872-76, Dr. WUllam '•!.-; 1876-78, WUllam Mill
i Osmun.


In 1849, Dr. William ( 'nit- w;i- scl 1 superintend-
ent, and Johnson D. Drake constable. The final
settlement between the old township of Mansfield and
new township of Washington was as follows:

" Pursuant to an act of the Legislature, the joint committees of the
townships of Mansfield and Washington . . . mel this 16th day of April,

1849, at the hou f James DooUttle, la Washington, when it was agreed

. . . that the town I ks and other loose
property belonging to sold township of Honsflold, together with nil the
claims the sold tov oshlp may have against all ami every person or per-
sons, and thai the township of Mansfield shall [.avail claims against
sold township thai I < April, 1848, and
for thoir so doing the town committee of the tow bshlp ol Washington
agree to pay to the Inhabitants of the townshlpol Mansfield the sum
of 8J66, tho receipt thereof is hereby acknowledged, and that said town*
Bhlp of Mansfield do bereb] agree to indemnify and keep harmless the
township of Washington ngniust all claims or suits al law that has or
rue a slnsl the stud township ol Man

The road districts al that date were eight, with
the following road masters, and sums allowed each,

— namely :

No. 1, William Carter,565; 2, Lewis II. Martenis, S7"; 3, Samuel Kow-
dor, 8105; 4, John C. Bowors, - Jl

Joseph Curl, 805 ; 7, rotor S. WyckolT, S40 : 8, Charles banning, S40.

In 1863 the war debt of the township was $15,500,
and during the same year was expended as bountj
money the sum of *16, 291.67. The whole amount of
duplicate for 1864 was $20,237.85.

In 1868, when the borough was <et off, the number
of road districts was eleven, as follows :

No. 1, John Opdyke, $76; 2, John Baldwin, 878; 3, William Mowdor,
I. James Nixon, 8100; 6, William n. Snyder. 5100; 6, ll. Btlde-
brand, $42; 7, .I.ilm Webber, $86; s. Churl,- I annlng, 163; 9, John
Kills, SOO; IU, Goorgo Vosslor, S84 ; 11, J. B. Van ktl

( In the adjustment of the ae nils of (he (ownship

and borough the latter paid to the former the sum of
$3838.24 as a final settlement.

Since the borough has been set nil' the town elec-
tions have been held at Port Colden.


The old Mansfield- Woodhouse church, of the Pres-
byterian connection, was the earliest in this township,
being established prior to 1789. An extended ac-
count of this ancient church may be found in the
history of the borough, elsewhere given, as well a*
sketches of the later-formed churches in whal is no*
the borough of Washington.

The Episcopal Church formerly had a chapel at
Port Colden, but it has been abandoned.

The Methodists of the Washington Church who
live at and near Port Colden recently formed a

society, and have preaching part of the time in the



The churchyard of the old Mansfield-Woodhouse
church is, no doubt, the earliest established burial-
place in this vicinity. There may have been family



burying-grounds much earlier, but none of a public
character. This old yard was not only the first, but
for many years was the only, cemetery in this town-
ship.* In it reposes the dust of many of the early
settlers, pioneers, and prominent citizens of the gen-
erations agone, as well as many of the patriarchs of
the church.

The modern cemeteries are those of the Methodist
Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches and that of
the Washington Cemetery Association.

St. Joseph's Cemetery is just outside the borough
limits, east of Belvidere Avenue, and facing on the
Jackson Valley road. The grounds, some 21 acres,
were purchased in 1880, and consecrated by Arch-
bishop Corrigan in June of that year. Prior to the
opening of these grounds the people of the Roman
Catholic faith resident here buried their dead in the
Oxford cemetery, and occasionally at the Junction.

"The Washington Cemetery Association" was or-
ganized in 1872, with the following directors : P. H.
Hann, Joseph Vliet, J. D. Taylor, Adam W. Creve-
ling, J. C. Stewart, James Lomerson, William G.
Dufford, A. Gaylord, and William Sweeny, who
elected Hon. P. H. Hann president, and Joseph Vliet
secretary and treasurer. They purchased, in 1870,
and prior to their incorporation, a twenty-acre tract,
on the Easton turnpike, opposite the residence of the
late John Carter, of whom the plot was obtained. It
was near the town, easily accessible by a good road
without having to cross the railroad tract, was beau-
tifully located, and had every appearance of being a
desirable cemetery property ; but when the first grave
was dug water was struck, which caused the asso-
ciation to abandon the idea of using it for burial
purposes. They sold it and purchased the grounds
now occupied, on the hill south of the town, on the
road leading to Asbury. Mr. Grant, engineer, of New
York, laid out the grounds. Mrs. Judge Joseph
Vliet, originally interred in the old Mansfield ground,
was removed to the new cemetery, and was one of
the first burials therein. William Allen is the sexton.

An old family burial-place was located on the farm
property of the late Jacob Van Horn, Esq., now
owned by William Duffern.

The first school-house in the township is said to
have been the one which formerly stood near the old
Mansfield church. It was a log building, and tradi-
tion assigns its erection to about the time of the
Revolution. No doubt it was a contemporary of that
venerable church. At an early school in what is now
known as Pleasant Valley District a Mr. Coen was
a pioneer teacher; he was succeeded by William
Thatcher. J. V. Creveling was one of the hitter's
pupils, and his recollection is that at that time there

* The oldest inscription in this burial-ground is said to be the follow-

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 181 of 190)