James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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dollars, and a deed given to Philip, John, Matthias,
and Christian Cummins, and James Hoagland, who
were the first trustees. Prior to this time the early
Methodist people used to hold meetings for worship
at the old stone house, then the residence of Mr.
Philip Cummins. Here Bishop Asbury and many
pioneer Methodist ministers occasionally stayed and
preached. The church was built the same year the
land was bought, and when the corner-stone was laid
Philip Cummins knelt upon it and prayed that " on
this stone a church might be built against which the
gates of hell should not prevail." This building no
doubt was the first Methodist church in what was
then Sussex Co., N. J. It remained unfinished for
many years, there being used for a pulpit a carpen-
ter's bench, and for seats saw-mill slabs. In 1824 the
trustees resolved to "finish" the house, and accord-
ingly put in a gallery, a pulpit, and more modern and
comfortable seats, painting the outside thereof a
"Spanish brown," except the window-casings and
strips, which were white. It is now wellnigh impos-
sible to get a correct list of ministers who served this
society down to 1854, but among those who preached
there were David Bartine, William Smith, Pharo

Ogden, Bartholomew Weed, Davis, I. Ireland,

George Banghart, James M. Tuttle, William P. Cor-
bitt, Jacob Hevenor, and Caleb Lippencott. From
the commencement of the church the circuit was very
large and belonged to the Philadelphia Conference.
Feb. 25, 1854, it was resolved to build a new church,

as the society had grown in wealth and numbers.
The old meeting-house was torn down, and a new
building for worship was erected on its site at a cost
of $2060. This church was dedicated to divine
service Jan. 18; 1855, by the Rev. John L. Lenhart,
chaplain of the United States Senate, aided by the
Rev. J. M. Tuttle. The preachers at that time were
the Revs. J. P. Fort and R. H. Wiggins. At the Con-
ference of this year Vienna was made the head of a
charge. Dec. 9, 1855, the whole east side of the roof
was carried off by a storm, butthe damage was speedily
repaired. The trustees of the new edifice were Isaac
Cummins, Johnson J. Cummins, Samuel Hardin, O.
H. Cummins, and John C. Potter. In 1857 a parson-
age property was bought from W. Allen and occupied
by the ministers until 1867, when it was sold and a
new parsonage erected on land purchased from John
Green. The ministers since 1854 were as follows :

1854, J. P. Fort, E. H. Wiggins; 1855-56, E. H. Wiggins; 1857, 1. W.
Lerow, H. A. Batz, A. Craig; 185S, E. M. Griffiths, L. J. Morris;
1859, E. M. Griffiths, W. E. PoBten; 1860-61, J. W. Dailey; 1862-63,
A. H. Brown; 1864-65, C. Clark. Jr.; 1866-68, Joshua Mead: 1869,
M. F. Swain ; 1870-71, J. H. Runyon ; 1872-73, S. R. Doolitlle; 1874
-76, P. W. Day; 1877-78, G. W. Horton ; 1879-80, E. Meachem.*


This was formerly an outpost or mission connected
with the Hackettstown Church. For a few years prior
to 1824, Rev. Joseph Campbell, pastor of the Presby-
terian Church at Hackettstown, held occasional ser-
vices there and founded a Bible-class. In 1824 a stone
church was built and supplied with preaching till a
regular organization was effected by Dr. Campbell.
On Nov. 4, 1831, a committee of the Presbytery of
Newton, consisting of Revs. Joseph Campbell, Jacob
R. Castner, Jehiel Talmage, Benjamin I. Howe, Isaac
N. Candee, and Holloway W. Hunt, Jr., met in the
church, and, after a sermon by the Rev. Castner, and
the unanimous choice of the congregation, they or-
dained to the office of ruling elder Messrs. John H.
Fleming, David Freeland, and Vincent Runyon.
These constituted the Session of the new organi-
zation. Seven of the members enrolled were received
on certificate, — 6 from Hackettstown and 1 from
Morristown ; 2 were received on profession of faith.
Their names are as follows, including the ruling
elders: By certificate, John H. Fleming, David Free-
land, Vincent Runyon, Catherine Fleming, Sarah
Freeland, Catherine Runyon, and Harriet Duffbrd;
on profession of faith, Nathan Stinson, John Ma-
berry, John C. Fleming, Rhoda Stinson, Margaret
Vliet, Eleanor Coryell, Eliza Coryell, Elizabeth
Fleming, and Jane Johnson. For the space of ten
years after its organization the church was supplied
with preaching by the Presbytery,— Holloway W.
Hunt in 1831, Michael Carpenter in 1836. In the
mean time two new elders were ordained. Jan. 26,

* For valuable information obtained in connection with the Vienna
Methodist Episcopal Church we are indebted to the present pastor, Rev.
E. Meachem, and Amos Hoagland, Esq.


^■"d-gu^ ^4.

The Cummins family is one of the old stock families
of Warren County, and its representatives were identi-
fied with the settlement and pioneer history of Northern
New Jersey.

Christian Cummins, born March 16, 1716, and Catha-
rine, his wife, born April 18, 1723, emigrated from
Germany about the year 1745, and settled at Asbury,
Warren Co., N. J. The ancient dwelling which they
occupied is still standing on the old homestead at that
place. They had ten children, — viz., Catharine, born
Aug. 28, 1748, married James Haslet; Philip, born
Aug. 15, 1750, married Mary Cramer ; Christian, born
Dec. 4, 1751, married Elizabeth Williamson and Marga-
ret Whitesell ; Daniel, born June 7, 1753 ; Mary, born
Dec. 27, 1754, married John Davis; Michael, born
Aug. 7, 1756; Annie, born Sept. 27, 1757, married
Joseph Groff; Jacob, born Jan. 30, 1759; Elizabeth,
born April 11, 1760, married George Beatty ; and
John F., born Sept. 22, 1762, married Lydia Sharpe
and Mary Fisher. Of these children, Catharine and
Annie remained at Asbury, while Philip, Christian,
Elizabeth, and John settled at Vienna, Warren Co.,
where they were among the first settlers of Independ-
ence township. Vienna was for many years known
as Cumminstown, after the family. Daniel, Michael,
and Jacob Cummins located at points not definitely

Philip Cummins and his wife, Mary Cramer, had
eight children,— viz., Christian, born Jan. 2, 1774,
married Mary Smith, died Feb. 9,1865; Elizabeth, born
Feb. 28, 1776, married Michael Banghart ; Matthias,
born Feb. 8, 1777, married Hannah Hunter and Mary
Thatcher; Catharine, born June 6, 1779, married Henry
Opdyke ; John, born Aug. 21, 1782, married Sarah
Martin ; George, born Feb. 2, 1789, married Susan
Johnson, died June 17, 1863 ; Jacob, born Dec. 18, 1790,
married Maria Addis, died March 24, 1873 ; and Annie,
born Oct. 4, 1796, who married Azariah Davis. Philip


Cummins was a farmer by occupation, and resided where
Andrew J. Cummins now lives, at Vienna, a portion of
the present house having been built in 1794. He died
Sept. 27, 1828, and his wife on May 7, 1821, aged sixty-
eight years and four days. Both are interred in the
Methodist Episcopal cemetery at Vienna.

Jacob Cummins was born on the homestead at Vienna,
on the date indicated above. He married Maria Addis
on Sept. 19, 1816. She was born May 6, 1794, and is
still living at this writing (1881).

Mr. Cummins confined his life-work strictly to agri-
cultural pursuits, and, though a Democrat in politics,
neither sought nor accepted political place. He was
prominently identified with the growth and development
of Independence township throughout a long life, and
was a man of generous impulses and a prompt and liberal
contributor to the various benevolent and Christian en-
terprises of his day. He was at first a member of the
Methodist denomination, but subsequently became one
of the founders of the Christian Church at Vienna, of
which he was one of the strong pillars until his death.
He was connected with the bank at Hackettstown for
many years, filling the position of director. Ho was a
man of strict integrity, honorable and upright in his
dealings, and by a life of economy and thrift accumu-
lated a large estate, which he divided among his chil-
dren on his demise, March 24, 1873. About seventy
blood descendants of Jacob Cummins are now living,
mostly in Warren County.

The children of Jacob and Maria Cummins are Nel-
son N.,born Aug. 26, 1817, married Mary Hart, residing
in Allamuehy township; Malinda, born July 6, 1819,
wife of Robert Ayers, of Independence township ; Simon
A., born Feb. 2, 1823, married Mary Carhart, residing
at Vienna; Eleanor, born March 4, 1825, wife of Shafor
Van Horn, of Hope township ; and Andrew J., born
1829, married Elizabeth Ayers, residing at Vienna. A
daughter, Harriet, died young.

^ ^J^^eyr^^

CotJESEN H. Albertson, at present representing
the Second Assembly District of Warren County in
the State Legislature, was born in Independence town-
ship, on March 20, 1833. His great-grandfather,
Garret Albertson, was one of the first settlers in
Northern New Jersey, and his grandfather, Nicholas
Albertson, was one of the pioneer farmers of Hope
township. His father was Sampson H. Albertson, of
Independence township, and his mother Abbie S.,
daughter of Jacob Coursen. To them were born six
children: Garret, who resides in Kansas; Mary J.,
wife of Warren I. Potter, of Rochester, Mich. . Emily
F,. wife of Nathan Hoagland, of Philadelphia; Lydia
A.', deceased, former wife of Lewis Barnes, of Phila-
delphia; Coursen H. ; and Edwin F., residing at
Cairo, Mich.

Mr. Albertson passed the earlier years of his life
on his father's farm, attending the district sohool uutil
he was fifteen years of ago. Be then passed to the
academy at Hackettstown, and in 1S;')5 was graduated
with a complete academic education at the New fork
Conferenoe Seminary, fjharlotteville, N. V. After

uraduati.m he engaged in teaching schuul fur a number
of terms at Vienna, and subsequently carried on a gen
eral mercantile business at Hackettstown and Vienna.
Still later he pursued the study of law, but abandoned
thai profession wiAoul being formally admitted to

practice, though qualified for and entitled to admission.
He is now devoting his energies to general business
matters at Vienna, and is frequently employed in a fidu-
ciary capacity and in the management and settlement
of estates. Though a young man, he is a recognized
leader in his township, and actively identified with all
movements tending to develop and promote the welfare
of the community in which he dwells. He is a Dem-
ocrat in politics, and has filled all the important town-
ship offices. In the fall of 1878 he was eleoted to
the State Assembly, and re-elected in 1879 and 1880,
being the present representative of the Second Dis-
trict of Warren County, which includes the eastern,
central, and northern sections of the county. Be
has proved a faithful representative of the people.
a consistent and honorable legislator, and a popular
member of the House. He was postmaster at Vienna
under the administration of James Buchanan. In
religious matters he is a Presbyterian, and an elder
i„ the ohuroh at Danville, N. J. Be takes an active
interest in the Sal. bath-school cause, and is corre-
sponding secretary of the Warren County Sabbath-
school Association.

Mr. Albertson was married, 00 Sept. 11, 1856, to
daughter of Bon. John 1 White, of Hacketts-
town, and has seven children, rifc, Fanny. John,
Kerr, \nna. William. Milton, and Jennie.

Robert Ayees, Jr., is a grandson of Robert Ayers,
who was born in 1789, and resided at an early day in
Independence township, where he was a wealthy and
influential farmer. He also engaged in the tanning and
woolen-manufacturing business at Whitehall, in Inde-
pendence township, and operated a grist-mill at that
point. His father was Ezekiel Ayers, an early farmer
in Independence, and his grandfather, who bore the
same name (Ezekiel), was one of the first settlers at
Backettstown, and operated one of the first mills at
that point. Robert Ayers died March 13, 1804, aged
seventy-five years, four months, and five days, and his
wife, Catharine Oliver, on Dec. 16, 1847, aged fifty-seven
years, six months, and six days.

The children of Robert Ayers were Ezekiel, Daniel
S., Robert, Archibald, James, and Catharine, who mar-
ried John Trimmer, and resided near Hackettstown.
Daniel S. Ayers, father of the subject of this sketch,
was born on Feb. 6, 1812, and married, on Jan. 21, 1836,
Pernina, daughter of John Vliet. She was born Jan.
28, 1814, and died May 12, 1873. Mr. Ayers pursued
the occupation of a farmer for many years in Indepen-
dence township, where he was a leading and influential
citizen. He now resides at Rockaway, N. J. His
children have been John V., born Dec. 14, 1836, residing
in Illinois ; Elizabeth V., born March 12, 1838, wife of
Henry Aten, of Hope township; Robert Ayers, Jr.,
born Feb. 13, 1840; Catharine E., born Feb. 13, 1842, wife
of Samuel E. Stevens, of Hackettstown; Lucy A., born
June 1, 1843, wife of Isaac L. Howell, of Hope town-
ship ; Daniel S., born June 7, 1845, a practicing physi-
cian at Rockaway, N. J.; Pernina, born March 23,
1847, wife of William A. Harris, of Vienna; Charity
A., oorn May 17, 1840, married Austin C. Wintcrmuto,
died March 12, 1872; Anna M., born May 9, 1851, died
Aug. 16, 1851; William E., born Sept. 23, 1852, died
Jan. 22, 1862; Austin S., born April 2, 1854, died Oct.
27, 1873 ; and Katurah, born Aug. 18, 1855, died August
26th of same year.

Robert Ayers, Jr., was born at Petersburg!], Inde-
pendence township, on the date indicated above. He
passed his earlier years on the paternal farm, attending
the district school of his locality. On April 29, 1863,

he was married to Mary R., daughter of James M.
Hance, of Vienna, and the year following located on a
farm at Petersburgh, where he remained two years. In
1866 he purchased his father's farm, and occupied that
one year, selling it in 1867 to John N. Linaberry and
Charles Parks. In the spring of tliat year ho removed
to Vienna, purchased the lot which he occupies at present,
and erected his store-house and outbuildings. The fol-
lowing spring he embarked in the general mercantile
business at that point, where he has since remained in
active and successful trade, with the exception of two
years during which he rented his store to George Roc,
of Hackettstown. Ho built his residence adjoining the
store in 1871.

Mr. Ayers represents that class of young men who
instead of seeking the undeveloped regions of tlie far
West in quest of fortune, or locating in the already over-
crowded cities and villages of the East, remained in his
native township and devoted his energies to the securing
of a place for himself among its leading citizens, and tt>
the development and improvement of home enterprises.
He is now the leading merchant of the township, having
a well-stocked store and a good trade, and enjoying the
respect and esteem of many friends, and the reputation
of an honorable and upright man. He is identified with
all movements of a progressive and elevating character,
and a prompt contributor to the various benevolent en-
terprises of the day. He is also interested in the agri-
cultural prosperity of the township, owning two fine
farms, the " Little farm" of one hundred acres, which he
purchased in 1877, and the " Robert Martin farm," which
he bought in 1878, and which contains sixty-six acres.

In political affairs Mr. Ayers has always been a con-
sistent and active Democrat. He served' on the town
committee during the period of the late war, and was in
active sympathy with the Union cause. He was free-
holder of the township from 1875 to 1878, and in the
latter year was elected collector, a position of which he
is the incumbent at the present writing. In 1880 he
was chosen a director of the Hackettstown Fire Insur-
ance Company. He has one child, Miss Carrie E.
Ayers, a pupil at the Newark Methodist Episcopal
Conference Seminary, Hackettstown.



1833, the death of Vincent Runyon made a vacancy
in the Session, and Robert Shafer was chosen to sup-
ply the place. In the course of a year Mr. Bhafer
left the neighborhood, and on July 11, 1886, Andrew
Ketcbam was chosen and ordained to the eldership.
In 1S41 the Rev. Joseph Worrell was installed

pastor of the Danville Church, giving pari of bis ii

to the Tranquillity Mission field, in Sussex County.
This position he continued to fill until the fall of
L844, when his relations with this charge were dis-
solved. The church numbered at this time 58 mem-
bers, an increase of 86 in thirteen years. For the
bui months following Eev. Worrell's retirement Rev.
James B. Eyndshaw supplied the pulpit. Theft
next pastor was Rev. Charles .Milne, who commenced
his labors in 1846. The Rev. Alexander McCandless
tvae installed pastor in L848. Ee died at Danville,
Dec. 9, 1849, aged fifty-two year-. The congregation :

called the Rev. Ephraim Si ton, Sept. 18, 1851.

At this time the membership of the chnreh had been

reduced to 83. Mr. Sine. lit. iii was pastor for nearly

sixteen years, or until the 24th of April, L867. During
the latter part of his labors the church grew rapidly,
the membership increasing from 88 to 124. In 1868

the congregation re hied the church to its present

condition, — one of the mosl beautiful and comfort-
able in the Presbytery. On the 13th of October, 1867,
the Rev. Alpheus II. Holloway was installed pastor.
Al the beginning of his term the fine parsonage ad-
joining the church was purchased. The elder- at this
time were J. II. Fleming, Andrew Eetcham, John K.
Teel, Daniel Leigh, and David Fleming. Mr. Hollo-
way'.- pastorate terminated April 16, 1873. The pres-
enl pastor, Rev. J. P. Clark, was installed on the 18th
daj of November, 1878.

The church now owns valuable property, is tree
ir lebt, and ha- a membership of about 100.

The present members of the Session are David
Fleming, Daniel Leigh, C. II. Albertson, and George


This church was first organized at Caddington, now
called Petersburg, at the house of Matthias Cum-
mins, by Elder J. V. Morris, April I I, 1889. At this
meeting the following was adopted and recorded:

" 1st. That we covenant and agree to watch oTerench other In Ioto, and

... [iiinii ii,.- law ..r eiin-i. 2d. Thai the Lord J< nu la tl ilj head of

i ihuroh.and all that obej blm are oui brethren, ad. Thai wea -

knowledge tl a 'Chrl rlptnral na , and

the Old and New Teeta nt« aa • •■" only rnleol Wth and prai lice, Uh.

That I" r..iuiii,u' the Si rlptnrefl we :v< - and accord t"

.,u othera the right ol private jndgmenl 5th. Thai tbie church ahall be

urcli atCaddlngl

i. Onmmlna, ChrUtlan C. Duntaman, Margaret Shampanore,

Ouinmlua, Uarlah Cnnunlna, Uei ) Shampanore, and alarj

About 1889 the church at Caddington was built,

I occupied till the summer of 1858. During this

period the church had Flourished i<> such an
that a more commodious house of worship was
necessary, also o more i entral location desirable, and
for these reasons the new chnreh Was erected at

Vienna. The building was formally dedicated in the

-niniiier of ls.'s. This i- a nice frame -trnctnre,

standing on the main street, about the centre of the
village. The old house <d' worship -till stand- at
Caddington. and i- sometimes used as such, but has
been converted into the school-house for that district.
Elder Morris, under whose care the church was organ-
ized, reniai 1 iii charge until 1848, when he was suc-
ceeded by the Rev. Nicholas Summerbell for one
year. In 1844, Rev. Job J. Harvey entered upon his
labors for the chnreh, and was succeeded by the
Rev. William Bradley. From 1845 to 1856, Revs.
William l>. Potts, W. Lane, and John S. Maxwell.
In 1856, Rev. E. M. Jackson was in-tailed pastor for
on,- year, and was succeeded by Rev. John Hunter,
who retained his position for three years. It was
during bis pastorate that the present church at Vienna
was built. Mr. Hunter was succeeded by !
Low.r; he, in 1862, by Rev. Henry Black, who
remained two years; in 1864, Lev. ( '. A. II, el

Rev. McGlouflin; 1878, Rev. Tenney; L876, Lev.
( bidlev. The present pastor, Rev. William D. Lane,
entered upon his duties May 12, 1868.


There are three cemeteries in Independence, be-
longing to the three different churches there located.
The one belonging to the Methodist Episcopal Church
dates back to about 1810. The Presbyterian Church
at Danville, and the Christian Chnreh at Vienna, pur-
chased burying-grounds, which were laid out as such

at the time they acquired their property. As previ-
ously stated, there was an old graveyard in a held near
Vienna, which has long been obliterated.

Many of the residents of the township belong to
the Hackettstow n Churches, consequently when they
and their friends have deceased, they have been buried


This township being almost entirely an agricultu-
ral district, agriculture is, of course, its principal in-

dti-try. C. M. Titus owns a tannery, which wa-

erected in 1848. It is -till in operation, being run
most of the year round. .1. B. Martin also operates
a small tannery on the road to Vienna. There are

two grist-mills, run by water-power. One is owned
by the William Ilea estate, and located near Ilack-
ettstOWU, at what is called White Hall. It was built

about 1820, and was first used as a woolen- and carding-
inill. The other grist-mill i- owned bj Charles Bar-
ker.aml i- situated in the southwest part of the town-
ship, near the Mansfield line. It was built, a- near a-
can be learned, about the \, ar 1815 j it ha- two run of
-t,,n, -, and i- in good repair.

Near lb,- Barker mill i- an ,d,l lied- and plaster-
mill, built in about 1820 by William W. Wilson, and
a -hort distance below the mill i- an old saw-mill, on
the same Btream, built a -hurt time after, al-,, by Mr.



This township, situated in the southeast corner of
Warren County, is bounded on the north and east by
Sussex and Morris Counties in the order named, on
the west by Frelinghuysen township, and on the
south by Independence. It has a farming area of
about 9500 acres. Total number of acres 13,260, of
which 2495 belong to the Great Meadows. The
greater part of this swamp land is untillable, though
some portions have been reclaimed by drainage.

The taxable property in 1880, as shown by the as-
sessors' duplicate, was $166,000, and the rate of tax-
ation for all purposes was $8 per $1000. This evi-
dences a very healthy condition of affairs. There are
170 voters in the township. Allamuchy was taken
bodily from the township of Independence, and its
lines are best described by its act of incorporation,
passed in 1873, and given elsewhere.


The surface of the township is quite rough and
broken by a high range of hills, at the base of which
lies a large body of water, well known as the Alla-
muchy Pond, the outlet of which runs two grist-mills.

The township is plentifully supjilied with water
from the. small streams which flow down from the
hills. The principal water-course is the Pequest
River, which enters the township about 100 rods be-
low the township line of Frelinghuysen, on the north,
and runs through the entire township in a southwest-
erly direction. There is a small stream that flows
from the pond above mentioned, which, owing to its
rapid current, has power enough to keep two mills
running most of the year. The farming land is prin-
cipally rolling, although some is quite level, and it is
as well adapted to the uses of agriculture as any in the
county. The soil is chiefly limestone, though along
the valleys it is a dark rich loam. The farms are con-
sidered very valuable, are held at a high figure, and
are in a good state of cultivation.


This is a tract of marsh or bog land lying along the
Pequest Eiver, extending through Hope, Independ-
ence, and Allamuchy townships, in this county, and
Green township, in Sussex County. It comprises about
6000 acres. There being no outlet sufficiently low to
carry off the spring freshets, the whole territory em-
braced in the meadows remained thoroughly perme-


' liyS. U. Etadley.

ated with the water thrown over it from the Pequest
Eiver, and its larger tributaries, — viz., the Johnsons-
burg mill-stream, the Bear Creek, the Allamuchy
mill-stream, known as Trout Brook, the Schmuck,
the Stinson, and the Hoagland mill-brooks. These
tributaries, being all mountain streams in their
sources, rapidly threw upon the meadows after every
rain-fall a large quantity of water to remain or over-
flow summer and winter, producing most injurious

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 188 of 190)