James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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Green, came into this section as early as 1730. The
first named located near the present Oxford Iron-
Works, Green settled near the beautiful little lakelet
bearing his name, and some of their descendants are
still living in the same localities.

A few years later iron ore was discovered near the
present workings of the Oxford Iron Company, and
Jonathan Robeson, of Philadelphia, commenced the
erection of a small blast-furnace in 1741, and by
March 9, 1743, made the first pig iron therefrom.
The weekly product, tradition says, was from thirteen
to fifteen tons, some of which was cast into cannon-
halls, some into ships' ballast, some converted into bar
iron at the neighboring forges on the Musconetcong
River, and some cast into chimney-backs, many of
which are yet to be seen in the old houses, having the
lion and the unicorn with either the motto, "Honi
Soit qui Mai y pense," or " Dieu mon Droit," with

' Funiitjliuil chiefly by Col. Charles Scrantun.

the words " Oxford Furnace, 1758," or such other
year as the casting may have been made in. The
earliest date the writer has ever seen was 1747, and
the oldest pig of iron now known is of 1755.

The balance of the pig iron annually produced was
"Carted to Foul Rift, on the Delaware River, south of
Belvidere, and from there shipped in lots of from ten
to fourteen tons to Philadelphia, and thence for a
market, it is said, to England. The boats carrying
this iron were, and still are, known as " Durham
boats," taking their name from the Durham Furnace,
nine miles below Easton, Pa., where they were used
at an earlier period for the same purpose, that furnace
having been put in operation probably a few years
earlier than Oxford (I venture to digress from the
special object had in view at the commencement to
say that Messrs. Cooper & Hewitt are now making pig
iron on the old site, at Durham, from one stack, at
the rate of five hundred tons a week, where one stack
one hundred and forty years ago made not over sixteen
tons per week). The original stack is still standing
at Oxford, and in use and modernized, somewhat
larger interior, and, with the aid of steam, hot blast,
and anthracite fuel, frequently produces more iron in
a single day than was at that early period produced
in a week.

This period preceding the Revolutionary war, from
1743 to 1775, when the colonies had only from one
million and a half of population in 1743 to about
three millions in 1775, with small villages and families
very far apart, seemed to require very little iron ; its
real and true value was comparatively unknown, and
yet it was, as it ever has been, an indispensable metal.
At the first period named, 1743, there was no village
in New Jersey containing five hundred population.
The roads being generally new and rough, with a
scarcity of money either in specie or in currency,
very little progress was made in developing the min-
eral wealth of the country. Very much of the theu
small trade had to be carried on by barter, and it was
no uncommon occurrence for pig iron to be sold for
bar iron, and bar iron for beef and grain to supply
the workmen at the furnaces of the early period.
Under these difficulties, iron-works in this country
increased very slowly, and many that did start were
obliged to succumb to the inevitable.

One of the early mines opened was that at Andover,
now in Sussex County. In 1714 a large tract of land,
including the mine, was located by William and John
Penn ; subsequently it passed into the hands of an
English company from Sussex, in England. The
rich ore from the mine at an early day was taken
to old Andover (now Waterloo), and there manufac-
tured into bar iron. From thence it was taken down
the valley of the Musconetcong to Durham, and thence
shipped in flat-boats dow» the Delaware to Philadel-


The development of this mine primarily led to
measures for the investigation of 1 1 1 « - mineral resources
,,i Sussex County, and resulted in the greal variej)
of minerals now mined in different sections within
Ms boundaries.

The English company erected a furnace and forge,
— the former iit Andover, and the latter al Waterloo,

and in these was worked the ore of the Ko-eville as
well as of the Andover mine. A correspondent of
the Newton Herald and Democrat writes in August,
1871: "We were shown by the Hon. William M.

I lilt" a pig uf iron from the old Andover fnrnaee. It
is gaid In he about one hundred anil fifty year- old, is

six feet in length, six Inches broad by four inches
thick, and weighs ubout three hundred pounds."

This mine remained in the hands uf the English
Company till 177*, when it passed into the possesion

of the colonies, and its iron was converted into cannon-
balls and steel for the artillery of the American army.
In iln- early pari of the present eentnry John Ruther-
ford, i large real estate operator, owned the mine; he
disposed of it about L840 to Andrew Slockbower, who,
in turn, sold it to the Trenton Iron Company. They
sold it, several years ago, to the Andover Iron Com-
pany, in whose possession it still remains. In the

early pari of 1871, Messrs. Eagle & Schulta leased it

of the i ipany for a term of two years, with the

privilege of ten.

The presenl base of operations is about one mile
northeast of Andover, in an opening made a number

Of years sinee a short distance from the old mine. A
new shaft has heen sunk from the opening on the hill,

and a tunnel excavated in the side of the hill below

to connect with it. The or ■ is magnetic and very
rieh. At the places where it is taken it is mixed with
'' lean" ore from other mines, and produces an excel-
lent quality of iron. Specimens of lead anil silver

ore are found in this mine, but not in sufficient quan-
tities to render working proliiahle.


After having heen started by its founder, this fnr-
naee was carried on in turn by Messrs. K iberddU,

Showers & Campbell for a number of years, and then
by Conrad Davis, Esq., of this county, for three years,

from 1806 to 1809. From this period. 1809, to 1881

it was idle, its ownership having in the n time

passed to Morris R tbeson, Esq., bod of the founder,

who only carried mi the business with the mills, -tore,
and farm- connected therewith. After hi- death his

wiilou, Mrs. Tacy Robeson, leased the furnace and

mine- lor a term of lea years, from L831 to 1842, I I

Messrs. William Henry, John Jordan, Jr., and John
F. Walle (Henry, Jordan & Co.), who at once began

to reopen the mines and gel ready for the manufac-
ture Of StOVeS, which hilsincss they carried on until

1889, thoy then selling out their unexpired lease, _■ I-

♦ Bea blatorj "i the BeroluUun in tli(« work.

will, and fixtures to M — i -. George W. and 8. T.
Scranton, who confined the work to the make of pig
iron used almost exclusively for ear- wheels, Mr. Henry
withdrawing in order that he might give his time and

mind to starting a new furnac ■ at what is now known
as Scranton, with anthracite coal as fuel. .V few
months after this change Mr. Henry's partner died.

and it resulted in i i ge W. aid Sclden T. Scranton,

with Philip II. Mather, Esq., of Easton, Pa., and
San ford Grant, Esq.jOf Belvidere, visiting tin- pi
site of the city of Scranton with Mr. Henry, and there
forming the nucleus of an establishment, taking into
con-id. ration all of it- ramifications, second to none
in the world.

The firm of George W. .x S. T. Scranton continued
until 1844, when the writer of thi- became a partner.
Meanwhile, the liiisin.-s grew at Scranton. both
I reorge W. and S. T. Scranton moving to that place.
The writer ill is 17 1. ought their entire interest at Ox-
ford, and in L849 purchased of the late Hon. William

p. Robeson hi- entire estate ah mt Oxford, and, taking

into partnership again his two brothers and lion.
William E. Dodge, tin- new firm of Charles Scranton
,\ i lo. erected, in addition to their other work, a ear-

h ! eel foundry, which they carried on until L858,when

both the writer of this and William Hodge sold their
entire interest to George W. and S. T. Scranton. It
should he stated right here that the lir-t ear-wheel-
made, in 1850, were carted from Oxford to Scranton

over the In h-woinls route, sixty-eight mile-, in order

to give the Lackawanna and Western Railroad Com-
pany cars to commence running coal-trains to Ithaca
for the opening of its business, and for the equivalent of
threi cents per pound, delivered (the writer ha- a vivid

recollection of teaming ill those days). In 1858, Col.
George W. Scranton was elected to Congress, and S.

T. Scranton resigned as president of the Lackawanna
Iron and Coal Company. and removed to Oxford to

tike charge of the new purchases.

In 1863 the Oxford lr >u I lompauy was incorporated.
since which time the i ipany has erected an addi-
tional blast-furnace, having a capacity to produce

twelve thousand tons of pig iron yearly, a rolling-
mill, machine-shop, foundries, nail-factory, etc, with

a capacity to pro lu-v from ore- smelted here two hun-
dred and forty thousand kega of nails per annum, and

giving employment to about seven hundred and tiftv

men and hoys, who, with the families of the former,
make up a population of ahout three thousand soul-.

lie- , ipany Use in this manufacture ahout sixty

thousand tons of anthracite coal per annum, ahout
thirty thousand tons of iron ore which is mined here ,
and ten thousand tons of limestone, or much more of
each mineral than was used in all New Jersey whon

the writer commenced work here, in i-

The franklin Iron-Works arc of a later origin.
The original company, known as the Boston f rank-
linite Company. Iiuilt a small charcoal furnace, which

they operated, not very successfully, till 1867. In that



year the property was purchased by William E.
Dodge, Moses Taylor, John I. Blair, Joseph H.
Seranton, and others who were stockholders of the
Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company of Seranton,
Pa. In 1872 the company was reorganized under a
new charter, and is known as the Franklin Iron
Company. In January, 1874, this company put their
present furnace in blast.

- Oxford was the only blast-furnace in Warren County
up to 1846, Messrs. Cooper & Hewitt erecting two at
Phillipsburg in 1847, and later erected a third furnace,
now owned by the Andover Iron Company. In 1873
the Pequest Company erected a furnace in Oxford
township, now owned by Messrs. Cooper c% Hewitt ;
and in 1874 another was erected, at Hackettstown,
now owned by Joseph Wharton, Esq., of Philadel-
phia ; so that there are in Warren County, at this
time, seven blast-furnaces, having an annual capacity
to produce as follows :

Furnaces. Tone.

Tlie Andover Iron Company 3 50,000

The Oxford Iron Company 2 16,000

Tlie Pequest Iron Company 1 10,000

The Warren Furnace Company 1 11,000

Total 87,000

And in Sussex County :

Tlie Franklin Iron Company 1 21,000

The Musconetcong Iron Company in Stanhope 2 35,000

Total 10 143,000

This in a territory embracing about seven hundred,
and fifty square miles, in what was a part of Morris
County up to 1753. Nearly as much pig iron is now
made yearly as was made in the whole Union in 1835,
and at least twenty times as much as was made in the
shape of pig iron by all the colonies in 1743, the period
first alluded to.

There were several charcoal blast-furnaces erected
in Sussex County between 1760 and 1844, — viz., the
Andover, 1760; the Franklin, 1772; the Hamburg,
1834; the Wawayanda, 1836, — all of which have
passed away, and forges at Squire's Point, Change-
water, Imlaydale, Hughesville, and Greenwich, in
Warren County, and at Andover, Stanhope, Water-
loo, Sparta, and numerous other points in Sussex
County, none of which are now operative. These in
the early periods used pig iron, and later iron ore,
making bars direct from the ores.

I should perhaps remark right here that a very
large amount of iron ore (probably over fifty thousand
tons yearly) is mined in Sussex and Warren Counties
and shipped to Pennsylvania for smelting, besides a
large amount of zinc ores, and at this time there is
used by the Warren Foundry and other foundries and
rolling-mills in the two counties over forty thousand
tons of pig iron yearly.

In conclusion, the writer of this will state that in
his short life he is witness to the fact that, with the

improved machinery brought into use in agriculture,
on a farm of say two hundred acres the weight of
iron and steel in use in 1838 was about ten to twelve
hundred pounds, compared with about one and three-
quarter tons at present, and from a consumption per
capita per annum, in 1838, of about thirty-five pounds,
it will reach, in the years 1880 and 1881, fully two
hundred and twenty pounds, or an aggregate of five
million five hundred thousand net tons ! so that, what-
ever modus operandi, sort of locomotion or transporta-
tion or style or composition of architecture on sea or
land we have had in the past, or may have in the
future, we most certainly are now living in the iron
and steel age.




Were it possible to recall the events of 1861 with
the same vividness and reality with which they then
struck the public mind, the present generation might
form some conception of the stirring scenes enacted
a-t the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion, — scenes
which only those who participated in them can fully
appreciate. Unhappily for the distinctness of the
impression, the vision has measurably faded away in
the lapse of twenty years ; so that our young people
of to-day know these events only by tradition or by
the dim light shed upon them in history. The out-
burst of patriotism known as the "great uprising"
which followed the attack on Fort Sumter, in April,
1861, flowed like a mighty inundation into every
State, county, village, and hamlet, and into all the
avenues of business, trade, commerce, and social life.
The country had been waiting in solemn and anxious
pause for the results of secession in South Carolina,
and to see what the seceded State would do with the
little garrison in her harbor and with the flag of the
Union which floated above its ramparts. The mo-
ment that flag was struck and that fort fired upon the
shock of impending war thrilled the whole country.
The pause was at an end : action was now needed ;
nor were the people long in deciding what to do.
Troops were called for by the President of the United
States, and forthwith flags were, hoisted and recruiting-
stations opened in every town, hamlet, and school-
district; business marched to the sound of the fife
and drum, and the air was filled with strains of mar-
tial music. The whole North awoke to meet the call
of the government in enlisting, equipping, and send-
ing forward troops to decide the momentous question
of union or secession by the arbitrament of arms.

New Jersey was not behind the other States of the
North in responding to the call. Governor Olden,
her executive, was patriotic and energetic. He was


greatly assisted in the selection of officers by a board
of examiners com i ii isccl df Adjt.-( ri-ii. Stockton, I.b-ut.
A. T. A. Torbert, and Gen. William Cook. Lieut.
Torbcrt, who was at an early day assigned for duty

at Trenton, rendered from the start most important
service in organizing the fire) New Jersey regiments
for the field. Governor Olden was also greatly as-
sisted in the labors of bis office by Capt. Charles P.
Smith, James T. Sherman, formerly editor of the
Stale Gazette, Barker Gummere, clerk in chancery,
Col. Charles Scranton, Gen. N. N. Balsted, Hon.
Joseph W. Allen, and others, all of whom labored
untiringly and without compensation in behalf of the


The counties of Sussex and Warren, moved by the
same patriotic impulse, began in season to co-operate
with the other counties of the State in raising and
sending forward their quotas of troops. When, in
preparation for raising the first four regiments called
for, twenty-four of the principal banks of the State
pledged (iovernor Olden four hundred and fifty-One
thousand dollars, Sussex Bank, at Newton, came for-
ward with twenty thousand dollars and Fanners'

Hank of Wantage with ten thousand dollars. Six
(lavs alter President Lincoln's call for the first troops
had been issued, Judson Ivil pal rick, of Sussex, — a
name now known to fame, but then a cadet lieuten-
ant in the United Slates Military Academy at West
Point, — address;. (I an Urgent appeal to the ( Iovernor to

be permitted to share with the troops of his State the

dangers and honors of the field. From the beginning
to the close of the war these counties bore a most hon-
orable ami patriotic part in the "/real service and sac-
rifice demanded of the American people to sustain
the Union. The name- of their soldier- are to be
found on the rolls of a large number of regiments of
this and other States. Such of those regiments as
were most noticeable for the number of Sussex and
Warren County men serving in their ranks will be
here specially mentioned. It may be proper to re-
mark thai recruiting began in Newton and Belvidere
Immediately upon the issuing of the first call by the

President for three months' nun. on April 15, 1SG1.
On the 18th, — Only three days after the call, — Capt.

Edward L. Campbell had raised a C pany in I'.clw-

dere, consisting of seven officers and fifty private-.

On the 19th the company was raised to ii- full com-
plement, and was taken by Capt. Campbell to Tren-
ton, but the State authorities wen- not ready to mus-
ter them into the service. < In the IStli of May. ( 'apt.
bell, with a portion of these men and other

recruits, went into the Third Begiment, then organ-
wed and mustered into the United States aervice for
three years.* In like manner, Capt. James

• Capt De Witt Clinton ni.ilr, ,,r Belvidere, m of u id John I.

Blair, ml I u full c puny Imi Ilatolj after the news ni n

Irlngon Sumtor, In Warren C ity,and presented them, will

»t iholr hoad, al Tronton; but no farther domnnd being made for more
troops, himself nud command, after staying n few days, returned home.

raised a company in Newton, which were not mus-
tered, but, with their leader, became Company I' of
the Third Regiment. These were the earliest compa-
nies raised in Sussex and Warren Counties, and the
earliest in the State raised expressly tor the emer-
gency, although there were some militia organizations,
already existing, which were a little in advance of
them in tendering their services.

The following extract from the historical address of
I 'ol. Charles Scranton. delivered at Belvidere, July 4,
1 S7i;. on the oe.a-ioii of the centennial celebration, is
pertinent in this connection :

"In 1861, when the plol of treason ami laid which threatened the

lit.- ..f ..hi- belored onnntry, and the aaat of gnvernment itself leei 1

in danger, ,i yonng man whom many of you know, tlio prit
rotary of my docossed brother, waa In Washington City, where he
volunteered as a private In Ool. Lane's pompany, and served until
troops arrived fn.m afaaaacliHSetts, Pennsylvania, una Mew Jeraay. when
bo was honorably tllnchnrued, receiving the thank! of the President and

i ] Henry whs tbo first volnn-l

leer from Oxford, Warren Co., "f this state, in tbo great civil war, as
John Hi Murray and Thomas Wlilto were in the Revolutionary war,
and, although na.Twnr.la entering the Ninth New Jenny Volunteer", bo
Ural officer from New Jersey t.. fall in battle. The lute war is
so fresh in yniir memories that I shall only briefly refer to it Bumler
was fired on; lis garrison taken prisoners. Tho call for men to arms
was made b] President Lincoln. Jon nil know what the resnonso was.
M<^t of yon rememher the ftral meeting In yonder conrt-hooae, whei i I
had the honor to preside; how Campbell, Kennedy, and others rallied
i ! the old iinL' and qnlckly formed a company and moved for Tren-
ton. Of the meeting at Phllllpsburg, and how Mutchler, 8ltgreavee,
Schoonover, and othen Hocked t" the standard; and again at Oxford,
how the gnllanl McAllister, Henry, Warner, Brewater, and oth<
men ami true, Joined the phalanx; and again al Clinton, under the
brave and gallant Taylor. As aide to the lato lamented good G
Cliarles S. Obion I attended four meeting! In as manj days, and wo had
..it r quota more than full before we had a i»laco fur the men to quarter.
We were without uniforms, anna, '"' ' inlpments. What memories clus-
ter aron ml those day* of April and May, 1861, and all through the t.>rrl-
l.le wnr! And later, as further oalla fur tr-H.ps cam©, liow nobly did "tir
oonnty of Warren respond : Ton knew these noble, brave young man.
I knew them by the thonmnd In the state. I loved them and

i and thousands fell with tb.-ir fa.ee to the
f-T ! Henry. Brewster, tAwrenoe, Hilton, Hlekt, Armstrong, u
of other noble heroes from oM Warren fell. I shrink from calling tho
r- >1 1 of tboso honored dead, our oonnty fun and f"ur

hundred anil thirty-seven tin-ii, Is-siiles these from her tu i.tln

of whom ono hitiiilrod and seventy-slx fall in hattli
of disease oontraotod in tho army, or from Inhuman Iroatmenl In prisons.
Of these bravo men who thus .li.-i soma Us in onrown cametei I
on the field where thoy fell. In graves unknown, and thougl
urn or animated on isil or granite pile marks their last

resting-place boro on earth, ot their mamorleawlll livo in story and
hIstory,and annoallyaa their lovadonas gather flowers tostrewon their
tomtis, or bedew them with their t. Mm. will then grow an increasing
lovefbrthett memories. Vnllow-elti irvivors of the war

for tl.e Dnkra, v.. iv many of whom it u»-ninomy duty t-» give an outfit
(br tie- war, as I -e.- you bal ire in- my heart warms in admli
your gallantly, of youf hon ' white JOO Wars

in New Jersey camps. Befc ; tttiat.iu

nil the wurtc performed by me in feeding, clothing, and paying '

sey i win. enlisted f-r the war. no one, so far us I can reo.ii-

guvo mo ono stnglo cause for reproof. I piles this alio on ti*"nl as a
rolonteai (save one crasy man) ovor deserted the aunps whore
four sabordinatlon ami gallantry, with the thousands from
olhsr oonntlos and guJdanos of a wis* pron>:

reeling the grsal mind of the Lnunortal Unooln and bis coadjutors, has
made this nation in truth free."

Nearly er.-iy man, hOWOW, enlist. -I silt— .iimntly, when calls were
want "ut In the Twenty-eecoud New York
Infantry as a private aud served the time of his command. ,



A call was made on the ladies of New Jersey to
raise ten thousand dollars to purchase ten thousand
rubber blankets for the soldiers. The ladies of War-
ren did at least one-tenth of this patriotic work.


Company D of the First New Jersey Infantry was
raised in Phillipsburg, Warren Co., and vicinity. The
regiment of which it was a part was fully organized,
equipped, and officered by May 18, 1861, and on the
21st was duly mustered into the United States service
at Trenton for three years. It left for the seat of
war, June 28, 1861, with a full complement of men,
numbering, including officers and privates, ten hun-
dred and thirty-four. By the latter part of 1863,
Company D had become so thinned as not to be able
to muster its requisite number of men, and its place
was supplied, Jan. 30, 1864, by a full new company
sent on from Trenton. Others, when their time ex-
pired, re-enlisted in the field, and those who did not
and whose time had expired were mustered out of
the service. Some of the men whose term of service
did not expire with that of the regiment were as-
signed temporarily to duty with the Fourth and Fif-
teenth Regiments, but were subsequently consolidated
as Companies A, B, and C of the First Battalion, and
were mustered out with that organization at Hall's
Hill, Va., June 29, 1865.

The regiment was commanded successively by Col.
William R. Montgomery, promoted to brigadier-gen-
eral May 17, 1861 ; Col. Alfred T. A. Torbert, pro-
moted to brigadier-general of United States volun-
teers Nov. 29, 1862, to brevet major-general Sept. 9,
1864; and by Col. Mark W. Collett, transferred from

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 19 of 190)