James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 42 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 42 of 190)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


William, Lafayette; Huff, Joel W., Middleville, Huff, Martin, Flat-
brookvillo; King, A. G., Stanhope; Marthis, Theodore, Coleville;
McCarthy, D., Franklin Furnace; Nearpass, S., Montague; Pettit,
S. J., Papakating; Pattison, William M., Lafayette; Roe, D. C,
Hunt's Mills; Sandford, Collin, Sparta; Scott, C. K., Hamburgh;
Shaw, Albert P., Vernon; Smith, R. T., Andover; Smith, James,
Newton ; Skinner, Andrew, Newton ; Simpson, W., McAfee Valley ;
Stewart, John T., Newton ; Stoddard, S. M., Deckertown; Terhune,
J. A., Newton; Warner, M. V., Layton.



CHAPTER V.

PROGHESS-rPTTEIUSrAIj IMPROVEMENTS.

I.— INCREASE OF POPULATION— HEALTIIFULNESS—
LONGEVITY.

When her agricultural resources first became
known, Sussex County attracted an immediate influx
of population. In 1753 she had less inhabitants than

f Appointed by the Governor to fill a vacancy caused by the death of
Grant Fitch.
X Present surrogate.

JJ Compiled from the official records of the board of freeholders.
II Died in office in the summer of 1759.



I'liOCI'.KSS -TNTKHNAL LMl'ltOVEM KXTs



163



|ny of her sister counties ; in 1790 she had outstripped

thnii all except Hunterdon. The census by nties

for that year was as follows: Hunterdon, 20,153;
JJussex, 19,500; Burlington, 18,095; Essex, 17,785;
Monmouth, 16,918; Morris, 16,216; Middlesex, 15,956;
61 ister, 13,363; Bergen, 12,601 ; Somerset, 12,296;

10,437 ; Cumberland, 8248 : Cape May, 2571 ;
total, 184,139.
()nr cause of the rapid increase of population in

Sussex was her L r 1 reputation as to healthfulnes9

of climate, a reputation which she -till sustains.
V po iii hi di' V w ,lrr«: \ isso highly favored in thic

■ i so free from miasmatic and malarial influ-
ences. II-:' air of the mountains la peculiirl; favor-
able i ) health and longevity. Here may be seen in
;ur. direction fine speiirr.ens ol phvs;; il vipr ta all
their gradations, from chubby infancy to robusl "til
iijrc. The average of human life in this county greatly
exceeds thai attained in citie . from the fad thai deaths
in infant y and childhood arc f :r less frequent here
1 1 1 : i ii there. The proportion of old men to the whole
population is also very considerable ; seventy, eighty,
and ninety years are nol un tommnn ages among the
citizens of this county. At any period during its his-
tory a surprisingly long lisl of aged persons, both
male and female, might have been made out, showing
that the people in this healthy section live to more than
an average age. One hundred years and over have
s itimes, 1 1 gh rarely, been reached. The greatest

i attained here was by Matthew Williams, who
lie>l in the township of Frankford, on the 3d of Janu-
ary, 1814, in his one hundred and twenty-fourth year.
Mr. Williams was a native of Wales, horn in 1690; be
Berved in the British army and navy tor thirty years,
and was in numerous battles; he was with Wolfe at
the taking of Quebec, and alter that event retired

service and took up his residei in Sussex.

Here he married when a little over seventy years of

i lost his wife after she had borne him two

I pon the breaking ou! of the Revolution be
enlisted in the i loiitincrital arm) . although eighty-six
year- of age, and fought through the whole war with

tin i • of a man of forty. He survived the peace

Of 17s" more than thirty years, and died a pensi r

■ the United state-.

It may nol be mil of place t" mention in this con-
nection that Sussex County is the birthplace of the fat-
test person ever known. Mrs. Catharine Schooley, who
twenty-five years ago was on exhibition in the prin-
cipal cities of the United States, was born in Grcen-
h township, Sussex <'"., in the year 1816. she
weighed seven hundred and sixty-four pounds, —
one hundred more than the far-famed Daniel

rt, nl England. Her arm was three feel two
inches iii circumference, and her waisl measured nine

(bet six inches. Her parents, Antl y and Catharine

Lea re h, were Germans. Her mother died when she

Was but a lew daj s old, and her father saj - be

lur mil d \< the i of nineteen -lie mar-



ried William Sell.,., ley. also of Greenwich, and Boon
alter removed to Ohio.

The general healthfulness of Sussex County made
it almost a fruitless field for physicians at an early

day. and hence lew of them -cttled in the county

prior to the Revolution. The number has never been
great compared with some other sections of the coun-
try, and those in practice have had. for the most part.
a wide and generally healthy section to ride over.

During the decade following the organization of
the eonnty the increase of population was rapid, -so
much so, indeed, as to exhaust for a period the means
of suh-isteuee. Tn 17o'"> it was represented to the

l'r'MIKlil I.e.i : latur: 1* the hoard of JUSti: s iml

freeholders, that "the inhabitants of the eonnty of
Susses wen- reduced to great distress for the want of
bread-corn, and that the hoard were incapable of ad-
ministering to the relief of the sufferers for the want
of money to enable them to purchase grain for their
pre-, nt exiireiieies :" iii consequence whereof, the Leg-
islature, on the 2iith of June, passed an act author-
izing the treasurer of the province to pay to Abraham
Van ('amp. n, John Hackett, Jacob Starn, Richard

Shackleton, Sai 1 Lundy, Richard Bowlby, II. n-

drick Kuykendal, and Henry Winter, or any three of
them, a sum not exceeding two hundred pounds, to
In- disposed of " to the best advantage in purchasing
bread-corn for the inhabitants of said county." or t..
"distribute the said money to such persons, and in
such proportions, as they or the majority of them
should think tit." It was also provided that said
in. un \ should be returned to the provincial treasury

within two years alter the publication of the act.
And it was undoubtedly bo returned, being regarded

simply as a loan from the province to aid the citizens

in an unusual emergency. Such instances have not
been uncommon in the history of settlements. A
similar scarcity occurred in Michigan about a quarter
of a century ago; though a large producer of wheat,

that State, at the time alluded to, was forced by an

• a immigration to become a heavy purchaser
of dour for home consumption.
Another circumstance affecting the production of

the county at an early day was the tact tic

quantities of land were owned by non-residents, who,

while they encouraged immigration for the purpose

of settling' and improving their lands, diverted from
tic support of actual settlers a considerable portion
of the grain and product- raised. This Byste f

aettlemenl would have been well enough if the land-
owners had been Willing to sell small trad- to such of
their tenant- as desired to purchase them ; hut this
they declined to do, and thus, although the county

augmented in population, it increased hut little in

wealth. Qp to a comparatively late date nine-tenths

of the land in the township of Newton was held in

larL'e tract- by uon-re-ideiit owners, and Other por-
tion- of the county w.rc subject! d more or less to the

paralyzing influence of a similar monoply. Had this



164



SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.



state of things continued and been general, the county
would have been like Ireland, — its lands held by a
monopolizing aristocracy and peopled by a poor and
dependent population. " But the owners finally took
a different view of their duty, as well as their interests.
Instead of holding on in hope of ultimately getting
large prices, they sold out to as good advantage as
they could ere the virgin soil of their respective tracts
should become completely exhausted ; and every por-
tion of the county soon felt the beneficial influence of
the change." The passing of the fee-simple of the
soil into the same hands which guided the plow gave
a new impulse to agriculture, which, being since sup-
plemented by scientific and improved methods, by
greater variety, and by the advantages of new and
accessible markets, has made Sussex County one of
the most prosperous and desirable agricultural sec-
tions of New Jersey.



II.-



-OTHER ELEMENTS OF PROGRESS— POST-
OFFICES.



If we compare the present state of the county with
its condition in the past, we find a wonderful advance.
In 1737, Benjamin Franklin, as postmaster at Phila-
delphia, advertised that " Henry Pratt is appointed
Riding Post Master for all the stages between Phila-
delphia and Newport in Virginia, who sets out about
the beginning of every month and returns in twenty-
four days." In 1739 the mail was carried between
New York and Philadelphia once a week on horse-
back during the summer, and Gouverneur Morris sub-
mitted the proposition to Postmaster-General Spots-
wood " whether it be not fit to direct the rider to stay
one night in such towns where the Governor happens
to be resident."* In 1743, April 13th, ten years
before this county was organized, Franklin advertised
that " after this week the northern post will set out
for New York on Thursdays, at 3 o'clock in the
afternoon, till Christmas. The Southern post sets out
next Monday at 8 o'clock for Annapolis, and con-
tinues going every fortnight during the summer
season." At that time, " during the winter, the post
between Philadelphia and New York went once a
fortnight."! During the Revolutionary war horse-
expresses were provided to give dispatch to news.
After the Revolution a humble stage-wagon per-
formed this duty between our great cities once a
week, taking two days for the journey. The early
postal arrangements for the counties of Morris and
Sussex we have not the means at hand for ascertain-
ing, but from a package of letters dating back to 1774,
written by John Jacob Faesch, of New York, to his
agent at Mount Hope, we are led to suppose there
was then no post-route farther west than Morristown,
since these letters were evidently sent by a private
messenger. Perhaps an examination would show
that there was not a post-route or post-office in this



* Morris Papers, p. 70.

t Spark's " Franklin," vol. i. p. 182.



county from the organization of Sussex until the
close of the Revolution. This we cannot affirm, but
such is our impression. But the time is within the
remembrance of men still living when it took a whole
week for the stage-wagon to accomplish its journey
from Newton to New York and back.

We find in Alden's " New Jersey Register" for 1811
the following notices of stage-routes: "There are five
lines of stages which run daily, except on the Sab-
bath, between New York and Philadelphia. Three
of these leave each city at the hours of 8 and 10 a.m.
The mail-stage leaves each city at 2 o'clock p.m., and
arrives at 6 the following morning. From May to
November the ' Expedition Line' leaves each city
early in the morning and performs the distance by
daylight. The ' Swiftsure Line' passes through
Springfield and Somerset by Coryell's Ferry, on the
old York Road, and the other line through the prin-
cipal post-towns by the way of Delaware Bridge." It
was advertised that " Fulton's steamboats, in the
course of the year 1811, are to be employed at the
Paulus Hook Ferry, when the passing from the City
of Jersey to the City of New York will be safe, ex-
peditious, and pleasant."

There were at that time eighty -seven post-offices in
the State of New Jersey, of which Sussex County
contained six, at the following places, with the post-
masters named :

Andover, Lemuel D. Camp ; Belvidere, John Kinney, Jr. ; Hackettstown,
Denajah Gustin ; Hamburg, Thomas Lawrence ; Jolinsonsburg,
Thomas Stinson ; Newton, Charles Pemherton.

In 1837 the number of post-offices in the State had
increased to two hundred and seventy-one, while those
in Sussex County had attained the number of twenty-
five, showing a considerably greater ratio of increase
for Sussex County than for the State at large. The
post-offices, with the names of postmasters, of Sussex
County in 1837 were as follows :

Andover, Joseph Northrup ; Augusta, Abraham Bray ; Benville, Benja-
min Tuttle; Deviin's, James C. Bevau; Dranchville, Samuel Rice;
Coursenville, Lewis L. Smith ; Dockertown, Samuel Whittnker ;
Flatbrookville, Jacob Smith; Frcdon, Isaac V. Coursen ; Gratitude,
Benjamin J. Lowe; Hamburg, Robert A. Lewis; Harmony vale,
Isaac Deardslee; Lafayette, Alexander Doyles ; Liburtyville, Silas
Hemingway ; Lockwood, Aloxander McKain; Marksborough, James
• Dlair ; Montague, James Stoll ; Newton, George H. McCnrter ; Sandy-
ston. John D. Everitr ; Sparta, Elius Black ; Stanhope, Charles Wiin-
sou; Stillwater, Peter B.Shaffer; Vernon, K. S. Denton; Walpack,
Daniel Shoemaker; Wantage, David H. Gale.

The notaries public in Sussex County in 1810 were
John Linn, Daniel Stuart, George Bidleman, and
Henry Hankinson,

There were in 1811 five lodges of Free and Accepted
Masons in the county, — viz., Harmony Lodge, No. 8,
at Newton ; Farmers' Lodge, No. 14, at Wantage ;
Olive Branch Lodge, No. 10, at Greenwich ; Augusta
Lodge, No. 23, in Frankford ; and United Lodge, No.
24, in Sandyston. These lodges were all operated
under warrant from the Grand Lodge of New Jersey,
which was instituted at New Brunswick, Dec. 18, 5786.



IMtOCRKSS— INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.



1G5



irr.— RAILROADS.
The first company chartered with ;i view to the con-
struction of ii railroad in any part of Sussex Count]
was the New Jersey, Hudson and Delaware Railroad
Company, in L832. This company wa- i n < ■• >i j >■ »r:> i . •■ I
w i 1 1 1 a capital stock of one mil I ion ii v.' hundred thou-
sand dollars, and was empowi red to re;, .unci ; i rail-
road from some poinl on the Delaware Riverbetween
the New York Stab line and the mouth of the I'au-
linskill. thence bj Snufftown, in Susses County, to
(he Hudson River opposite the city of New "^'t >ik .
In addition to this, in February, 1836, the company
was authorized to construct a lateral road from the
i River, ncarthe mouth of the Paulinskill,
I., some i '"in i on the New York state line between tin-
Warwick and Blue -Mountain- within live miles of the
Wallkill, and to build a bridge over the Delaware,
with the consent of Pennsylvania. This lateral road
wa- intended to be a connecting link between the
\i \\ York, Hudson and Delaware road — which was
to commence at Newburg, on the Hudson, and
terminate at the New Jersey line in the valley of
[he Wallkill — and the Delaware and Susquehanna

road, which was to On the Delaware at

-' poinl between Belvidere and the Water Gap,

and terminate in the immense coal-regions of the
Susquehanna valley.

A survey of this road was made, following the val-
ley ofthe Wallkill and Papakating to the table-lands
dividing the tributaries of the Hudson from tho i of
the Delaware, near Augusta ; thence down the Pau-
linskill valley to Columbia, on the Delaware; thence
u |i the I tela ware and through the Water Gap to oppo-
site Dutot'a Island, the place proposed for crossing the

river with the Delaware and Sii-i|iiehanna road. The

Whole distance of this lateral mad was about forty-five
miles, and the cost per mile for construction was esti-
mated at $7484.92. The route was surveyed in L836
by .lame- I'.. Sargent, engineer of the New York,
Hudson and I lelaware Railroad.

Tin: NEW .ii:i;-i v MIDLAND RAILROAD.

Such was the first system of railroads contemplated
for Sussex County, or intended to intersect the
county in bringing the immense coal-fields of the
Susquehanna into connection with the New York

market. The i ipany did little *e than to

an ' stension ofthe time limited by it- charter
and the passage of certain supplementary acts by the

Mire of New Jersey Mil about the time ol tin

Survey of the Midland Railway from i tswego to New
York, \n act to extend tin- time for comm

and < ipleting the road was approved Feb. 22, 1842,

and other act - supplementary to the act of incorpora-
tion were approved March 17, 1846, Feb. 11, 1847,
Feb. 6, 1856, and Feb. 1", L862. Two routes were
surveyed for the road, tne known as the Sink Hole.

the other a, the Wallkill route,— and the work of

oonstructi m was b gun in the township of Wantage



in April, 1870, just prior to the consolidation of the
company with the New Jersey Midland Railway

t lompany.

This consolidation included, besides the New .Ter-
se-,. Hudson and Delaware Railroad Company, in-
corporated in 1832, tin- New Jer-ey Western Railroad
Company and the Sussex Valley Railroad Company,

both incorporated in 1867. It may he well I
some account of these latter two companies and the

objects of their respective charters.

The New Jersey Western Railroad Company was
chartered in 1*117 by certain citizens of Bergen < '-unity

for the purpose of constructing a railroad westward

from Jersey City, or from some point on the Hud-
son River opposite New York, through tin
ties of Bergen, Passaic, Morris, and Sussex to the
Delaware River opposite Milford, whence branches

were to extend northerly to the Erie at Port Jervis
and southerly to the coal-fields at Scranton. This
road was designed to take the place of the conleui-
plated Midland Railroad through the COUUt
i'erred to, as tin- latter enterprise had been delayed
and little confidence was entertained of it- early com-
pletion through New Jersey. This road would form
an important western connection by the most direct
ami feasible route from New York City, shortening

the di-t. nee between l'ort Jervis and the metropolis
by twenty-four miles, or an hour'- travel, a- compared
with tin- Erie, and would open a way to the mine- and

iii Morris, Passaic, ami Sussex Counties.
The route was surveyed from Jersey Citj to Bloom -

.thence up the Pequannock Creek to New-
foundland, thence across the mountain to the mines
at Franklin, and thence through Culver's (lap to the

Delaware. Tin- distances, a- laid down hv the engi-
neers, were: From New York to III lingdale, '■'<■!

miles; from New York to Franklin, 50 miles ; from
New York to Scranton, 102 miles; from New York
to Port Jervis, 64 miles; ami from New York t-. M in-
i, ^7 miles; thus making the latter distance to
New York twenty miles less than by the .Midland
Railroad.

Meetings were held in the interest of the New Jer-
sey Western Railroad at various points along the line,
and large amounts subscribed. Prior to the consoli-
dation the road had been constructed ami put in
i ion to 1'aterson.

Meanwhile, the agents and projectors of the Mid-
land road were actively engaged. Losing the assist-
ance of Ron Jervis, which had been turned over to
thi New Jersey Western, they adopted a new route
way oi Middletown. In July. 1869, a series
-.i meetings were held in the interest ol the Midland

at Deckerlown, Ogdensburg, and other villages in

-a - . \ County, terminating with a grand gathering
at LTnionville, in t Ironge < kjunty. At the meeting in
Deckertown, lion. D. c. Littlejohn stated that the
Midland road would be speedily put through provided

the northern and eastern town- of Sussex and Mini-



166



SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.



sink, in Orange County, would give the right of way
and subscribe $400,000 to aid iu building the road, in
the following proportions : Minisink, $100,000 ; Wan-
tage, $150,000 ; Hardyston, $50,000 ; Sparta, $50,000.
The respective quotas were raised by Wantage, Mini-
sink, and Hardyston. In Hamburg one gentleman
alone — Governor Haines — subscribed $10,000. The
Ogdcnsburg Zinc Company pledged $50,000. Other
liberal sums were subscribed in Paterson and along
the eastern end of the road. At all the meetings the
benefits and advantages likely to be derived by the
several towns from the construction of the road were
ably set forth by Messrs. Littlejohn and Low in behalf
of the company. The editor of the Middletown Mail
gives the following report of the remarks of Judge Low
at the Unionville meeting:

" He stated that the Midland project first assumed
definite shape some three years since at Delhi, and
that the work through to Middletown was now pro-
vided for, and the question that now presented itself
was, ' What route shall the road take from there ?'
There are two routes open to us, — viz., Greenwood
Lake, and the other through Sussex County by
the way of Munson's Gap. The Greenwood Lake
route is from five to seven miles shorter than the Sus-
ses route; but, on the other hand, they would pass
through a better country on the line of the Munson's
Gap route, and obtain a better local business, which
would nearly equalize the advantages of the two
routes. The directors of the Midland were uow on
their way through to see what the people of New Jer-
sey would do towards aiding their road, as they in-
tended to put the work under contract in four weeks.

"Hon. D. C. Littlejohn was then introduced to the
meeting. He stated that the Midland company now
control a charter in New Jersey, and parties have
agreed to build a road and give the Midland a per-
petual interest at seven per cent. He considered the
Sussex route very favorable on account of its agricul-
tural and mining resources, and knew of no other un-
occupied line which had advantages equal to it. The
grades nowhere would exceed sixty-five feet, except-
ing a distance of two or three miles, perhaps, at Mun-
son's Gap. The distance from New York to Newton
will be fifteen miles less by Munson's Gap than by
any other route."

At this meeting Unionville pledged $150,000 with
only one dissenting vote.

At a meeting held in Paterson in July, 1869, it was
stated by Mr. Littlejohn that $0,000,000 had been
raised and one hundred and fifty miles of the north-
ern portipn of the road built; that Oswego had sub-
scribed $725,000, and Norwich $475,000. The estimate
for building the entire road was about $15,000,000.

The Sussex Valley Kailroad Company, consoli-
dated with the New Jersey Midland, was incorporated
in 1867. Its charter authorized it to "lay out and
construct a. railroad from some suitable point in
the county of Sussex on the boundary line between



this State and the State of New York, within three
miles on either side of where the Wallkill stream
crosses said boundary line to or near the village of
Deckertown, in said county, with the power and priv-
ilege of extending said railroad, on the most feasible
route, from said point at or near the village of Deck-
ertown, by the way of the Paulinskill valley through
the counties of Sussex and Warren, to a point at or
near Columbia, on the Delaware River, in the county
of Warren, and to intersect with any railroad crossing
said Delaware River, by and with the consent of said
company so to be connected with, and with power to
said company to connect their road with any railroad
constructed or to be constructed in the county of
Orange, in the State of New Y'ork, by and with the
consent of the said company in Orange County, with
the privilege of constructing such spurs and branches
thereto as may be necessary to intersect with any
other railroad or railroads now constructed or here-
after to be constructed in the county of Sussex, or to
any mines, iron-works, or stone-quarries in the said
county of Sussex, subject to the restrictions herein
contained ; and said railroad may be in four divisions,
— that is to say, one division from the beginning of said
road on the boundary line between this State and the
State of New York to or near the said village of Deck-
ertown ; and one division extending from the village
of Deckertown to intersect with the railroad now
being constructed to the village of Branchville, in
the county of Sussex ; and one division to extend from
the said intersection with the road being constructed
to the said village of Branchville to a point at or near
the village of Marksboro', in the county of Warren,
with the right to said company to cross the said road
leading to Branchville on the same grade; and one
division to extend from said point at or near Colum-
bia on the Delaware River ^foresaid, and to intersect
with any railroad crossing the Delaware River."

Consolidation. — By an act of the Legislature of
New Jersey approved on the 17th of March, 1870,
entitled "An Act to Authorize the Consolidation of
the Capital Stock, Property, Powers, Privileges, and
Franchises of the New Jersey, Hudson and Delaware
Railroad Company with those of the New Jersey
Western Railroad Company, the Sussex Valley Rail-
road Company, the Hoboken, Ridgefield and Pater-
son Railroad Company, or any or either of them,"
three of the corporations named iu the act — viz., the



Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 42 of 190)