James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 43 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 43 of 190)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

New Jersey, Hudson and Delaware Railroad Com-
pany, the New Jersey Western Railroad Company,
and the Sussex Valley Railroad Company — consoli-
dated and merged their several acts of incorporation
into one, in pursuance of the act of consolidation, on
the 13th of July , 1870, and from thence became known
as the New Jersey Midland Railway Company. This
consolidation was effected in accordance with articles
of agreement entered into on the 26th of April, 1870,
and signed by the presidents of the respective cor-
porations, — viz., John Rutherford, president of the



Ni w JiT-rv, llud-nn and Delaware Railroad Com-
pany; C. A. VVartendyke, president of the New Jer-
sey Western Railroad Company; and John Loomis,
president of the Sussex Vallej Railroad < iompany.

\t a meeting of the stockholders of the Ne« Jer-
Bej .Midland Railroad Company, held on the 3d of
.May, ism. at Taylor's Hotel, in Jersey City, agreea-
bly to notice given, Elishn P. Wheeler chairman, the
following-named persons were duly elected 11 board of
directors: 1 >. ( '. Littlejohn, C. Vreeland, II. R. Low,
.1. W. Hewson, E. P. Wheeler, J. Rutherford, II.
Watkins, M. J. Ryerson, Isaac Demerest, John
Loomis, C. A. Wartendyke, J. N. Pronk, Julius II.
Pratt ; Martin .1. Ryerson, Secretary.

The New York and Oswego Midland Railway went
mto I'nll operation on Monday, Aug. 18, 1878 ; pas-
senger-trains then started for the 6rsl time from each
terminus to go over the entire line. The New Jereej
division is eighty-eight miles in length, the Middle
division is one hundred and forty-five miles, and the
Western out hundred miles, making the entire dis-
tance from New York to Oswego three hundn
thirty-three miles. The road was projected in 18(55;
on the lltli of January, 1866, the company was in-
C irporated. Work was begun June 29, 1868, and the
li.-i train was run Nov. 5, 1869. A large portion of
the road opens up n region of country hitherto de-
prived of easy access to market.

lie New Jersey Midland Railway enters the count}
of Sussex upon its northern border, and, making e
crooked course through the townships i>f Wantug
and Hardyston, leaves the latter at Snufftown, where
it passes into Passaic County, and thence to its eastern
terminus at New York. The stations on this road
within thee ntj are Deckertown, Hamburg, Frank-
Jin, ' Igdensburg, and Snufftown.

We append the following statistics, taken from

tli nimissioiiers' report lor ls.Sil: Capital - k.

100; bonded debt, 55,400,000; receipts for
L879, $745,069.93; expenditures, 1-7'.'. $740,118.55.

-i - ] \ RAILROAD.
This load was chartered and buill under the name

of the "Sussex Mine Railroad." Previous to its in-
corporation, Messrs. Edward Cooper and Abram S.
Hewitt, proprietors of the iron-mines tit Andovcr,
had built and successfully operated a mule-road ex-
tending from their mine- i,i Waterli o, on the Morris
I mi i b ing sufficient to meet the demands
of their business and of other contemplated
prises, these gentlemen conceived the project of build-
ing a railroad to their works, W Inch should also COn-

aecl « ith other mines as well as those in the \ icinity,
and aid in devel | ing the rich mineral resources ol
Sussex County. The charter was granted by the
Legislature in 1848, David Ryerson, Peter Cooper,
Nathan Smith. tVbram S. Hewitt, Andrew A. Sinal-
ley, John Wills, Alexander McKain, and Edward
Cooper being the commissioners named in the

act of incorporation. The capital stock was placed
at $50,000, with liberty to increase it to $2
The company was authorized to construct a railroad
from the Andover mines, in the county of Sussex, to
mvenient and accessible point on the Morris
Canal, in -aid county, and with the privilege of ex-
tending the said road to the village of Newton, in the
said county of Sussex, and of constructing such spurs

or lateral road-, not exceeding, each, live miles in

length, as might be necessary to afford access to the
adjacent none- in the said county.

Various amendments were made to the charter,
among others the following : March is, l s.~,i, to enable

the company to extend their road to an) point to be

selected by them in Su— ex, Warren, and Morris '

ties, bo as to conne t with the Morris and Essex Kail-
road, and to empower them to issue and execute
hind-: Feb. 5, 1858, an act changing the name to
the "Sussex Railroad Company." ami empowering
o extend their road from Andover to the village
of New ton. and thence Lo any point on the Delaware
River, in Sussex County, with power to construct a
bridge across the Delaware; Feb. 1, 1868, an act
authorizing the company to construct a branch road

from some convenient point on the present line to
Franklin Furnace, and thence to such Other point in

the count) as might be deemed for the publii

and to make contracts with other companies for the

transportation of milk, lime, coal, etc., to the citj of
N,» York.

In c leran ill oi the' c:t/cii- -u i.-cr" ICg $ 0,000

upon security of the first mortgage bonds, the com-
pany extended the toad to Newton, the county-seat,

and the line was built and went into operation from

Waterloo to Newton in December, 1854. The length

of this part of the route is eleven miles. The COSt of

construction and equipments was about $800,000, of

which Cooper & Hewitt, the builders, paid $150,1

taking stock for it. and $150,000 was raised at six-per-
cent, mortgage bonds, payable in twenty year.-, and
due in 1873.

In December, l v ">7. Messrs. Cooper & Hewitt, who
were controlling stockholder- in the company, sold
their stock to Thomas N. McCarler, John McCarter,
John Townsend, Edward C. Moor,-, i>r. John R.

Stuart, and others, lor $82,0 10, of which $82,( WU8

raised in new -tock to pay arrears of interest on the

bonds and pari of a floating debt of over $50,00 I, and

issued in second mortgage bonds at Bcven per

I'h. in w proprietors operated the road lor sev-
eral years, and then sold their stock to Capt. Aaron
Peck, formerly of Essex County. In 1864, Capt.
Peck sold hi- stock to Moses Taylor, William E.

John I. Blair, ami others, tor $187,000, who
still own and operate the road.

in. Iii 1868, Mr. William Bell,
... Branchville, was instrumental in securing an ex-
tension of the Sussex Railroad from Drake's Pond to
Branchville by the way of Lafayette. Mr. Bell pro-



cured the right of way and graded the road, which
was constructed and equipped by the company, who
have since operated it as a part of their line.

Franklin Extension. — In 1871 the Sussex Railroad
Company extended their line to Franklin, laying a
new track across the Newton meadows, intersecting
with the line to Branchville and following that to the
Branch ville Junction, thence diverging in an easterly
direction, passing to Monroe Corners and thence to
Franklin. By an arrangement with the New Jersey
Midland Company the cars of the Sussex road were
permitted to run over the track of the former to Ham-
burg Junction, from which point the Sussex road was
extended to McAffee's Corner, in Vernon township,
where it now connects with the Warwick Valley Rail-
road, since built from Warwick, in Orange County,
to McAffee's.

It was the intention of the Sussex company, in
building a road to Franklin, to leave the Sussex Rail-
road at Andover, passing by Struble's and IlirTs
Ponds through Woodruff's Gap to the Wallkill val-
ley, thence to Ogdensburg, and thence to Franklin.
But the subscription of §25,000 by the citizeus of
Newton changed the route and secured its construc-
tion by way of that village. The obstacle in passing
the bog-meadow was overcome with no little diffi-
culty, the ground being so soft as to require a cover-
ing of plank before the filling in with rock and gravel
could be effected. The work, however, was success-
fully accomplished by continuous tilling.

The entire distance traversed by the road and its
branches is thirty-five miles. Cost of construction
and equipments, §1,875,100 ; receipts for 1879, $123,-
167.91; expenditures, §105,628.63. John I. Blair,


A portion of this road lies in Sussex County. It
was chartered Feb. 19, 1864, and extends from Og-
den's Mines to Nolan's Point, Lake Hopateong, a
distance of ten miles.

Capital stock paid in, $450,000; value of road and
equipments, $189,808.76 ; dividends paid in 1S79, in
cash (three per cent, on capital stock), $13,000; in-
come, 827,327.60; expenditures, $14,335.15. This road
in 1879 transported- 49,226 tons of iron ore and 3791
tons of coal. George Richards, President.


The Morris and Essex Railroad passes along the
southern corner of Sussex County, with stations at
Waterloo and Stanhope. These villages are in the
township of Byram, Sussex Co., but the stations are
ju-i over the line, in Morris. This road forms a val-
uable outlet for the Sussex road, both east and west,
extending, as it does, from New York to Easton, Pa.,
and being an important division of the Delaware,
Lackawanna and Western Railroad.*

•See history of the Monis nnd Essex division under the head of
kl J .'in 1 1 ■ .:> r i ~." ,,i \\ nrrcn County.



The first schools of the county were of the most
primitive type, kept in log school-houses erected often
by n few settlers who felt the necessity of giving their
children some instruction in the simple rudiments of
reading, writing, and arithmetic. A quarter's school-
ing of this sort was all that could be afforded during
the year, and this usually occupied the winter mouths,
when the children's time at home was least valuable.
The following description, given by Mr. B. A. West-
brook of an old-time school-house which stood on
lands of Capt. Abraham Shiner, in Wantage, and
built just prior to or during the Revolution, will suf-
fice to illustrate the class of school-houses of those
days and to suggest somewhat the character of the
schools taught in them :

" It stood at the foot of a ledge of rocks at the head
of tliQ captain's mill-pond, on grounds at present
owned by his great-grandson, Jacob Hornbeck. It
was in size sixteen by sixteen feet, and built of logs,
with plank floor, one story high, with one course of
boards for roof, and the cracks battened with slabs
from the captain's saw-mill hard by ; the oval side
was turned to the weather. In one end inside the
room was an open fireplace, with chimney laid
through the roof and built of sticks and clay. The
school-room was entered by the old-style double door,
divided horizontally in the middle and opened with
a latch and string. There was no ceiling overhead,
and the boys sat on slab benches that surrounded the
centre of the room and formed a hollow square. A
rude desk used for writing, etc., laced the wall in
front of the window, — which, by the way, was the
only window in the room, and only three panes of
glass, placed abreast in it, — the use of which seemed
to be lor the 'master' alone, as he occupied it almost
exclusively. During pleasant weather the upper
door was allowed to stand open, in order to benefit
from the light thus afforded, or, more likely, so that
the boys could see what was passing out of doors."t

Little can be said of education in the county prior
to the Revolution. Most of the settlements had their
common schools, such as they were at that early day.
Many wealthy citizens sent their sons to be educated
at Princeton, at Queens College (now Rutgers), and
some even to England and Holland. The county
was not without its men of education in the profes-
sions and in the civil walks of life. Clergymen fre-
quently engaged in school-teaching, and were gener-
ally among the most active advocates and supporters
of schools. The tendency, however, aiming ministers,
as well as among many others of that day, was to
give their support and encouragement to colleges and
schools for the higher education of the few, rather

1" Centennial report on schools of Sussex.



than to schools for the primary instruction of the


Rev. Elias Van Bunschooten, who was many years
pastor of the Reformed Dutch Churches of this
county, and during the latter part of his ministry of
that at the Clove, in Wantage, made, in LSI I. jus)

prior tu his death, a Impie-st .it' fourteen thousand six
hundred and forty dollars, increased hy his will to
seventeen thousand dollars, the income of which was
to be applied to the education of " pious youth who
hope they have a call of God to preach the Gospel of
Jesus ( 'hrist." The following is a literal copy of the
dominie's bequest:

" The donor has n mind tobeeto* thirteen thousand eight hundred end
forty dollar! In obligations, and eight hundred In cub, to tbe Trustees of
Qneen'n College in Now Jersey, In trust on the following terras, viz.:

Tl„ General 8j 1 of the Reformed Duti b CI I. In imoria !•> sp-

l-.int a Committee and tbo 'fm. to appoint one also. That

Dittoes Jointly to dovlse the best plan and most w.lbl fonndatlon t., pnt
but laid money to Interest, which the giver reserves to himself during
liiH life, but after his decease, the Trash m to usi and applj -..i.l Interest

"PI and education I Insslca! and theological studies of

pious youth who hope they have a call of God to preach tho Gospel of

•''"" , '''"'•< : I" to be admitted to said benefit but such ns uro

nded by the Goneral Synod, n the Interest ..f what Is now
offered, and what in Inture may be added by him and others, should bo

I omulots above tbe si mentioned education, such overplns th 1 1 a

" " l " »dvlw ""'I co t of tbe General Synod, may then use

iin.l apply to such otbai purposes as shall moat tend tothi good of tho

Institution and the benefit of literature; whoarol Oder an account

to the General Synod when they require it.

"Tho giver humbly desires that these terms be recorded In the record
orGonoral 3} nod, and Id the rocord of Particular Synods, and registered

'""""' Isofallthi Classe belonging to General Syi ;nndtobo

""' '" ">« "I ludlcatories at their ordinary meetings, not for aggrnn-
'" "'" nl " ■'' • ntatlon, but to be an humble pattern foi others t<.
Bopy after; If the tiling being so kept alive and considered, wh

J "'"' Guc| . '" "i» k I i«m> ci., »■ i n,,t move some to da tbe

like n will also be th. p! ,nd delight of , the bestower, and

"""'"'' """ ; '" ' ■«•" "f the college live frugal and Indnstrl , and

1 "" , " ; I I'"' '" to their pupils; and all tivlesiosllcal officers de-

Ullgent, frugal and pi , before those ovei whom they

"I - >o prepare not only for heaven, bul for the

WPfOMhlng ,„ii i , ,i mmoncement ol which may i. si ■

I idee Uian the present living, II is „l»o tho bumble and mm-
1 "' thedonoi that the aforesaid officers sxblbil n

bellnaUon for luxurj and accum li r wealth, which Is

ol donation. On the mid terms and reeommendatlons
tlic giver Is willing to bestow as before mentioned.

" Bt i ui v. ia-\si iiu'.n s.
" Ml » v.iiik, June 9th, 1st i.

" '' 1 " tah i ; "" 1 ' thorefore recommend it to the Trustees within

"'■" '.torequlr chretrll on as they shall d

""'" '■""■ PO" " »ho shall obtain the benefit of the within ...
' '■""•' "ho maj bee abh to maki luch retribution.

iii'. \ Burn* noons,
"June Dili, 181 1."

This fund at the present time exceeds twenty thou-
sand dollars, and has educated a large numl.cr'of use-
W ministers of the Reformed Church.

Al.out L825 the late Rev. Clarkson Dunn, rector of

Christ Church, established a small classical scl 1 in

the village of Newton. This school, though small in
lumbers, was conducted with dignity, taste, and pro-

priety, and attended with success. The fruits of this
early ell'ort at classical education wen.' such cultivated
minds as the late Hon. Martin Ryerson, Dr. Thomas
Ryerson, Rev. X. Petit, and numerous others.

The school at Deckertown was not, as is supposed by
some, the first classical teaching in the northern town-
ships of Sussex. In the fall of 1828 the RevJBdward
Allen, then residing in the (love, a man of scholar-
ship joined to great benevolence of character, zeal,

and activity, opened a room for a small -elect school,
in which he em]. loved William Rankin to teach.
This was truly the first classical teaching given in the
northern part of Sussex. At this incipient Clove
school the late E. A. Stiles was a scholar, and com-
menced that career of mental cultivation which led to
a life of usefulness enjoyed by few. This little Clove
school was participated in and upheld by the families
of Dr. Herman Allen, of Deckertown, Robert A.
Linn, of Hamburg, and Nathan Shafer, of Stillwater.
Latin and English grammar were taught, and astron-
omy by oral instruction or lecture. It continued but
one term, at the close of which, by an arrangement
agreed upon by the Rev. Mr. Allen and the Rev.
Clarkson Dunn, Mr. Rankin removed to Newton and

became the English teacher of Mr. Dunn's school in

that village, while Mr. Dunn himself taught the
classics. Again, in L880, Mr. Allen, assisted by Mr.
Rankin, hazarded the establishment of a boarding-
school at Harmony Vale, near Hamburg. This
~ rl1 "" 1 »~a- at once liberally patronized, reaching
about fifty boarders, besides day-scholars. The school
at Deckertown was commenced towards the (dose of
1833. This was a natural growth and advance on
what had already been done.

Subsequently arose the Mount Retirement Semi-
nary, which completed the .-cries of pioneering aca-
demic schools in Sussex. This seminary was con-
ducted with faithfulness and aUCCeSS for a long term
of year-. It was opened by Mr. Ivlward A. Stiles as

the '• Wantage Select School" in 1833, with three

boarders. These gradually increased, so that in 1SG0
there were sixty, besides a large number of day-schol-
ars, and three assistant teachers were emploved. The

name was changed to " Mount Retirement Seminary"
in L846. The school continued prosperous under the
management of Mr. Stiles till 1865, when foiling
health compelled him to relinquish it, after having
devoted to it thirty-five years of his life.


William Rankin, who has been called "the vener-
able pioneer of classical education in Susses I lounty,"
deserves to be mentioned in connection with the his-
tory of education in this section. Be was born in
Greenville, East Tenn., bis father having been a sol-
dier in the Revolutionary war. When but a boy his
mind thirsted for knowledge, and by untiring indu-tr.
he early acquired what in those days and in that
country was regarded as a liberal education. Lint.



desiring greater advantages than the backwoods of
the Southwest then afforded, young Eankin turned
his face eastward with the design of ultimately enter-
ing Yale College and quaffing knowledge from that
fountain-head of learning. On his pilgrimage his
scanty means were replenished at times by teaching
a quarter in some common school by the wayside.

In 1828 he arrived at Johnsonsburg, now in Warren
County, and applied for the village school, -which he
received after undergoing a thorough and critical ex-
amination by Dr. Roderick Byington, father of Rev.
Theodore L. Byington, formerly pastor of the Pres-
byterian Church at Newton, and now a missionary in
Turkey. The examination took place at the tavern,
and attracted quite a crowd of persons, who expected
a " streak of fun" at seeing an uncouth backwoodsman
" put through" by the well-educated village doctor.
But their merriment was soon turned to surprise, then
to admiration, when they found that the rough-look-
ing young man before them was more than a match
for his interlocutor. Besides exhibiting a thorough
knowledge of history, grammar, and geography, and
the common branches of education, he showed him-
self equally at home in Latin and Greek. During
his short stay there he was prostrated several weeks
with a violent fever, which came near terminating his
life. When he had recovered barely sufficient to be
able to walk he visited Newton, where he was kindly
received by Rev. Joseph L. Shafer. Here he spent
some time as assistant teacher in the school then kept
by Rev. Clarkson Dunn in the old Episcopal rectory
on the hill, late the residence of Levi Shepherd, Esq.
At the conclusion of his engagement with Mr. Dunn
he went to New Haven and entered Yale College,
thus realizing the dream of his youthful ambition.
He remained but a single year, when he again re-
turned to Sussex County.

In 1833 he started a select school at Deckertown.
So little interest was felt in the enterprise that he
could procure no room for the purpose but a small
building about fourteen feet square in an inconvenient
part of the village. This, however, he rented, and
commenced his first term with a single scholar. This
lone pupil was John A. Whittaker, — for many years
cashier of the Deckertown Bank, and now its presi-
dent, — whose father then lived at Unionville, in
Orange County. " It was universally looked upon as
a romantic and impracticable undertaking. But the
school went on, and for the first week with one scholar
only, who accompanied his preceptor to and from the
school-room at regular hours, resembling a hen with
one chicken." Before the ensuing spring, however,
the school numbered twenty scholars. From this
small beginning it grew to be a power for good, and
with its success dawned a new era in educational mat-
ters in Sussex. At the end of ten years over a thou-
sand pupils had been under his instruction. Many
had been prepared to enter college or to commence
professional studies, and a large proportion of the

schools in the surrounding country were conducted
by teachers qualified at this institution. Among his
early pupils was the veteran educator Edward A.
Stiles, for many years county superintendent of schools
for Sussex County.

Mr. Rankin subsequently taught at Amity, N. Y.,
but for more than twenty years he was engaged in
Morris County, N. J., teaching with his usual force
and zeal at Mendham.

Mr. Rankin was not only a master of the classics,
but his mind was a perfect storehouse of scientific and
useful knowledge, and his memory remarkable for its
retention of facts gathered from a wide field of read-
ing and observation. In fact, he has been called "a
walking encyclopaedia of all things worth knowing,"
and his power of imparting to others was equal to the
great resources of knowledge which he possessed. He
was truly a remarkable man, and his name and self-
sacrificing labors will long remain as one of the bright
pages in the educational history of Sussex County.

We select from contributions made to the press by
Mr. Rankin himself the following account of the
school at Deckertown and matters pertaining to edu-
cation in general in this county :

" I rented from the tavernkeeper before mentioned
a small building, which was situated about half-way
up a very steep hill. This building had been erected
for a tailor-shop, and used for that purpose until the
proprietor changed his business and went to tavern-
keeping. It had never been painted, and had stood
long enough to turn black, or at least blackish. There
was no furniture, — neither stove, chair, bench, nor
stool. Access to the door was by steps — or, rather,
stairs— on the lower side. After examining all within
I descended the steps and attempted to regain the
main street, which I did by two or three dangerous
slides, for the ground was covered with ice. It was
now the latter part of the week, and I determined to
open my school on the next Monday ; consequently,
my whole thoughts were turned upon preparation.
In the first place, borrowing a pick, I dug out of the
frozen ground steps up to those of the house, thus
making the whole ascent practicable. I next inquired
of the merchants for a stove, but they knew of none
to be had nearer than Newton or Goshen. I then
made the same inquiry of the tavernkeeper, who at
first made the same reply; but then, looking for a
moment downward, he raised his head and, striking
the counter, as was his manner, said, ' I will rent you
a stove, but it is a broken one. A few nights ago the
young fellows in my bar-room got tight and in a row
broke my stove badly.'— 'I will take it,' said I. 'What

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 43 of 190)