James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 49 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 49 of 190)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Ryerson took command, this regiment did mos
cellent fighting. With his command Col. Ryerson
was tent to Philadelphia to suppress the thn
riots during the draft, and afterwards to Pottsville
and Mauch Chunk to suppress the virtual hostilities
in our rear. Here Col. Ryerson was effective in per-
forming I'M' llent and important service, sitting OS
president of a commission to try those engaged in
these mosl dangerous riotous proceedings. While at
Suffolk, Col. Ryerson performed (for a part of the
time) brigadier's duty, and in that capacity received
Gen. Pock's written compliments for his vigilance.
knowledge of the strategic character of the country,
etc.

At his urgent request the Tenth was assigned to the
First New Jersey Brigade, in the Army of thi
mac, in the spring of 1864, when it participated in all
the battles of the Wilderness. It was on the 6th of
May, during these battles, that < Sol. Ryerson fell, being
struck in the head by a ball from a sharpshooter, who

( , i [ taken the corps badge upon his cap as a mark.
He was carried to a log cabin in the rear, where two

of his captains, with Capt. Cooke, adjutant-general of

the brigade, waited by him through the night, unable
to get surgical assistance, and expecting his speedy
death and the sad duty of burying him. During the
night our line fell back, and early in the mornin
whole party were taken prisoners. (',,1. RyeiBOn was
left at Locust I !rove Confederate hospital, where he

died OH the L2th, at tended by a paroled Vera t snr-

ge on, who marked his '.'rave and so described it that
at the close of the war his remains were found and

rcinterred in tl emetery at Newton.

Col. Ryerson was said to be conspicuous I 'or rage.

showing it often to the admiration of his fellow-sol-
diers, lie ni'i it was conscious of personal danger, but
of his men he « us BCrupul0U8ly careful In action and

iii camp, because he was responsible for their welfare
both to his superiors and to ih untry's cause, \

strict disciplinarian also, he WOS yet beloved In cause
impartial to both officers and men. Along with the

other officers of our army, he showed his conviction
of the righteousness of our cause by the assistance

furnished for religions instruction both in the camp
and on the march. Ft was known, by the voluntary
assurance of President Lincoln to his broiler. Dr.
Ryerson, that had he lived, be would have been pro-
moted at an early day ; but, falling, he n ived, OS

was believed, higher than earthly promotion from the
Captain over all, under whose banner be liad long

[listed.

i ss |< \ Y-. lawyer, of Newt.. 11. i> tin- son of the
late Thomas and Mary [Bale) Ka\ s. and was born

Oct. 15, 1829, at La Fayette, Busses Co., N. J. He is



192



SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.



of Scotch, German, and English descent, and his an-
cestors, paternal and maternal, were among the early
settlers of his native county. His paternal grand-
father, John Kays, was a Scotchman, born April 22,
1739, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and came to this
country in 1760 and married Sarah, one of the thir-
teen children of the late Benjamin and Anna (Duer)
Hull. He located in Frankford township, near Moden,
and resided there in the occupation of a farmer until
his death, in 1829, at the advanced age of ninety
years.

Benjamin Hull was of English extraction, and set-
tled in that section of the Delaware Valley above
Flatbrookville as early as 1750. Mr. Kay's mother,
Mary Bale, was born Sept. 10, 1791, and was one of
eleven children of Peter Bale, of Baleville, in this
county, who was' the eldest son of Henry Bale, a
German, who came to this country and settled at La
Fayette as early as 1750, and there erected one of the
first flouring grist-mills in Sussex County. His grand-
mother on the maternal side was Elizabeth (Struble)
Bale, one of nine children of Leonard Struble, who
was also of German descent and one of the pioneer
settlers of that section of Hampton township west of
Baleville. His father, Thomas Kays, born June 5,
1785, was a justice of the peace, and owned and op-
erated the old grist-mill at Lower La Fayette from
April 1, 1819, until his death, May 9, 1830.

His parents, Thomas and Mary (Bale) Kays, had
ten children : Sarah, Martha, and John, all of whom
died young ; Elizabeth, who married Benjamin Dor-
mida ; Mary S., who married George W. Collver and
died soon after her marriage ; Henry B., who married
Sarah Morris ; Dorcas, who married George W. Coll-
ver ; Phebe, who married Samuel Shotwell ; Martha,
who married Judge James B. Huston ; and Thomas,
the subject of this sketch, who married Amanda E.,
the eldest daughter of the late Hazlet Slater, of La
Fayette, on Sept. 24, 1857.

His father died when the subject of this sketch was
only seven months old, leaving a small estate, which
was spent in the support of the family. He was thus
left at an early age with only his widowed mother to
care for him, but, most fortunately for him, she was
the best of Christian mothers, and his education and
moral training were looked after with the most scru-
pulous care; which debt was paid in after-years by
every known want of the mother being diligently
supplied. He received only a common-school educa-
tion, and at the age of sixteen went with his older
brother, Henry B. Kays, to learn the trade of a pat-
tern-maker, machinist, and millwright. He con-
tinued this, occasionally clerking in a store, until his
majority, becoming thoroughly acquainted with all
the details of the business. While learning his trade
he spent all his leisure hours in study, and obtained
a thorough knowledge of most of the higher branches
of education, and especially of mathematics, for which
he had a natural aptitude ; during the same time, to



some extent, he read law, towards which profession,
at an early age, he had a strong inclination.

He taught school a few months in 1851, and in 1852
formed a copartnership with Dr. Franklin Smith.
They carried on a very heavy and extensive foundry,
machine, and milling business at La Fayette until
1859, when he sold out his interest to his partner and
devoted his whole time to the study of the law.

While heavily engaged in business, in 1858, he
commenced the study of law with Hon. A. J. Rogers,
and continued it under the preceptorship of his cousin,
Hon. Martin Ryerson, and Mr. Rogers, until Feb-
ruary term of the Supreme Court, 1863, when he was
licensed as an attoruey-at-law. He immediately be-
came an equal partner with Mr. Rogers, at Newton,
which connection continued until 1867, when Mr.
Rogers removed to New York City, since which time
Mr. Kays has continued the practice of law alone.
Soon after this he was called as a counselor-at-law and
a special master in chancery, having continuously
had a very heavy practice in all the higher courts in
the State and the United States Circuit Court, and
more recently admitted to practice in the United
States Supreme Court. He is a member of the board
of directors of the Sussex National Bank and coun-
sel for the same, and was for several years president
of the Celluloid Harness Trimming Company of New-
ark, N. J.

Mr. Kays is emphatically one of the self-made men
of the times. Left fatherless in infancy, without
means or influential friends, and thrown wholly upon
his own resources, he sought and obtained outside of
schools a thorough education, and by like close appli-
cation acquired a large store of general knowledge
and rapidly advanced to prominence in business,
politics, and his profession. As a business man he
was recognized as one of the most active and success-
ful in the county, forcing himself to the head of the
business in which he was engaged in spite of all op-
position and obstacles. By the burning of a leased
grist-mill filled with grain he lost many thousand
dollars, but more than made up this loss in a single
year by the purchase of the premises on which the
burnt mill was located, the sale of seven feet of the
water-power, and the building and sale of a. new mill.

Mr. Kays became a prominent member of the bar
of his county almost as soon as admitted. He is self-
reliant, is a close, rapid, and logical thinker, and has
a strong, clear legal mind. His nature is not only to
do systematically whatever ho undertakes, but to do
it in the most thorough manner, whether working for
pay or not, and whether the amount involved is large
or small. His knowledge of mathematics and me-
chanics and his experience in business have aided
him very much in his profession, and balanced, if not
overcome, the disadvantage of his not earlier taking
up the practice of law. He has been a hard student,
earnest in his work, always making his client's cause
his own ; has great power of concentration ; is cool




^



t



BENCH AND BAR OF SUSSEX COUNTY.



193



and self-possessed, grasping the strong points and jus-
pee of the case; i- usually a logical and deliberate
Bebater, yet has at his command a rapid and power-
mi utterance. He always prepares his causes in the
inu-i thorough manner, and presents them to the court
and jury with all the power of which the law and the
bets will admit. For many years lie has devoted
BjosI of lii- i i 1 1 1 . ■ as counsel in causes and in pre-
paring briefs and arguments in litigated ens,-. Id

selects his business and stand- :i< in f tin- leading

members of the bar of the county, and aiming the
prominent lawyers of the State.

In politics Mr. Kays has always been a decided and
uncompromising De crat. During the late Rebel-
lion I"' warmly espoused the cause of the I nion,
urging enlistments by public speeches in aid of the
ni the Union, yet claiming and exercising
at all times the right freely and boldly to criticise the
acts of the party in power.

From early manhood he has been generally active
in politics. Well versed in the fundamental principles

of goveri -nt and the political issues of the day,

with recognized honesty and a thorough knowledge
of human nature, bold, fearless, and with decided
power over the minds of men in influencing their
judgment and uniting them and getting discordant
elements to work harmoniously in a common cause,
he naturally became a prominent man in his party in
the county and in the State. He refused a seat in
both branches of the Legislature when quite young,

and never sought, but lias always refused to ai pi,

any political ..Mice, either by appointment or by elec-
tion by the people. While decidedly outspoken in
his political views of men and measures, he scrupu-
lously re-peel- llie lclie-1 opinions of his opp
and has many warm friends among them.

As a citizen Mr. Kays occupies a prominent posi-
tion, and is recognized as a man of strict integrity,
public-spirited, and of broad and liberal views.

Hox. \ s m:i w .1. Rogers -well known to this bar

as a prominent lawyer and politician, and now resid-
ing and practi: in,; in the it ( of V w i orit. — was born
in the township of Lafayette, Sussex Co., and was

admitted to the bar in 1852. In that year In m-

ineneed practicing in the village of Lafayette, and
continued there till 1857, when he removed to N< ivton
and conducted a successful law business there for ten
year-. In 1867 he established bis office in New York

Oity, and lias continued there ever since. He was
known iii Sussex ( '.unity as a very prominent and in-
fluential lawyer and politician. In his successful
he nmassed quite a large sum before he went
to New York. Thomas Kays was bis law-partner
from 1863 i" 1867, under the firm-name of Rogers &
Kays. They did n very extensive busini ss.
Mr. Rogers was a Democrat in politic. I

hi' was elected to < 'ollgrcss from the Fourth •

sional District of New Jersey, and was re-elected in
1864. While in thai l"»ly he acquitted himself with



ability and credit. He was appointed public admin-
istrator of the city of New York, and served in that
capacity four year-. Mr. Rogers was very popular

with the masses and highly effective as a speaker.
He was also a man of great abilities and energy of

character.

Samuel II. Potteb studied Ian with Hon. Daniel

I laines. He was admitted OS an attorney in January,
I - III, and ii- a counselor in November, 1854. He lir-t

began the practice of law at Deckertown, thence re-
moved to Hamburg, and thence to Newton, where he
remained some time. He then removed to June. villi-,
Wis., where lie practiced till the time of Ids death,

.Mr. Toiler married a sifter of Thomas N. Mel 'art.-,,
who survives him and re-ides at Newton, SuSSi

Mn iiai:i. R. Kemble, of Hamburg, was born in

Franklin, and is a son ol'Gerret Kemble. He became
a member of tin- Sussex bar in January, 1849, having
studied law with ( '• ivcrnor Haines at Hamburg, where
he ha- ever since practiced. He ha- been engaged lo
so:; stent in mining interests, and has realized con-
siderable profit therefrom.

Hon. Thomas Anderson, present law judge of
Sussex County, is a son of William T. Anderson, and
wa- bom at Newton, Jan. 28, Ml. He studied law

with t rovernor Peter D. Vroom, in Trenton, and with
Governor Daniel Haines, and immediately after his

admission in 1856 began practice at Newton, lie
remained a member of the Sussex bar until quite
recently, when he opened an office in Newark, where
his business is now done, except that pertaining lo his
position as judge of the Court of Common Pleas, to
which he was appointed by Governor Bedle in 1876,
as the successor of Hon. Daniel s. Anderson. Hewas

at one time editor ot' the .Y <■ ./ //

Judge Anderson is a gentleman of unblemished

character and of good standing as a lawyer. He was
at one time the associate of Joseph Coult, under the
firm-name of Coult .\ Anderson, and afterwards a
partner of Robert T. Johnson.

LEWI8 COCHRAN. — Dennis, son of Michael and
Jane Cochran, and father of our subject, was liorn in
Manor-haniilton, County Leitrim, Ireland, March 5,
L800. IF- cam. to America at about the age of twenty

years, and soon after located at Newton, N. .1.. where
he afterwards resided until bis death, Feb. 20, 1880.

Having learned the trade of a butcher in his native

country, he carried it on for several years after Settling
in Newton, lie purchased a hotel in Newton, ot' Na-
than Drake, naming it the "Cochran House," and
about 1848 built the present hostelry of that name, of

which he continued to be proprietor until al t I s ","..

when he retired from active business except to man-
age Ids farm, near the town limits. Under his man-
agement tile Cochrane House became a I'n-
hotel. which reputation it has retained until thi
cut time.

Mr. Cochran was an active and enterprising business
man, and favorably known not only to his own town's



194



SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.



people, but to men of prominence in this and other
States. He was a genial, kind-hearted man, and es-
teemed by all who knew him. His father died in Ire-
land, but his mother soon after came to New York,
where she died before he saw her. He had three
brothers and four sisters, who also settled here as fol-
lows: Lewis located in Philadelphia and there died ;
John resided in the same city ; Michael resided there
for several years, but was also a resident of Pottsville,
Pa. His sister Rose was not married ; Margery be-
came the wife of Johnson Vanderen, of Port Jervis,
N. Y., and after his death removed to Philadelphia,
where she died ; Ann became the wife of a British
officer serving in India, named Wise ; and Margaret
became the wife of Mr. Cassidy, the father of Lewis
C. Cassidy, a distinguished lawyer and Democratic
politician in Philadelphia.

Dennis Cochran married, May 7, 1831, Lydia,
daughter of Benjamin W. and Margaret Hunt, who
bore him the following children : Jane, the oldest,
became the wife of William E., son of Samuel D.
Morford, of Newton, and resides at Los Angeles, Cali-
fornia ; Michael resides in Newark, N. J. ; Sarah C.
was the wife of Dr. R. A. Sheppard, of Newton, and
died April 22, 1868, leaving a daughter Minnie ; Mar-
garet A., became the wife of John Winans, a promi-
nent lawyer in Janesville, Wis., and died there Dec.
22, 1878, leaving no children ; John Cochran, after
graduating at Princeton College, read law with his
cousin, Lewis C. Cassidy, in Philadelphia, and since
his admission has practiced his profession in that city.
He was for nine years a member of the Select Council
there, and is in 1881 a Democratic State senator, rep-
resenting a district of the city. Phebe became the
wife of Edward M. Wildrick, a salesman in the store
of the Franklin Iron Company at Franklin Furnace;
Lewis, subject of this sketch ; Benjamin H. resides
in Newton ; William, a salesman in the clothing-house
of McGregor & Co., Newark, N. J. ; Mary, the present
wife of Dr. R. A. Sheppard; and Kate, the youngest
child, died when four years of age.

Mrs. Cochran was born in 1810 and died in Newton,
April 16, 1871. She was closely identified with her
husband in every work in which he was engaged, was
well known, and no one enjoyed more of the good
will and esteem of the people of Newton than she for
her many virtues and her devotion to friends and
family. Her death was an irreparable loss to her
family.

Lewis, third son of Dennis Cochran, was born in
Newton, Feb. 3, 1843. His preliminary education
was received in the public schools of his native place.
He read law with his brother-in-law, John Winans,
at Janesville, Wis., and was admitted to the bar there ;
he was also a student in the office of John Linn, Esq.,
at Newton. He was admitted to the bar as an attor-
ney at the November term of the Supremo Court of
New Jersey in 1862, and as counselor at the February
term in 1872. Immediately after his admission as



attorney he began the practice of law in Newton,
where he has ever since continued it. On March 25,
1874, he was appointed prosecutor of pleas for Sussex
County, and upon the expiration of his term, March
25, 1879, was reappointed for a second term of five
years.

During his incumbency of this office several of the
most important cases known to Sussex County have
fallen to his care to conduct, among which are the
following:

The trial of " Jack" Hughes for the murder of his
wife ; he was convicted and executed in July, 1875.
In this case he was assisted by the late Jacob Van-
natta, then attorney-general of the State of New Jer-
sey.

The trial of John Sawyer and two others, masked
burglars, who broke into the house of Sanford Hough,
of Wantage, Nov. 2, 1879; they were convicted and
sent to the State prison for a term of fifteen years.

The case of Clarence Campbell, Peter Kane, alias
"Mickey," and John Clark, indicted for the murder
of Melancthon S. Washer, who was killed Feb. 16,
1880, on Spring Street, Newton, in which Campbell
and Kane were convicted of murder in the second
degree and sentenced to State prison for twelve years,
Clark being acquitted.

The trial of Frank F. Patterson, editor of the New-
ark Courier, for libelous publications against Hon.
Henry C. Kelsey, Secretary of State, in connection
with his management of the insurance department,
tried in February, 1880. In this case, the prosecutor
was assisted by ex-Governor Bedle, Thomas Kays, and
Joseph Coult, against Judges Stevens and Fort, of
Newark. Patterson was convicted and sentenced to
the county jail for thirty days and to pay a fine of two
hundred and fifty dollars and costs.

The case of Frederick Crill, which was not only a
most important case, but a most peculiar one. Crill
was indicted for the murder of his daughter, Eliza
Babcock, of Vernon, June 5, 1879. He was indicted
and tried at the September term of the Court of Oyer
and Terminer in the same year, was found guilty of
murder in the first degree, and was executed at New-
ton, April 24, 1880, after having been once reprieved
by the Governor.

In these important cases, and many others, Mr.
Cochran not only has been successful as prosecutor,
but has won the confidence of the people and the es-
teem of his fellow-members of the profession, for the
fair and impartial manner in which ho has performed
his duties.

For several years he was the law-partner of Capti
Lewis Van Blarcom, but since the spring of 1880 ho
has had no associate. He prepares his cases with great
care, is very discriminating in his examination of al
witness, and his familiarity with and correct knowledge
of the law have made him successful in his profession!
I le has had a large experience in conducting cases in
the higher courts, and is recognized as a superior




LEWIS VAN BLAHCOM.



The paternal grandfather of Lewis, Garret, was born in
Borgen Co., N. J., about the year 1780, and married Mary De
Grnw about tbo year 1S04. Of this union woro born two sons
and two daughters, — viz., Samuel. William, Susan (wife of L. L.
Conklin, of l'atcrson, N. .1.), and Mary A. (wife of J. !•'. Dunn.
of Iicllo Plain, Iowa).

(■arret Van llbi i served in the war iif IM2. lie ua- a

mnsnn by trado; sottlcd in Sussex County about 1S2II, where ho
carried on farming tho remainder of hi* life. Putli In- and his
wife were members of tho North Church (Presbyterian) of
Hardyston. He died in 1834. His wife was descended from
ono of the Huguenot families, was a devout Christian woman,
and died in 1801, aged about eighty years.

Of their children, William was father of our subject, and was
born at tbo " Ponds," in licrgon County, in 1 S 1 I. He removed
to Lafayette township, Susses Co., in 1852, and died in 1851.
Ho was a practical farmer, led a quiet life, and never sought
political place or the emoluments of office.

His wife was f'atharino A., daughter of Jacob and Hannah

(Rorick) Sutton, of Hardyston. Her parents re eed to Mioh

igan in 1853, whero both died. She was born in 1811, and sur-
v iii's in 1881. Beth William Van Blarcom and his wife were
active inombors of the Christian Church, and assisted in building
the church-editice at Honroo Corners.

Their children are Lewis, Qnrret, Luoy A. (wife of James
K. Prico, of Romeo, Miob.), Susan C. (wifo of Nelson Aokerson,
of Lafayette i, Joseph, Andrew J., and Hannah (wifo of Charles
Y. Dolscn, of Newton).

Lewis, eldest sen ol' William Van Blarcom, was born in Sparta

township, July I'.t. ls:;5. His early education was ..htui 1 ai

the common school in his native township, and under the prii ate
instruction of Edward A. Stiles, a well-known tea
Wantage.

His minority was mostly spont at home, whero be
inured to farm wnrk. and learned the inestimable lessons of
solf-relianee anil porsovoranoe. After reaching tbo proper age
he was a teaeher tor four terms.

In 1868 he began to read law with M. It. Kimble, of Ham-
burg, and after one year entered the law-otlice of John Linn.
of Newton.



On Aug. 25, 1S62, Mr. Van Blarcom enlisted as first lieu-
tenant, Company D, Fifteenth Regiment New Jersey Volun-
teers, and for meritorious servico ho was promoted in June,
L863, t" oaptain of Company C. This regiment was a part of
the ! i New Jersey Brigade, which formed apart of tho Army
oftbe Potomac, First Division, Sixth Army Corps.

('apt. Van Blarcom was in the following engagements : Fred-
ericksburg, December, 1S62: second Fredericksburg, at Salem
Heights, May, 1863; Gettysburg, July, 1863; Rappahannock
Station, November, 1S63; Spottsylvania, May 3. 1884.

In this lasl engagement he was wounded and captured by
tin.' rebels, and had his leg amputated by them. After remain-
ing in the hospital for ten days, he was carried t" Riohmon I
and placed in I.ililiv Prison, whero he remained until Sept. 11'.
1Si;i. when he ua- exrhanged and placed in the hospital at
Annapolis, lie received his dischargo from service on Deo.
IB, 1884, and returned home.

After bis return to Newton he resumed tbo study of the law,
which ho completed, and was admitted to the bar as an attorney
at Trenton, at the June term in 1865, and as counselor at tho
June term in 1S6S.

After his admission as an attorney be began the praotioe
of law in Newton, where he ha* suooessfully practiced hi*
profession since. From 1809 to 1873, Joseph Coult was asso-
ciated with him in business, and from I*,:: i" 1880, Lewis
Cochran. He was appointed prosecutor of plea- by Governor
Randolph, Maroh : p '. 1809, and discharged the duties of that
offico with acknowledged ability and juatioe for a term of live


i'a| i. Van Blar ii is, polltioally, a Republican, and leading

and influential in his party in Sussex County.

1 i hi- return from tin- war in the fall of 1804 be was tho

Republican oandidate fur county clerk, but failed of election on



Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 49 of 190)