James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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tions to him in the Bible cause, which were adopted :

"1. To avail himself as far as possihle of the aid of the evangelical
ministers of the several congregations.

"2. To procure their assistance in obtaining donations for the society.

"3. That lie shall dispose of the Scriptures as far as practicable by sale,
but leave no destitute family unsupplied.

" 4. To visit especially the poor and destitute families in the mountains
and around our furnaces and mines.

" 5. To urge upon families and individuals, as far as possible, a prayer-
ful attention to the Word of God.

"6. To report personally at the quarterly meeetiugs of the society."

This arrangement was carried out, and Mr. Conk-
ling labored in the cause for one year. When he
ceased the society found itself burdened with the
horse it had loaned him, and the animal was finally
sold for fifteen dollars, about one-third of its cost.

At the meeting held in Newton, May 12, 1853, the
following was adopted :

" Resolved, That this board will appropriate twenty-five dollars in co-
operation witli neighboring Bible societies in supplying the boatmen on
the Morris Canal with the Word of God, and that the Bum be transmitted
to the American Bible Society, subject to the order of the Rev. Mr. Beeves
and Br. W. P. Clarke, a committee of the Warren County socioty, at
whose suggestion this action lias been undertaken."

During this meeting Mr. Charles M. Halsted, a
member of the board of managers, died, and, as upon
many other occasions of the death of members, ap-

propriate resolutions were adopted. In 1853 a col-
porteur of the American Tract Society was again
employed by the society for Bible work in Sussex.
The minutes for Jan. 11, 1854, are largely occupied
with mention of Rev. Dr. Joseph L. Shafer, then re-
cently deceased. In May, 1854, Rev. Mr. Wheeler,
colporteur of the American Tract Society, appears to
have been actively engaged in this society, and re-
ceived forty dollars per annum from it.

The following minutes of the meeting held at Still-
water, May 25, 1855, show the relation of the Meth-
odist churches to the Bible society of this county :

" The attention of the meeting having been called to an act of the late
Conference of our Methodist brethren recommending co-operation with
local organizations in the work of supplying the destitute with the word
of life, it was

"Resolved, That we express our unfeigned pleasure at the prospect of
greater unity in this blessed work on the field covered by this society."

In 1856 the attention of the friends of the society
was called to the advisability of forming life-member-
ships. In 1857 much enthusiasm in the work pre-
vailed, and renewed efforts were made to supply with
Bibles all the destitute families in the county. Jan.
6, 1858, at Newton, the society so altered its constitu-
tion as to have the president and other officers elected
by the meeting instead of by the board of managers.

At the annual meeting held at Newton in 1859,
Rev. Sylvester Cooke resigned the secretaryship, after
a valuable service of twelve years ; he was succeeded
by Hon. Martin Ryerson. At the same time a new
plan was adopted for holding the annual meetings.
It was resolved to dispense with the semi-annual
meetings, and to hold the anniversary thereafter in
June. The first meeting of the new mode was ap-
pointed to be held at Branchville on the last Thurs-
day of June following, at 10 a.m., and the committee
of arrangements was given discretionary power in re-
gard to having sermons and addresses or addresses
only. The committee consisted of Rev. Messrs. Bar-
rett and Campbell and Martin Ryerson, with Rev.
G. W. Lloyd, Presbyterian pastor at Branchville.

The meeting in 1859 was one of the most successful
ever witnessed by the society. The anniversary in
1860 was held at Andover ; at Deckertown in 1861 ; at
Sparta in 1862 ; at Newton in 1863 and 1864 ; at La-
fayette in 1865 ; at Branchville again in 1866 ; and at
Newton — the semi-centennial — in 1867.

In 1860 a standing committee on depository was
ordered to be elected each year. It was recommended
also to the Sunday-schools in the county that they
take annual collections to aid jn circulating Bibles
throughout the world.

The following resolutions were adopted in 1863 :

" Resolved, That pastors be requested to preach a special sermon in aid
of the American Bible Society in December of each year.

"Resolved, That wo will endeavor to increoso the interest of our an-
nual meetings by bringing the subject before our congregations and
urging the personal attendance of the members of the churches,

" Rewind, That we fully sympathize with the American Bible Society
in its great efforts lo supply the Word of God to our national army and



navy, for meu Buttering, and for those who fall into our hands as prisoners
of war.

"Btaolved, That this m lety will pay its proportloo of the .wpeuseof
supplying the State prison and the State Lunatli v-jlnm wll
and Testamenta.

"Rmotoe&t That we DnreeeirecUy pledg r-olvestomeetthoexponses

incurrod in furnishing pocket New Testaments to the men golDg from
par county to servo In our armies.

" Itaahtd, That »» hail with gratitude the advance being made by

Hi.- American Bildo Society in lt» rorelgn work, the - rj baring re-

e.-iitly appropriated Bfty-five thousand dollars r-<r this departm
IB i Dearly double its last appropriation."

The following were adopted in 1864:

• -/, That thlaaoclety assumes one hundred and eighty-six dol-
I,., ui r , 1 1 > 'i 1,1 i,i us its proportion of the oxpenso luium-il in
supplying tin- Neu Jersey te.<>ps up t.. Aug. 7, 1803, with Testaments,
ami tin- society pledges its. -it to pay in future its proportl f similar

from that tune till tin- close of the war.
', That in th- opinion of this society the establishment of a

high dogrco of civilization throughout c try Is essential t.i its

barmanent peace and anion and the perpetnltj of our republican lnsti*
tu i in us; that to accomplish this work In the Sonth and Southwest, among

tin - poor wini.s a- well is tho blacks, will greatly tax tl nergy ami

liberality of the whole people; and that, therefore, every patriot, as well
as every Christian, Is called upon by the highest obllgatlonsof patriotism
and Christian duty to aid tho oflbrts of tho American society and of the

other hoii.'v..l.-iit rliri-timi i.i— uni/jiti. .11- ..| ..nntiy • ■[!;-'. i-;...| in II. is


The last resolution was reaffirmed the following
year. A resolution hy 1 1. 1. ('lark was adopted atthe
Lafayette meeting in 1865, expressive of gratitude for
the national victory, ami calling upon the friends of
the soeiety to practically express their gratitude by
increased exertions and liberality in behalf of the
Bible soeiety ami other kindred associations.


The semi-centennial of the soeiety was held at
Newton, June 12, 1867. Original hymns were sung

ami addresses delivered :i- follow :

By lion. Daniel Baines, on "God's Providence
fully displayed in the Production and Preservation of
the Bible."

Hon. Martin Byerson read a historical paper on
Bible societies, which it is much to be regretted is not
now to he found.

Hon. Peter 1 1. Vroom delivered an address on " The
Bible in reference to Man in three States, — Innocence,
fall, ami Redemption."

Bishop E. S. Janes, of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, spoke on the claims of the Bible.

Rev. Dr. Sheldon gave a history of the Sussex

Brief addresses were math- by Hon. John Hill, John
Y. Foster, of Newark. Theodore Little, of Morris, ami

Rev. Q. S. Moii, ,,r Newton.

Hon. Daniel Haines became president of the 80-

cietyinl868. In that year tin univ was thoroughly

visited again, and all the destitute I see supplied

with Bibles. At the annual meeting in L869 reports
of the variou- committees and workers forme. I an in-
teresting feature. Mr. Chandler Starr, I lie oldest

manager of the American Bible Society, was present,
and delivered an address; also Hon. William 1".

Dodge, Sr., of New York. The meeting was a nota-
ble one in respect to subscriptions reported for the
closingyearby the treasurer, — one thousand and three
dollar- and four cents, including a balance of sixty-
four dollars and three cents from 1867-68.
The growth of interest in Bible work in the county

is well shown by the minute- of the annual meeting
held at Lafayette in 1871. Rev. X. Van-ant. from
the committee on resolutions, reported the following,
which was adopted:

'■Win hi a-, Xhe Increasing attendance at these our annual meetings
shows an increasing Interest in the Bible cause, and is a reason for grati-
tude to every lover of the Bible, we cannot longer close our eyes to the
fait thut providing for tin: entertainment of so large an assemblage iii
our mid villages entails a vast amount of labor on the ladies and
theroby prevents their attendance and enjoyment of these meetings;

u Itttolccd, That hereafter we recommend to the peoplo of OOTOWn

county t.i provide for their own entertainment at th annual n

either on tho plan of picnics or by family groujie, as in their judgment
shall seem desirable."

Cotemporaneous with tin- passing of this resolution

an effort was made to procure;! tent for the accommo-
dation of the meetings; subscriptions amounting to one

hundred ami ten dollars were pledged, but the matter

subsequently fell through. An address was delivered
at the same meeting by Rev. S. Irenseus Prime, D.D.,

editor of the New Y>>rl: observer.

Thus it appears from the records of this society that
the work of Bible distribution has been heartily re-

membered ami sustained by the people of Sussex
i lounty from a very early period, dating almost coeta-
neouslv with the first movement lor the organization

of Bible societies in Europe and America. It -peak-
well for the moral and Christian tone of the people of
I In-, healthy rural settlements, and for their zeal in

promoting the moral and religious welfare of the com-

'flic sixtieth anniversary of the society was held in
Hi.- Methodist Episcopal church at Andover, June 18,

1877; sermon by Rev. J. F. Smith. D.D., of Newark.
The annual meeting for 187s was held in the I'ri-bv-
lerian church at Branchl illeon Wednesday, June 12th.

Iii 1879 the annual meeting was held in the Baptist
church at Hamburg, when the occasional sermon was
preached by l>r. Moffit, of the Princeton Theol

The present officers of the society, elected at the
annual meeting June 9, 1880, are the following : Presi-
dent, lion. Samuel T. Smith ; Vice-Presidents, David
K. Hull. Smith M. Fisher; Treasurer, Samuel John-
son; Depository, referred to board of managers;
Secretary, William P. Nicholas ; also a board of mana-
gers for each township: Stillwater, T. B. Condit;

t i recti. W. II. Hart ; Bj ram. K.\. .1. .1. t Yam ; \n, lo-
ver, Albert I'uder; Sparta, H. B. Strait; Hardyston,

t lharles I. inn ; Lafayette, William M. Pollison ; Frank-
ford. 1.. II. s. Martin; Hampton, [saiah Wallen;
Vernon, William Toland; Wantage, James H. Dun-
ning; Montague, Jesse Lundy; Sandyston, John



Kyte ; Walpack, John S. Smith ; Newton, Charles D.


The Sussex County Mutual Insurance Company was
incorporated by act of the Legislature approved Feb.
22, 1840. The following-named persons were the
original incorporators : James Stoll, Isaac Bonnell,
John Bell, John Strader, John H. Hall, Andrew A.
Smalley, Robert F. Shafer, George H. McCarter, Pier-
son Hurd, Walter L. Shee, Joseph Linn, Alexander
Boyles, James Evans, and Joseph Northrup, Jr.

The first board of directors named in the charter,
and who held office till their successors were duly
elected and qualified, were Isaac Bonnell, John Bell,
Pierson Hurd, John H. Hall, John Strader, Robert
F. Shafer, Walter L. Shee, James Evans, Andrew A.
Smalley, Zachariah H. Price, Joseph Northrup, Jr.,
George H. McCarter, Whitfield S. Johnson, Nathan
Smith, Nathaniel Drake, Reuben F. Randolph, Isaac
V. Coursen, Richard R. Morris, and Elias L'Homme-

A set of by-laws for the government of the com-
pany was adopted June, 1840, and amended February,
1859. The charter was first obtained for thirty years,
and in 1870 was renewed for thirty years more.

The following is a list of the presidents, secretaries
and treasurers, and members of the executive com-
mittees of the company from its organization to 1880,


John H. Hall was the first president, elected in 1840,
and continued till 1847, when he declined a re-election,
: i nd Robert 1 1. McCarter was chosen in his place. Mr.
McCarter served one year, and in 1848 Mr. Hall was
again elected, and held the presidency of the company
till 1859. He was then succeeded by Jonathan Whit-
taker, who remained president till 1874, when the
present incumbent, Dr. Franklin Smith., was elected.
Hence the company has had four presidents during
the forty years of its existence.


Whitfield S. Johnson was secretary and treasurer of
the company from its organization till 1861, — a period
of twenty-one years. He was succeeded by Dr. Frank-
lin Smith, who officiated two years, until the election
of Daniel S. McCarter, who held the offices from 1863
to L868, and was succeeded by Oakley B. Pellet, who
was secretary and treasurer from 1868 to 1871. John T.
Stewart was then elected, and held the offices till 1880,
at which date the present secretary and treasurer,
Charles I'. Rorbach, was elected.


'flu' following have aerved as executive committees
of tlic company for the years named:

* The presidents of the company are ex-offleio members of the execu-
tive committees.

1S40-43. — George H. McCarter, Joseph Northrup, Jr.
1843-45.— Robert H. McCarter, Samuel Rorbach.
1845^17.— Robert H. McCarter, Lewis Howell.
1847-48.— John II. Hall, Samuel Rorbach.
184S-55.— Samuel Rorbach, William Beach.
1855-56— William Beach, James R. Hull.
1856-61.— Franklin Smith. James R. Hull.
1861-64.— James R. Hull, William P. Nicholas.
1864-70.— David Thompson, John McCarter.
1870-71.— David Thompson, John W. Lane.
1871-72.— Franklin Smith, William P. Nicholas.
1872-74.— Franklin Smith, Peter S. Decker.
1874-79— Peter S. Decker, Jacob E. Hornbeck.
1879-81.— John W. Lane, John Loomis.

Of those who took part in the original organization
of the company, only three are now living; these are
Isaac Bonnell and Andrew A. Smalley, of the incor-
porators of 1840, and Zachariah H. Price, of the char-
ter board of directors.


President, Dr. Franklin Smith ; Secretary and
Treasurer, Charles P. Rorbach; Executive Commit-
tee, John W. Lane, John Loomis ; Directors, Jacob
E. Hornbeck, Martin Cole, William McDanolds,
Elias R. Goble, Amos Smith, Peter S. Decker,
Christopher B. Van Syckle, David R. Hull, David
Thompson, Zachariah H. Price, Thomas Lawrence,
John W. Lane, Job J. Decker, Franklin Smith, John
Layton, Jr., Albert Puder, John Loomis, James L.
Munson, Asa Wilson.


At an adjourned meeting of citizens of Sussex
County favorable to the formation of an agricultural
society, held at the court-house in Newton on the 17th
of December, 1856, on motion, Joseph Greer, of New-
ton, was chosen president, Henry K. Winans, Esq., of
Vernon, vice-president, and Victor M. Drake, of New-
ton, secretary. On motion of Judge Davis, the com-
mittee appointed at a former meeting were requested
to report the constitution and by-laws for the society,
which were unanimously adbpted. The committee
appointed at the former meeting to select officers for
the society for the ensuing year reported the follow-
ing: President, Lewis Dunn, Vernon; Vice-Presi-
dents, William Ryerson, Franklin; Thomas Law-
rence, Hardyston; George C. Shaw, Stillwater ; Sec-
retary, Victor M. Drake, Newton; Treasurer, Daniel
S. Anderson, Newton ; Executive Committee, Peter
Smith, Byram ; Samuel H. Hunt, Green ; Azariah
Davis, Newton ; Elias R. Goble, Stillwater ; Nathaniel
Van Auken, Walpack; Abram Predmore, Sandyston;
Jacob Hornbeck, Jr., Montague ; Nathan S. Roe,
Frankford; Jansen H. Beemer, Wantage; Charles
Mackerly, Lafayette ; John B. Monnell, Hardyston ;
James L. Munson, Sparta ; John Rutherford, Vernon.

On motion, the following was adopted:

"Rewired, That the exocutivo committee of the Sussex County Agri-
cultural Society are hereby instructed to report to the noxt meeting of
the society on the expediency of establishing an agricultural Bchool, or
an agricultural department in a school, in this county."



Mr. J. II. Frazee, secretary of tin- State Agrieultii-
ral Society, being present at tin' meeting, delivered,
by request, an able and interesting address.

The executive committee me) at Newton on the 9th
bf January, 1857, and adopted the following reeolu-
Bonfi :

"liaolrrd, Tlmt nn agricultural exhibition and r.iir, Including the
in- ens in- ait*, household and domestic manufai tun., animals, groins,

Bruits, fanning ah indl -, agricultural Imple nts, minora]*, etc., etc., be

held at some place in Sussex Comity to bo hereafter designated, com.

knandng on Tuesday, tho Btb day "t October next, and c ■

thiys ut tin* oloae of which an address will be delivered, prei
iiwur.l.'ii, anil the nam.- ol exhibitors read.

'■ /.■. ./ . i, 1 1 ,i til.' noxt meeUng <.f tin' executive committee la- held
at Park Mall, in Newton, on Weduesday, tin' luh of February next, i"

hour tho report of tho i mlttee nppolnted t" draft a lint of urticlon for

whirl, competition will he Invited and premiums awurded, and Unit the
Bid commltteo conslstof tlio following persons, — viz., Azuriuli Davis,
-go 0. .shaw-, James I.. Hunson, Charles ofackorly, Samuel II. Hunt.

" Resolved, That tlin following ^. iitl.-in.-ii rmelitnl.' a .nniinin.-.. t

eelve propositions and fix upon •■ place foi holding the county agricul-
turul fair,— vlx., Newton, Azarlah Davis; Lafayette, I barli Uackerly,
gperta, Janic L. Hunson; Bronchvillo, Kathan S. Roe| Decki
Jknaeu II. Beemer; Hamburg, Thomas Lawrence, — and that they make
th.-ii reporl (■• tin- next i tiug -it tin- >-\ - < ntiv.- committee.

" /;■ 'trad, Thai Lewis 1 i, go C. Shaw, Zacbariah H. Price,

A/ariiii. Davis, Jausen II. Beomor, Daniel D. Qould, ami George M.
Byereon be appointed delegnl Suasex County at tlie meet-

ing of the State Agricultural Society to bo held al Trenton on the 21et
of January noxl t"i the purpose of advani lug agriculture In tho Stale."

There was in connection with this organization an
agricultural club, which held regular meetings for

In-arinir addresses, rending papers, and participating

in discussions nn various topics relating to theoretical
and practical husbandry. This club met mi the lltli
i.f February, 1867, in Park Hall tit lo a.m., and in
tlie evening addresses were delivered by several invited

Meetings of the Susses Agricultural Society and of
the executive committee were of frequent occurrence
during ihe spring and summer of 1857, at several of
which addresses were delivered by Prof. G. II. Cook,

state geologist, 1 by others, the attendance at most

of these meetings being large and manifesting much
interest in tin improvement of agriculture in tlie
' ity.

Ai a meeting of the executive committee held in
Park Hall on Feb. 25, 1857, propositions were n
ceived from Deckertown and from Newton a- com-
peting places for the establishment of the fair-grounds

Of the society. Tlie runner made proposals to give

five 1 1 n in I red dollars and tin- use of tlie ground free of
expense, tin- funds to in- paid in advance to help de-
fray tlie expense of fitting up the grounds. The latter
place over-bid I leckertown, and became the happy re-
cipient of the Susses County fair-grounds. A li-i of
Articles and premiums was then made out and sub-
bitted i" tlie i littee at their next meeting, held at

l'ark Hall mi the Nth of April following. This list
will he found published in lull in the New ■/

■ •I' May 28, L867, Occupying nearly two full


i lompetition was thrown open to exhibitors from till
parts ui' the state and contiguous portions of other

States. Upwards of thirteen hundred dollars in cash
premiums wen- offered by the societj ; the grounds
were fitted up with suitable buildings and offices, and
- 1 : 1 1 > 1 i 1 1 lt provided for two hundred lead of cattle and
horses. The time originally appointed I'm - holding
the lair was changed to one week later in the season,
ami the first fair and exhibition of the Sussex < Jounty
Agricultural Society was held at Newton mi the 18th,
1-tth. and l'lth of i let., her, 1857.

The opening of the fair-grounds was inaugurated by
the presence of the executive committee and officers
of the Bociety, tun beautifully-uniformed military
companies, bands of martial music, together with a
cavalcade of tin- citizens of Newton, officers "t the
stale Agricultural Society, lire company, county so-
eii ii,-, and local committees. The fair was a decided

BUCCess in every respeet. The gross receipt- were
about three thousand live hundred dollar-, ol' which
thirteen hundred dollars were reeived at tin

During the three day- of the exhibition it wa- esti-
mated that the grounds were visited by not Less than
twenty-five thousand persons.

The lairs were held on the old fair-grounds, south

of the Newton depot, which were laid out in 1-:,;.

They consisted of about thirty acres adjoining the

cemetery, well adapted naturally lor the purposes of
a fair-ground and race-course, and provided with half-
mile track, suitable offices, Stalls, and other build-
in":-. These grounds were used for tail's until the

outbreak of the Rebellion, ami the society was dis-
solved in 18114. Part of the ground is now occupied
by the New Ion -hoc-factory.


The old Sii-sck fairs, which were held annually for
Several years before the late war and with much -uc-
ce-s, were a great advantage to the inhabitant- of the

county. Competition developed the energies and

abilities of the j pie, aroused an interest in the im-
provement of cattle and stock, ami advertised the

excellence Of home products all over the Stale and
beyond her borders. In those days the dairy interests
of (he county were BCCOnd to none in the State, and
Su—rx butter brought the highest price in the New-
York markets. Every tanner Competed with his
■i in the manufacture of butter and the culti-
vation of tin' product- of the -oil. In those days
Sussex i lountj raised tin- finest cattle and best horses

that could hi' found anywhere, and the demand al-
ways exceeded the supply. Sussex County was noted
lor her good horses and stock. The lairs were the
glory of the county, and in their agricultural displays
in those days excelled any exhibitions of the kind
held in New .lcr-cy. The direct advantages ,,f the
fairs I,, the fanners were felt and seen in the reputa-
tion which they gave to the county for its productions

and tile higher price- which that reputation enabled
them to demand for the fruit- of intelligent labor and




The county since the late war was gradually falling
below the reputation of previous years, and it was
felt that something must be done to bring it up. to the
high standard which it once held. The home interest
must be aroused and promoted and the energy and
zeal of the people stimulated to regain what they had
lost. Good Sussex butter, excellent grain, fine cattle,
stock, and horses, were wanted, and it was felt that
the productions of the county should be improved
and increased. Nothing arouses public interest and
promotes the material prosperity of the people so well
as a good, old-fashioned agricultural fair.

The movement was talked over by a few, and it was
resolved to call a meeting of the farmers of the county,
and one was accordingly held at the Hoppough House,
in Newton, in the month of June, 1880. Subsequent
meetings were frequently held, and the public interest
was gradually awakened, and the movement began to
assume tangible shape.

At a meeting held in the court-housein Newton on
Monday, Aug. 2, 1880, the subscription of stock was

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 58 of 190)