James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 71 of 190)
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books w ith spi cial reference to the Thi i cal De-
partment of the Syrian Protestant i which
he is the professor.

Mr. Dennis' remaining children are Dr. Fred

"i New York, a partner of the celebrated sur-
geon Professor .lames k. Wood, of Bellevue Hos-
pital; Warren E.,just admitted to the bar ill New
i ; Samuel S., assisting his lather in bus

and Mary I'.li/.a. an only daughter.

There Was one scene in Mr. Dennis' life which de-
mention. When the civil war broke out
threats wen- freely made that if the New Jersey Kail-

he was allowed to officiate at the presentation of this road took troops South, the torch would be applied to
beautiful building, with its ample dimensions and the bridges over the Hackensack and Passu
well-ordered apartments. Well might wecoiigratn- Darcy, the president of the road, and Mr. Dennis, one
late ourselves upon its success. Be hoped soon to 1 f the directors, were one whole night looking after

aide to announce an interesting and attractive library, these bridges and directing the batteries w hose ^uns

— :i it fully equaling, perhaps, the famous libraries of were trained to guard every foot of the endangered



structures. Tkey were surrounded by a mob of des-
perate men bent on burning tbe bridges. Gen. Darcy
and Mr. Dennis, in the carriage of the general, were
driving to the scene of danger, when they were beset
by the roughs, who took the horse from the carriage.
Gen. Darcy was popular with the men, and so great
was his influence that t the men hitched the horse to
the wagon and allowed them to drive on. It was a
night of danger, but prudence, courage, and the well-
loaded cannon brought the matter to a safe conclu-
sion ; so that not a single train was detained.

It certainly seems almost like a tale of the romancer
thus to note a few of the incidents in the life of one
who by fidelity to principle and duty has steadily
risen from " the iron press-bar of the bookbinder" to
be the counsel, friend, and partner of some of the
greatest monarchs of the rail in our country.


The first fire company in Newton was organized in
1835, after the burning of TrusdelFs chair-shop, on
Mill Street, with Maj. John Kraber as foreman, Judge
Martin Eyerson secretary, and AVhitfield S. Johnson
treasurer; Gen. Lyman Edwards was appointed chief
engineer. An old " crank"-engine was purchased by
the town and placed in charge of the compan}', under
the name of " Phcenix Engine Company, No. 1."
Previous to 1835 the only protection the town had
against fire was fourteen leathern buckets, which were
kept hanging on a pole in the lower hall of the court-

In January, 1847, the court-house was destroyed by
fire, and the following year a "goose-neck" hand-
engine, known as " Neptune, No. 3," formerly used in
New Haven, Conn., was purchased, and a company
formed, with Lewis N. Williams as foreman. Wil-
liams was succeeded by Maj. Kraber and Foreman
Shafer, and Dr. Thomas Eyerson, Dr. Morford, John
C. Williams, Aaron H. Bonnell, Alexander Shafer,
Henry W. Johnson, James E. Hull, William Mor-
ford, John W. Lane, Harvey Eaymond, George Eyer-
son, David Auble, and others took an active part.
Another company was organized about the same time,
with John J. Edwards, as foreman, who took charge
of the " crank" -engine, and for a few years a warm
and friendly rivalry existed between the two compa-
nies. Gen. Lyman Edwards acted as chief engineer
during this organization.

In 1857, Charles Crook formed a new company for
No. 3, and was elected foreman. Mr. Crook took a
very active part in fire matters, and principally
through his efforts the organization was continued for
three or four years.

In 1863 occurred what is known as the Snook fire,
on Spring Street. At this time there was no organized
company, and the goose-neck engine was manned by
the citizens under command of Charles Crook, who
had kept the engine in order for use. After this fire

* Contributed by Thomas G. Buuiioll, Esn,.

the purchase of another engine was advocated, and,
through the efforts of Mr. Crook, No. 4, a piano-en-
gine, was purchased at Newark, where it was known
as " Dutch Four." A new company, known as " Her-
cules, No. 4," was organized, with Joseph Coult as
foreman, and S. C. Randall assistant foreman.

A few weeks later Pemberton B. Horton formed a
company for Neptune, No. 3. Mr. Horton was elected
foreman, Eobert E. Gray assistant foreman, Henry C.
Bonnell secretary, and Oakley B. Pellet treasurer. In
1864 the company abandoned the old " goose-neck,"
and with the assistance of the town purchased No. 7
of Newark. At that time this engine was considered
one of the finest hand-engines in the State. It was a
piano make, and was heavily ornamented with silver.
The organization was completed by the appoint-
ment of Charles Crook, as chief engineer, by Charles
Eorbach, president of the fire board. This board was
elected by the property-owners in April of each year.

This department was finely equipped, and was very
active until Nov. 21, 1866, a number of fires occur-
ring on Spring Street. Between the hours of 11 p.m.
on the 2lst and 11 a.m. on the 22d of November,
1866, there were three fires, the first destroying three
stables in the rear of English's blacksmith-shop, with
the contents, including two horses and a cow. The
second fire was in Tilman & Davidson's clothing-
store, which was extinguished after the stock had
been badly damaged. The third was at No. 3's en-
gine-house. The building caught from the stove
while several of the members were engaged in oiling
the old leather hose in an adjoining yard. The engine
was badly damaged, but the boys succeeded in res-
cuing it from the building, and while No. 4 was en-
gaged in saving the engine-house and lecture-room of
the Presbyterian church No. 3 did effective work in
saving the church, which was on fire twice.

During the organization of this department a re-
vival meeting was conducted in No. 3's house by Dr.
Thomas Eyerson, which resulted in the conversion of
one of the members.

On Nov. 27, 1866, at a meeting of the citizens, it
was voted to purchase ground and erect a new engine-
house. A site was obtained on High Street, and a
brick building erected ; on its completion it was occu-
pied by No. 4. An effort was made at this time to
purchase a hook-and-ladder truck, but failed.

April 10, 1867, the property-owners voted to dis-
pose of No. 7. It was sold to Morristown, and after-
wards to New York parties, who shipped it to Brazil.

July 25, 1867, Company No. 3 held a meeting in
Cannon's Hall, and voted to disband. No. 4 also dis-
banded a few weeks later.

Oct. 19, 1867, a fire broke out in Gillam's uphol-
stery room, on Spring Street, and No. 4 was taken to
the scene by the citizens. It was found to be out of
order, and a bucket brigade was formed and the fire
extinguished with pails of water.

From this time until 1873 there was no organized



department. Chief Engineer Crook, however, bad
charge of No. 4 and the old "goose-neck," both of
which arc still in possession of the town.


On the morning of Sept. 22, 1873, the town was
vi-itcd by the most destructive lire in its history. It
originated in the drug-store of ( horge I.. Smith, on
Main Street, and the flames were not -ubducd until
the buildings of Mr. Smith, W. W. Woodward, Mrs.
I;, i Iramer, Dr. R. A. Sheppard, and 1 tennis < lochran
were ilestrov -ii 1. The I.,- was about $1)5,000. The
Band-engines were brought to the scene, but were of

little serviee, tile citi/.eli- bei ing e I h:l 11-1 ei I after a

few minutes' work at the brakes, and the old leather

hose being too rotten to stand the pressure of a

Aid was telegraphed lor to Morristown and
lb, I. ..ken. Steamer I lompany No. 1, of Hoboken. an-
swered the call, arrh ing in Newton about 5 a.m. The
danger was past, bu( the steamer was fired up and a
<ti-eam thrown on the smouldering ruins. This was
the lirst steamer in the town, and the people were so
miieh pleased with it* workings that it was de ided
OB the spiii that lie town must have a steamer. On
the i'::d the town committee, consisting of Martin
Bosenkrans, Dr. Levi I >. Miller. Joseph Warbasse, \.
W. Price, and Emanuel Ackerson, held a meeting,
and voted to purchase a steamer and 1000 feel of hose.
On the 24th, Martin Bosenkrans and Chief Engi-
neer Crook visited Paterson and other cities, in-
specting the different make of steamers, and finally
purchased of Clapp A: Jones, of Hudson. N. Y., a
handsome fourth-class steamer that had been built
expressly for exhibition at the- New York State Fair;
800 feet of rubber hose was also purchased. The total
cost was $5000.

September 80th the town committee appointed the
following officers and members to constitute the de-
partment: Chief Engineer, Charles I irooh ; Assistant
Chief, John Hemingway. ( Hikers of the company:
I 'unman. M. B. Snyder; Assistant Foreman, Coulter
Cannon; Engineer, Henrj i '. Bonnell ; First Assist-
ant, Dr. John J. Case; See. .ml Assistant, Stephen Nor-
ri- ; Third Assistant,* lharles S. Steele; Stoker, Charles
\l cCollum ; Assistant, John Massaker. Twenl ei it

members were appointed, but only the following

served : l.. I.. Davenport, C. K. Foster, C. M. Wood-
ruff, W. D. Steele, I. I.. Hallock, William F. Howell,
Andrew Phillips, William Farrell, George Winter-
mute, Wesley Trusdell, G. B. Dunning, George Frace,
Peter Hough, J. D. Simmons, Thomas E. Smith, G.
W. Hawkins, Theodore Simonson.

At the lirst meeting, October I'd, the organization
was completed by the election • > t" ( '. K. Foster as -■■, -
tetary, and W, D. Steele treasurer. W. S. Layton was
als.i elected stoker, in place of Charles McCollum

resigned. October 17lh a istilution and by-laws

were adopted, and twenty new members elected to
take the place oi those \\ ho refused to Berve.

The Steamer arrived October 9th, and the day fol-
lowing a public trial took place. Horizontal streams
..own 265 and 229 feet, through loo and 800

feet of hose, and a perpendicular stream over 218 feet.

At the lirst annual meeting of the company, held
Oct 8, 1874, Henry 0. I'.onnell was elected foreman,
and was re-elected yearly for six years, until October,
1880. At the last annual meeting, having become
exempt bv -even year-' -civic,-, he declined a re-elec-
tion, and a committee consisting of Charles E. I
rest, Richard Bedhead, and F. Ingersoll was ap-
pointed to draft resolutions, which w.re handsomely
engrossed and presented to him.

The present officers of the company are as follows;
I. ,11, B, F. Goodman, nice ling Coulter Can-
non as assistant foreman in 1877, the latter at that
time being appointed assistant chief engineer ; As-
sistant Foreman, Charles E. Deniarest; Secretary,
William 11. Nichols; Treasurer, Richard Bedhead.
M. R. Snyder was appointed assistant chief engineer

November, 1S74, and served until the summer of 1877.

Charles S. Steele, the present engineer, has faithfully

served the company in that capacity for six years.
being re-elected each year without opposition.

The follow ing have also served as officers since the

organization :

Bterelarla.— I'tmrlw 51. Woodruff, I'lmi ! ' ' ; ,u, I. L. Hallock,

John P. Pellet, Charlea E. Demueet
Trtiuurm— i '. K. Potter, R. F. Goodman, C. s. Steele, Hurry Lindeloy.
AaitlarU Engineer!. — C 51. WoodrnfT, Jacob llryaut, George Dcroareat, R.

I ,. o Im in, i " ' i -■ i i "- ! ■ , John K. r. -■!!,.

Stokers.— William s. Iji.vtou, Frv,l \«%-», Fr.iuk I.

Auitlanl Slokeri.—Frei Logos, Frank Losee, Wallace 51ycrs.


Oct. 24, 1873, twenty members were appointed by

the foreman of the steamer company to act a- b.088-
men, wiih Weslej Trusdell as foreman. The hoscmen
had charge of a large tw,,-\\ heeled jumper.

Both companies held meetings together, and were

virtually one company. Mr. Trusdell held the f,,ie-

manship until October, l*7i), when I I -ge Vangilder

was elected, with E. B. Wilkinson as assistant fore-

At the annual meeting iii 1878 the hose company
withdrew from the steamer company, and became a
separate company. The officers were George Van
odder. Foreman; Lewie M. Morford, Assistant Fore-
man : 1. 1-. 1 1 al lock. Secretary ; John C. Howell, Treas-
urer. These officers were continued in office until
January, 1880, when Lewis M. Morford "a- elected
foreman, and Barry 0. Byerson assistant foreman.

The present officers are: Foreman, Harry 0. Byer-
son; A— isiaut Foreman, l. 1.. Hallock; Secretary,
Isaac De Kay; Treasurer, .lame- E. Baldwin.

In September. 1879, the ho-,- company purchased a

tine parade-carriage of Humane steamer Company,
,,f Easton. The original cost of the carriag

ported a* (2500, and it was at one lime owned by a

Philadelphia company;. It was on exhibition at the



Centennial in Philadelphia in 1876, and took the first

Sept. 16, 1874, the steamer company visited Morris-
town and participated in the annual parade of that
department as the guests of Independent Hose Com-
pany. The following Christinas a committee of the
steamer company visited Morristown and presented
the Independents with a handsome silver pitcher.

Oct. 8, 1875, the department held its first parade.
Independent Hose Company of Morristown and
Hoboken Steamer Company, No. 1, participated, the
former the guest of the steamer company, and the
latter of the hand-engine company, No. 4, which had
been reorganized with E. A. Vernon as foreman, and
M. R. Shiner as assistant foreman. The parade was
witnessed by over 7000 people.

On Christmas day, 1875, a committee from Inde-
pendent Hose Company of Morristown visited New-
ton and presented the steamer company with a hand-
some pair of silver parade-trumpets.

Oct. 2, 1879, the steamer company participated in
the annual parade of the Middletown, N. Y., firemen
as the guests of Monhagen Hose Company. The same
day Kittatinny Hose Company were the guests of In-
dependent Hose Company of Morristown, and par-
ticipated in the annual parade at that place.

Jan. 30, 1880, a committee from the steamer com-
pany visited Middletown and presented Monhagen
Hose Company with a handsome swinging silver pit-
cher and goblets.

March 15, 1880, a committee of Kittatinny Hose
Company visited Morristown and presented Inde-
pendent Hose Company with a set of beautiful jar-

Feb. 19, 1880, Chief Engineer Crook was presented
with an elegant gold badge by Kittatinny Hose Com-

Sept. 30, 1880, the department celebrated its sev-
enth year of service — known as " exempt year" — by a
grand parade. Visiting companies were present from
Middletown and Warwick, N. Y., Dover, Morristown,
and Hoboken. The parade was one of the most im-
posing that ever occurred in Northern New Jersey.
The public and private buildings were bedecked with
bunting and flags. At least 6000 people, coming
from all parts of Sussex, Morris, Warren, and Orange
Counties, witnessed the parade. The visiting com-
panies were handsomely entertained by the home
firemen, including the hand-engine company, No. 4,
which had been again reorganized, with John M.
Law as foreman.

Jan. 4, 1881, a delegation of Independent Hose
Company of Morristown visited Kittatinny Hose Com-
pany, and presented them with a beautiful marble
clock and side ornaments, valued at $100.


The following is a list of the firemen who were ex-
empt at the time of the parade, Sept. 30, 1880: Chief

Engineer Crook, Assistant Chief Cannon, Foreman
H. C. Bonnell, Engineer Charles S. Steele, C. K.
Foster, W. D. Steele, I. L. Hallock, W. F. Howell,
G. B. Dunning, George Frace.

Up to Feb. 1, 1881, the following additional mem-
bers had become exempt : Thomas G. Bunnell, Joseph
Pool, Jacob Bryant, Richard F. Goodman, J. W. Cri-
gar, Ira Moore, Jr., Thomas Ryerson, Henry N. Dun-
lap, George Van Gilder, George Wilkinson, Edward
Williams, Charles D. Thompson, George Hardin,
Lewis M. Morford.


From the organization of the department, in 1873,
up to Feb. 1, 1881, forty alarms were responded to, as
follows: 1873, 3; 1874, 3; 1875,3; 1876,4; 1877,1;
1878, 4; 1879, 3; 1880, 15* Two of the alarms were
out of town, — one at Andover, the other at Branch-
ville. The former was responded to, but for the latter
place no transportation could be procured.

The fire in 1877 was at Clark's furniture store, on
Park Place ; two firemen were injured by a falling
wall. Seven men, in charge of the pipe on Simon-
son's law-office roof, had a narrow escape from death.
The minutes of the company say, " Foreman H. C.
Bonnell noticed the swaying of the wall and ordered
the men from the roof. While three of the men were
still on the ladder the wall fell, crushing through the
roof just left by the' firemen, and instantly killing S.
Halstead Shafer, who was in the office." Theodore
Morford and Hubbard Stevens, who were in the office
with Mr. Shafer, had a narrow escape. Both were
seriously injured, and were confined to their homes
for several weeks.

Oct. 6, 1880, the most destructive conflagration
since the organization of the department occurred.
At 9.10 p.m. a fire broke out in the barn of Huston &
Van Blarcom, in the rear of their store, and, fanned
by a high wind, spread rapidly, consuming the car-
penter-shop of S. S. Cook and three adjoining stables,
including James L. Northrup's livery-stable. At one
time thirteen buildings were on fire, and it was feared
the whole block of stores would be destroyed, with
the Cochran House. The firemen were compelled to
fight the fire behind a barricade, owing to the intense
heat. The property saved on this occasion alone more
than repaid the whole cost of the steamer and depart-
ment since its organization.

The department has lost but one active member,
Marion N. Smith, a member of Kittatinny Hose


Benjamin and Mary (Taylor) Crook, the parents ot
Charles, were both born in Chatham, county of Kent,
England, — the former in 1800, the latter in 1806, —

* The Audover flro is not recorded, und also three other alarms, — one
at Mr. Hill's house, in South Newton, one at the old Methodist Episcopal
church, on Division Street, and one caused by tho burning of wood along
tlio Sussex Railroad track.



and married in the city of London, where thej re-
sided for a time afterward*, and in \*'2'.l emigrated to

America, bringing their only son, Alfred, then about
one year old, with them. They settled at Middletown

Point, now Matawan, Monmouth Co., N. J., where
Mr. Crook carried on the business of a baker until his
decease, in 1843. His wife died in February, L881.
They had three children horn in Matawan, — Charles,
Eliza, and Thaddeus, — all of whom are living.

Charles Crook was born June 7, 1831, and during
his minority served an apprenticeship as a marble-
cutter, lie married, February, 1852, Mary A. Vaug-
han, of Hightstown, N. J., who has borne him two
Children,— viz., William A. and Charles li. In 1854
he removed t" Newton, N. J., and after working for
a short time for the estate of Daniel Baker, carrying
on the marble business lefl by him at his death, he
purchased and has sinee continued to manage it. He
became a member of the " Neptune Fire Company,
No. 8," of Newton, in 1855; shortly afterward* was
elected foreman, which position he filled with great
credit until be was elected chief engineer, a few year*
afterwards, and ha* discharged the duties of this office


Mr. Crook's service in the department has been so
efficient and so satisfactory to the people of Newton
and members of the fixe department that to write a
history of his connection with the company, narra-
ting his fearlessness in time* of extreme danger, his

promptness to every call, his superior judgment in
time* of difficulty, in planning the work of the com-

pany to quench the destructive element and save
property, is to vise a complete account of the lire de-
partment since he became connected with it.

i.im assoota i ion.
Feb. 24, 1876, the firemen organized a firemen's
Benevolent Association, under the laws of the State.
The officers were: resident. ( leorge Hardin; Vice-
President, Henry C. Bonnell ; Secretary, t reorge Van
' lihler ; Treasurer, \V. I). Steele. There are also three
trustees, one elected each year for a term of three
years. Since 1877 the officers have been: President.

Henry C. lioimell ; Vice-President, E. F.Goodman;
Secretary, George Van Gilder; Treasurer, Charles S.
Steele, since 1878.

The funds of the association, up to dan. 1, l*s|,
amounted to $450, which is derived from the insur-
ance companies paying to the treasurer two pi
on the amount of risks taken in the town. The fund
can be used only for benevolent purposes.

The officers of the fire wardens the first year
were: Foreman, James AV. Crigar; Assistant, David
Couse, Jr.: clerk. Andrew II. Konkle; Treasurer,

Samuel Johnson. The present officers ilsSl) are:

Foreman, David Couse; Assistant foreman. Hiram
C. Clark; Clerk, Andrew H. Konkle ; Treasurer, M.
K. Snyder.

II i: i; PATROL.

"The Board of Fire Patrol of the Newton Fire De-
partment" was organized June 7, 1875, and reorganized
Feb. 23, 1880. It is established under a legislative en-

actnicnl approved March 11. 1 *7 M . This defines the
duty of the lire patrol " to be present at all tires within

the limits of such fire department, and take charge of all

goods and chattels that may be removed from buildings
in consequence of such tire, and keep the Bame under
their care and protection until the same can be de-
livered to the owners thereof, and shall, during the
continuance of BUCh tire . . . have the power of cou-
Btables, and may arrest, without warrant, any person
interfering with said goods, and take such person be-
fore any justice of the peace of the county where ap-
[in In tided, to be dealt with according to law."

The members of the patrol, « ith the date- of their
election, are :

Jiuu 7, 187 I hoc v\ Orl ir, Frank U. Ward, B

George Hiir'tiii, Chariot Arvjs, Thomai Deckv, s*muol Jouuson,

• 3. Cook, Tl .l< Q, Bunnell, \\ hitman D -

4*415,1879 D ,Jr, Andrew H. Konkle, and Andrew J. Van

Ao. 28, i - Ooctai in, UarUn K. Snyder.

Oct 4, 1880.— Henij Boiton, ..John N. dark, Bobart

T. J.iIiiiihiii, Thooiloro Morfunl.

I hi officers are as follows: .lam.* \v. Origar,
man; David Couse, Jr., A*si*tant foreman; Andrew
II. Konkle, ( 'lerk ; Samuel Johnson, Treasurer; Mar-
tin K, Snyder ami George Hardin, Auditing Com-




The first inns were those of Henry Hairlocker and
Thomas Woolverton, who were licensed in 1753 at the
first court held in the county. Of that of the former
there is nothing known further than the fact already
stated. Of that of the latter there is a better knowl-
edge. What names it may have borne before or who
may have been the intervening landlords (if any) is
not known, but it was later called the " County
Hotel," and was kept by Isaac Bassett, whose wife
was a Woolverton. He was succeeded by Daniel
Harker (who moved the building) , the Widow Mackey,
Benjamin T. Hunt, Theodore Allison, David D.
Chandler, Samuel Rorbach, Andrew Shiner, Mr. Hol-
loway, John Stoll, and Redmond Ward. It stood
facing the park and burned down in 1857, at which
time William Fox was proprietor.

In 1815, Job Bates kept tavern in a yellow house on
Main Street, facing the green, where are now the resi-
dences of Dr. R. A. Sheppard and Mrs. A. Cummins.
It was a frame with a brick front, and was burned
down about 1874.

The " Gold Eagle Hotel" was kept by William I.
Bassett from 1817, or earlier, until 1820, or later. In
the fall of 1827 it was removed to make room for the
present residence of Charles L. Inslee.

Jason King opened a tavern in 1820. It was kept
later by his brother Justus ; then by Lewis De Camp,
Moore Armstrong, John Warbasse, R. Washer, and
David Cox. Redmond Ward was proprietor about
1857, and his daughter Maria was his successor; she
married Peter Hoppaugh, and it later became the
Hoppaugh House.

The " Phillips Hotel," now a part of the Durling
House, was kept in 1818 by Hezekiah Phillips and his
brother Joseph. They also owned a 50-acre tract of
land, a saw-mill, distillery, and tannery.

The "Cochran House" was erected in 1842 by

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 71 of 190)