James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

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Dennis Cochran, then owner of considerable real
estate along Spring Street. The first landlord was
Isaac Bassett ; his successors have been Nathan Drake,
Dennis Cochran, Sherwood & Conger, Newman E.

Benjamin, Jacob Konkle, Thomas Armstrong, Sher-
wood & Haynes, Sherwood, Henry M. Ward, Ward
& Kelsey, Henry M. Clark, John N. Clark in 1879,
the present host.

The " Anderson House" was converted into a hotel
about 1852, and its first proprietor was Newman E.

The " Ward House," Henry Ward, below the court-
house, was in 1857 transformed into a hotel by Dr.
Franklin Smith.

The "National Hotel," near the depot, and built
by Jacob Cummins, was opened as a hotel by him.
Jesse Ward was proprietor at one time, also his son,
and Col. J. G. Fitts. It is now owned and run by
William E. Ricker.


Daniel Symmes, son of Judge Timothy Symmes,
was a silversmith in Newton during the latter part of
the last century. In 1793 he sold a lot near the
court-house to John Cleve Symmes,* which estab-
lished his identity with the place at that time.

In 1820 the principal manufacture of the village
was that of hats, in which Pettit Britton and David
Kerr were engaged, employing from ten to twenty
hands. The factory was located on Church Street.

The first newspaper in Newton — and the first in
the county — was the Farmers' Journal and Newton Ad-
vertiser, which first appeared Jan. 8, 1796, published
by Elliott Hopkins and William Huston. It lived
only a few years.f

The first stage from Newton, via Morristown, to
Elizabethtown Point, was established by Basset, Brit-
ton & Hinchman. It was a two-horse vehicle, and
Zephaniah Luce, who was one of the drivers, later
became one of the proprieters. The three enterpris-
ing proprietors of this line — Isaac Basset, Pettit
Britton, and James Hinchman — -were all prominent
in the early day. It was finally merged into the
Owego line.

A saw-mill formerly stood on the Phillips property,
later owned by E. C. Moore, deceased. No trace of
it except the race-way now exists.

A distillery operated by several different parties
was built about 1820. The old still-house is now a
barn on the property of the late E. C. Moore.

The first brickyard was located on the Amos Pettit
farm, now owned by the Horton estate. In 1818,
where now are Francis Graey's and Widow Mary
Johnson's residences was burned the brick for George
H. McCarter's (now David Thompson's) house. It
was operated only for that special occasion.

Ii; This lot paused through the hands of several celebrated personages.
In 17114, Judge John Clovo Symmes conveyed it to his daughter, who he-
came tho wife of Presidont William Henry Harrison, and in 1802 it be-
canio tho property of Judge John Holmes, grandfather of Judge D. S.
Anderson. It afterwards came into tiie possession of Col. Pombortou,
who died upon it, in 1817.

f For later established papors see tho general chapter upon the "Press
of Sussex County."



Tin- -team-mill is said to In' tin- only grist-mill that
ever existed in the town of Newton. It was erected
in 1850 by Moses Northrup. ft was burned, rebuilt,
and operated for a while, but has been idle for years.

The first company raised in Newton daring the war
of the Rebellion was recruited in April, 1861. The
call for three months' men being filled, this company
ffae not mustered into the service. Most of the men.
however, enlisted for three years in Co. D, Third
Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, under Capt. Fitts.

It is said that inside of one hour seventy-two persons

signed the roll on Newton Green.

The original muster-roll of the three months' men
i- in iw in the possession of Thomas G. Bunnell, hav-
ing been recently pre-eiited to him by Col. Fitts. It
is beaded " Muster Boll of Union Company, A Regi-
ment, 4/7/ Brigade." The words in italics are written
in the blanks of the printed heading, which briefly
records that

" Tl idoislgned hereby enlist in themllltlaof New Jeney, for ac-
tive gen Ice, subject to the command! of the oommander.In-ohief of New
i dot the i ommondo] In i tilel ol the militia of the Doited States,

fur tin' ti-riii "I" tliii'.' mi.iiili-, noli '■'!."

The Dames attached thereto arc as follows :

1. Ju - 0. Kiiii; 2. John H. Crist; > Dormer; l. David

Space; ■ Edward Knott; 8. Benjamin Stewart; 7. Nelson P.Par-
bods; B. ll'iiiy I.oppor; 0. [ litis name Is marked uff]; 10. Bcuja-
iini, Baoghawoot; II. James P, Kelley; 12. Joseph W.Haggerty;
IS, John II. Wells; 14. Andrew Snyder; 16. Nicholas C. Cox; 16.

Nathan s. Smith; 17. [na rased, or marked oirj; 18. Jonathan

lotion; 19, [Dame marked olf]; HO. James w Porter; 21. John J.

Jones; 22, Qeorge W. Porter; 28. Ja 8 Walker; 24. J. B. Bender'

shot; 26. [name marked at , 26, S*. J. PlWnger; 27. John W.

Marvin; Q 'ge 0. Benrtloy; 20. James Schoonover, Jr. ; 30.

Austin Meeker; SI. Aiorlah Campbell; 82. John A. Walker; 33.
Thomas J. Steol; 34. Andrew J. Lnndon; 86. BJchard Dawson; 36.
Martin Bnghea; 87. [name erased]; 38. William Horan; 30. Thus.

P. Edwards; I". Martin Save I; II. Peter Boyder; li. William

CBell; 18 Borneo H Strnbel; H Jacob W.Bryan; 46. Benjamin
Picket; 16. Morris Rodney;* l7 William Halono; 18. Charles J,

i ; 19. John Tayloi i i Ri >1. William Gordon;

■ Nowi i bei . '■ Imbi M II lorshot; 64. Alphens

E. Hull; 66. William a B ndoi hot Charles A. Titsworth ; 67.

John Bayward; r .s. Joho Bendorafaot; 60. Patriok Daly; 00. John

8. Boroa; 91. Ja b Dal&Iel ; 62. Andrew A. Qr i ; 68. Sylvester

Da ker; 64. Hiram Deokei : 66 Daniel A, Portei ; 66, John 81a k-

bower; 87. Watson Tlllmun; 68. Robert Bangbao; 69. II

Mofflt; 7". [name markod off]; 71. Edward S. Newborj ; 72, Petor

H. Hen ■ bard Decker; 71. Amos Eli y; 76. James

Sylcox; 78. John Bell; 77. Sa I F. Givens; 78. John B Vender-

I f; 79. I.i'it.'iil Hnughaw ; BO. Jai ib - Bmlth; 81 John .Mr-

Manus; 82. Israel C. Potter; 38. Elijah Sharp 84, rgol Brown;

s. r i chiirii'fi iti'iiiii't ; so. .lanii M I larles M Slawsoo;

88, Adam Drake; 89. Edward Da ker.

For the oames of those w ho volunteered and

in the oilier organizations raised in this town, sec the

rosters given in connection with the military history
in t be general chapters of this work.

It may be said ill conclusion, however, lhat no part

of the county or Si ate manifested a greater degri f

patriotism. It contributed freely ami largely of men

ami money to sustain the government during the late


• He was a soldier In t !■.- Mexican ».ir.



The Pettits were originally French Huguenots,
who, to escape from religious persecution, came to
America in liiiln and settled at New Rochelle and
Newtown, I.. I. Some members of the family re-
moveil thence to Northern New Jersey, and about
17 12 arc found in Hardwick, Warren Co., at New-
ton, and at the Log Jail, now Johnsonsburg.

There were six brother- who came to Sussex
County. Jonathan Pettit lived in Hardwick, and
died in 1758 (he was one of the four judges for the
county who were first appointed by George III.);
Amos, w'ho lived in Brighton, »;i- born in 1721;
John, who lived in Newton, was born in 1726, and
died in 1796; Nathaniel was. the first representative
of Sussex ('.unity, elected A.Ug. 17, 1772, to the Legis-
lature of New Jersey; Isaac and Charles were Tories,
and removed to Canada during the Revolutionary

The descendants of John Pettit are the only ones
residing in the county at present, the others having
all removed. Governor John Jay, of New York,
owned a large tract of land northeast of Newton, and,
probably because they were the same national descent
and co-religionists, he appointed John l'ettit his col-
lector 'of rents and general agent for his property. Ee
erected the stone house on the farm now owned by
G. M. Ryerson, in which is a room still called the
"Governor's room," which His Excellency occupied
in his annual visit to his estates. John l'ettit also
erected :i stone building, known for a hundred year-
as "The I'arsonage." It has been remodeled, and at
present belongs to the estate of the late Levi Shep-
herd. It is the oldest house in Newton, lie was one
of the first wardens of Christ Church, and served many

years in that capacity. His patriotism and integrity
may be inferred from the fact that during the Revo-
lution his two Tory brothers were put ill his charge

by the ( ininittee ni •- if: tv and the custody was faith-
fully observed till they were permitted to depart for
I 'anada. His wife was a daughter of Richard Fisher,
..I Eackettstown, who belonged to the light-horse

infantry of the American army, and who i- said to

have erected al Eackettstown and carried on the first

iron rolling- and slitting-mills in this country. Bis
children were Samuel, Nathaniel. John, Sally who

became the wife of .lames English, of New Imi . Mary

(who became the wife of Alexander Euston . Betsy
i win i became the wife of James Euston, once a Bheriff
.if Su-scx t lounty i. Amos, and William.
In the first generation hi- descendants numbered

eight, in the second generation thirty-nine, and in the
third ninety-four. \mong these are the well-known
citizens Winfield II. Coursen, attorney -at -law in
Newton; Capt. Robert Pettit, of Montague, who

served with honor during the Rebellion : Mr-, .lames



Henry Hoyt and Mrs. George H. Coursen, of Newton ;
Rev. N. Pettit, rector of Christ Church, Bordentown,
N. J. ; James H. Simpson, a successful merchant at
Dover ; James C. Pettit, of the Park Bank, New York
City ; and Judge James B. Huston, of Lafayette.

William Pettit, youngest child of John, was born
March 16, 1788, and married, Feb. 17, 1816, Nancy,
daughter of Robert and Mary (Jacques) Morrow, of
Sparta, Sussex Co., N. J. She was born Oct. 21, 1794,
and resides (in 1881) with her daughter, Mrs. Hoyt,
in Newton. Many of the facts contained in this sketch
were dictated by her, and she retains the faculties of
both body and mind to a remarkable degree for a
person who has reached her eighty-seventh year.

The other children of Robert Morrow were Re-
becca, a twin-sister of Mrs. Pettit, who became the
wife of Nathan Drake, and, having survived her hus-
band many years, resides in Newton ; Margaret, who
became the wife of Samuel Rorbach ; Sally, who be-
came the wife of Henry Hart ; Eliza, unmarried ;
Henrietta, who was the wife of the late Dr. John R.
Stuart, a prominent physician of Newton ; and George.
Of these children, only Mrs. Pettit and Mrs. Drake

Prior to and after his marriage William Pettit was
a clerk in the general store of his brother Nathaniel,
who for many years before his death did a successful
business in Newton.

Upon his brother's decease Mr. Pettit purchased a
farm near Newton, where he resided several years,
but about 1827 he returned, established himself in
trade at the old stand where he served a clerkship,
and continued in business until he retired from the
active duties of life. His place of business was on
the north side of the public square in Newton, where
he erected his store and dwelling. Mr. Pettit received
a good practical business education in early life,
mostly while a clerk, from his brother, who was a
man of fair education, and had been for some time a
teacher before engaging in mercantile pursuits. He
belonged to the class of substantial business men of
" long ago," who started very many of the interests
that added to the growth and prosperity of Newton
as developed in its later history. Unostentatious in
his ways, he followed his chosen business quietly,
seeking neither official position nor its emoluments.
He was identified with the party of reform in his
locality, and was a member of the Whig and Repub-
lican parties. Mr. Pettit was known as a man of
sterling integrity in all his business relations, tem-
perate in his habits, and a man of good moral and
Christian infiuence. Both Tie and his wife were mem-
bers of the Episcopal Church of Newton, and did their
part well in contributions to church and charitable
objects. He died Jan. 1, 1867. Their children are
Sarah and Mary, died young; Sarah Elizabeth, born
March 6, 1823, married, Sept. 16, 1847, James Henry,
son of James Moody Hoyt, of New York City, and has
one surviving child, Miss Mary Nesbitt Hoyt. James

Moody Hoyt married Mary, a daughter of Dr. Nesbitt,
a noted physician, and for many years was a promi-
nent flour-merchant in New York. Upon his death
his sons, who had been associated with him, succeeded
him in the business, in which James Henry continued
until his decease. He was born July 4, 1823, and died
Nov. 29, 1869. The only son of William Pettit is
Robert Morrow Pettit, who was born Oct. 17, 1824,
and resides in Newton.


His great-grandfather came from Germany with his

family prior to the Revolutionary war, and settled in

the southern part of New Jersey. His grandfather,

William Hiles, was born in Southern New Jersey,

April 30, 1775, and married Margaret, a daughter
of Jacob Titman, of Warren Co., N. J. She was born
in April, 1775, and died Jan. 26, 1850. He died Jan.
26, 1848.

Soon after his marriage he came to Lafayette, then
called Frankford, and settled on one hundred and
sixty acres of land, upon which he resided the remain-
der of his life. The farm is now owned and occupied
by his son Thomas J. He owned considerable other
real estate, which was left to his children upon his
decease. His children were Anna, who became the
wife of Samuel F. McCoy, John, George, William,
Jacob, Matilda, who became the wife of James Shel-
ley, Jeremiah M., Eliza, wife of Ford Shelley, and
Thomas J.

<%S-L^?£ —

Robert Alexander Sheprard's grandfather, Henry Shep-
pard, was a resident of Hunterdon Co., N. J., whoso ancestors
were anions the early settlers of that part of the State. This
fact is established by the family having in its possession a deed
for land given during the reign of George III., and the prop-
erty has remained as a homestead in the family since.

His father, .Jacob, born near Ringos, Hunterdon Co., about
1794, married, Feb. 22,1811, Elizabeth Henderson, who was born
Nov '.30, 1796, and survives in 1880, residing on the old homestead
near Flemington. She was a daughter of Joseph Henderson, a
ship carpenter, who came from Ireland, and lived and died in
Philadelphia. Her mother was Hopy Henry. Jacob Shcppard
died on the homestead, Dec. 3, 18515. He lived a quiet lite as a
farmer, and was esteemed for his honesty and fair dealing.
He was unostentatious in his ways, frank in his manners, and
sociable and manly.

The children of Jacob and Elizabeth (Henderson) Shcppard
are John, William, Emma (wife of Peter Wilson), Catherine,
Joseph E. (a physician at Phillipsburg), Ann (wife of George
L. Boss), Samuel S., Robert Alexander, and Margaret.

Robert Alexander Sheppard, son of Jacob and Elizabeth
(Henderson) Sheppard, was born in the township of Rantan,
Hunterdon Co., N. J.. April 2, 1827. His education was ob-
tained in the common school of his nativo place and at the
Flemington Academy. Upon reaching his majority he com-
menced tho study of dental surgery with Dr. J. P. Trux, of
Baltimore, Md., with whom ho remained for two years, during
which time ho attended two courses of lectures at the Baltimore
Dental College, from which ho was graduated in 1850. Im-
mediately after his graduation he bogan the practice of den-
tistry in Mauch Chunk, Pa., whore he remained only six
months, and practiced for a few months also in Schuylkill Havon
and Haokettstown.

On June 8, 1852, he came to Newton, N. J., where ho found
Dr. Swayze practicing dentistry, but a good field for a skillful
and thoroughgoing dentist. Hero Dr. Shcppard set himself
about to lay the foundation for what has proved to bo a vory
successful business. His means wore limited to a few dollars,
and the support of himself and small family dependod upon
his immediate success. At this time plates were made upon

gold and silver 1 not until about I860 was rubber used as a

base upon which to set tooth.

He soon gained the confidence of a few whom he did work
for by his careful attention to every department of his profes-
sion ; his trade increased, and, after ayear'or more, Dr. Swayzo
withdrew from Newton entirely, leaving Dr. Sheppard full con-
trol of the business here. His energy in business, bis careful
attention to the interests of his numerous and increasing pa-
trons, and his substantial and skillful work in a few years gave
him control of a largo patronage in Sussex County, which be
has held for nearly thirty years, and has douo more to elevate
tho standard of dentistry than any other one in Sussex County.
Dr. Sheppard is, in 1880, one of tho substantial business men
of Newton, and since his first settlement hero he has been in-
terested in all that pertains to the growth and prosperity of
tho village.

Upon the organization of the Merchants' National Bank at
Newton ho was one of the first subscribers to stock and for
many years a director, and for several years ho has been a
stockholder in the Sussex National Bank at Newton.

In 1873 he orocted a substantial brick residence on Main
Street, in Newton, a part of which he occupies for an office.
In August, 1879, he purchased the Cochran House, the leading
hotel of the placo, to which ho is making (in tho winter of 1880)
a fine brick addition of four stories, and the whole when com-
pleted according to present designs will be one of tho most
desirable parcels of real estate in Newton.

Thus in a few years, by industry and careful management,
Dr. Sheppard has, comparatively spoaking, from nothing accu-
mulated a valuable property.

Ho has been somowhat active in local politics, and in 1873
was elected oollootor of Sussex County. Ho resigned this office
after threo years, but by re-election sorvod in tho same capacity
in 1878 and 1879.

Dr. Shcppard has boon married throe times. On Oct. 8, 1851,
ho married Elizabeth A., a daughter of John R. and Lucrotia
Holcombo, of Flemington, N.J. She diod at Newton, Aug. 12,
1855, loaving two children, — Richard 11. and Lizzie A. His
second wife was Sarah C, daughter of Dennis Cochran, whom
ho marriod Oct. 20, 1858, and who died April 22, 1808, loaving
ono daughter, — Minnie L. He married for his present wife, July
10, 1872, Mary Cochran, a sister of his second wife. The
children born of this union are Robert Alexandor, Jr., and
Frank II.

Thk progenitor of the Brittin family in Sussex Co.,
N. J., was William Brittin, who wbs of English birth,
and emigrated to America in the year 1700, settling in
Pennsylvania. He died April 10, 17Go. His wife,
Rachel, died Aug. 28, 1766.

His son, William Brittin, .Ir., born in Pennsylvania,
married Mary Thomas, a native of Wales, and lived to
an advanced age. His wife, born in 1714, died Oct. 14,
1780. Their son John, grandfather of our subject, born
about 1730, married, June 1".. 17712, l*li < ■ 1 ■•■ lVttit, who
was born in February, 1750, and died in 1776, lenving
three children, — Elizabeth, Pettit, and Isaac,

For his second wife he married Martha Gray, who
died July, 1811, aged ninety years. The children of this
marriage were Thomas, Sarah, Kachol, John, Hannah,
and Jacob.

He lived at the Fox-Chase, near Philadelphia, and
kept a public-hi use lie came to New Jersey just before
the Revolutionary war, and during the struggle lor the
Independence of the colonies he served as ensign and

Sergeant in Spencer's regiment. His youngest brother,

Joseph, served as one of Washington's body-guard, and
two other brothers, Jacob and William, were also in
the service, the latter in command of a company BS

captain. After tl loso of the war In- returned to his

native State, whore he died in 1811. Benjamin Pettil
a brother of bis wife, was also a captain in the Revolu-
tionary war.

Pettit Brittin, son of John Brittin, was bom June 12,
1774, at New Providence, NT. J., and married for bis
first wife Elizabeth, a daughter of Judge Levi \
of Wantage, who bore him two children, — r ohn, and

one who died in infancy.

His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of '•

Rorbaok, of Newton. She was born May 80, 1781
died June 5, 1868.

The Korbuck family was among the earliest settlers
of Newton, and by marriage were connected with the
most prominent families of Sussex Count v.

He served under Capt. Kent, in a Philadelphia rifle
company, in suppressing the Whisky Rebellion in
Western Pennsylvania when n young man.

In 1795, Mr. Pettit Brittin settled in Newton, nnd
from 181") to tho time of his decease, March 13. 1858,
carried on a general merchandise business.

He was a man of cpiiet habits and unostentatious
ways, and known by the citizens of Newton as a man of

g 1 business ability , discretion, and integrity in all his

business relations.

For many years he was a director of the Sussex Bank,
and he was always interested in the various local enter-
prises of Newton and in tho welfare of its | pie.

lie was a member of the old Whig party, but no
seeker after place or tho emoluments of office.

The children of his second marriage are Sarah P., who

became the wife of John a. Horton, and Pemberlon.

Pemherton Brittin was born at Newton, Jul} 81,
1812, and spent his minority at home. For several
Mars of bis early life he was engaged as a clerk for bis
father; was with John A. Horton as clerk at Newark,
N. J., and in 1835 he was a clerk in New York City.

Alter spending some time South, he returned to New-
ton, his native place, where he has Bince resided in the
old homestead built by his father in 1M1, located on the

south side of the public park.

Mr. Brittin was never married. He lias spent bis

later year.- in the quiet management of bis own i.
avoiding all strife of a political nature or otherwise,
neither soliciting nor desiring official position. Follow-
ing in the political lineof his ancestors, be was formerly
a member of the Whig party, and joined the Repub-
lican party upon it* organization.



Of these children, John, father of our subject, was
born on the homestead in Lafayette, < )et. 1\ 17!i!i,
and married Miss Jlila Maria, daughter of John Se-
ward, of Morris Co., X. .1., Oct. 21, 1826. She was
born Xov. 27, 1807, and died April 16, 1869. He
died Nov. 23, 1847.

Mr-. 1 1 ilis was a second cousin of Hon. William II.
Seward, and a granddaughter of Col. John Seward, a
brave officer during the Revolutionary war. who sliot
the English spy at Snufftown during that trying

John Biles resided on a farm adjoining the home-
stead, which be purchased of his father. He was a
careful, judicious farmer, and during his active busi-
tireer accumulated a lair competency. Both lie
and his wife were member- of the Mcthodi-t Kpiscopal
i Ihurch,

He was naturally of a retiring disposition ; did
not seek any political place among his fellow-men.
although, as a member of the Democratic party, he
always bail a pride in the right of suffrage accorded
rj loyal American citizen. HW children who
reached manhood are two sons, — Thomas S., born May

16, 1887, married Mary I'... daughter of Peter and
Elizabeth (Couse) Dennis, Jan. 5, L859, and has three

children : Florence J.. Maria S., and John .lay. He
owns and resides upon the farm formerly owned by

Mr. Hill in the township of aVndover, which he pur-
chased in November, 1 576.

George A. Hiles was born duly 11, 1 - : : 4 . : 1 1 i ■ 1 re-
mained at home until he was twenty-lour years of
age. His early education was obtained at Mount Re-
tirement Seminary and at Seward Institute, Florida,
Orange Co.. N. Y. For some four years after leaving

home he was a clerk in a produce commission job-
bing house at Xewtoii, and lor some twelve years fol-
lowing he carried on a jobbing business in the same
articles in New York City. In 1873 he returned to
Newton, where he has since resided.

Mr. Miles has been successful as a business man,
and by his judicious management has secured a fair

competency. Since his return from New York lie

has in , i, engaged in the care and management of
his own private aflairs, socking neither the prefer-
ment nor emoluments of office, lie ha- never been


WANTAGE i- the largest of the townships of Sussex
County, having an area of -11, .'!">.''! acres, and a total
population of 8861. It is 11 miles long and 7 miles

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 72 of 190)