James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 91 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 91 of 190)
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year-, as one of the superintendents of the poor for
three years, as one of the town committee, and is at
present commissioner of deeds. He was elected to the
stai.' Legislature in 1876, ami re-elected in isTt'., where
his integrity was never impaired, ami where ho sup-
ported -in h measures a- he conceived right for the
henetit of the ; pie whom in- represented ami the State



MONTAGUE.



3G1



Rutan, .Jr. ; Mary, wife of John Vail; Neomsi, wife
of John Glann; Ebenezer; Hannah, wife of Joaiah
[ngersoll; Eliza, wife of William Green; Gilbert;
Susan, wife of Samuel Sprague ; Jane, wife of Robert
Chardavoyne; Isaac; Samuel; Khodanna, wife of B.
H. Harrison.

William Drew married Sarah, daughter of Barnel
Rutan, who bore him eleven children who grew to
manhood and womanhood, — viz., Hannah, was tin'
wife of Henry Chardavoyne, of Vernon; (iilbcrt;
William, Jr.; Susan, wife of Harrison Howell, of
Orange Co., N. Y. ; Letta, wife of John A. Williams,
of Vernon ; Barnet; John; Sarah, was the wife of
Aiinnu Williams, and subsequently of Simon Perry;
Catharine J., wife of John E. Ryerson, of Orange
Co., N. Y. ; Alonzo; and Ellen, wife of Abram C.
Ruten.

William Drew spent his life engaged in agricul-



tural pursuits, and also was a successful, enterprising
business man. He died May 14, 1871, His wife died
Aug. 14, 1858, aged sixty year-.

Barnet, son of William Drew, was born May 24,
1823. He remained at home until twenty-two years

1 of age, and in 1*47 purchased the farm when' he now
resides, which at present contains nearly four hundred
acres.

Mr. Drew is a Democrat in politic- ; has served -' •• -
era] years on the township committee and as collector.
Hi- i- interested in all local enterprises of a worthy
nature, and i- a member and supporter of the Method-
ic Episcopal Church. On Feb. 20, 1845, lie married
Susan, daughter of Abram Williams. Sin- was born
July 11, 1826. Their children are William H. ;
Jacob; Frances E., wile of William House; Emanuel;
Josephine, wife of William Sly; Theodore; Mary

• L. ; Barnet, Jr. ; Ella; and Alonzo S.



-o— t ^ ao D « v -



MONTAGUE.



tr- GENERAL DESCRIPTION.

Tin: township of Montague is located in the ex-
treme northwestern corner of Susses County, ami
remote from the county-seat. It is hounded north
by New York State and Pennsylvania; south by
Bandy ston; cast by Wantage; west by Pennsylvania.

The Minisink patent, of historic memory, embraced

tile valuable lands of Montague lying along the banks
of the Delaware, and their fertility and natural ad-
vantages curly attracted to this favored locality lie
Dutch settlers from BsopUS. The township was thus
made memorablesoi] before the white man had cleared
the forests in other portions of the county. This was
teSS than two centuries ago the favorite home of the
red man, the river " Fish Kill" abounding in the
wealth of fish, which, within her limpid water-, be-
came an easy prey to his hook or nets. ()n the rich
Hal-lands of the Delaware lie cultivated his corn, and
thus produced the material for his favorite "sUCCO-

tash." .lust opposite, upon the Pennsylvania side,

he had from time immemorial buried his dead and
met kindred braves in council. From the BBSy lords

at the Minisink, Indian trails diverged, west to the
Wyoming Valley, along the Susquehanna River;
north, by short cut across the peninsula of Pike
County, lo the mouth of the Lackawaxen, on the

Delaware ; south, through < 'ulver's ( lap, to the ponds

anil hunting-grounds of the Cittatinny valley: ami
northeast, via the Delaware, to the Machackemack
River and corresponding valleys.



21



By] 0..W« -i.



Montague is the scene no less of early civil than
of ecclesiastical history. Within its borders was
planted the earliest of the four churches of the Dela-
ware, and the boundaries of the township speedily
became a stronghold of the Reformed Dutch faith.
The history of the French and Indian wars, its con-
nected with the Minisink, will be found more fullv
treated in the earlier chapters of this work, a general
review of the subject not being possible within the
limits of a township history.

The township has an area of 25,100 acres. The
total valuation of its real estate in 1880 was s.",14,275.
and of its personal property (79,675. Its poll-tax

Was (211, and its school- and county-tax (1728.31.

LI.— NATURAL FEATURES.
The township is 8j miles iii length, and ha- an
average width of miles. The Delaware River flows

along it- western border.

In this river, and opposite the township, are two

of the largest island- along it- course, the Minisink
bland and the Mashipacong Island. The former is

Without doubt tile mOSt fertile .if tile i-hlllils of the

Delaware. It is really a cluster of island-, being cut
up by numerous small shallow channels or run^ of
water; hence the origin of the Indian "Minisink,"

the name applied to it by it- nati\ e owners

The township i- well watered by numerous streams.
The White Brook, Chambers' Brook, Mill Brook, and

other streams of lesser importance, are found in the
township.

The -oil ma\ he generally described a- limestone,



362



SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.



interspersed in localities with streaks of sand. Muck
is also found in limited quantities.

The grazing industry prevails here as in other por-
tions of Sussex County, though the strong, rich soil
of the lands along the river border are adapted to the
raising of grain of a superior quality.

The Blue Mountains separate Montague from Wan-
tage and make it difficult of access from other por-
tions of the county. From this cause the lands on the
eastern border were settled much later than those
along the Delaware.

III.— EARLY SETTLEMENTS, Etc.

Just prior to 1700 many of the Low-Dutch farmers
from Ulster Co., N. Y., together with fugitives from the
states of Europe, principally from France, commenced
the establishment of a chain of kindred, settlements
along the Machackemack (Neversink) and Dela-
ware Rivers, extending from Ulster County on the
north to the Delaware Water Gap at the south, and
covering a stretch of territory about 50 miles in length
and of variable width.

The " Old Mine Road," extending from Esopus
(Kingston), on the Hudson, to the Water Gap, on the
Delaware, constructed previously to facilitate mining
operations at the latter point, had been abandoned as
part of an unprofitable venture. This road, though a
failure as to its original purpose, yet proved to be of
great advantage to the pioneers in settling the valley
by furnishing them with convenient access to their
future homes in the wilderness, and for the first hun-
dred years of the history of the settlements referred
to it was instrumental, as a common thoroughfare, in
continuing a close relationship with and attachment
for the parent settlements upon the Hudson River.

The most valuable portion of the famous " Mini-
sink patent" lay within the boundaries of Montague.
It embraced that fertile tract of land extending from
the mouth of the " Machackemack," at Carpenter's
Point, down the left bank of the Delaware River to the
lower point of " Great Minisink Island." This patent
covered the two largest and most fertile islands of the
Delaware River, with the adjoining flats lying along
the Jersey shore, — Mashipacong Island, lying between
Carpenter's Point and the Brick House, and Minisink
Island, lying below the Brick House. These two
islands alone contain 1000 acres of cultivated land,
and, together with the shore flats and grazing-lands
between the extremes named, more than 10,000 acres
of the quality of land so highly prized by the Low-
Dutch settlers was included in the Minisink patent.

The settlement first made was located opposite the
lower end of the island (which gave name to the
patent referred to), upon the higher portion of Mini-
sink flats, just at the foot of the ridge on the south
running parallel with the river. This settlement
took the name of Minisink. A small grist-mill was
erected upon the stream which here discharges its
waters into the Bena Kill, between the residences



of Daniel D. Everitt and Jacob Westbrook, Esq.,
the former residence being within the township of
Montague and the latter in that of Sandyston, as this
stream here forms the boundary line between these
townships for a short distance from the river. Johan-
nes Westbrook settled upon one side of this small
stream of water, and Daniel Westfall (said to have
been his son-in-law) upon the opposite bank, where
Mr. Everitt now resides. Others settled above, and
still others below, the first settlers all placing their
dwelling near the old Esopus or Mine Road. The
place until a generation or two back had its country
store, tavern, and blacksmith-shop, and was the centre
of considerable commercial enterprise.

The Westbrook family was early represented by
three brothers, who located at Minisink soon after
1700. They were John, Cornelius, and Anthony, the
first having settled in Sandyston, on ground before
mentioned. Cornelius chose the land in the same
township now occupied by James Fuller, and Anthony
purchased the land above Millville, in Montague, now
owned by Mrs. Jacob Shimer. All these brothers
were large landed proprietors. The property of
Anthony in Montague passed to his son Jacob, who
had seven children, — Solomon, John I., Soferyne, a
son who emigrated to Virginia, and three daughters.
Solomon removed to Pike Co., Pa., John settled in
Sandyston, and Soferyne remained on the homestead ;
he had two sons, Peter and Jacob, who both removed
to New York State, and seven daughters. The only
representatives of the family on the Westbrook side
now in the township are the descendants of the late
Soferyne L. Westbrook.

Josephus Westbrook, another representative of the
original stock, resided on the river road, on a farm
now occupied by Michael Wayland. He remained
there until his death, and left one son, Gideon, who
removed to Chicago.

Still another representative, Wilhelmus, was a set-
tler U2)0n land near Millville prior to the Revolution-
ary war. He was the owner of much property, and
was also the proprietor of a mill. His children were
Joseph, of Sandyston, Benjamin, who succeeded to
the mill-property, and several daughters. The sons or
Benjamin were Joseph J. and Daniel E. The former
has one son, Wade, now residing in the township.

Capt. Abram Shimer was a former resident of Penn-
sylvania, and located at Millville before the Revolu-
tion, having occupied the site of Jacob Hornbeck's
present home. He married a daughter of Anthony
Westbrook, one of the earliest pioneers, and followed
farming pursuits until his death. He also acquired a
reputation as a very skillful hunter and trapper. He
had three children, — Jacob, whose death occurred
prior to that of his father, and two daughters, Mrs.
Capt. James Bonnell and Mrs. Capt. John I. West-
brook. Jacob Shimer left four sons, — Abram, Isaac,
Jacob, and Joseph, — none of whom survive. He
had also seven daughters. Jacob had sons, — Abram,



MONTAUUK.



363



Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, these patriarchal nam. •-
Having been retained through succeeding genera-
tions. Joseph is still a resident of Montague.

Daniel Westfall has been already mentioned as a
companion of the Westbrook brothers in their adv. nl
to the Minisink, having located on the present farm
of Daniel D. Everitt. The family is largely repre-
sented in this and adjacent counties, though no very
definite information concerning their early history is
Obtainable, ft is probable that among his children
was a son, Simeon, who removed to Pike Co., I'm.,
and from whom the township of Wcstfall, in that
county, derived its name. Among his sons was David,
who resided at the same point. He had seven chil-
dren, — Cornelius, Simeon, Abram, Wilhelmus, Jacob,

and two daughters, Of these children, Wilhelmus

removed to Montague in 1826, from Port .lervi-,
\. Y. His son David is the only representative of
the family in the township.

Jacobus Bennett was an early settler at the Clove,
in the township. lie had three sons — Soferyne,
James, and Joseph — and two daughters. Joseph had
four miiis — William, James, Burnett, and Peter — and

thr.e daughters. Of these sons, James is still in Mon-
tague, and resides half a mile east of the Brick House.
The Everitt family was early represented by .laeoli
Everitt, who came to the township in 1755. He was
of German descent, a skillful physician, and partici-
pated actively in the early struggle for independence.
At the close of the Revolutionary war be settled upon
the farm now occupied by Daniel D. Everitt, and fol-
lowed his profession until the close of his life, having
.lied in 1802. I le had eight children, — John, a black-
smith, Christian, Jacob, (lodl'rcy, Abram, Isaac, Mar-
shall, and George. Isaac located a mile from the

Brick House, where hi- death occurred. His son,
Allen, and a grandson. Daniel D., who occupies the
homestead, still remain ill Montague.

Jonathan Clark came from Morristown in 1760 and

settled in the Minisink. He had five BOnS and two

daughters. lint on.- son, Isaac, remained in the town-

jjhip : he located on a farm adjoining his father's, where
he died. Isaac had sewn children, but one of whom,

a daughter, removed in Montague. A gon, James
Clark, ten io veil in 1830 to Sandy ston, and now resides

half a mile south of Conlreville.

fhc Davis famil) were among the first settlers in

the township, having come as earlj as 17 H). Daniel
Davis, the progenitor of the family, married Jessica
Westbrook, bj whom he had two children, Elizabeth
and Mary. The latter married Isaac Everitt, and is
the mother of Allen Everitt, above mentioned.

.lames I'.. Armstrong came from I'rankford early
during the present c.ntun and engaged in farming

pursuits, lie was united in marriage to Man Post* i .
ami had t'..ur -ons, Julius F.,Thomaa I'., Robert, and
George ; the latter two arc still in the township, lie
had also eight daughters, whose points of residence

were w i.lelv extended.



Peter Bross came prior to the Revolution and lo-
cated al the ('love, where his death occurred ; hi- -on-

were Abram and Deacon Moses Bross, The latter

had two son*. William and Stephen, the former of
whom is more generally known as cx-Covcrnor BrOBS,
of Illinois. Abram also had a family of sons, one of
whom -till resides in Montague.

The I'ladenliurgli family are elsewhere mentioned,
in connection with the earliest stone building in the
Minisink. Wilhelmus was the pioneer of the family,
and had sons Daniel and Aaron, and pOSStbly others.
lie also had a daughter, wdio became the wife of
('apt. Peter Westbrook, who fell a victim to Indian
atrocities in 1771 •.

James Bonnell served as captain in the war of the
Revolution, in which he achieved no little distinction
for his powers of discipline and skill. He kept in a
field-book a complete record of all orders, the places
of encampment, and the skirmishes and battles of the
troops under his command. This historical relic is
now in possession of his aged son, and contains about
luo pages legibly written in round hand. Its content-
relate chiefly te Indian incursions in that portion of
the Delaware valley known as Minisink. Capt. Bon-
nell died in 181 1. His son. Hon. Isaac Bonnell, was
horn in the vicinity of Dingman's. Pike Co., Pa.,
April 8, 1790, and is therefore now in his ninety-first
year. When a little boy but one year old his parents
took up their residence where their son Lsaac has sine.

resided.

Mr. Bonnell has been actively engaged in public

affairs since his manhood, lie was in )s|l elected to
the I M-neral Assembly of New Jersey, and in ISoItwas
chosen as State senator. I le cast his first Presidential
VOte in 1*1:.', for James Madi-on, and has voted at
every subsequent election. Though a.h anced in year-,
he still superintends the culture of his farm.

The Van Atiken family were early settlers and
prominent in the stirring scenes which preceded the

Revolution; they were owners of large landed prop-
erty. The representatives at present in Montague are

Joseph B. and an extensive family of children.

Joseph Hornbeck was the pioneer of his family in
Montague. He followed farming pursuits, and resided

on the present farm of Benjamin llornli.ek. 1 le mar-
ried a daughter of Jacob Westbrook, and had three
-on-. Soferyne, Jacob, and Benjamin. Sofiuynewas

drowned in the Delaware in lsnti, and left two sons,—
Joseph and John. Jacob resided ill Pike Co., Pa.

He had live son-, lour of whom l-a.ie ,_, N

William P.. and Joseph 8. — now reside in the town-
ship. Benjamin remained on the homestead until his
death, having married a daughter of Jacob Shim er, Sr.
His -on Jacob was owner of the homestead now occu-
pied by Benjamin Shimer.

The first member of the Nearpass family in Mon-
tague was John Nearpass, a brother of Baltus Near-
pass, who was killed at the battle of Mini-ink. The
children of John were Baltus. Michel, William, and



364



SUSSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY.



Jacob. Baltus removed from the township, Michel
made Port Jervis his residence, and the remaining
two died in Montague. The descendants of William
and Jacob are now residents of the township, Sanford,
a son of the latter, being one of the justices of the
peace for Montague. John, the son of William, is
engaged in farming pursuits.

Jeremiah Wainright came from Monmouth County
about 1790. He married a member of the Shimer
family and had sons, Wallen and Jacob S., and two
daughters. The former lives in Montague.

Thomas Van Etten came very early and settled upon
the river road, on the land now owned by Allen Everitt.
He had sons, Alexander and Dexter, who lived and
died in Montague; another son removed to the West.
This family, who acted a prominent part in the early
scenes along the Delaware, are not now represented
in the township.

Julius Foster came from Long Island and followed
the calling of a millwright, having owned a farm and
resided on the spot now occupied by George Arm-
strong, on the Old Mine Road. He left one daughter,
Mrs. J. B. Armstrong, since deceased.

Christopher Decker came prior to the Revolution
and located upon the river road, as did most of the
settlers who had preceded him. He spent his life on
the land he purchased, where his remains were in-
terred at his death. He had four sons and one daugh-
ter, all of whom are deceased.

Peter and Joseph Van Noy were settlers in the
northern portion of the township, where they culti-
vated the soil at a very early date. They are long
since dead, and the family is represented by Aaron
and Joseph Van Noy.

Martin Cole came 'prior to the Revolutionary war
and erected the earliest frame building in the Clove
valley, on the site now occupied by James E. Cole.
He also built a grist-mill and two saw-mills on the
same land.

Mr. Cole had but one son, James R. Cole, who suc-
ceeded to the property. The latter had eight chil-
dren, but one of whom, Martin, resided in Montague.
Three now live at Port Jervis, and one in Sandyston.

Judge Martin Cole, who has for many years fol-
lowed agricultural pursuits, is now a merchant at the
Brick House. He was formerly judge of the Court
of Common Pleas, and at present holds the position
of judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals.

George Nelden, a former resident of Pennsylvania,
settled in 1816 on the farm now occupied by George
Y. Hornbeck. He had three children, two of whom,
John H. and George H., grew to manhood. Mr. Nel-
den died in Montague in 1836. His son John H.
removed to Newton, where his death occurred. George
H. Nelden is the present clerk of Sussex County.

EARLY HIGHWAYS.

The earliest road which passed through Montague
was known as the "Mine Road," and extended from



Kingston (then known as Esopus), on the Hudson, to
the copper-mines in the vicinity of the Water Gap,
on the Delaware River. It entered the township from
Walpack, followed the course of the river to Carpen-
ter's Point, and thus passed on to its terminus, Esopus.
This highway is more particularly referred to else-
where in this work.

Another early road is known as the Clove road ; it
ran from Walpack through Sandyston, entering the
township above Hainesville, thence running parallel
with the river road, about a mile distant from it, and
passing on to Carpenter's Point, in Orange County.
The course of this road has on one or more occasions
since its first construction been materially changed.

Another early highway, known familiarly as the
" Criggar road," crossed the Blue Mountains into
Wantage, making Beemerville its objective point.
This road has since been vacated, though portions of
it are still maintained and very generally used.

Other roads were surveyed at a later date as the
demands of an increasing population made them
necessary.

THE EARLIEST STONE HUILDING IN MONTAGUE.

Until 1877 an old and dilapidated stone house stood
just north of the old Esopus road, about two miles below
Carpenter's Point. This unpretentious structure is
accredited with associations which make it of especial
interest to antiquarians as having been the earliest
building of stone erected along the Delaware above
the Water Gap, — or, indeed, the first stone structure,
at the time of its erection, within the precincts of the
Minisink valley. A comprehensive history of this
venerable pile will therefore be of especial interest to
the reader.

About 1750, just prior to the French and Indian
war, when the Low-Dutch settlers who were able to
do so made haste, on account of the growing inse-
curity of life as well as of property from the fre-
quency of Indian incursions, to erect for themselves
stone dwellings, answering also the purpose of neigh-
borhood forts, this structure is known to have been
already quite an old building. It was adopted as the
model by those who purposed building of stone, and
who came to visit it for that purpose from far and
near, only varying the plan of construction to suit
the fancy or convenience of each individual builder.

The house or fort was originally 26 by 40 feet and
was carried up one and a half stories high, with a
heavy stone partition-wall dividing the lower story
into two rooms of equal size. The beams, flooring,
etc., were of first-growth yellow pine, the Delaware
bottom-lands being originally principally covered
with a heavy growth of that kind of timber. Each
end of the building was furnished with a heavy stone
chimney, without jams, the inner side of the same
resting for support upon a heavy yellow pine beam,
or girder, 15 by 16 inches square and 26 feet long,
with the ends built into the side-walls and spanning



MONTAGUE.



365



the entire width <>!' the buildiii!.' without Other sup-
port-.

Unfortunately, this ancient building has no exter-
nal marks from which we may with accuracy deter-
mine its age, yet from reasonable inference we may
assume it to have had an existence al as early a date
as 1720. Prior to the French and [ndian war it was (
becnpied by WUhelmus Fradenburgh (who is sup-
posed i" nave caused its erection] with a family
already grown up and with several of his children
married and settled, having families of their own.
From him it passed to his son Daniel, from whom in

rotation it should have descended to his son Jl b,

hut. he dying before his father, it next descended to

Jacob's son, .lam.- Fradenburgh (called "Cobe"),
who died about 1842 without leaving issue, since
which time the estate lias been in other hands.

With reference to the early construction of resi-
dences ill this valley, it should be noted that, with rare
exceptions, the rude bul comfortable log dwellings of
the early pioneers held sway op to 1750, and, upon

tin- principle that the cheaper material would natu-
rally be used nrst, the transition should have been
from log to frame buildings, and the more costly yet
more enduring material of stone (or brick i should
have followed the exhaustion lirst of the lumber sup-
ply ; but the necessity of self-preservation, outweigh-
ing every consideration of economy, forced the mosl
costly material of all, stone, upon the settlers. This
was at a time when they were ill prepared to afford
it, the farms being then new and only partially under
cultivation, wheat and corn culture being confined to
the river "Hats." This necessity continued until the

war of the Revolution, covering a period of about
thirty-live years, after which the people, owing to
greater security, naturally reverted to wooden or



Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 91 of 190)