Charles Davis Platt.

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Copyright N"_


President of the Dover Free Public Library




Principal of the Dover High School
Author of "Ballads of New Jersey in the Revolution," and "Poems," ipot

For sale by
Dover, New? Jersey


Copyright, 1914

JAN 1 1 1915

)C1.A391312 i_


A few suggestions on the study of local history may be of interest.

It is well for any community to have some agency for gathering up the
story of its origin, growtli, and significance in the world. To do this a
Local History Club might be formed. A few persons who have the taste
and the talent for this kind of work can do a great deal to rescue from
oblivion much that would otherwise be lost. Old records should be searched
and measures taken for the preservation of papers that have historical
value. A public library may well be the depository of such collections.
The reminiscences of persons who have lived for many years in the com-
munity should be gathered, put in writing, and treasured up. Amateur
Camera Clubs could assist greatly in securing and filing for reference and
future use pictures of old buildings, old homesteads, and houses with a
history. Antiquities should be catalogued and any story connected with
them should be written down.

Meetings could be held from time lo time, and should be a pleasant
feature of town life. The High School pupils should be trained to co-
operate in such work. The relation of such work to the study of history
and to civic pride and progress is obvious.

The story thus gathered could be published in the local press, at times.
Finally, material is on hand sufficient to make a printed volume, one of the
best monuments that any town can erect, and not any more costly than a
monument of stone or bronze. Such a literary monument is a memorial
of many lives and of the community as a whole, in a way that no statue
can equal.

The town of Dover is greatly indebted to The Lewis Historical Pub-
lishing Company of New York for enabling me to bring out this beautifully
printed book of Dover History.


By arrangement with The Lewis Historical Publishing Company of
New York and Chicago, this book of DOVER HISTORY is prepared in
a limited edition of 500 copies. The text of this edition from page 324 to
497 is included in their HISTORY OF MORRIS COUNTY and bears
the same page numbers. Hence the special index of Dover History con-
tained in this edition only is available for use in connection with the larger
County History.

The text of this edition from page 497 to 519, including the index, is
found in this edition only. Several pictures have been added in this edition,
together with some additional items of local interest.


Introduction '^

Preface ^^^

List of Illustrations *•

How I Began to Study Dover History 326

Reminiscences of the Dover Schools and of Dover Doings, by Dover Folks 332

The Old School Records of Dover 369

Reminiscences of Mrs. Chambrc and others 375

The Dover Presbyterian Church and some other churches 413

The First Methodist Church 423

The Old Quaker Church and the Quakers 425

Early Deeds and Founders of Dover 452

Old Advertisements 466

The Penn Return, the Munson Home 473

The Baker Home, Mt. Pleasant 475

History of Industry and Business 477

Hurd Park 480

Bi-iCentennial Exercises of Higli School 483

Modern Dover 493

The Mt. Fern Fourth of July 505

Midsummer Night at the Swedish Lutheran Cliurch 507

St. John's Episcopal Church 509

A Glimpse of Dover's Industries, etc 497

Index 513


Titus Berry Home and Store 336

An Old Landmark, The Minton House 336

The Dover Public School, 1861 338

The Stone Academy 350

The Zenas Pruden Home 350

Miss Lucy B. Magie's School 387

Rev. Burtis C. Magie, D.D 388

James Cooper, Principal of Public School 388

View of Dover, 1850 425

The Richard Brotherton Home 425

The Old Quaker Church 425

The Munson Home 4oo

The Hartshorne Fitz Randolph Homestead 433

Four Quaker Portraits 439

Map of Dover, 1825 459

Map of Dover, 1832 461

John W. Hurd 480


Old Northside School 485

New High School 485

Southside School 375

Eastside School ^^^

First Presbyterian Church, First Building, Second Building 419

Third Building, Hoagland Memorial *"

First Methodist Church 423

Sacred Heart Church, Rev. \Vm. S. Condon, Rector 494

Swedish Lutheran Church

CONTENTS— Continued

Moller's Rock 458

View of Dover from Moller's Rock 4o8

St. John's Episcopal Church 509

The Old Stone Barn, Chester Road 361

The Jacob Lawrence Home, built 1781 356

William Jelf Lefevre 400

Granny's Brook 400

Isaac Webb Searing, President of Free Public Library Frontispiece

Dover General Hospital 503

Map of Dover, 1853 342

Clinton Hill— 901 feet above sea— about 1870 503

Where Josiah Hurd's House once stood 413

View in front of Hurd House 413

Old Forge Hammer, 45G

Fine Terrace Inn 456

Indian Falls 482

Granny's Brook 4S2




This is a new contribution to the recorded history of Dover, New
Jersey. It is Dover history, but not a history of Dover in the sense of
being a complete record of the making and the growth of the town. Taken
with the good work done by former historians of the town, it would go far
to introduce the subject, but this is a story that is always "continued in our
next," and no one knows when the history of Dover will be completed. In
fact, it is hard to say when it really began, if we look for primary sources.
I have not yet been able to trace the stream of Dover's humanity all the
way back to its fountain head. My whole effort has been given to gather-
ing up the fragments that were most in danger of being lost. My time has
been limited. I have not undertaken to bring the history to date. ]My in-
vestigations end for the most part about 1870.

In speaking of the history of Dover, I do not restrict myself to the
precise corporate limits established in 1869. To the historian the borders
and fringes of the garment of history are an essential part of it. Mill
Brook, Mine Hill, Randolph, Franklin, Mt. Pleasant, and other outlying
villages are inseparable from the history of Dover.

My thanks are due to the many good people of Dover and vicinity who,
by personal experience and by family connections, are intimately acquainted
with the story which they have kindly imparted to me. I have acted as
questioner to draw them out and as scribe to record what they have told
me. There is still much that I have not been able to secure. It has cost
no little time and labor to accomplish as much as I have done ; but it has
been a great pleasure to me to meet so many on such friendly terms and to
carry on such an interesting correspondence with distant Dover folks and
others who have assisted in the work. I have felt that we have been erect-
ing a Bi-centennial Monument to the town, and it is my hope that these per-
sonal contributions to the history — the information and the reminiscences
contributed by those, who know Dover, will be valued by all Dover people
at their real worth and that this book may serve a useful purpose, in ac-
cordance with the recommendation of our State Superintendent of Educa-
tion, by making our local history available so that our young people may
more readily learn about the early history of their own town and may take
a genuine interest in such inquiries. I had hoped that this material might
be found of real educational value in many ways. We made some use of
it in an impromptu fashion at the High School Commencement of 1913.
There is material here that may well serve as a basis for instruction and
entertainment in many forms for years to come, and that should be more
highly appreciated as the years go by.

Perhaps, too, this book may suggest a method and a possibility in the
cultivation of local history research for the future, both in this town and
elsewhere. At Johns Hopkins University many years ago they began to
train young men in the practical work of historical research, and one of
the things suggested was that each student should go back to his native


town and begin to gather all data relating to it. We have been doing this
kind of laboratory work in history during the past year.

\\'e cannot go far in such studies without some personal reflections
on the part that we are ourselves enacting in creating the history of the
future. The study of our own local history brings home to us this his-
torical consciousness — shall we say, historical conscientiousness? It does
so more intimately and acutely than the study of general history is likely
to do. And in this way history becomes a study of practical import. The
stage is not so large or so remote that we have no place on it. When we
think of the men who first in the wilderness sought for "the strength of the
hills," the iron that was inherent in the "black stone" of this region, and
when we trace the history of the men who from that time to this have
labored to make the strength of these hills available and serviceable to
humanity, we feel that we are getting acquainted with some of "The
Makers of Dover." When venerable grandmothers and grandfathers tell
us reminiscences of their early days and of the homes that nourished them,
we feel that the home-makers are to be counted among "The Makers of
Dover." When we trace the slow growth of the educational system of
our town from its first humble schoolhouses and small numbers to the
present we see that these very schoolhouses have been forges where men and
women have toiled at their task of building the city. The things that are
seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal : the preacher
and his work cannot be left out of our reckoning. The very schoolboys and
schoolgirls can realize the fact that they too, even in their school days, are
"Makers of Dover."

\\'e begin to see how home, and school, and church, and shop have
worked together and are now working together to "make Dover."

Charles D. Platt.
Dover, New Jersey, May 9th, 1914.


. One day, when I was taking my turn presiding over the noon hour at
school, some of our bright, studious girls were talking about their lessons
and I was drawn into the conversation. The subject of "Compositions"
came up. sometimes regarded as a bugbear, if you remember about your
own schooldays. I suggested that there were many subjects of interest
close at hand, right here in Dover. Why go so far afield, why ransack the
encyclopedias and other huge volumes? Why not write about something
that you can observe or inquire about for yourself? Why not learn to
gather information from persons as well as from books, especially from
persons who have experienced what they tell about, or who are in some way
close to the facts? Why not write up interesting chapters in the history of
Dover? There's the Governor Dickerson Mansion, for instance. _ They
say he had a wonderful flower garden there years ago. Why don't some
of you girls find out about it and write the story? And there's the Dicker-
son mine. Why wouldn't that be a good subject for a boy to write up?
Is it too hard? Then try Indian relics, arrow heads and so forth.

The eyes of my auditors twinkled in a dubious sort of a way. I didn't
know whether they would or they wouldn't. One boy spoke up and said,
"We were living in an old house that was full of old papers — old deeds,
and letters, and diaries, and account books. We just took them out and
burned them by the barrel to get rid of them. The man that lived there


before was a lawyer." "I wish I could see some of those papers," said I.
"I have the old roll-book of the Dover Academy in 1856," said he. "My
little sister is playing with it, and marking in it, and tearing it up." "Bring
me the pieces," I said. "I want to see it."

The next day he brought me the book. It was an ordinary blank book,
about 63^2 by eight inches, rather dilapidated. I bound the loose leaves
together and began to study it. The title page showed some attempt at
ornamental penmanship and read as follows :

Roll Book of the Dover Academy,

W. I. Harvey,

Dover, N. J. Oct. 4th, 1836.

Another title page was found in the other end of the book:

Roll Book,

Second Term of the Dover Academy.

Commencing Dec. 15th. 1856.

W. Irving Harvey, Prin.

I was now fairly launched on my study of Dover history. What was
the Dover Academy? Where was it? Who was W. Irving Harvey? Who
were the pupils? What did they study in those days? Such were the in-
quiries that I began to make. They have drawn me on much further than
I intended or expected. I had no intention of looking up Dover history at

If I had been an old resident of Dover, I should have known more
about these questions. My curiosity would not have been aroused. But
I had only lived in Dover ten years. So I began to inquire. Being a school-
teacher myself, I wanted to learn something about the schoolteachers and
the schools of former days. There may not have been any sacred "laying
on of hands," by which the schoolmasters of old transmitted their virtues
and authority to their successors in office, unless, perchance, some of their
pupils became teachers. But I felt a desire to establish the line of succes-
sion. So I went to work with the very modest design of gathering the
names of Dover's school teachers in their order of time, as far back as I
could discover any trace of them.

My first stumbling block was the name, "Dover Academy." My friend,
Judson Coe, explained to me that the "Academy" was a name that properly
applied to the stone Academy on Dickerson street, where Snyder's restau-
rant now, in 1913, still endeavors, though in a different way, to satisfy the
inner man. Judson Coe's name is the first on the old roll-book, and he
remembers W. Irving Harvey distinctly. Mr. Harvey was a Princeton grad-
uate and taught school in the building that is now back of Birch's Store at
the foot of Morris street, south of the Lackawanna railroad track. This
was the public school of Dover, and the Academy was just across the street
from it. Many have told me that the name "Academy" did not apply to
the public school held in the Birch building. But Mr. J. B. Palmer tells me
that his mother, who was a Baker, used to refer to the Birch building as
the "Academy" where she had gone to school. There seems to be some con-
fusion of titles. But by using the name "Stone Academy" we shall avoid
all confusion. And this name "Stone Academy" was used by Phebe H
Baker in her copy book in 1829, when the Stone Academy was built.

Judson Coe vouches for the fact that Mr. Harvey taught in the Birch
building. At recess Mr. Harvey would stand on the porch, for there was a



porch then, and smoke a cigar. When the children saw him throw away
the stump of the cigar they knew that recess was over. He didn't haveto
ring any bell. WilHam Champion, whose name is on the list of pupils,
says that Mr. Harvey afterwards went to the oil fields in Pennsylvania, and
died there of typhoid fever. He was buried in Succasunna. Mr. Champion
attended his funeral and remembers the hymns that were sung. This was
about 1865. The Harvey home was at Mine Hill, near the old Mine Hill
hotel. It was in this house that the old roll-book was found among the old
deeds and other papers. If it had not escaped the flames, I suppose I
should not have begun the study of Dover history.

The school appears to have had two terms, a fall term and a winter
term. It will be seen that more boys came in for the winter term, when
farm work was out of the way. Then the trustees had to secure
the services of an able-bodied man teacher, skilled to rule according to
the methods of the old regime. But it is now time to open school and call
the roll.

An alphabetical list of the pupils who attended school in Dover in 1856:

Albert Bailey

= +

Mulford King

+ &

William Bailey

= +

Joseph B. Kinney

= +

Lucinda Ball

= -H

Martha Lamson

= +

Ljinan Ball

Walter Lawrence


Asa Berry


Amelia Lindsley


C. A. Berry


Harriet Lindsley

= &

Franklin Berry

= &

Marshall Losey

+ ^

Titus Berry


John Love

= + &

Hattie Breese

= &

Nathaniel Maze


Mary L. Breese

= + &

David MacDavit

= +

Sidney Breese

= +

James MacDavit


Philip Champion

Adelia Palmer

= +

William Champion

= + &

Stephen Palmer

= + &

Judson Coe

= - &

Susan Pruden


Charles Conrad

= -f &

Julia Riley

+ &

Carrie Cooper


Frances Ross


Wm. Cooper


George Ross


George L. Denman

Nathaniel Ross


Ludlow Denman

~ +

Thaddy Ross


Joseph Dickerson


Eliza Sanford

= +

Elisabeth Dickerson

= &

Hattie Searing


Rebecca Dickerson

= + &

Mary Searing

= +

Susan Dickerson

= &

Phebe Searing

+ &

Wm. Donahue


Olivia Segur


Lewis N. Doty

= + &

Libbie Singleton


Wellington B. Doty


John Stickle


Elisabeth Fleming

Nelson Stickle

Marcus Freeman

= &

Susan Stickle

= +

Caroline Gage

= &

John Tebo

= +

Ella Gage

= &

.\ugustus Tucker

= -1-

Laura Garrigus

= &

Edward Tucker

= -f &

Leonard V. Gillen

= + &

Albert Wiggins

+ ,

Emma Goodale

= +

Henry Wiggins

= -!- &

John Hance


Louisa Wiggins

+ &

Racilia Hoagland

= &

Robert Wighton


Whitfield Hoagland

= -f-

Lsabella Willson

= +

Edwin Hurd

= +

Sidney Willson

= -1-

Frank Hurd

David Young

= + &

Ford King

= +

Isaac King


= Present October 4th, 1856,

Joseph King


+ Present Dec. i6th, 1856.

Lewis King


In October 29 B + 27 G —


Margaret Kmg

= -1-

In December 44 B -|- 17 G =

= 61.

Mary King

= +

'■&" means living, in March,



Studies Taught — Composition, declamation, reading (4th reader and
5th reader), Colton's geography, ist and 2nd, Physiology, English grammar,
mental arithmetic, natural philosophy.

W. Irving Harvey, Principal.

On arranging this list in alphabetical order in one combined roll we find
that there are eighty-two names. (The pupils enrolled in the Dover public
schools now [1914] are 1,984.) Of these eighty-two persons it is estimated
that twenty-seven are living in 1913. The Program of Studies is quite brief,
compared with that now in use. including the High School.

Believing that persons whose names appeared on this list would be
pleased to see the names of their old schoolmates, I made copies of the lijt
and gave it or sent it to all of whom I could hear, who could still be reached
by post. In return much information was gathered and some interesting
letters received. This list represents many old families of Dover. The
history of Dover began to unfold before me as I inquired. I had found a
key to the history of the community in this list of school-boys and school-
girls. I traced them to Newark, New York, Colorado, and California,
Massachusetts, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, Wharton, and
the Dover of today. I began to be impressed with the momentous im-
portance of the school teacher. But when I found how little these scholars
could tell about their old teachers, I wondered what school teachers do
count for, after all. But then, children never do tell all they know. Those
teachers counted for more than these pages are able to express. The reader
must learn to draw inferences and use his imagination upon the scanty
annals that I have gleaned. There is a world of history back of that list of
names. Some of the old inhabitants can read more between the lines than
I can.

I began to inquire of people who have lived in Dover longer than I
have. I suggested that we form a Local History Club, not for the sake of
organizing and electing a President, Secretary and Treasurer, but actually
to gather all information possible about the history of Dover, beginning
with this list of 1856. In this connection I appealed to our teachers of his-
tory, Miss Isabel Hance and Miss Minerva Freeman, who accepted the sug-
gestion with enthusiasm. Miss Hance has advised me from time to time,
and Miss Freeman found many clues to fact and story and helped me "set
the historical ball a-rolling." \\"nh the assistance of Mr. Peter Burrell she
furnished some preliminary gleanings, like the first streaks of dawn upon
the horizon. Miss Grace Richards, another of our history teachers, has
assisted greatly by loaning me her copy of "The History of Morris County,"
published in 1882. My aim has been to add to this history, not to copy out
extracts from it, but it has been of great service to me as a guide, and I
fully appreciate the good work that was done in it by my predecessors in
local history, such as the Rev. B. C. Magie, D.D., the Hon. Edmund K.
Halsey and others. In fact there has been a local history club in Morris
county from "way back." But that would be a subject for another volume.
Let me now give some of our preliminary gleanings, gathered by personal

Gleanmgs, Relating to the Academy Roll of Names — Whitfield Hoag-
land lived in the Spargo house on Morris street. He worked for The George
Richards Company when their store was in the frame building that has
since been moved out to East Blackwell street, known there as the wooden-
heel factory. It was originally the Breese store. Whitfield Hoagland later


went to Colorado Springs. His father wa€ a merchant. Leonard V. Gillen,
uncle of Whit. B. Gillen, lives at 24 Orchard street, Newark, New Jersey;
visits Dover. Rev. Franklin P. Berry, 5103 Pasadena avenue, Los Angeles,
California, brother of Stephen H. Berry, and son of Titus Berry. Joseph B.
Kinney lived on Blackwell street, originally, where pool-room now is. Sup-
posed to have died during the Civil War. Marcus Freeman lived in the
house now occupied by the House family, adjoining the Thomas Oram prop-
erty, in East Dover. Sidney Breese had a stationery store where the 3 and
9 cent store now is ; went west ; died recently. David Young, ex-surrogate,
lives in Morristown.

Edward Tucker and Augustus Tucker lived on the Tucker farm be-
yond the George Richards estate, just before you come to the James
Brotherton house. The Tuckers were masons and erected the National
Union Bank Building. Some one has said that they were "gentlemen
masons" — used to lay brick with their coats on, wearing cuffs. David Mc-
Davit, brother of Henry ; died a few years ago at Eagle's Corners. Stephen
Palmer lives on Sanford street, Dover. Philip Champion is related to the
Wharton Champions. Was killed at one of the mines, either Weldon or
Ford; his wife still lives at Wharton. William Champion, brother of
Philip, father of present generation of Wharton Champions; employed at
Ulster Iron Works. Ford King worked in old blacksmith shop near North-
side schoolhouse ; his wife lives on Morris street. George Ross and Nathan-
iel Ross lived in an old plastered house (still standing) on Mt. Hope
avenue, left side of road. They left Dover several years ago; very nice
people. Susan Dickerson. Rebecca Dickerson is Mrs. F. Trowbridge, of
Essex street, Dover. Sister of ISIrs. Judson Coe. who was Elizabeth Dick-
erson. Martha Lamson lived on the Lamson farm on Mill Brook road,
now the Dover Chicken Farm; she married Mr. Kuhns. Susie Stickle,
Mrs. Nathaniel Chandler, died in Paterson. Olivia Segur lived in the
Segur home, now the Elks' Club house. Very charming, beautiful, popular.
Died of tuberculosis; buried in Orchard street cemetery. Mary Searing,
Hattie Searing, Phebe Searing. Ella Gage, sister of Mrs. William Harris,
became Mrs. Wildrick. Charles Conrad (Coonrad) lived in a little brown
house next to the Richards estate, corner of Penn avenue; went west; he
visited Dover in 1912. John Love, uncle of Harry Weaver, lives at Ledge-
wood, at the home of William Sheer. Henry Wiggins, a prominent physi-
cian of Succasunna. William Bailev and Albert Bailey of Mill Brook.

Robert Wighton, brother of Mrs. S. R. Bennett: died thirty or more
years ago. Racilia Hoagland, sister of Whitfield, became Mrs. George

Online LibraryCharles Davis PlattDover history → online text (page 1 of 30)