John P. (John Patrick) Wall.

History of Middlesex County, New Jersey, 1664-1920 (Volume 3) online

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PETER FRANCIS DALY, the County Judge of the county of Mid-
dlesex, has been one of the foremost and most forceful leaders in the
civic, professional and governmental life of this historic county since
his very early manhood, and his prestige with its people generally and
their esteem and affection for him have constantly grown stronger and
deeper with the years. First elevated to this position of large respon-
sibility as well as power by Governor Woodrow Wilson in April, 191 1,
he was reappointed by Governor James F. Fielder in 1916, and again in
1921 by Governor Edward I. Edwards — three terms in succession, a
record in this respect unprecedented in the history of the office, in this
county at least.

He was born in New York City on May 19, 1867, son of Timothy
Edward and Catharine (O'Grady) Daly, natives of the County Galway,
Ireland. The family moved to New Brunswick when he was seven years
of age, and there he has since resided. He attended St. Peter's Parochial
School and later the Livingston Avenue High School. At the age of
seventeen he entered the law office of Senator James H. Van Cleef, and in
November, 1888, was admitted to the New Jersey bar, being then in
his twenty-first year. Soon afterward he became a partner in the law
firm of Van Cleef, Daly & Woodbridge, the other members being Senator
Van Cleef, and the Hon. Freeman Woodbridge, now judge of the District
Court of the city of New Brunswick. This partnership continued for
three years, and since then he has continued the general practice of
his profession alone.

louring the first ten years of Judge Daly in the general practice of
the law, he was engaged in most of the important criminal cases tried
in Middlesex county, but since has given his attention almost entirely
to the practice of the other branches of the law. Because of his nineteen
years experience in the surrogate's office and ten years as judge of the
Orphans' Court, he is recognized by the profession as a specialist in
matters of probate law and procedure. He has also had an unusually
wide experience and practice in municipal law. He was county counsel
for four years from May, 1899, and was the attorney who directed the
incorporations of the boroughs of South River, Roosevelt and Spots-
wood, and has been the counsel for those municipalities as well as for
the townships of Piscataway, Raritan, Monroe, East Brunswick and
Sayreville, and the borough of Helmetta. Since its organization in 1895,
he has been counsel to the Workingmen's Building and Loan Association
of New Brunswick, New Jersey, one of the most progressive and sub-
stantial corporations of the kind in the State.

Judge Daly's first elective public office was that of alderman of the
Sixth Ward of New Brunswick. The vote for him in the ward where he
had lived since childhood was three hundred above the next highest
candidate on his ticket. During his term of two years on the board of


aldermen. 1894 to 1896, he was its leader and the chairman of the finance
committee. This period included what was called the "great refunding
year," the most important epoch in the financial history of the city up
to that time. He was also chairman of the sewerage committee, and in
that position he established the beginning of a general sewerage system
in his own ward — the Sixth, personally securing the right of way for
the trunk line over private properties, more than a mile in length, and
without a cent's cost to the city. Because of the increase of other public
and professional duties he could not accept a reelection, though the same
was assured to him without opposition.

He was deputy-surrogate of the county of Middlesex during
the two terms of the Honorable Leonard Furman as surrogate
from 1892 to 1902, and succeeded him through election to the ofifice of
surrogate. He was elected twice, and at his election in 1902 he ran
nine hundred votes ahead of his ticket, and at his reelection in 1907 he
was eighteen hundred votes ahead of his ticket. There was over a year
and a half of his second term left when he was made county judge by
Governor Wilson.

During the period of the World-wide War. Peter Francis Daly,
through the profoundly efficient discharge of the broad and varied duties
of his high official county position — made abnormally onerous and exact-
ing by the extraordinary conditions of the times : through his distinctive
genius in the work of organizing popular movements, his tireless energy,
his stirring eloquence and his strong hold upon the imagination and
good will of the people and their admiration for the intensity and zeal
of his Americanism, was indisputably the most outstanding leader and
chief spokesman of America's cause in this county of one hundred and
sixty-eight thousand people and which embraces within its confines so
man)' different racial strains.

Judge Daly was chairman of the county legal advisory board, with
former Senator Theodore Strong and Judge Freeman Woodbridge as
associate members. This board, under authority of the United States
government, had the general supervision and direction of the Selective
Service Law as well as many other serious duties confidentially as well
as publicly assigned to them. He organized the Patriotic Force of
the city of New Brunswick, composed of five representatives from each
of one hundred and twenty-six distinct organizations of the county
seat and its immediate vicinitj-, representative of all that went to make
up the civic, religious, social, fraternal, industrial, professional, educa-
tional, mercantile and financial life of the territory and making a power-
ful unity and cohesion of every element of the community. He was
active in the executive work and direction of all the Liberty Loan Drives
and of the campaigns of the Red Cross, Y. M. C. A. and Salvation Army,
and was chairman of the Knights of Columbus War Drive and treasurer
of the Jewish Relief War Drive and a director of the United War Drive.

Judge Daly is a Democrat, and for twenty years before he went
on the bench was second to none in his constant, prominent and arduous
activities and labors in the organization, councils and leadership of the


party, and throughout all that time was recognizedly its leading advocate
on the public platform. For a number of years he was chairman of the
Middlesex County Democratic Executive Committee.

Upon the organization of the present Middlesex County Bar Asso-
ciation, Judge Daly was unanimously elected its first president, and has
since actively continued his membership therein ; he is also a member
of the American Bar Association. He was the founder and first grand
knight of New Brunswick Council of the Knights of Columbus, and is
a charter member and past exalted ruler of the New Brunswick Lodge
of Elks and is a member of the Royal Arcanum. For a number of years
he was an officer of the University Extension Society of Rutgers College,
and is on the executive committee of the Dante Society of the city of
New Brunswick. His clubs are the Union, New Brunswick Country
Club ; also the East Jersey Club of Perth Amboy and the old Colony
of New York City, of which latter he is a director. He is a member of
St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church.

After ten years' service on the bench, the reappointment of Judge
Dal}- was generally and earnestly urged from every section of the county
and by people in every walk in life, and Governor Edwards made the
reappointment and it was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. A
splendid tribute to the judge was the petition of the lawyers advocating
his reappointment, and a most remarkable tribute it was, as well, from
the fact that it was signed by every practicing lawyer in the whole
county, save two or three. This petition, the work of the lawyers
themselves, and done entirely upon their own initiative and because
of their admiration, esteem and aflfection for the man and their desire
for an impartial, able and exalted administration of law and justice, not
only f'-'-'-^ully expressed their own estimate but that of the people
generally of Judge Daly as a man, a citizen and a jurist. It was as
follows :

The members of the Bar of Middlesex county are interested in seeing the judicial
affairs of our county administered in a capable, dignified and honest manner, and
because of this do most respectfully petition your Excellency to reappoint as County
Judge of the County of Middlesex, the Honorable Peter Francis Daly, who has for
ten years most signally honored that position.

The reasons moving us to urge this appointment are: During the ten years
that Judge Daly has acted as County Judge, he has shown an extraordinary keen
grasp of the legal questions that were involved in the administration of the probate
law, the criminal law. and the many and varied duties imposed upon him as such
Judge: he has been fair and just in his determination of all matters brought before
him and his decisions have been rendered conscientiously with regard only for right
and justice. Never during that time has the least hint of bias or prejudice, afTectin?
his public acts, been breathed. His industry- is meeting the great volume of work
that has come before him has been unflagging and the public's business has been
handled by him with skill and dispatch.

On many occasions he has been singularly distinguished by the Justices of the
Supreme Court to preside over important cases in other counties and his work in
such counties as well as in his own county whenever taken up for review by higher
courts has been uniformly approved.

Just, fearless and capable as Peter Francis Daly has been as the Judge, he
has always been a man of large and generous heart desirous of blending mercy with
justice in every justifiable case and ever ready to lend a sympathetic ear to worthy
petitions for clemency addressed to him. He has treated the bar and litigants with
consideration and courtesy: and both on the bench and as a citizen, he has taken
an active, honorable and leading part in every movement, having for its end the


relief of suffering, the inculcation of patriotism and the advancement of American-
ization. His time and talents have been at the service of the people of the State, at
all the charitable, educational and patriotic organizations, who, both before, during
and after the War, have been of such great service to our country.

We feel that the record of this faithful, conscientious and able Judge, who has
so richly earned the esteem, confidence and affection of the people of this county,
entitles him to reappointment; and are glad of this opportunity to express to Your
Excellency our approbation of him and of his work and our earnest hope that you
will reappoint him to this high office in which he has so eminently distinguished
himself and which he is so particularly fitted to fill by temperament, training, e.xperi-
ence, knowledge, heart and rare good judgment.

Judge Daly married, September 25, 1893, at the Church of the Sacred
Heart, New Brunswick, Mary Rose Mansfield, daughter of William and
Margaret (Fitzgerald) Mansfield, her father a member of the firm of
Harding & Mansfield, wholesale and retail shoe dealers. Mrs. Daly died
January 13, 1917. Judge and Mrs. Daly had one daughter, Margaret
Mansfield, who married William Thornton Campbell, of New Brunswick,
June 5, 1920.

GOVERNOR JOSEPH BLOOMFIELD, fourth governor of New
Jersey under Revolutionary and State governments, traced his descent
from Henry Bloomfield, of Woodbridge, Suffolkshire, England, who fled
from England in Cromwell's time and came to Newburj^port, Massachu-
setts, in 1632. The line is traced from the founder through his son
Thomas, of whom further.

(H) Thomas Bloomfield, son of Henry Bloomfield, came from Eng-
land with his father, and accompanied by his sons: John; Thomas (2),
of whom further ; Nathaniel ; Ezekiel ; and a daughter, Mary. They
also settled in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

(HI) Thomas (2) Bloomfield, son of Thomas (i) Bloomfield, mar-
ried, about 1640, Mar}' , and their children, born in Newburyport,

Massachusetts, were: Mary, Sarah, John, Thomas (3), Nathaniel;
Ezekiel, of whom further; Rebecca, Ruth, and Timothy.

Sir George Carteret was appointed governor of New Jersey, and he
deputized his brother Philip acting governor to go to New Jersey and
represent him. Philip Carteret settled at Perth Amboy, and made that
the seat of his government. To induce settlers from New England, he
sent agents to invite them, and in consequence several persons came
from Newburyport and settled in the township, later called Woodbridge
for that of the town in England. Among those who came to Woodbridge
township, now in Middlesex county. New Jersey, were Thomas Bloom-
field, William Bloomfield, and five others, who came and patented many
acres of farm land, in December, 1669. Thomas Bloomfield was a
freeholder in 1670; represented Woodbridge in Colonial Assembly in
1670 : and was a magistrate in 1675-80.

(IV) Ezekiel Bloomfield, son of Thomas (2) and Mary Bloomfield,
was born in Newburyport. Massachusetts, in 1653, died in' Woodbridge
township. Middlesex county. New Jersey, in February, 1702. He was
a deputy in 1686-87. He married Hope Randolph, and they were the
parents of: Timothy. Ezekiel (2), Rebecca; Joseph, of further mention;
Jeremiah, and Nathaniel.

Joseph. JJ loo.mfikld Eso^






(V) Joseph Bloomfield. son of Ezekiel and Hope (Randolph) Bloom-
field, was born in Woodbridge township, Middlesex county, New Jersey;
he married Alice Dunham. Joseph Bloomfield held important town
offices, and was a man of influence.

(VI) Dr. Moses Bloomfield, son of Joseph and Alice (Dunham)
Bloomfield, married Sarah Ogden, and they were the parents of four
children: Governor Joseph, of whom further; Dr. Samuel; Nancy, who
married Dr. Wall ; and Hannah, who married General Giles.

(VII) Governor Joseph Bloomfield, son of Dr. Moses and Sarah
(Ogden) Bloomfield, was born in Woodbridge, New Jersey, October
18, 1750. He married (first) Mary Mcllvaine; (second) Isabell Ramsey.
There were no children of these two marriages. Governor Bloomfield
died at Burlington, New Jersey, October 3, 1823. The following head
stone marks his grave in St. Mary's Churchyard, Burlington, New Jersey
(2171 headstone) :

In memory of Joseph Bloomfield, a soldier of the Revolution,
late Governor of New Jersey and general in the Army of the United
States. He ceased a life of Probity, Benevolence and Public Useful-
ness, October 3, 1823, in the 70th year of his age.

In the register of St. Mary's Church is the entry, "October 5, buried
General Joseph Bloomfield."

In youth he attended Dr. Enoch Green's School in Deerfield, Cum-
berland county, New Jersey, and after finishing his school years, began
the study of law under Cortland Skinner, a former attorney-general
of New Jersey. He was licensed to practice law in 1775, and in that
year located at Bridgeton, New Jersey, and began practice. One of his
first cases was as one of counsel retained by the defendants in a suit
brought by the owners of a cargo of tea which was taken from a vessel
at Greenwich, New Jersey. November 22. 1775, and stored there. On
the night of the day named, forty men took possession of that tea and
set fire to it. That "Tea Party" antedated the Boston "Tea Party"
twenty-four days.

Joseph Bloomfield was commissioned captain of militia by the Pro-
vincial Congress of New Jersey in 1775, and in 1776 that commission confirmed by the Continental Congress and made to apply to the
New Jersey Line, Third Battalion, First Establishment. One hundred
men were recruited in two weeks by Captain Bloomfield and Lieutenant
Elmer, and in the spring. Captain Bloomfield was on duty in the Mohawk
Valley, New York. They built Fort Peyton at Herkimer, New York,
named after a colonel of their regiment. The following November he
was with his troops at Ticonderoga, and there was named judge advo-
cate of the army of the North. He was stricken with illness, and on
Christmas Day, 1776, started for home. At the organization of General
Maxwell's brigade, February i, 1777, Joseph Bloomfield was made
captain of the Seventh Company, Third Battalion. On September 11,
1777, the "Jersey Line" opened the battle of Brandywine and there Cap-
tain Bloomfield was wounded. Maxwell's brigade wintered at Valley
Forge, and when Philadelphia was evacuated by the British, June 18,


1778, he was detached from the main army and with the militia ordered
to harass Clinton's forces. On June 28, 1778, the "Jersey Line" joined
the left wing of the army and Maxwell's brigade fought at Monmouth.
Captain Bloomfield remained in active field service until 1778, when
he became clerk of the New Jersey Assembly. In 1783 he succeeded
William Patterson as attorney-general, serving until 1788.

Captain Bloomfield moved to Burlington after resigning from the
army, and that town was henceforth his home. In 1791 his name heads
the list of principal practitioners before the Supreme Court, asking the
Court to vacate the order compelling the wearing of "bands and gowns ;"
the Court complied. In 1792 he was presidential elector for George
Washington and John Quincy Adams. In 1794, as brigadier-general
of militia, he was sent to Pennsylvania to quell the "Whiskey Insurrec-
tion." In 1802 he was made chancellor, and at his first Court of Chan-
cery he asked that he be not addressed as "Excellency." In 1795-1800
he was mayor of Burlington, and in 1801 was appointed governor of
New Jersey. In the fall of 1801 the Legislature for the first time was
Democratic, and at a joint meeting, held October 31st, Joseph Bloom-
field was elected governor, receiving thirty votes against twenty cast
for Richard Stockton. In 1802 there was no choice for governor, but
in 1803 Joseph Bloomfield was elected, was again reelected and held the
ofiice until 1812, serving the State as governor eleven years. Governor
Livingston's term only exceeding that of Governor Bloomfield.

In 1812 Governor Bloomfield was appointed by President Madison
a brigadier-general, with the rank of general in the army to invade
Canada. He was at Sacket Harbor, New York, with his brigade in the
spring of 1813, and later was assigned to the command of the Philadel-
phia Military District, there remaining until honorably discharged,
June 15, 1815. He served as Congressman from New Jersey, 1817-21,
being chairman of the committee on Revolutionary Pensions, and intro-
duced and forced to passage bills granting pensions to veteran soldiers
of the Revolution and Revolutionary widows.

The historian says of General Bloomfield : "He was undoubtedly a
man of considerable ability, of unquestioned probity, and great benevo-
lence, and took a very active interest in public afifairs not only of those
relating to the politics of the country, but in many benevolent associa-
tions. He was always a prominent citizen in whatever community he
lived, and his influence has ever been lifted for the right."

Governor Bloomfield was president of the Society of the Cincinnati,
and for many years president of the New Jersey Society for the Aboli-
tion of Slavery, the object of the society being to protect slaves from
abuse and to assist them to obtain their liberty by legal proceedings.
Bloomfield, New Jersey, was named in his honor, and he was recognized
as a man of ability and worth. He was elected a trustee of Princeton
College in 1793. Governor Bloomfield's last public service was as Con-
gressman. He was elected by the Democrats in 1816, and retired March
4, 1821. He died about two years later. He was deputy grand master
of the Masons of New Jersey in 1795-96-97-98. and grand master in
1 799- 1 800.


WILLIAM BLOOMFIELD, father of Charles A. Bloomfield, of
Metuchen, New Jersey, is a son of Smith Bloomfield, and a collateral
relative of Governor Joseph Bloomfield. William Bloomfield was born
in New York City, February 8, 1808, and there died at his residence,
No. 28 Dominick street, January 23, 1879, in his seventy-first year. His
father, Smith Bloomfield, was a builder of New York City, and gave
his son the best school advantages. William Bloomfield graduated with
distinction from Rutgers College, and soon after began the study of
law with Judge John L. Mason, a former judge of the Superior Court.
In 1S32 he was admitted to the New York bar, and in 1838 entered into
a partnership with Thomas McElrath and Charles P. Daly, he the
youngest member of the firm of McElrath, Bloomfield & Daly. That
firm engaged in lucrative practice until 1841, when Thomas McElrath
withdrew, and with Horace Greeley he published the daily New York
"Tribune," under the firm name of Greeley & McElrath. It was Mr.
McElrath's judicious management, and his business sagacity, upholding
Mr. Greeley's editorial genius, that placed that journal on its foundation
of prosperity. Charles P. Daly was the junior member of the firm,
although but twenty-eight years of age and in law practice but five years;
in 1844 he was appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Judge
Daly held that office by appointment, then by election, until compelled
to retire under the age limit of the law. Such were the two law partners
of William Bloomfield, and to neither was he inferior. After Judge
Daly's retirement from the firm in 1844 to go on the bench, Mr. Bloom-
field assumed the entire burden of practice, and for thirty-five years
conducted a very large law business in the city of New York. His great
reputation was made as chamber counsel, he rarely appearing in the
public courts. He was learned in the law, skilled in its application, wise
in counsel, but far too modest and unassuming for a public advocate.
Yet he was a powerful pleader and debater, his arguments in chambers
carrying great weight. His well-stored, logical mind went quickly to
the kernel of a question, and his opinions on any question of law, par-
ticularly the law of real estate, was confidently relied upon. His high
reputation brought him many difficult and intricate cases, and his judg-
ments were so clear and convincing, and so in accord with the highest
law, that they were almost always confirmed by the courts when any
litigant rashly appeared.

Judge Bloomfield's clients relied upon him absolutely ; he was a most
valuable citizen, and a lawyer who combined the highest integrity and
the most delicate sense of honor with the greatest sagacity in all legal

William Bloomfield married. May 24, 1834, Catherine Van Mater
Croes, daughter of the Rev. John Croes, of Christ Church, of New
Brunswick, New Jersey, and granddaughter of the Rt. Rev. John Croes,
first Protestant Episcopal Bishop of the State of New Jersey. To
W^illiam and Catherine Van M. (Croes) Bloomfield seven children were
born: i. Smith, deceased, a well known lawyer and a member of the
Board of Education of New York City. 2. John Croes, who fought in


the Civil War and became a lieutenant-colonel through promotion in the
different grades from that of a private : he died in Akron. Ohio, in his
seventy-first year. 3. Eleanor Van Mater, died unmarried. 4. William
(2). died young. 5. Thomas Blanch, an eminent physician at the time
of his death, who lived at Saybrook, Connecticut. 6. Jessie, unmarried,
died at the age of seventy years. 7. Charles A., of further mention in
the following sketch. Judge Bloomfield was buried from old St. John's
Church in Varick street, of which he was an active member and long-
time vestrs'man.

CHARLES A. BLOOMFIELD, like his eminent father. William
Bloomfield (q. v.). the well known New York attorney, was also destined
for the law, and was in practice for a time, but he had little liking for
his profession and he abandoned practice, organized The Bloomfield
Clav Company, and has been a leading figure in the clay and ceramic

Online LibraryJohn P. (John Patrick) WallHistory of Middlesex County, New Jersey, 1664-1920 (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 40)