Citizens semi-centennial association, Ridgewood.

Ridgewood, Bergan County, New Jersey, past and present online

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Bank, 1903.

Prespect to Oak Streets,

Ridgewood Trust Companv, 1910; Quackenbush, 1909; Green-
law, 1909; Waller, 1915; and Thorton, 1912.


Ridgewood Avenue, north side from Broad to Chestnut Streets,
Wilsey, 1914 ; Hennion, 1890 ; Van Dien Block, 1891 and 1893 ;
Ackerman, 1882 ; Duffy, prior to 1876 ; and Van Dien, prior
to 1868.

Chestnut to Oak Streets,

Pioneer, 1895, rebuilt 1900; Hennion, 1894; Hanks Block (be-
tween 1893 to 1903) ; and on the opposite corner, Terhune,


Prospect Street, west side,

The Hegeman building, 1908; Post Office, 1912; and on the
east side Prospect Hall Block, 1903.


While Ridgewood is wholly residential in character, having no fac-
tories or other industrial enterprises employing large numbers of opera-
tives, it was at one time the home of the "Favorite Brand" rubber
packing business. This was in a two-story brick building located on the
east side of North Maple Avenue, opposite Park Court and at present
used by the Packer Auto Company. The building was built by the heirs
of John R. Terhune in 1873, near the site formerly occupied by three
other factories within a period of twenty-one years. The first building
was used as a grist mill for nearly half a century, and in February,
1853, was destroyed by fire. A new frame building was put up during
the same year and leased to J. J. Zabriskie for use as a cotton mill.
This also was burned in 1859.

In 1866, ground was broken for a new frame structure which was
leased to Edwin Taylor, of Kensico, N. Y., for manufacturing purposes.
This building was burned in 1873 and, in the same year, the present
building was erected and leased in 1879 to the Peerless Manufacturing
Company for the manufacture of rubber goods. It was occupied by
this company until about 1886 when, more space being needed on ac-
count of the expansion of their business, their enterprise was removed
to New Durham, N. J. The building was practically unused until re-
cently when it was occupied by the Packer Auto Company.

At one time Ridgewood also contained the woolen mills of G. Morrow
& Son, which were established in 1853 and located at the southeast
corner of the Village near the Susquehanna Railroad, just below what
is now known as Van Emburgh's Pond.

In the extreme northern portion of the Village, near Waldwick, Avas
located the paper and twine manufactory of White Company, which was
destroyed by fire about 1880.

In the same locality, and on the road leading from Waldwick to
Wyckoff, a factory for the manufacture of wax for artificial flowers and
honeycomb was started in the early 70 's by A. H. Bender, who had pur-
chased the privilege from Mrs. M. C. McCall, of Edinburgh, Scotland.
He continued the business for about ten years during which time liis
product received first prize at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876, as
did flowers made from it by ]\Iiss Emma Hopper, now Mrs. George W.
Beckley, of Waldwick.





The first effort to estaljlish a banking institution in Ridgewood was
made by The Village Improvement Association, when for a period of
nearly tliree years prior to the organization of the First National Bank,
a committee of this association had charge of the Ridgewood Branch
of the Penny Provident Bank of New York, with a list of depositors
approximating 100 children. Stamps representing cash were exchanged
and redeemed when the amount reached $10.00.

The First National Bank

In 1899 The First National Bank of Ridgewood was organized, its
first officers being :

President Peter Ackerman,

Vice-President H. S. Patterson,

Cashier L. F. Spencer,

Teller W. C. Banta.

The business was at first conducted in a building on the site now
occupied by Gordon's barber shop on West Ridgewood Avenue. This
was destroyed by fire in March, 1900, and the bank was removed to
temporary quarters in the Banta plumbing shop in the Hutton building
near the railroad. At the end of four months it was again removed to
the building on Prospect Street, now occupied by Max Koblintz, the
tailor. The present quarters were constructed and occupied in 1903.

Ridgewood Trust Company

The Ridgewood Trust Company was organized in 1906, the first offi-
cers being:

President Judge Cornelius Doremus

Tice-President James W. Pearsall,

Treasurer W. J. Fullerton,

Secretary . L. F. Spencer.

Business was conducted for about six months in a portion of the
First National Bank quarters, and later, in 1907, was moved to Avhat is
now the Weber jewelry store, on West Ridgewood Avenue. In 1910
the present building was completed and occupied.

Building and Loan Associations

RidgCAvood has three building and loan associations, all of which
have been managed wisely, economically, and satisfactorily. The busi-
ness done is strictly local and hundreds of residents of the Village, who
have taken advantage of the facilities aft'orded by the associations, are
today owners of their own homes, or are in a fair way to be so. With
a lot paid for, a building and loan association is usually willing to ad-
vance 80% of the actual cost of building a house. This 80% is returned
to the association in monthly payments for a period extending over
approximately 130 months. If members do not build, the associations



provide a means of saving, with the privilege of withdi'awal or of bor-
rowing at any time.

The Ridge wood Building and Loan Association

The Ridgewood Building and Loan Association was organized in
1885 and is the oldest organization of its character in the Village. The
first officers were:

I'rcsideiit James N. Norris,

Vice-President E. F. Ryersox,

Secretary G. 8. Wiutty,

Treasurer C. P. Croutek.

The Co-operative Building and Loan Association

The Co-operative Building and Loan Association was organized on
February 1, 1891, with the following officers:

President Joseph W. Edwards.

y ice-Preside ni Chas. W. Low,

Secretary Isaac ]\I. Wall.

Treasurer Hiosox Campbell.

The Glen Rock Building and Loan Association

The Glen Rock Building and Loan Association was incorporated
March 25, 1907, with the primary object of furnishing an association
for the residents of Glen Rock. The office is located in Ridgewood, as a
majority of its members are residents of that Village.

The first officers were :

President X. S. Cubberly,

Vice-President James B. Chblstopher,

Secretary G. T. Hopper.

Treasurer John A. Marixus.


The Medical Profession

In the early history of many of the colonies, the art of healing was
practiced chiefly by the clergy. The care of the sick came naturally
within the sphere of their parochial duties, and many of them were
distinguished for their knowledge of medicine and were authors of some
of the earliest medical papers printed in America. In some instances
the schoolmaster was the physician and surgeon of the neighborhood.

New Jersey had among its early medical men a few who had received
their training in the schools of Europe. By far the greater number,
however, having no liberal education, had lived a year or two with a
practitioner of some sort, read the few availal)le books on medicine and
then, assuming the title of doctor, offered themselves to the people as
competent to cure disease. They relied much upon the use of herbs and

Every neighborhood seems to have had some one who could bleed and
extract teeth. Occasionally a handy man would straighten a cracked



bone, and be given great credit and the title of doctor for doing so. In
nearly all cases of sickness the remedies employed were the growth of
the soil, very little medicine, as it is known today, being used.

Among the Hollanders of Bergen County, there was little need of
physicians for many years after the first settlement began. The climate
was healtliy and the settlers were of a hardy and enduring type.
Malaria was comparatively unknown. All of the early writers and
correspondents who have described the condition of the country, cither
in books or in letters to their friends abroad, united in pronouncing
East Jersey a very healthy country. Aside from this, the scarcity of
early physicians in Bergen County is accounted for by the fact that the
more wealthy of the citizens were in the habit of obtaining their medical
attention from other places, such as New York, Elizabethtown, and

Holland seems to have sent forth no properly qualified physicians,
although her university at Leyden was among the most renowned in
Europe for chemistry and kindred sciences. The science of medicine
was in its infancy all over the civilized world. What is now understood
by that term has been the growth of the last 125 years. There was
nothing approximating a school of medicine in America; not even a
course of lectures, until the middle of the eighteenth century, when tlie
first medical school in the country was founded in Philadelphia in 1765.
Two years later New York established her first school of medicine in
connection with King's College, ^.New York City.

The year 1688 is the first in which we hear of any doctor in what is
now Bergen County. Dr. Johannes, the man referred to, lived in wliat
is now Hackensack (in the then County of Essex, which extended only
as far west as the Hackensack River), Bergen County.

Dr. Van Emburgh must have practiced in or about Hackensack be-
fore 1709, as a deed was filed that year to his widow.

The next one of whom any account is found is Dr. Abraham Van
Buskirk, who lived at Paramus, and was surgeon in the First Militia
of Bergen County, February 17, 1776. In July of that year the Provin-
cial Congress ordered that the treasurer pay to Dr. Van Buskirk and
two others the sum of 335 pounds, 10 shillings, being the amount due
for 79 stands of arms at 4 pounds, 10 shillings apiece. Before the year
was out he had gone over to the British, family and all. He was leader
of many Tory raids in Bergen County ; one raid through Closter in 1779.

Joseph Sackett, Jr., who practiced in Paramus was one of the seven-
teen who signed the Instruments of Association and Constitution of the
Medical Society of New Jersey in 1766, which society this year cele-
bi'ated its 160th Anniversary, being the oldest medical society in this

Many of the early physicians covered large circuits, often being
away from home for several days at a time. They rendered efficient
service to the public in the days of stage coaches, spinning wheels and
tallow dips. While much of their system of medication today is obso-
lete, it served nevertheless as a stepping-stone to modern practice, and
it would be unjust to decry tlieir methods.

At one period the country was overrun with itinerant doctors,



natural bonesetters and othors of like character. Many clergymen took
up the study of medicine which they practiced along with their ministry.
On the tombstone of the Rev. Robert McKean, of Perth Amboy, who
was also the first president of the New Jersey Medical Society, is in-
scribed: "An unshaken friend, an agreeable companion, a rational
divine, a skilful physician, and in every relation in life a truly benevo-
lent and honest man."

Dr. Elijah Rosencrantz, graduated from Rutgers College in 1791,
studied theology for a period of sixteen months with the Rev. Peter
Studdiford, whereupon he was granted a license to preach. After
preaching one sermon he decided that he was not fitted for the ministry.
He took up the study of medicine and in 1799 received from two judges
of the State Supreme Court a license to practice as a physician and
surgeon in the State of New Jersey. In 1800 he purchased the Hermi-
tage, formerly the home of Madam Provost, now the Rosencrantz home-
stead, wdiere he began practice. He held the appointment of surgeon
to the Second Regiment, Bergen County Brigade of Militia. He died
in 1832.

Dr. Garret D. Banta, born in 1792, practiced in Paramus and it is
interesting to note that his wife was in the habit of accompanying him
on his rounds and aiding in his professional work. Dr. W. L. Vroom
has now in his possession the old mortar and pestle with which Dr.
Banta compounded his prescriptions. The eagle over the pulpit of the
old Paramus Church was jjresented by Dr. Banta in 1800.

Dr. Henry G. Banta, son of Dr. Garret D. Banta, born in 1815, fol-
lowed his father in the practice of medicine and also located in Paramus.
He died in 1876. It is mentioned that his rounds often recjuired two or
three days before returning home and that wherever meal time found
him he would make himself welcome. Frequently, upon leaving a pa-
tient, he would take along a sack of oats or corn for his horses, this
often constituting the only compensation for medical services.

Dr. DuBois Hash rook, a cousin of Charles Ilasbrook of Hackensack,
was located on the Paramus Road, at the old Lane place, about 1854.

Dr. 0. Blenis, located on the Paramus Road, now the Vermilye home-
stead, previous to 1864 and later moved to Saddle River.

Dr. John T. De Mund, born in 1840, was assistant surgeon of the
58th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry, in 1863, and began the practice
of medicine in Paramus in 1864. He came to Ridgewood in 1878 and
continued practice until 1914, when he retired. Upon locating in Ridge-
wood his of^ce was in a small building adjacent to the site of the Wilsey
Building. In 1888 the building was removed to its present site at the
entrance to the grounds of his residence on Ridgewood Avenue.

Dr. George B. Parker, a surgeon of the Civil War, came to Ridge-
wood about 1876. He was the founder of City Point Hospital. It is
related that President Gi-ant said to him: "Dr. Pai'ker, if there is any
position you wish, I would be glad to make the appointment." The
doctor in his characteristic way answered : ' ' Thank you, Mr. President,
I am a Democi'at. " Dr. Parker long treasured an axe with which, at
the earnest solicitation of a number of officers. President Lincoln split



a rail in his tent one night, to demonstrate that lie had not lost his
ability in that line.

Dr. William Francis, born in England, resided in what is now the
Terhune house on Ridgewood Avenue, and practiced in Ridgewood for
a number of years. He died in 1888. The doctor, accompanied by a
huge mastiff in his Avalks about town was for years a familiar figure.

Dr. Wm. L. Vroom came to Ridgewood in 1888, taking up the prac-
tice of Dr. Francis. In 1893 Dr. Vroom took possession of the old stone
house on Ridgewood Avenue, which is one of Ridgewood 's landmarks,
being the second oldest residence. The deed embracing this property,
given by the "Lords Proprietors of the Province of East Jersey" and
dated 1698, is still well preserved. It is elaborately engrossed on

Dr. George M. Ockford was next to estal)lish himself in Ridgewood,
coming from Lexington, Ky., in 1891. He has the honor of being the
present Postmaster of the Village.

Next in order are :

Dr. Charles W. Harreys, who began practice in this Village in 1898.

Dr. Harry S. Willard, who began practice in 1898, soon giving up
general practice to devote himself to the speciality of the eye.

Dr. Cornelius A. De Mund, son of Dr. J. T. De Mund, began practice
in 1900, following his father, whose practice he has now taken up.

Dr. Harry H. Pettit reached Ridgewood in 1906 and located on
Franklin Avenue.

Dr. H. A. Bonvnge, located on Prospect Sti-eet, began practice in

Dr. William C. Craig, who associated himself with Dr. Win. L.
Vroom, began practice in 1909.

Dr. F. W. Gilbart was next in order and located on West Ridgewood
Avenue in 1912.

Dr. Wm. Tomkins located in L"^pper Ridgewood in 1912.

Dr. Walter F. Keating located on Franklin Avenue in 1915.

The Ridgewood ]\Iedical Society, consisting of the resident physi-
cians and those of the immediate vicinity, was organized in 1911, the
object being the promotion of scientific discussion and social welfai-e.

The Ridgewood Hospital was incorporated in 1911 with the follow-
ing Board of Directors : W. L. Vroom, M.D., F. von Moschzisker, W. C.
Craig, M.D., Judge Cornelius Doremus, and James M. Craig.

The hospital is located on West Ridgewood Avenue, adjoining the
office of Dr. Vroom, and is conducted for the physicians of Ridgewood
and vicinity in order that they may properly care for their patients
who require hospital treatment.

Tlie Dental Profession

The science of dentistry embraces the treatment of diseases and
lesions of the teeth and the supplying of substitutes for such of these
organs as are lost. As in the early days of the Medical Profession,
dentistry was practiced to a large extent by persons engaged in other
pursuits and without any professional education. This was due pri-
marily to the fact that mere tooth-drawing constituted the surgical



dentistry of the times and the operation demanded muscular strength
and manual dexterity rather than anatomical knowledge or surgical

The very ap})arent need of educating individuals for the profession
resulted in the esta1)lishment of courses of studies in various colleges
and institutions throughout the country. Now, under the laws of the
various states, only those who can produce a certificate that the required
course has been completed may take the examination for a license to

In the early days of Ridgewood, dentists wdio had located in the
neighl)oring municipalities of Haekensack, Paterson, and New York,
cared for the needs of the villagers. The first dentist to establish in
the Village was Dr. Walter Van Emburgh, who began practice January
1, 1894, and continued until June 10, 1914, when he retired.

The next to open an office was Dr. Harold J. White, who began
practice on September 10, 1903.

Shortly afterward Dr. Russell Sufi'ern opened an office, but only
remained in the Village about three months.

In the spring of 1909, Dr. G. W. La Liberte began to practice and in
the summer of 1911 removed to Orange, N. J.

During September, 1910, offices were opened by Dr. Walter A.
Tracey and Dr. Angelo Zabriskie. In October of the same year. Dr.
G. A. Wessner established an office, and Dr. W. S. H. Martin began to
practice here during the early part of 1913.


Ridgewood has two Aveekly newspapers, one bi-monthly publication
and one magazine issued every othei' week. The community's first news-
paper was established in 1889 by William J. Tonkin and was issued
monthly under the name of "The Ridgewood News."

The Ridgewood News

This paper was for some time printed in New York and its edi-
torials and news articles were prepared by Mr. Tonkin as he traveled
])etween the Village and the City. Six months after its establishment,
the News" became a semi-monthly. At the end of the year, Mr. Tonkin
decided to discontinue his work as a publisher and sold his paper to
Leonard N. Taft, who was then station agent at Ridgewood for the Erie
Railroad. The purchase price was $1.00. Mr. Taft innnediately in-
stalled printing presses, type and other necessary materials in a room
over Eglin's blacksmith shop and published The News as a weekly.

About a year later John A. Ackerman became owner of the paper
and published it until 1892 when he re-sold it to i\Ir. Taft.

On September 15, 1894, Frank A. Baxter and Joseph Babcock be-
came proprietors of the paper. Several years later Mr. Baxter pur-
chased his partner's interest in the paper and continued to publish it
until June 1, 1916, when he retired from journalistic work, disposing
of his interests to Franklin Fishier, the present proprietoi-.



The News was at first non-partisan in its polities, but in recent years
has been consistently Democratic.

The Ridgcwood Record

In 1898 Mr. Leonard N. Taft, formerly owner of The Ridgewood
News, re-entered the newspaper business and established The Ridgewood
Record, a weekly. After a brief period, he sold the paper to Eugene
Ferrell, who published it until a fire put him out of business. Mr. Taft
bought what remained of the plant at public sale and installed it in the
carriage house in the rear of his residence at 76 Woodside Avenue.
He then began the pul)lication of a paper called The Ridgewood Herald.

The Ridgewood Herald

This paper w^as published by Mr. Taft until August 15, 1905, when
Brainard G. Smith secured possession. Mr. Smith brought to the Herald
a ripe experience in newspaper work gained through fifteen years'
service on the staff of the New York Sun. The editorial and news
columns of the Herald since Mr. Smith's ownership have reflected the
journalistic atmosphere which made the New York Sun, during Charles
Dana's regime, so justly famous.

The Herald has been consistently Republican in politics and has been
invaluable to the party in Bergen County. It owns its home, a sub-
stantial structure of concrete block, at Hudson and Broad Streets, which
was completed in August, 1912, and has a well-equipped modern print-
ing plant.

The Ridgewood Times

The Ridgewood Times was started in 1916 by J. Douglas Gessford,
who sought to establish an independent weekly newspaper of rather
ambitious ideals. The first issue appeared February 19, 1916, as a four
page, eight column paper. It was continued weekly until July 8, 1916,
when it was permanentl}' discontinued because the editor and his entire
staff: had joined the colors on the Mexican border as members of Com-
pany L, Fifth New Jersey Infantry.

The Arrow

The Arrow is the publication of the Ridgewood High School and is
devoted to dissemination of Ridgewood school news and the publication
of meritorious articles, stories, jioems, and papers written by students
in the High School. It was the conception of the Class of 1908 and
appeared originally as the year book of the class. The first issue was
published under the editorial direction of Miss Nell Doremus, who had
associated with her Mildred Hiler, Florence Kemp, Helen Van Buren,
Lindley de Garmo, and AVilliam Ransome, the cover being designed by
Edgar G. Wandless of the Class of 1910. This publication aroused so
much interest that three issues were published in 1912 and 1913. In
1914, under the editorship of Olive Graham, The Arrow became a quar-



terly and the following year was issued bi-monthly and has so continued
since. Tlie Arrow presents many items of pertinent school interest
which escape the attention of the newspapers of tlie Village. Its staff
consists of twelve students of the High School with two meinl)crs of the
Faculty' as advisors.

The Editor

The Editor, a publication accurately described by its sub-title, which
is "The Journal of Information for Literary Workers," was founded
111 January, 1895, by James Knapp Reeve, at Franklin, Ohio. Mr.
Reeve published the magazine for ten years and then, having become
associated with the Outing Publishing Company, turned the active man-
agement of The Editor over to Leslie W. Quirk, who continued the work
until 1909, when Mr. Reeve resumed the management of the periodical
and moved the plant to Ridgewood, locating in the Pioneer Building.
In 1911 William R. Kane acquired the controlling interest in the maga-
zine. In 1913 it was published as a bi-monthly and later in the same
3^ear began to appear every other week. In 1914 the plant was removed
to Glen Rock, but in December, 1916, it w^as again located in Ridgewood
and is now established at 2-4 Godwin Avenue as the Station Place Press.
A few months prior to this change, Mr. Arthur Tomalin, of Allendale,
became associated with Mr. Kane as publisher. The paper now has
nearly 9,000 subscribers.

The Editor Company also published The Threshold, a magazine of
new names and things in literature, The Editor Quarterly, which con-
sists of reprints of articles ai)pearing oi'iginally in The Editor, books
of value to writers, and maintains a Literary Bureau to assist writers,
by criticism and advice.


The old David Naugle Tavern, located about 500 feet north of Lin-
wood Avenue, on the west side of the Paramus Road, was built about
1790, by John A. Zabriskie, originally a residence. Mr. Zabriskie later
turned the house into a tavern, which was one of the stopping places
on the old Hoboken-Goshen stage route. After the Revolutionary War
and during the early part of the Nineteenth Century, in accordance
with the custom of that time, the house was the headquarters of the

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Online LibraryCitizens semi-centennial association, RidgewoodRidgewood, Bergan County, New Jersey, past and present → online text (page 12 of 19)