Citizens semi-centennial association, Ridgewood.

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

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During the summer of 1916, the Surgical Dressing Committee, under
Mrs. J. L. Averill, made 915 yards of gauze and muslin and 23 pounds
of cotton into bandages.

There are 21 active members, 1 sustaining member and 1 life member.

Publisher's Note: The remarkahle residt of this chapter in in-



creasing its memhership in the early part of the year 1917 to over 2,000,
or 28 per cent, of the population of the Village, placed Ridgeivood as
holding the record for the most successful campaign for Red Cross
viemhers ever held in any city or town in the United States.


To indicate the interest the people of Ridgewood have in the schools
and Avelfare of their children in their educational pursuits, mention
may be made of the parents' and teachers' associations which co-operate
with the schools. The fact is noteworthy that this co-operation results
in better work on the part of the student and a greater understanding
on the part of the parents and teachers.

Alumni Association of the Ridgeivood High School, Ridgewood, N. J.

Although interest in an Alumni Association was first aroused in
1902, it was not until June, 1911, that such an association was organ-
ized. At that time Everett Shutts was elected President, Edgar Wand-
less, Vice-President and Secretary, and Miss Grace E. Jones, Treasurer.

At a re-organization meeting held in September, 1916, a constitution
and incorporation papers were accepted and a Board of Trustees was

On December 28, 1916, the association was duly incorporated and
a Board of Trustees was chosen. Membership in the association con-
sists of:

1. Regular graduates of the Ridgewood High School.

2. Students who have left high school after having completed at least
two years' study and who make application for membership to the
association secretary.

3. Honorary members Avho may be elected by a two-thirds vote of the
active members of the association.

4. Members of the High School Faculty and Board of Education who
are honorarj^ members as long as they are actively connected with
the high school.

The general purpose of the association is to promote and stimulate
an active interest in and among the members in all that pertains to
the welfare and progress of the alumni and the high school body gen-
erally. The definite aim is to establish a scholarship for that member
of the senior class of the Ridgewood High School who, in the opinion
of the committee, deserves it most and who has fulfilled certain condi-
tions specified by the Alumni Association.

Kenilworth Parents, and Teachers' Association

The Kenilworth Parents, and Teachers' Association was organized
on February 12, 1912. At that time the following were elected officers :

President Mr. E. O. Grover,

Vice-President Mrs. G. H. Nickersox,

Secretary Mrs. D. W. Boyd.

Treasurer Mr. C. Woodworth.

The object of the association is to provide facilities for bringing the



teachers and parents into a closer relationship, to secure more perfect
co-operation in advancing the moral, intellectual and physical welfare
of the pupils and in furthering the cause of education in the commun-
ity. The association has a membership of 67.

Monroe Home and Scliool Association

The Monroe Home and School Association was organized in Novem.-
ber, 1915, when the following officers Avere elected:

President J. J. Glynn,

Vice-President Daniel E. Bacon,

Secretary-Treasurer Miss Elizabeth Sturgess.

The association has grown to a membership of 170 and has as its
object the co-operation of the parents with the teachers and the school
for the welfare of the children.

Citizens' High Scliool Association

On December 15, 1915, a committee of 150 citizens was organized
at the high school and was known as the Citizens' High School Com-
mittee. The following officers were elected:

Chairman George M. Schinzel,

Secretary Eugene A. Skehan,

Treasurer Harvey E. Whitney,

and the following Executive Committee: 0. B. Surpless, Frederick
Pfeifer, T. J. Foster, Charles H. Woodman, Clarence Stewart, R. T.
Wilson, W. J. Klug, Harold F. Dana, George H. Nickerson, Thomas
P. Connor, C. D. Ireland and B. D. Forster.

Subsequently the committee resolved itself into a permanent or-
ganization and the present membership of more than 450 consists of
the parents of all high school pupils and all residents over eighteen
years of age who desire to join. There are no dues.

The objects of the association are to bring before the people of
Ridgewood the needs of the public school system in general and the
needs of the high school in particular and to form a medium by which
the teachers may be brought in contact with the parents of the pupils
for their mutual understanding and benefit.


Local Option League

In 191-1, certain men of Ridgewood learned to their great astonish-
ment that all states excepting New Jersey and Pennsylvania had passed
local option legislation, by which the people through majority home
rule could control the licensing of the saloon. This knowledge pro-
voked inquiry as to whether this condition was the will of the people
of New Jersey or whether it was the result of the vote having been
scientifically controlled against them.

In that year a petition signed by 2,000 voters of Bergen County was
presented by a delegation of Ridgewood men to their assemblymen,
praying for their affirmative vote on a Local Option Bill about to come



up in the Assembly. Each of the three Bergen County assemblymen
replied that he would vote as his constituents wanted him to. As not
one of them recorded his vote in favor of the bill^ it became apparent
that the people would have to make their will known before the pri-
maries and election, rather than to waste time and effort in attempting
to do so afterward.

The subject then l)ecame a iiialter of votes, the all-potent factor in
politics. Ridgewood citizens fortliwith organized the Bergen County
Local Option League — Ridgewood Branch, with the usual officers, an
executive committee of 17 and a general committee of 100. The fore-
most citizens of the Village lined up behind the movement. The matter
was carried into other sections of the county and similar leagues were
organized in several municipalities, with w^orking committees and units
in still other sections. The response everywhere to the movement was
immediate and aggressive.

In due time, representatives of all the leagues were brought together
at a meeting in Ridgewood and a central organization known as the
Bergen County Local Option League w^as formed and shortly afterward

Woman's Cliristian Temperance Union

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized in Ridge-
wood in May, 1915, with the following original officers :

President Mrs. Frank H. Valentine,

Recording Secretary Mrs. Henry W. Baylis,

Corresponding Secretary Mrs. F. L. Bailey.

Treasurer Dr. Lynda E. H. Staff,

f Mrs. William L. Platt,
I Mrs. Frank H. White,

Vice-Presidents ^ ^^^-^^ Herbert Eawson,

1 ice fiesiaents ^ ^^^^ Charles G. W^elti,

I Mrs. B. F. Decker,
I^Mrs. J. H. Ward.

The organization has for its purpose the abolition of the liquor traf-
fic and its kindred evils by means of church organizations, public senti-
ment, suffrage, literature, education and training in public schools, and
the press.

There are at present 49 active members, three honorary members
and three well-wishers.


The RidgCAvood Medical Society was organized in the fall of 1911
and incorporated under the Laws of the State of New Jersey. Its object,
as set forth in the constitution, is "to advance medical science, promote
friendly relations among its members, to educate and protect the public
in preventive medicine and hygiene, and to safeguard the material in-
terests of the profession.

"Every legally registered physician residing and practicing in Ber-
gen County and who is of good moral and professional standing shall
be eligible for membership in the society.



"Regular meetings shall be held on the third Wednesday in each
and every month at 8 :45 P.M. at such place as from time to time may
be determined by the society."

From its inception the society has been a success, and its value to
the profession and to the community has been noticeable. At each
meeting some interesting scientific topic has been discussed, many times
by men from neighboring towns and cities who have presented papers
and lectures, this being followed by light refreshments and general
round table talk and social intercourse.

Under the able administration of its officers, the first President
being Dr. W. L. Vroom ; Secretary, Dr. W. C. Craig ; and Treasurer,
Dr. George M. Ockford; and on through successive administrations,
the society has grown and developed, its membership including all the
physicians in Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus, Waldwick, Allendale, Midland
Park, and Wyckoff.


Although Ridgewood is not a place where evil flaunts itself, it,
nevertheless, takes the precaution of protecting its young men. The
two most excellent institutions of their kind in the country have
branches in Ridgewood. The Young Men's Christian Association and
the Boy Scouts of America are indeed organizations of which to be

The Young Men's Christian Association

The Young Men's Christian Association, having as its objective,
the spiritual, social, mental, and physical w^elfare of men and boys,
takes up its work where everything else leaves off and utilizes leisure
hours, unemployed time, and idle hands. Its work is mostly accom-
plished in the afternoons and evenings when the schools and business
places are closed.

The Ridgewood Association is wielding a wonderful influence not
only in our own village and county, but also throughout the whole
state and is one of its strongest organizations.

It was founded in 1902 with a few members. Judge Cornelius
Doremus served as its first President during 1902 and 1903, and until
1906 the association occupied space in the Old Town Hall (Opera

The Association has grown steadilj^, until it has attained, during
the past four years, to the position of first rank in the State of New
Jersey, in proportion to population, having at the present time 569
members, 254 of whom are between the ages of 12 and 18 years, known
as juniors and intermediates.

The most notable advancement has been in the Religious Depart-
ment and fully 80 per cent., of the boy membership, is enrolled in the
Bible study classes. Of the 73 members taking the international Bible
examination in 1916-17, all passed with an average of 95 per cent,
and 13 passed with 100 per cent. This remarkable showing places our



association as first in New Jersey and seventh in the United States in
Bible study.

The present building, erected on Oak Street in 1906, is 65 by 90
feet and with the athletic field occupying a space 225 by 500 feet lends
to the various activities and serves to produce effective work in all
departments. The total property investment is $32,500 free of all debt.

The Jewell system of purifying the 20,000 gallons of water every
24 hours is a great attraction the year round and is in constant use,
as it insures an absolutely clear swimming pool for the members and
their friends. Aside from this great attraction are two bowling alleys
where unusually high scores are rolled, the gymnasium of liberal di-
mensions, the pool and billiard tables, the chess and checker boards,
the reading room with 37 weekly and monthly magazines, and the new
library with a few hundred volumes.

The athletic field has a most excellent baseball diamond, two tennis
courts, and an eight-lap track, where the games of many of the organi-
zations in town are held. This increases the usefulness of the Y. M. C. A.
and makes it a community affair.

Early in May of each year the baseball team takes up the summer
activities and with its weekly attraction presents most excellent enter-
tainment to the people of Ridgewood and vicinity. Fully 5,000 attended
the games during the 1916 season. The Y. M. C. A. team is strictly
amateur, but plays the strongest semi-professional teams. Its best year
was 1916, when it won 15 games, tied one, and lost four.

Boy Scouts of America

A branch of the Boy Scouts of America was organized in Eidgewood
in 1910. The original officers were:

President R. L. RoE,

Vice-President F. F. Knothe,

Secretary-Treasurer G. A. Schaible,

Commissioner E. B. Lilly.

Through the kindness of the Young Men's Christian Association
the scout work was started in their building. As the membership in-
creased more room was needed and in May, 1916, the Boy Scout organ-
ization moved to its present headquarters in the basement of the Re-
formed Church, the use of which was kindly granted by the consistory.
Through the generosity of their many friends, the scouts were enabled
to secure proper equipment to carry on the splendid work in a much
larger way.

The 70 scouts composing the organization are divided into three
troops, each under the leadership of a capable scout master. Each scout
is graded according to his accomplishments as tenderfoot, second class,
and first class scouts.

The object of the organization is to develop the boys morally, men-
tally, and physically. The adherence by the boys to the scout oath and
scout law are ways in which the objective is attained.




The Board of Trade

The Board of Trade of the Village of Ridgewood was organized in
1904 with James W. Pcarsall, President; Henry L. Patterson, Judge
Cornelius Doremus and Peter G. Zabriskie, Vice-Presidents; W. J.
Fullerton, Treasurer; Walter W. Wilsey, Recording Secretary; and
W. L. Dooley, Corresponding Secretary.

The Publicity Department of the Board of Trade in 1905, first
under the direction of M. T. Richardson and later under Collingwood
Gordon, inaugurated one of the first campaigns conducted in the New
York newspapers by a New York suburb. In this connection an at-
tractive illustrated booklet, written by Henry P. Phelps, went through
three editions and was distributed to about 15,000 people.

As a result of a suggestion of one of its members, I. E. Hutton, a
movement was started in 1906 to secure for the Village the property
now forming the east Plaza which, with property acquired by the Eric
Railroad on the west of the railroad, enabled Ridgewood to pave the
way for the handsome new station improvements which were secured
during the administration of the present ]\Iayor, the Hon. D. A. Garber.

Charles Mulford Robinson, a recognized expert in town planning,
was engaged to make a personal inspection of Ridgewood and to sug-
gest a system of public improvements. His report was published by
the Board of Trade in 1908. This organization disbanded several
years ago.

Business Men's Association of Bidgewood

The Business Men's Association of Ridgewood was organized on
November 6, 1916, by the following officers:

President George R. Youxg,

Vice-President I. E. Hutton,

Treasurer Hervey Teriiune,

Rccordinft Secretary C. C. Van Emburgii.

This association, which will be incorporated as soon as the necessary
papers are filed, was formed to promote friendly business relations
between the business men and the public; and in a broad sense, to use
its influence in any and every way to help develop and advance the
best interests of Ridgewood and its people.

The membership has not yet been completed but it is estimated that
there will be about 100 members.




THE oldest burial place in Ridgewood is ihat adjoining the Paramus
Church, the ground for which was given to the consistory of the
church by Peter Fauconier in 1730. It is not known when the first
burial occurred here, though the earliest editice ha^dng been completed
in 1735 renders it probable that interments took place soon after. Many
of the memorial slabs bear the marks of age and many of the inscriptions
are nearly obliterated. It is here that many of the earlier settlers as
well as patriots of the Revolutionary War are buried.


The Valleau Cemetery occupies a plot of ground ojiposite the Par-
amus Church extending back from the Saddle River and is intersected
by Harrison Avenue, Franklin Turnpike and the West Saddle River
Road. The only part of it which has been used up to the present time
is the section bounded by Harrison Avenue and Franklin Turnpike.

With the exception of a small section purchased from David Gr.
Aekerman, the land embraced in the cemetery was given to the Con-
sistory of the Reformed Church of Paramus in 1750 by Magdalen
Valleau, daughter of Peter Fauconier, in whose honor it is named.
At this time an exchange of land with John Aekerman became neces-
sary to determine definitely its boundaries.

The cemetery was incorporated in 1859 and in November of that
year rules and regulations affecting its management were adopted, to
which the committee made additions in December of the same year.
It is now one of the most beautifully appointed burial places in the
county and its monuments and carefully maintained grounds bear
M'itness to the tender memories clustering around it.


On the corner of Ridgewood and South Pleasant Avenues and in
the rear of the edifice of the Kenilworth Presbyterian Church is located
the cemetery of the True Reformed Church, which was established by
that society on a portion of the land donated to it by David Van Bus-
kirk about the time of the building of their edifice in 1858. Since that
time, however, the edifice has been sold to the Kenilworth Presbyterian
Church, its present occupants.

Since its establishment the burial place has been used as a place
of interment by many of the oldest families of the township.



Average altitude , . 200 feet

Distance from New York 22 miles

Trains between New York and Ridgewood More than 70

Monthly conmuitatiou to New York: $7.75 or .00587 per mile.

Estimated number of commuters to New York 1100

NeAvspapers, weekly 2

Number of telepliones in service December 1, 1916 2236

t'liurcli organizations 13

Schools ( including High ) 6

Schools in construction ( High ) 1

Schools (Private) 2

Public Library 1

Hospital, complete ( Private ) 1

Banks 2

Building Loan Associations 3

Y. M. C. A. (Completely equipped and free from debt) 1

Area of Village 5.66 square miles or 3630 acres


Village — Improved by macadam or brick 29.14 miles

Village — Unimproved 7.94

Countv Roads 5.20 "

Private 17.22 "

Total 59.50 miles


1880 500 1905 3980

1890 1047 1910 5416

1900 2685 1915 ... 6729


Average Average

per year ])er year

1875 to 1885 2 to 3 1907 to 1911 100

1885 to 1895 8 to 10 1912 to 1915 35

1895 to 1906 10 to 20 1916 50






(i 14,342




2 457 551


2 72f» 776


2 847 100


3 112,855







The taxable property in the Township of Ridgewood in 1876, the first year as
such, was as follows:

Amount taxable to residents of the Township $608,710

Amount taxable to non-residents of the Township 175,250

Total $783,960

Number of polls 303

Number of dogs 156

Amounts to be raised in the Township:

State General Tax $1,235.07

County Tax 2,165.35

Bonded Debt and Interest 1.429.13

State School Tax 1,616.51

Poor Tax 403.89

Road Tax 1,000.00

Township 200.00

Total $8,049.95

In addition to the above, the School Districts voted to raise a Special School
Tax, as follows:

District No. 61 — Wholly within the Township $1,600.00

District No. 45 — For the part in Ridgewood Township 276.58

District No. 26 — For the part in Ridgewood Township 8.14

Total Special Tax voted by District on property in

Ridgewood Township .". * $1,884.72


RIDGEWOOD — Adopted because of its appropriateness, in 1866, at the suggestion
of Mrs. Cornelia Dayton.

BERGEN — Probably from "Bergen op Zoom." an important town in Holland.

GODWINVILLE — From Abraham Godwin, of Revolutionary memory.

HO-HO-KUS — One source says from Indian word meaning "cleft in the rock";
another authoritv, from Indian -word Mehokhokus, "red cedar."

HOPPEHTOWN— The former name of Ho-Ho-Kus, from the fact of its early settle-
ment by the Hopper Family.

PARAMUS — From Indian, Peremessing, because of the abundance of wild turkeys.
First white settlers called it "Peremesse."

SADDLE RIVER — Probably from Richard Saddler, a purchaser of lands from
the Indians in 1674.


1662 — Tlie land in the Paramus section of Ridgewood was purchased from the
Indians by Albert Zabrowski or Saboraweski.

1682 — Province of New Jersey divided into counties — Ridgewood then part of Essex.

1687 — A grant of land was made liy the Lords of the Province to Samuel Kingsland,
of five hundred acres, in which is now Ridgewood, between the Ho-Ho-Kus
Brook and Saddle River and a portion extending westerly to the Heights.

1696— -The sale of the same tract of land was made to Peter Johnson for thirty-two
pounds and ten shillings.

1698 — The same tract of land came in possession of Johann Van Emburgh.

1700 — The first house was built by Johann Van Emburgh near Maple Avenue and
was demolished about 1895.

1709 — Boundaries of counties changed, Ridgewood becoming part of Bergen, town-
ship of Barbadoes.

1725 — The Paramus Church congregation commenced worship in 1725 or earlier.

1730 — First school established in Paramus section.



1735 — Paramus Church was erected on land donated by Peter Fauconier. In ex-
change he received in perpetuity two sittings. The building was used
during the Revolution as ?, hospital and prison. Tlie present building was
erected during the year 1800 and remodelled in 1875.

1750 — Magdaleii \'alleau gave land for the Valleau Cemetery opposite the Paramus

1767 — Franklin Township, containing Ridgewood, set ofl" from Barbadoes Township.

1770 — A schoolhouse was erected at the junction of Harristown and Rock roads,
just south of the Garret I. Hopper residence, now used as a dwelling and
witliin the present limits of Glen Rock.

1775 — John Fell, of Paramus, elected Chairman of Bergen County Committee of

177fi — Washington encamjied at Paramus after his victory at Monmouth, and later
in the year. Again at Paramus during 1780.
General Heath encamped at Paramus.
General George Clinton encamped at Paramus; also in 1777.

1777 — Colonel McClaughey encamped at Paramus.

Colonel Aaron Burr achieved first military success near Paramus.

1779 — Major Henry Lee — Headquarters at Paramus.

Washington army cantoned during August from Fort Defiance to Paramus.

1780 — Lord Stirling— Headquarters at Paramus.

Attack on Hackensack and Paramus by British, who returned to New York
City with about fifty prisoners, mostly citizens and members of the

1785 — A schoolhouse was built at the Paramus Church. It was rebuilt in 1810,
1820, 1845, and 1871, and was discontinued in 1905.

1800— First grist mill built.

1818 — The present oldest citizen, John B. Van Dien, was born in Ridgewood.

1823 — The Kenilworth Collegiate Church was organized as the True Reformed
Dutch Church of Paramus. Present building erected in 1858. In 1870,
reorganized as Kenilworth Church, and changed to the Presbyterian
denomination in 1898.

1829 — Locality afterward known as Godwinville — ^named in honor of Abraham
Godwin, of Revolutionary memory. The oldest road in Ridgewood, and
associated with the historic days of the Revolution, was known as the

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Online LibraryCitizens semi-centennial association, RidgewoodRidgewood, Bergan County, New Jersey, past and present → online text (page 18 of 19)