NJGenWeb ~ Morris County, New Jersey
Hanover, Morris Co., N. J.,
W. Ogden Wheeler
This booklet contains 32 pages. All spelling is as found in the booklet.
The first Church established within the bounds of the present County of Morris was the "Hanover" Church at Whippanong, or Whippany as it is now called. An account of the establishment and early history of this Church, evidently written by Dr. Jacob Green, and taken from the ancient book of Church records, is as follows: —
"About the year 1710 a few families moved from Newark & Elisabeth Town &c & settled on the west side of pesaick River in that which is now Morris County. Not long after the settlers erected an House for the publick worship of God on the Bank of Whippenung River (about three miles west of pesaick river), about one hundred rods below the Forge, which is and has long been known by the name of the old Iron works. There was a Chh. gathered and in the year 1718* Mr. Nathaniel Hubbel was ordained and settled there by the Presbytery of New York. About this time this place obtained the name of Hanover and became a township but the place was most commonly known by the Indian name Whippenung. Mr. Hubbil continued minister here till 1730* when for some uneasiness between him and the people he was dismissed. This Chh. had then no proper book of records and if Mr. Hubbel kept any Chh. records, upon paper of his own, they were not left to those that came after. In the year 1730* Mr. John Nutman was ordained pastor of the Chh. in Hanover. About this time or not long after there was a new parish erected at Morris Town not without much contention and difficulty between Hanover congregation and them. In the year 1745 Mr. Nutman was dismist from his pastoral relation to the church, occasioned by uneasiness subsisting between him and the people. This Chh. had still no book for record and if Mr. Nuttman kept any on paper of his own they were not known of by those that came after. November, 1746, Mr. Jacob Green was ordained pastor of the Chh. in Hanover. The meeting house was then old and small and there were proposals for building a new one. But some families in the south end of the Town and neighboring parts, thinking they should not. be suited with the position of the meeting House went off, and contrary to the endeavors of the presbytery erected a new meeting House in the south end of t h e town which has been called South Hanover. Mr. Green continued to preach at the old meeting House till the beginning of the year 1755 when according to the determination of the presbytery two places were erected for public worship the one at Precipining the other on the neck, about half a mile west of Pesaik River on the road that goes to Newark about eastward of the old meeting House. Mr. Green was ordered by Presby to preach a t both these places; which he continued to do till the pear 1760. When Precipining were allowed by the Presby to seek a minister for themselves, and Mr. Green was continued at the new meeting house on the neck, and the Chh. at that house has been properly considered as the first Chh. in Hanover, for but a small part of the old congregation went to Persipining, and all the elders and the deacons that belonged to the chh. at the old meeting house, were within the bounds and belonged to the congregation that met a t the new meeting House on the neck. When Mr. Green settled there was no Chh. Book he often applyed to the Chh. to procure one ; but by one means or other it has been neglected till this present year 1767. After be was settled in the ministry 'Mr. Green began to record baptisms &c. on papers of his own. But after some years, by one means or other he began to be negligent so that for the space of several years or from anno 1757 t o 1769 but few baptisms are recorded. The records that have been kept since Mr. Greens Settlement are now inserted in this Book."
The earliest record of the church is the deed dated 2d of September, 1718, from John Richards, "schoolmaster," for three and a half acres of land adjoining the Whippanong River, "in consideration of ye love, good will and affection which I have and do bear towards my Christian friends and neighbours in Whippanong," "and especially of those who shall or may mutually covenant by subscription to erect" " a Decent and Suitable Meeting house for the Public Worship of God." The land was granted "for a Meeting house, school house, burying yard; training field and such like Public uses." The lot so conveyed covers the old burying ground at Whippany and upon its North-west corner the first Church was erected, probably of a very humble character. It was in December of 1718, after the death of Mr. Richards, that Mr. Hubbel was settled and became the first pastor of the church. He ministered to this church, a part of the time conjointly with the church at Westfield, Essex County, until 1730, when he was dismissed as stated by Mr. Green. Nr. Nutman. for the first three years of his pastorate, had for his parish all the settled portion of Morris County. The first church at Mendham or Roxsiticus was commenced about 1745. The settlement of the South-westerly section of the County, made principally by Germans, coming from the Delaware, had been begun, but there was no church in that region until 1747, (possibly 1743,) when a church was in existence at "Foxenburg." The Dutch Reformed Church at Pompton, just over the line in then Bergen County, was built in 1736, and Baskingridge Presbyterian Church in Somerset Co., Dr. Rankin says, was built after 1720.
When Mr. Green began his ministry the parsonage was at Lower Whippany, nearly opposite the Grist Mill, but in 1757 a new one was erected near the new church, to which the pastor removed his family in the spring of the following year. This house is still standing and is on the opposite side of the street from the present parsonage, but a little farther to the East.
The record of church members, marriages and baptisms kept by Mr. Green continued to the beginning of the ministry of Rev. Aaron Condit, July 1st, 1796, is contained in this pamphlet.
W. OGDEN WHEELER,
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