George T. Werts
Morris Co. Up


Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.

Hon. George T. Werts, ex-governor of New Jersey, was born at Hackettstown, Warren county, this state, March 24, 1846, and lived there until his parents moved to Bordentown, in 1849. His father, Peter Werts, died when our subject was seven years old. His mother was a sister of Attorney-General Jacob Vanatta.

Governor Werts attended the high school at Bordentown and the State Model School at Trenton. At the age of seventeen years he went to Morristown and took up the study of law with his uncle, Hon. Jacob Vanatta, was admitted to the bar in 1867, and began his practice in Morristown. He was town recorder from May, 1883, to May 1885; mayor from 1868 till he resigned in February, 1892; senator from Morris county from 1886 till he resigned in February, 1892, to accept the office of judge of the supreme court, to which was appointed by Governor Abbett, and his nomination was at once confirmed by a unanimous vote of the senate; and in assuming the duties of this office he took the place of the late Judge Knapp, of the Hudson county circuit.

During the legislative session of 1889 he served a president of the senate, where he discharged his duties of that office with marked ability and impartiality. While a member of the senate he drafted the liquor and the ballot reform laws. He always took a prominent part in legislation and during several sessions he was leader of his party on the floor of the senate. He was elected governor in 1892, by a plurality of seven thousand, six hundred and twenty-five votes over John Kean, Jr., and he occupied his seat on the bench during the whole of the campaign and personally took no part it beyond writing his letter of acceptance of the convention which had been unanimously tendered to him by the Democratic state convention. He took the seat of office January 1, 1893, and his term expired January 1, 1896.

Transcribed by Christopher Cresta


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