CITY, VILLAGE AND TOWNSHIP HISTORIES, RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP.
BY REV. B. C. MEGIE, D. D.
RANDOLPH is the most central township of Morris county and the largest in population, and excels the other townships in prospective prosperity. The Morris Canal and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad pass through it; also the High Bridge branch of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The D., L. and W. connects with the Chester Railroad, as it does also with several smaller railways which tap the iron mines in the vicinity. Dover, an incorporated borough in the township, where these railroads center, is situated about midway between the Hudson and Delaware rivers, being forty-two miles from New York and forty miles from Easton.
Randolph township was formed from Mendham township, in 1805, and so named after Hartshorn Fitz-Randolph, one of its most eminent residents. Morris county was formed in 1739. Sixty years later, in 1798, Mendham township was set off, and seven years after that, viz. in 1805, Randolph was formed from Mendham. The late Richard Brotherton, who while living was the best authority for the early history of the township, often amused himself and astounded his hearers by announcing the paradox that in the same room in his father's house three persons were born, who were all born in different counties and different townships. The first was born in Burlington county and Whippanong township; the second in Hunterdon county and Mendham township, and the third in Morris county and Randolph township.
Situated in the northern highlands of the State, the country is uneven and hilly, which is favorable to health and affords landscapes beautiful and picturesque. The soil, if not the most fertile, yet possesses those essential elements which under wise cultivation will render it abundantly productive; but the mineral resources beneath the soil have attracted and will continue to attract more attention and yield a more liberal remuneration to the workman than the soil itself. Iron ores of the richest quality are found in great abundance.
The assessors' figures for 1881 were as follows: Valuation of real estate, $1,254,550; personal property, $293,900; debt, $28,100; polls, 1,608; State school tax, $3,879.21; county tax, $3,612.92; road tax, $5,000; poor tax, $300.
The aborigines, numerous in other parts of the State, do not seem to have been so much so in this township. Still, evidences of their existence remain, not only in the names of the streams, mountains and lakes, but also in the arrow heads, stone axes and spears, and other rude implements still found in certain localities. Near the residence of Mrs. Jacob Hurd, just above the canal where it crosses the stream called Granny's Brook (which passes under the canal acqueduct and unites with the Rockaway River), tradition says, are traces of an old Indian village. Smith in his Colonial History of New Jersey says that within every ten miles square was to be found in 1760 a distinct tribe of Indians, named after the river or mountain of the neighborhood. We in our day within every five miles square give a different name, not to the people but to the place in which they dwell. The red men gave a name not to the place but to the persons who lived there; and these numerous tribes were not distinct classes of people, but parts of one greater tribe or nation. All the Indians of New Jersey belonged to one nation, whom the English called Delawares, but the Delawares called themselves Lenni Lenapes, which means original people. They claimed not only to be aborigines, but the origin of the aboriginal tribes of this country.
While each petty tribe in the State had a chief of its own, it yet acknowledged a chief of the nation, to whom all the rest were inferior and in subjection. About the middle of the preceding century the proud and popular chief of the Lenni Lenapes was named Teedyuscung. He was so much esteemed by his nation that after he became sagamore he was crowned king of the Delawares. Teedyuscung often kindled his council fire within this county, on Schooley's Mountain, and there held important consultations with his tribes. From the place of his council fire near Drakestown the people of that neighborhood still point out an Indian path, which led through the hunting grounds of the highlands to the fishing places on the Delaware River. Teedyuscung was a Christian, a convert of the Moravians, who had several mission stations among his people, and after his conversion a warm friend and patron of the renowned Presbyterian missionary David Brainerd. This chief and king rendered valuable services to the English during the French and Indian war.
The Minisinks were the most savage and warlike of all the tribes belonging to the Delawares in this State. They were the Indians of Morris county, and extended from the borders of Hunterdon county to Carpenter's Point and beyond. The Minisinks were divided into smaller tribes, which called themselves by different names in different localities, as Whippenongs, Parsippinongs, Pequannocks, Hopatcongs, Pequots, Pohatcongs, Lopatcongs and the like.
EARLY PURCHASERS AND SETTLERS.
In 1713, the same year in which Hunterdon county was set off from Burlington, John Reading, a public surveyor and a prominent character in New Jersey, at one time president of the "Council," and acting governor of the State, made a survey of land in this township and portions were offered for sale. The first purchaser was John Latham, who bought of the proprietors 527 acres. Thus early, even twenty-five years before Morris county was organized, efforts were made to attract settlers to the northern part of the State, and speculators were in the field. It does not appear that Mr. Latham himself occupied any of his 527 acres, but in 1722 he sold this property to John Jackson, who was the first actual settler. It was the magnetic iron ore of this region that attracted Mr. Jackson. He erected a dwelling where Mrs. Jacob Hurd now lives, on the site of the old Indian village; and on the stream immediately in front built a forge, and commenced the iron business. The ore which was made into iron in this forge was brought from the famous Succasunna or Dickerson mine at Ferromonte, about two miles northwest of the forge. Moses Hurd, the ancestor of the Hurds of this township and vicinity, soon after came from Dover, New Hampshire, and worked in this forge. Dover, N. J., was originally called Old Tye; when and how it obtained the name of Dover is uncertain, but in all probability Moses Hurd may have named it after his former place of residence in New Hampshire.
In 1722, when the first settler moved into Randolph, the facilities for travel in other parts of the State were not equal to those of the present time; for the Philadelphia paper of that year says, "The mail from New York to Philadelphia is three days behind time, and is not yet arrived." Other persons found their way to Jackson's forge and found employment there, and the first settlement grew slowly.
The second purchase of land in the township, which brought settlers into another part, was made by Joseph Kirkbride. His first purchase was made of the proprietors in 1713, the same year in which John Latham bought his 527 acres. In two several purchases, in the south and middle parts of the township, he bought property amounting to 5,779 acres; and in 1716 he bought 558 additional acres, which included the Dickerson mine, then called the Succasunna mine, making in all 6,337 acres--a little more than one third of the township.
Joseph Kirkbride died and left his property to his three sons, Joseph, John and Mahlon; it was equally divided between them, except the Succasunna mine, which was held by them jointly till it was sold, first to Jonathan Dickerson, who purchased an interest in it; and afterward Jonathan Dickerson and Minard Lefevre, in 1779, purchased the whole. It does not appear that any of the Kirkbrides settled in Randolph township, but they induced other persons to move in and purchase of them. In the year 1732, about the time that Joseph Kirkbride died, Daniel Carrell purchased one hundred and fifty acres south of Centre Grove and a little to the northwest of the Presbyterian church; this descended to his son Daniel, from him to his grandson James, and from him to his great-grandson James, who still lives on it. Another great-grandson, John Carrell, lived on a farm just east of the old homestead, where he raised a good family and left a good name. A few years ago he sold this farm to a Mr. Eddy, from New York. John Carrell still lives in the neighborhood.
A family by the name of Youngs, consisting of Robert Youngs, Mitchell Youngs and John Youngs, settled on a farm west of the Carrell property, where Lawrence Dalrymple now resides, but they have left no descendants in the township.
In 1767 Joseph Dalrymple purchased land where Solomon Dalrymple now lives. He had fourteen children, among whom was Solomon, who left nine children, including Daniel Dalrymple. The last named lived on the old homestead; his only surviving son is Solomon, who now occupies the original farm.
Daniel P. Merchant, who died in 1881, belonged to an old family, and was a leading townsman; several of his children dwell in the vicinity. Daniel Bryant, at Golden Corners, belongs also to one of the old and leading families of the township. Thomas Coe and Henry Menard were old residents, who should be mentioned in this connection. Mr. Coe's descendants are still prominent in the township.
The winter after Daniel Carrell moved into the township, viz. 1740, was called "the hard winter." There was a deep fall of snow, and the cold was extreme; and, in order to save his cattle from starving, for several successive weeks he brought hay on his back a distance of two miles and a half, walking, with the aid of snow-shoes, on the uneven crust. Some cattle perished; and a man who had dug his way to the barn under the snow and could not get back, and his wife, who was left alone in the house, were found dead after the snow melted in the spring.
In the summer of 1740 William Schooley, son of the noted pioneer William Schooley from whom Schooley's Mountain derived its name, moved from that mountain to this township, and purchased of Mr. Kirkbride 600 acres, which included what is now known as Mill Brook. His son Robert Schooley built a grist-mill at Mill Brook, which was the first mill in the township and the first mill started west of Morristown. His children were daughters, who lived and died in the township, after changing their name to Brotherton.
Henry Brotherton in 1744 purchased of Kirkbride 400 acres, a little to the west of Mill Brook, and married the oldest daughter of William Schooley. James Brotherton, brother of Henry, married the second daughter of William Schooley, and settled near his brother. The first Schooley, whose name was Thomas, came from England in the ship "Martha," which landed at Burlington in 1677. The next year Robert Schooley, brother of Thomas, came from England to Burlington, in the ship "The Shield." William, the son of Robert, made his way to the northern part of New Jersey, and in 1730 (?) bought a large tract of what is called Schooley's Mountain.
William Jeff Lefevre, son of the late Dr. William B. Lefevre, who now resides on Orchard street, Dover, is a young artist of some promise. Some of his larger paintings were on exhibition in the art gallery of Philadelphia in the summer of 1881 and were spoken well of. He excels in rural landscape, and especially in cattle painting. Mr. Lefevre descends from some of the oldest families of this region, both on his father's and mother's side. He is a lineal descendant of Hippolyte Lefevre, who came to the province of New Jersey in 1675, in the ship "Griffith," which was the first ship to come to this colony with emigrants. At that date special efforts were made by the proprietors of West Jersey to colonize the province, and in this ship a number of persons came with money, in order to improve their financial condition. Hippolyte Lefevre landed at Salem and settled in the southern part of the State; but in 1750 his grandson, Minard Lefevre, was the owner of a farm in this township, and in 1779, with Jonathan Dickerson, joint owner of the famous Succasunna mine. His son, John Lefevre, married Elizabeth, the granddaughter of J. Jeff. His son, William B. Lefevre, M. D., was a prominent man in this region, and died July 2nd 1881, in his 77th year. Dr. William B. Lefevre married Mary C., daughter of David B. Hurd. William Jeff Lefevre is of the fifth generation in descent from Hippolyte Lefevre. Of his descent from the Jeff family the line is as follows: J. Jeff was the owner of a line of vessels which sailed from England to this country. He settled at Elizabethtown about 1750. His daughter Mary Jeff married in 1779 Aaron Day of Elizabethtown, a lieutenant in a Jersey regiment during the war of the Revolution. Their daughter Elizabeth in 1801 married John Lefevre. The son of this couple, Dr. William Bonner Lefevre, in 1840 married Mary C. Hurd. William Jeff Lefevre is the son of William B. Lefevre, M. D.
Edward Hurd, one of the owners of the Hurdtown mine, is descended from Moses Hurd, the foreman in John Jackson's forge in 1722. Joseph and Daniel Hurd, sons of Moses, bought in 1790 a large tract of land at what from them is called Hurdtown, but at that time was called "The Two Partners." They built a saw-mill, started a forge, and opened the Hurdtown mine, now perhaps the most valuable iron mine in the State. This property was sold at sheriff's sale, and bought by Edward Condit, president of the State Bank of Morristown.
David B. Hurd, son of Joseph Hurd, was clerk in the State Bank, and married Eliza Condit, daughter of the president of the bank. Through this marriage the property came back to the Hurd family, in which it still remains. Edward Hurd is the son of David B. Hurd and the great-grandson of Moses Hurd.
In the year 1745 Joseph Shotwell purchased of the proprietors 90 acres on the south side of the Rockaway River, including the water power and water privileges, and comprising what is now the principal part of Dover.
In 1756 General William Winds purchased of Thomas and William Penn, the heirs of the great William Penn, 275 acres about one mile east of Dover. His house stood a little west of the present residence of Thomas Oram. This distinguished patriot, who took a prominent part in the Revolutionary war, lived and died on this farm.
In the year 1757 Josiah Beman purchased upward of a hundred acres on the north side of Dover. He erected a forge near where the rolling-mill stood, a few rods north of the stone M. E. church, and carried on the iron business for many years and until the war of 1812.
Most of these early settlers belonged to the Society of Friends. Even John Reading, who surveyed and laid out the first piece of land in the township, was originally a Quaker; but, being sent to England for an education, he became partial to the Presbyterians, and afterward joined that denomination, and he and his descendants became prominent and efficient members of that church. In 1719 John Reading, together with Joseph Kirkbride and James Alexander, the surveyor-general of East Jersey, were commissioned by Governor Hunter to determine the northern boundary of the State. Mr. Reading was always a strong friend of the Quakers, and he was the means of several of that denomination coming to this township.
Banjamin Lampson bought of the proprietors a farm about a mile south of Dover, on the road from Rockaway to Mill Brook. This farm is occupied at the present time by his grandson Charles Lampson.
Ezekiel Munson worked for several years in the old forge of John Jackson, and afterward purchased a farm near Benjamin Lampson's, which is now occupied by his grandson Mahlon Munson. Other grandchildren--Charles, Robert, Emeline, Rhoda and others--are still residents of Dover or its vicinity.
Titus Berry, the father of Asa and Henry Berry, came from Pennsylvania during the whiskey rebellion in that State, and purchased land in the northeastern part of the township. Many of his descendants still live in the township.
Jesse King lived in a house occupying the site of Dr. Condit's residence on Prospect street, Dover, and had a blacksmith shop near by. He was also foreman in the iron works. He and his wife lived and died there, each upward of 90 years old. Jesse died one day, and his wife the next, and both were buried at the same time. His daughter Margaret King married Jeremiah Baker, the father of Henry and William Baker. John D. King and William King and their children are descendants of Jesse King.
Moses Doty, in the year 1800, moved to Dover and built a house in the park, near the residence of Henry McFarlan. When the park was enclosed about thirty years ago his house was torn down and part of it put up on Elliott street. His son, Aaron Doty, had sixteen children who lived to grow up to manhood, and some of their descendants are still found in the neighborhood of the old homestead.
Jeremiah Baker moved from Westfield, in this State, in 1810, and brought all he had in his knapsack, with money enough to buy a yoke of oxen. By industry and economy he become the largest landholder in the neighborhood. He married Margaret, daughter of Jesse King. He left three sons and as many daughters. He is a good illustration of what honest labor with prudence may accomplish.
William Mott, from whom was named Mott Hollow (which is another name for Mill Brook), was a Huguenot from France. The persecution of the Huguenots began about 1560, and drove from France many of her best citizens and artisans, who went to England, and by their skill in the arts raised England above France. The Mott family (spelled properly De Motte, or De la Motte), went from France to England, from England to Maryland, and toward the close of the eighteenth century moved from Maryland to Mill Brook. William Mott, the first to emigrate to this part of New Jersey, was a man of enterprise, who made his mark in his day. The Huguenots who came to this country brought with them a good reputation, which still continues. The descendants of William Mott in this township are justly proud of their ancestral line.
Richard Dell, a leading Quaker, was among the earlier settlers of the township, and owned land in the township of Rockaway, as appears by a deed to "Eaphrom Drake," recorded in 1764, of which the following is a part:
"This Indenture witnesseth that the said Richard Dell, for & in consideration of the sum of One Hundred & Twenty Pound Light Money at Eight Shillings Pr Ounce, to him in hand paid by the said Eaphrom Drake at & before the Sealing & delivery of these Presents, the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge & thereof doth clearly a Quit, Release & Discharge the said Eaphrom Drake, his hiears, Exectrs and Administrators for ever, by these Presents hath granted, bargened, sold, assigned, Enfeoffed, Released, Convead & Confirmed * * * the said Twenty-Five Eacors of Land, which his bounded as followeth: begenning at a Double Burch Tree Corner to Irick Decou, thomas Nun, & George Ikes, & runs from thence by the Land of Thomas Nun North Two Degrees East Twenty Chaine to a Corner to Solomon Smith's; then a Long his line Weast Twelve Chaine & a half to his corner; thence South Two Degrees West Twenty Chains and Twenty Links to a post on George Ikes' Line; then a Long the same North Eighty Nine Degrees East Twelve Chaine and a half to the beginning."
In the southern and eastern portions of the township the following families early dwelt, most of whom have left descendants still on the homesteads: Sylvester Clark, Lewis Leforge, Enoch Roff, David Trowbridge, Samuel T. Abers, Abram Aber, Philip Till, Job Wolf, Peter Combs, H. J. Anson, Abram Seward, Carmen Bonnell, Aaron Lewis, and others who were equally good neighbors and honored citizens, whose names are not at our command.
RANDOLPH IN 1769.
Some idea of the relative value of Randolph township may be formed from the following quotas of the several counties assessed to pay a debt of £190,000 in 1769. In the war between England and France carried on among the colonies the colony of New Jersey, for the use of the crown of England, raised the sum of £347,500 "proclamation" money, in bills of credit. In 1769 a debt of £190,000 of the above sum remained to be sunk by taxes to be raised in the colony. The quotas of the several counties had been determined in 1751, when Jonathan Belcher was governor; but now, 1769, the government said: "Whereas the circumstances of this colony are much altered by the great improvements made therein, by its increase and population, and the erection of a new county, it has become necessary that a new settlement be made of the proportions each county shall raise in future taxes for supplying the treasury of this colony with the said sum of one hundred and ninety thousand pounds." This sum was not to be raised in one year, but was divided into fourteen parts, and the last was not due until 1783. Every inhabitant was to be assessed according to his wealth. "All forges that work pig iron, and all forges and bloomaries that make bar iron immediately out of the ore, shall be rated not under five shillings nor above forty shillings for each fire; always saving to the respective iron works in Evesham and Northampton, in the county of Burlington, and to the Hibernia iron works, in the county of Morris, such privileges, immunities and exemptions as are or shall be granted to them by a bill now under consideration of the Legislature of this colony, if the same shall pass into a law." As to all profitable tracts of land held by deed, patent or survey, whereon any improvement was made, the whole tract was to be valued in each respective county as follows: In the county of Bergen, not above £40 or under £8 per acre; Essex, not above £45 or under £9; Middlesex, not above £40 nor under £5; Monmouth, not above £45 nor under £5; Somerset, not above £50 nor under £9; Morris, not over £40 nor under £5; Sussex, not over £35 nor under £4; Hunterdon, not over £45 nor under £6; Burlington, not over £45 nor under £6; Gloucester, not over £40 nor under £3; Salem, not over £50 nor under £5; Cumberland, not over £35 nor under £5; Cape May, not over £30 nor under £8."
Some idea may be formed of the amount of improved lands in each county by the following assessments: In the years 1770, 1771, 1772 and 1773 the sum of £12,500 was to be raised, in the proportion following--in the county of Bergen, £830; Essex, £928; Middlesex, £1,090 8s.; Monmouth, £1,336 8s.; Somerset, £1,130 2s.; Morris, £904 5s.; Sussex, £741 12s.; Hunterdon, £1,704 16s.; Burlington, £1,339 11s.; Gloucester, £953 18s.; Salem, £849 10s.; Cumberland, £481 13s.; Cape May, £208 13s.
It seems that in this same 1769 old King George III. and his colonial governor, William Franklin, who were extreme conservatives, believed in the progress of New Jersey, and that it would be as easy for the inhabitants to pay £15,000 each year from 1773 to 1782 as it had been to pay £12,500 for the four preceding years, and hence assessed the same articles at one-fifth part more for those nine years than they had assessed them previously. But during this period the war of independence may have checked the prosperity of the colony, as it did divert the £15,000 to another channel.
GROWTH OF POPULATION.
Randolph township was formed in 1805. The population has been as follows: 1810, 1,271; 1820, 1,252; 1830, 1,443; 1840, 1,792; 1850, 2,632; 1860, 3,173; 1870, 5,111; 1880, 7,702. It is seen from these figures that the population during the decade from 1810 to 1820, instead of increasing, slightly diminished. This diminution was owing to the war of 1812, when many of the citizens enlisted in the army, and to the destruction of the iron industry in consequence of the war; for when peace was declared the American ports were opened to the English, who sold their iron in this country at a lower price than it could be manufactured at home; consequently the forges were stopped and the iron men generally failed.
The rapid increase of the population from 1860 to 1870 was also due to the iron industry, which was never so prosperous as during the late civil war and afterward, when new mines were opened and miners' wages were very high. This prosperity continued till 1873, when the financial depression began which lasted until 1879, during which period the iron business for the most part was suspended throughout the county, and, it might be added, throughout the country.
The roads at first were left in a rude state by the early settlers. Usually they were the trails of the aborigines, somewhat improved. These old Indian paths were found by the white people to be well laid out, in straight lines except where they curved to avoid marshes and to cross streams at the best fording places. These narrow trails were gradually widened, and the white pioneers commonly built their houses on these paths, sometimes locating them at a distance for the sake of retirement and safety, but then making paths leading from their cabins, not in a direct line to the trail, but in a curve each way from their dwelling to the thoroughfare; and this custom may account for the seemingly needless curves in most of the roads of the township. While the population was sparse, and the distance from house to house considerable, it was not to be expected that the new settlers could spend much time in work on the highways. Their lands needed all their labor, and their rude cabins required constant improvements; so that new roads were of slow growth, and old roads, if at all passable, were accustomed to neglect. Township travel was performed for the most part on foot or on horseback.
Randolph's strongest attractions to the new comers were the iron ores rather than her soil. The same industry brought the first white men to this county. The old forges at Old Boonton and Parsippany became the sites of the earliest settlements. The Succasunna mine was known and worked before the plowshare had turned over the sod of the township. Ore was taken from it on the backs of horses to the old forges. But even this method of transportation required roads of some sort. The Indian paths were utilized and improved for this purpose. The turnpike from Whippany to Rockaway and the old road from Morristown to Franklin and thence to Dover were Indian paths widened and improved. Until the beginning of the present century road improvement in any proper sense had not begun; but in 1801 a charter was given for the Morris turnpike, from Elizabethtown through Morristown and Newton to the Delaware opposite Milford. In 1804 the Union turnpike, from Morristown through Dover to Sparta, was opened, and it was afterward continued through Culver's Gap to the Delaware River. In 1807 the Jefferson turnpike was chartered, to run through Berkshire Valley to meet the Hamburgh and Paterson road; and in 1809 the Parsippany and Rockaway turnpike, from Vanduyne's through Rockaway to the Union turnpike at Dover. These roads were built by chartered companies and in some cases were aided by State appropriations. Fifty-four charters were given for such roads between 1801 and 1828. Some of the companies are still in existence, finding remuneration in tollgates. That part of the Union turnpike from Dover to Sparta is still kept in order by the chartered company. The part from Morristown to Dover is thrown open to the public. This period of turnpikes marks an epoch in the State, and it gave fresh impulse to the people of Randolph.
The Dover Turnpike Company, formed to build a road to Succasunna, was not organized till 1813. Previous to this time travel was limited and most articles used in families were made at home. Stores were scarce and little patronized.
EARLY DOMESTIC MANUFACTURES.
Of necessity, in a new settlement, before the various trades have time to develop, the settlers are dependent on themselves for articles of use and comfort. Each man is a jack of all trades, and learns to do with few things, and to furnish those few for himself. Some of the products of the soil were occasionally carried by the farmer in an ox cart over the rough roads to Newark and to New York, and there exchanged for such articles as he most needed and could not manufacture himself. Less frequently a dry goods peddler would make his way to the settlements in the wilderness and barter his goods for butter, eggs and other country produce; but the greater portion of the early settlers either supplied at home their domestic wants or struggled on without their being supplied. Spinning and weaving were common in all the best households, and neighbors vied with each other in the manufacture of carpets and cloths. Here and there a loom became famous for its superior fabrics, and was invited to do work for others than the household. As a favor some took in weaving, and the homes in which the best spinning was done and the best cloths woven grew in honor and wealth. The skillful housewife was as much respected as the thrifty farmer. Women strove to merit the praise which Solomon bestows on excellent wives: "Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies. She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands. She girdeth her loins with strength and strengtheneth her arms. She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff. She is not afraid of the snow for her household. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed."--Prov. xxxi. 10. In the preceding century in the township of Randolph such looms and such wives were found in the families of the Randolphs, the Dells, the Brothertons, the Lawrences, and other happy homes; and such wives and mothers raised their households above want. Nevertheless in the course of years children of parents who never owned a wheel or a loom began to dress in richer fabrics than could be produced by the unsparing toil of the industrious matron; for the larger factories, with the aid of machinery, turned out better materials than the best homespun of private looms. Though spinning continued, weaving began to wane and to be discontinued, save where the force of habit caused the old methods to continue on, even after private weaving ceased to be economical. A fulling-mill, earlier than in any other township except Morris, was built and put in operation at Mill Brook. To this mill most of the wool of the township was brought and sold, and here it was made into various kinds of cloth.
"TALES OF OLD RANDOLPH."
The following anecdotes, by the author of this history of Randolph township, appeared under the above title in the Dover Enterprise, a sprightly little local monthly journal published by Frank H. Lindsley and E. L. Dickerson for a little over a year from April 1st 1869.
The First Settler.--From time immemorial the red man pitched his tent or built his wigwam, and chased the game, and paddled his canoe, and considered himself the lord of the land, just as now the landlord considers himself the lord of the house. This primeval state lasted till the year 1713, when one John Reading, mounted on a horse and accompanied by two comrades bearing chain and compass, made his way to the western part of the township, where he drove down a stake, fixed his landmark, and measured off 527 acres near the Succasunna mine. This piece of land was sold by the proprietors of East Jersey to Joseph Latham. Mr. Latham never occupied it, and after owning it nine years he sold it to John Jackson. Mr. Jackson was an actual settler and the worthy ancestor of this town.
In 1722 he erected a forge on the stream in front of the residence of Jacob Hurd; and then for the first time since the creation the loud reverberations of the hammer broke the silence of the forest, and announced the change which was about to be made in the dominion of the red men by the art and industry of a superior race. From that day slowly but steadily has the step of civilization advanced.
It would afford us unfeigned pleasure to be able to record the financial prosperity of our enterprising townsman. But verity compels us to state that after toiling from mine to forge for the third of a century, his outlay so much exceeded his income that forge and hammer, stream and farm, were sold by one John Ford, an unfeeling colonial sheriff.
This sad disaster may be owing to the unnatural feeling of the old mother country toward her young and inexperienced offspring. The child was allowed to work, but the parent claimed the earnings. The ore could be forged into iron, but the iron could not in the colony be wrought into useful articles. It must be transported across the broad Atlantic before it was allowed to be shaped into form for use. The sale took place on the 15th of August 1753; the forge was purchased by Josiah Beman and the farm by Hartshorn Fitz-Randolph, whose dwelling, which he occupied from 1753 till 1807, when he died, stood where Elias Millen now resides. To this eminent and opulent Quaker our town is indebted for its name.
Stories of Hartshorn Fitz-Randolph.--During the pioneer period there resided in the township three worthies, viz., Richard Dell, Moses Tuttle and Hartshorn Fitz-Randolph; but Hartshorn was the worthiest of the three. He was most exemplary in his general deportment. True to his religious principles, he was careful about his thoughts, more careful about his words, and most careful about his deeds; he was rarely angry--when moved would stop and count before he spoke; yet he was human, and humanity may be tempted beyond its strength. A Quaker by birth, by education and by conviction, he could always be expected at the Friends' meeting. He spake at times when the Spirit moved him, and sometimes eloquently, but, in his broad brimmed hat and drab colored coat and serene countenance, even his silent presence was highly edifying.
It is a principle of the Friends never to use fire-arms, either in the chase or in the battle field. On one occasion this principle was tested by a severe ordeal; yet, guided by the light of nature, he was enabled almost to steer clear of both Scylla and Charybdis. The case was as follows: It was in the fall of the year; the buckwheat, which weeks before had filled the air with its fragrance, and sent the bee laden with honey to the hive, now held up its plump and ruddy face to the sky. No field in the county promised so abundant a crop. The wild pigeons, which in those days abounded to an incredible extent, daily visited this inclosure. One flock had scarcely gone before another came. It was necessary to do something.
The grain was taking to itself wings and flying away. Guns, snares, strings, old hats on poles, white dimity and red flannel fluttering in the breeze, plowboy effigies, and all the scare-crow expedients known in those days had proved ineffectual. The birds seemed to be emboldened by the greatness of their number, and, allured by plenty, or maddened by hunger, or stimulated by both of these at the same time, they cast off all fear and were taking off all the crop. There was a big musket in the attic and it was loaded--how it came there tradition does not explain. Hartshorn was thoughtful, he was plagued and puzzled; if he was excited, still he was silent. He stood by the fence; the fowling-piece was in his hand, and the birds were in his field; the gun rested on the rails, but pointed toward the center of the flock. His ears were stopped, his eyes were closed. A flash was seen and a noise heard by the neighbors; the Quaker turned instantly around and walked away; meeting a friend he said: "Friend, I took this rusty iron and thought to scare the birds; if I have hurt any thee can have them." The friend stepped over into the field and picked up--we hardly dare tell the number and yet this part of the story is better attested than any other--he picked up 90 pigeons! This act from an agricultural necessity was several times repeated, but each time with eyes closed and ears stopped. Hence the good Hartshorn could not see and would not hear that he had ever injured a single bird; and by this expedient he saved at the same time both his buckwheat and his conscience.
In 1682 East Jersey had 5,000 settlers, and many of of these were Quakers. Our own township was at first chiefly settled by members of this persuasion. Our distinguished townsman Hartshorn Fitz-Randolph, from whom the town received its name, was a prominent member of this society. When spoken of by his brethren, he was called Hartshorn; when mentioned by others he was Mr. Randolph, or Fitz-Randolph, and sometimes only Fitz. Hartshorn was a man of a wise head, a warm heart, a liberal hand and feet swift in works of charity. But good men sometimes get into difficult places; and twice this was the experience of Fitz-Randolph.
In those primitive days, when Hartshorn was in his greatness, it was customary for a certain class of emigrants, who must cross the Atlantic and had not the wherewithal to pay their passage on their arrival, to be sold for a term of years long enough to defray the expenses of their trip over. Mr. Randolph was in need of laborers, and one day, while negotiating with a captain for a passenger named Fowler, the chattel, pleased with the benevolent countenance of a Friend, put in a word of entreaty, at the same time commending the article. This decided the case, and Fowler became the slave of Fitz, or, as some thought, his master. This slave possessed more native wit than any freedman in town, and hence was called Randolph's "fool." It should be remembered that it was a cardinal principle of the Quakers to regard all men as equal, themselves on a level with the highest, and always ready to raise the lowest to their own elevation. Labor in their opinion was never degrading, and hence to buy a man's service for a given time was not degrading him--it was only advancing his wages. How nearly the slave enjoyed equality with his master may be inferred from the sequel.
Fowler was given to rhyming, and was called the town bard. It was owing to his poetic propensity that some facts have been preserved which would otherwise have passed into oblivion. One day the slave was in the field with a boy, plowing, when he disturbed a yellow hornets' nest; the oxen suddenly turned round and ran back. Just at that moment Mr. Randolph appeared, and--supposing them to be trifling and likely to spoil the young team--with less than his usual mildness, shouted: "What is the matter!"
The "fool" with much composure replied: "This boy cannot manage the oxen; if thee will take hold of the plow I will drive them."
Randolph took hold of the plow, intending to instruct both man and boy. Fowler led the oxen carefully around, so as to bring the plow against the hornets' nest, and then stopped. The insects, indignant at being again so soon disturbed, left home and rushed with one accord upon the innocent Quaker. Little suspecting that any mischief was intended, Hartshorn began to pity the boy, whom he had just rebuked, or would have done so had not circumstances required all his attention. The stinging insects were numerous and determined; they would not be driven off. Hartshorn struck the air; he struck his face, his sides, his legs; he jumped, he danced, he ran. The bard, with an air of innocence, as if unconscious of the cause and surprised at such antics in a Quaker, thus improvised:
"Thee has been a good dancer,
Once after this the master towered above his slave, but was soon brought to a level. The good Hartshorn faithfully instructed his servant, and especially endeavored to impress his mind with the importance of letting his yea be yea, and his nay nay, and never confirming his word by an oath. It does not appear from any testimony, oral or written, that the fool profited by the instruction. On the contrary, the idea that a man who did not always speak the truth could not be believed under oath touched him personally, and he secretly resolved to abide an opportunity to give his master a lesson on this point. At length the resolution went into operation.
It was on the first day of the week, when Hartshorn and his servant were on their way to the meeting-house; for in those days all good people kept the Sabbath and went to the place of worship, taking with them not only the members of their family but also the strangers that were within their gates. The occasion was one of unusual interest among the Friends; distinguished visitors from abroad were expected. Heavy rains had just fallen, and it was known that the streams were swollen; but Hartshorn and his servant found their path obstructed beyond all expectation, by deeper water then they had ever known on that road. Hartshorn looked disappointed and said: "Fowler, what shall we do?" "There is no way but to go through," said the fool. "But we cannot go to the meeting dripping wet." "Art thou very anxious to go?" inquired the fool. "Very." "Well, I know of but one way, and that is for me to carry thee on my shoulders." "Dost thou think thou canst do it?" "I don't know; but if thee will promise me a quart of whiskey I will try."
Hartshorn hesitated, not on account of the value of the article, but from fear that he might make bad use of it; but, anxious to go and persuading himself that he could persuade the fool to use it moderately, he made the promise.
The slave stooped and received his burden, which he bore with ease to the middle of the stream, and there he paused, and, addressing the man above him, said: "Will thee surely give me the whiskey?" "Go on," said the Quaker, "thee knows my promise." "Swear that thee will give it." "Go on; thee knows I never swear." "Swear or I will go no further."
The master, knowing the perversity and daring of the fool, was greatly tried. He longed to be at the meeting, and was assured that he could get there only by indulging the caprice of the fool. He sighed, and faintly uttered some qualification of his promise. "Louder!" cried the fool, "I can't hear, and thee is getting heavy." Poor Hartshorn sighed deeply, and then uttered the words with a clear voice. The unfeeling bard replied:
"They that swear, the same will lie;
And immediately Fitz disappeared beneath the stream. But, confirmed in the propriety of never taking an oath, he came up a pure cold water man, the fool was kept sober, and the wise townsmen of Randolph learned never to trust themselves on the shoulders of another man while they had legs of their own.
First Meeting-House and Graveyard. Washington and Little Rhoda.--We have already seen that the earliest settlers in this township were members of the Society of Friends. This plain and quiet people differ from other religious denominations in most things, having no ministry, no sacraments and no ordinances; yet they early erected a house of worship. With the exception of a consecrated part of the forest, where the red men once invoked the aid of the Great Spirit, the Quaker meetinghouse was for more than a century the only place where the people were accustomed to assemble for worship. This plain old sanctuary stood just in the rear of the site of the residence of Daniel Lampson, and the adjoining land, now an orchard, was then a graveyard. In this first graveyard of Randolph were buried the remains of those who had left milder climes and warm friends in the old world, contented with a wilderness if they could be unmolested in their faith and could secure to their descendants a quiet home. No costly monument ever adorned this cemetery, no humble stone ever distinguished one sleeper's cell from another. In perfect similarity they were laid side by side, illustrating in the grave the doctrine of human equality which they professed when living. The little mounds first thrown up when the graves were fresh were in time reduced to a common level; and the plain meeting-house was never repaired. A new one, however, was erected about a mile west of the old site, the frame of which still remains, though now six score years old. A touching incident associated with this graveyard, and which brings to light an event which makes our township classic ground, may here be related:
In the residence situated only a few feet from the meeting-house lived Rhoda Lampson, who in 1857 departed this life, in the 94th year of her age. During the Revolutionary war, while our army was encamped at Morristown, General Washington rode up with a small company of horsemen into this vicinity, and pitched his tent in the field just opposite her dwelling. Little Rhoda at this time was just budding into maidenhood. The child was beautiful to look upon, and her beauty was visible even in her latest years. Decked in her best attire, which was simple, yet becoming, she was sent with a basket of fruit to the tent of the general. Washington met her with a smile, thankfully accepted her offering in his own sweet manner, and then, taking her by the hand as he bade her good-bye, said: "My daughter, in these times it is not safe for one so fair to venture far from mother's roof." The words were to her a mystery, yet they made an indelible impression on her mind, and no doubt exerted a direct influence in shaping her social destiny. Rhoda was strong in her affections, but her affections clung to the members of the family, and were henceforth fixed on her home.
Her fair form and fairer countenance had produced peculiar emotions in several hearts, but there was one youth, who wore a broad brimmed hat and a drab colored coat, in whose presence her own heart had been known to flutter; and she would have loved him but for the strong love she had for her brother. Apprehensive that her friend might have designs of separating her from her family, in the ardor of a sister's love she proposed to her brother that they should live together as long as they both lived. The vow was mutually made, and made never to be broken. The Quaker, strong in his wish but tardy in expressing it, at length overcame his indescribable embarassment, and disclosed all that was in his heart; when to his dismay the sister's vow was revealed. This revelation broke the spring of his hopes. He endeavored to estimate the brother's constitution and the probable number of his days, but the prospect was so unfavorable that his heart sunk in despair. His ruddy cheek grew pale, his robust frame grew thin, and when near his end he made a dying request to be buried not in the new but the old graveyard, beside the dwelling of her he loved. The request was granted, and his grave was among the many honored graves in the first burying ground in the township. The brother and sister survived their parents, and for forty years after the sister kept house for the brother. The sister also lived a score of years after the brother's death. As she had made another's home comfortable, so now others made her a comfortable home; every want was supplied and every kind attention bestowed, and when in good old age she was gathered to her people she was, according to her wish, buried in the old Rockaway church yard in a grave by the side of her brother.
Andrew King and Stephen Hamilton.--One of the first dwelling houses erected in our township stood very near the present residence of Dr. Condict. Built in the primitive forest, its style of architecture was primitive, which may have been owing more to the absence of proper tools than to any want of mechanical skill. In external splendor it did not equal the old Quaker meeting-house, which still remains as a relic of by-gone generations. But if the outside was rude, it had yet a comfortable inside, with happy inmates. For a period longer than the memory of the living runs to the contrary, this cabin was occupied by the family of Andrew King. Both husband and wife lived to a good old age, and were on the last half score of years which wonld have completed their century when they were gathered to their fathers.
During the French war, in which the colonies of France and England were sadly involved, a New Jersey regiment had on its roll the names of at least two citizens of this vicinity; these were Stephen Hamilton and Andrew King. The battle field in those days was as far in the north as it has lately been in the south. Though the means of transportation were limited and the roads difficult, yet the patriots of the State succeeded in joining the main army long before it reached the place of action. The point to be attacked was Fort Ticonderoga, the great northern stronghold in those days. Our worthy young townsman King, who was only 19, who had first mourned and avenged the death of lord Howe, his commander in the fruitless assault on that fortress, and next had seen his comrade and fellow townsman Hamilton perish in attempting to storm the fort, finally with the rest crept cautiously homeward, consoling himself with the reflection--
"He that fights and runs away
King received an honorable discharge and returned home to enjoy the heroic reputation he so justly won. And often of a winter evening by the blazing hearth would he to wondering ears describe the daring feats, narrow escapes, and fearful sufferings of that summer campaign of 1758. And by the soldier's story the fires of patriotism were kindled in other hearts, and other souls were set burning for military service and military glory. Hence, a few years later, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and the colonies renounced allegiance to the mother country, the experienced veterans of the French war were the first to unsheath the sword, and were prepared to lead the enthusiastic volunteers to victory and fame.
Stephen Hamilton, who with 2,000 comrades fell in the unsuccessful effort to take Ticonderoga, claimed to be a grandson of Alexander Hamilton, the royal governor of New Jersey in the time of Queen Anne. Silas Hamilton, grandson to Stephen, and well known to many who may read this article, died in February 1869, at the age of 89 years. In his youth he was a close observer of nature, and being connected with several forges in this vicinity he was well acquainted with the streams by which they were operated. From the appearance of the rocks and land, then evident but since greatly changed, he satisfied himself that there was once a lake bounded on the west by the hill near Jacob Hurd's and extending by Washington forge, and then around and beyond the Allen mine, confined on the east near Dover by the mountain, then closed but now opened for the passage of the Rockaway River. He could remember when that opening, which he regarded as the outlet of the lake, was not fifteen feet wide; though now it is several hundred feet wide.
In his youth there was at the foot of Lake Hopatcong a forge with four fires. Near by there was, he said, a stone walk or causeway from an island to the shore, a distance of a quarter of a mile. It was believed to have been made by the Indians and was a work of great labor. While connected with the forge Silas saw squaws with papooses on their backs cross the lake on this causeway. At that time the walk was nearly on a level with the lake, but since the Morris Canal has been opened the lake has been raised several feet, destroying the water power of the forge, and making the causeway invisible.
Patriotism and Rum.--Within the limits of our township (though long before the name of Randolph was given to these limits), and not far from its southern borders, lived Oliver Crome, who became somewhat distinguished for the aid he rendered to the suffering soldiers of the Revolution during the encampment of the army in this county. Never did philanthropist enjoy a more favorable opportunity of performing humane deeds. It was in the winter of 1779-80. General Washington was at Morristown and his force was encamped on the hill back of the court-house, the encampment stretching several miles into the country toward Mendham. Poorly housed, poorly clothed and poorly fed, the snow deep and the weather cold, the soldiers endured severe hardships. Sometimes a whole week passed and the soldiers received no bread, and then another week and they received no meat. On two occasions they were without either bread or meat for two days. The table of the commander-in-chief was not much better supplied. Said the housekeeper of General Washington, Mrs. Thompson, "We have nothing but the rations to cook." "Well, Mrs. Thompson, you must cook the rations, for I have not a farthing to give you."
At this time Oliver Crome obtained the gratitude of the soldiers by his attention to their sufferings and the appropriation of the products of his farm. He became known to Mrs. Thompson, who through him obtained supplies for the general's table.
At one time Mrs. Thompson obtained permission to draw six bushels of salt from the store-house, pretending that it was to preserve the fresh meat. Most of this salt went into the hands of Oliver Crome, who distributed it among his neighbors, in exchange for poultry, vegetables and the like. Salt was an article so difficult to be obtained by the farmers that Oliver became as popular among them as he was among the soldiers, and the work, which he began from patriotic and philanthropic motives, became a profitable business. Oliver, untiring in his efforts to bring something palatable to the camp, was always well received by every officer, and especially by the hostess at headquarters. To dissipate the gloom and relieve the mind from the tedium of the winter a ball was got up, and to this entertainment Oliver Crome was invited, by a complimentary ticket. He had heretofore been amiable in disposition and temperate in all things. But here for the first time he indulged too freely in the wine cup.
The war passed away and left Oliver a richer man, in good repute; but it was whispered about that the habit of excessive indulgence in strong drink was growing on him. Naturally genial, the tendency of his beverage was to increase his geniality to the neglect of his duties. Time was undervalued, he was less industrious, and his estate ran down.
But this was not the worst. A young man, whose real name we cannot give, for reasons that may be inferred from the sequel, but whom we will call George Hudson, was an admirer of Oliver and became something of a favorite at his house. The first thing he learned was to drink freely. And this he excused or justified by the example of his friend, and Oliver could never exercise courage enough to caution him against excess, but continued to furnish the beverage as long as George would drink. George in time married the daughter of Oliver Crome. Mr. Hudson was naturally exacting, and when under the influence of ardent spirits he was over-exacting. The consequence of this was soon felt in his own family. The farm on which George Hudson lived required more attention than he bestowed on it, and it in consequence rather grew worse. He had a son named Frank, who had been brought up on this farm and been accustomed to do much of the work. As the lad grew the father looked to him to perform an amount of labor beyond his strength, and became altogether unreasonable in his demands. When especially stimulated by whiskey his exactions were cruel. One day, on leaving home, the father required his son to finish a certain amount in a cornfield before his return, threatening severe punishment if he failed. The boy, who was in his fourteenth year, worked faithfully and unceasingly, but his task was not accomplished. The father returned in a state of partial inebriation, and, enraged that his threats had no effect, inhumanly fulfilled all that he had threatened. Poor Frank's very heart was broken and he never smiled afterward. Another task beyond his ability was soon given him. But this time the father did not return till midnight, and Frank by working long in the evening was enabled to accomplish it. Over-tired, but free from fear of paternal wrath, his rest that night was sweet, expecting a word of commendation in the morning. But this expectation was sadly disappointed,for the father in justification of his own cruelty made mention of what had been done as proof of what the boy might have done on the former occasion. Soon after a still heavier task was given to the lad, accompanied by severe menaces if he failed. The boy began early and in earnest, but when noon came and one-third was not done his heart sunk within him. At dinner he said. to his mother, "I cannot get my work done, and what shall I do?" She, afraid to interfere, lest she should make matters worse, said, "I hope you will be able to finish it." Mary, his little sister, said: "Frank, when I get my work done I will come and help you;" and, true to her word, about 5 o'clock she made her appearance in the field. But her light and cheerful spirits seemed to make the load on the heart of her brother, already insupportable, still heavier, for he had resolved what to do. So, sending Mary home with the cows, he said as they parted: "Mary, you may never see me again; if you do not, be a good girl, and may your life be happier than mine has been." The tone and look made an indelible impression, for little Mary is still living, though advanced in years and in another part of the country, and retains a vivid recollection of that hour. When she came to the house her father drove up, and she said to him, "Father, Frank has not got his work done, but has tried hard." The horse was put into the stable and the father went in to supper, after which, with whip in hand, he went down into the field. Not seeing the boy, he called, but received no answer. He searched field and barn and house without success. Irritated by disappointment, he resolved to inflict severer punishment when the lad did appear. But the night passed and morning came, and no news of Frank; noon arrived and no information. The afternoon passed and the sun was setting in a cloudless sky; the trees threw their long shadows to the east; the birds were singing their evening song, when the father thought he saw his son in the orchard hiding behind the farthest tree. Moving cautiously toward the spot unobserved, full of rage at the boy, he suddenly sprang forward, and there George Hudson stood before the lifeless body of his son, which was swinging in the air. Poor Frank, the victim of paternal wrath, denied natural sympathy, with no prospect of deliverance from his condition, lost all hope, and giving way to despair sought, by this suicidal act, to put an end to his toils and fears. The neighbors attributed this painful tragedy to the unnatural disposition of the father; and the father attributed his unnatural disposition to the influence of strong drink, and traced his appetite for this beverage to his admiration of Oliver Crome, with whom he formed the habit. Oliver attributed his downfall to the same accursed beverage, and traced the formation of his evil habit to his admiration of those military officers whose example he imitated. The curse pronounced on those who tarry long at the wine fell heavily on Oliver Crome, and more heavily on his son-in-law, George Hudson, and most heavily on his innocent grandson Frank.
General Winds and the Landlord. —Among the ancient worthies of the old Randolph, we must not omit to mention the name of the distinguished William Winds. This eminent citizen and patriot was remarkable for his great physical strength, his more powerful voice, and the useful service he rendered his country. About 1750 he purchased a district of land, a part of which is now occupied by Robert and Thomas Oram. His residence was on the road to Rockaway, and almost on the eastern boundary of our present corporate limits. He passed through the ranks of captain, major, colonel and general, each of which offices he filled with honor. In 1758 he received a royal commission from England to serve as captain of a Jersey company. He was under General Abercrombie in the famous attack on Ticonderoga. He distinguished himself in this campaign, taking several French prisoners, some of whom he brought home with him, who settled in this vicinity; one named Cubbey lived in the captain's family for many years. Shortly after this campaign he was appointed the king's justice of the peace. But about this time the revolutionary spirit was spreading through the colonies, and nowhere did it find a more genial habitation than in the big heart of the new judge. The offensive stamp act, passed in 1765, which required stamped paper to be used in all legal documents, was practically ignored by this powerful officer of the king. Having occasion to issue several writs, he made use of the bark of the white birch. Yet such was the undisputed authority of this magistrate that no one dared to dispute the legality of his orders, though the bark was known to be used in defiance of law. His interest in American affairs daily increased, and when the war for independence began he was among the most zealous of the Revolutionary patriots. A member of the Presbyterian church of Rockaway, he habitually took an active part in the services. Possessed of a gigantic frame and voice like thunder, when he joined in the singing he did it with such force that like a hero in an engagement, as he always was, he bore off victoriously the music of the assembly. He often led in prayer, and when praying for other objects kept his voice within proper bounds; but when he came to pray for the country it was like the voice of many waters, and he prayed as if he would take heaven by violence.
In 1775 he received from the Continental Congress the commission of lieutenant-colonel. He was stationed at Perth Amboy, and was ordered to secure the person of Governor Franklin, the last of the royal governors of New Jersey. He wrote to Governor Franklin that he had heard he intended to leave the province, and forbade his doing so.
The next year he was made colonel, and in 1777 he was commissioned brigadier-general. He was sent north on the expedition against Canada, and was among the few that survived that disastrous campaign. He was afterward in several engagements in this State. At one time he was on the right bank of the Hackensack River, while the enemy lay at some distance on the opposite side. It was here he frightened off a detachment of militia by his voice. Addressing his men in a stentorian tone, so as to make the enemy hear, he shouted, "Open to the right and left and let the artillery through!" The foe suddenly disappeared.
It was in this period that an incident occurred that tarnished for a moment the escutcheon of our township's glory. The news spread that the British were invading North Jersey, and all the available force in Morris county was called out. Beman, the brother-in-law of General Winds, was the keeper of the hotel of Dover. Officers were sent to take every person over 18 years of age that they could find. One of these officers, meeting the landlord, informed him that he must go. This chivalrous soul, pale and trembling, replied, "You must be careful what you say or do to me, for I married the general's sister." But he evasively promised that he would go, if he must, in the morning. He was allowed to spend the night at home. In the morning he was missing. Search was made, and report said that he had been seen crawling into a hollow tree on the hill north of the village, near what is now Woodland Lake. The searchers were soon on the spot, when one, standing at the end of the tree, called to his comrade, "There is a bear in this hollow; fire in." Instantly came a groan, less terrific than the growl of a cub, followed by the exclamation: "Don't shoot me, don't shoot me! I will come out." And, true to the promise, out came the husband of the general's sister. A sudden change came over him, for he stood up full of courage and gratitude; grateful for his narrow escape, for he considered that he had been raised from his coffin, and courageous, for he was now assured that there was less danger in confronting the foe than in deserting his friends. He marched off fearlessly, and returned safely and with honor.
Not another instance is on record of a timid Randolphian during all that long and severe struggle, unless importance is to be given to a vague rumor concerning the general himself. For when this intrepid commander, in obedience to orders from General Washington, was leading his forces from New Brunswick to Sandy Hook, to intercept the baggage train of the enemy, and in case of their defeat at Monmouth to cut off their retreat, coming to Spotswood he stopped to repair the bridges which had been destroyed. Here a false report reached him that the enemy was marching on Elizabeth. This report is said to have been brought to him by a Quaker, whose face was as innocent as an angel's. The general on his own responsibility marched to the relief of Elizabeth, and thereby allowed the enemy to escape. Some were base enough to attribute this sudden countermarch to motives unworthy of a brave officer--intimating that the general was apprehensive that if he proceeded further he might come to his end before the war did, an issue contrary to his most ardent desire. Every one who really knew him regarded this insinuation as a foul aspersion--yet it pressed with such weight on the sensitive mind of this great man that in the following year he resigned his commission in the army. But he continued the active friend of his country; and, having lived to see the success of the patriot arms, the triumph of justice and the freedom of America, he died full of peace and full of hope, the friend of Washington, beloved by him and by all his compatriots of the Revolution.
He left in his will a portion of his estate as follows: "From the great regard I have felt for the interest of Christ's Kingdom, and for the benefit of the Presbyterian church, I do hereby give and bequeath to the Presbyterian church at Rockaway all the remainder of my whole property for a parsonage." He was borne to his grave in the churchyard of Rockaway, and buried with the honors of war. On a brown stone in the rear of the church is the following inscription, written by his friend Dr. Darby, of Parsippany, who acted as his lawyer, physician and minister, wrote his will, attended him in his sickness, prayed at his bedside, and preached his funeral sermon.
"Under this monument lies buried the body of Wm. Winds, Esq., who departed this life Oct. 12 1789, in the 62nd year of his age. His natural abilities were considerable, which he improved for the good of his fellow men. Whenever the cause of his country and liberty called he ventured his life on the field of battle. As a civil magistrate he acted with integrity; he also sustained the office of captain, major, colonel and general with great honor. He was a provident husband, a kind neighbor, a friend to the poor and a good Christian. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord."
Christmas and the Horse Race.--On the 19th of October 1781, the very day on which Cornwallis surrendered his sword and his army of 7,000 men to General Washington, the first stone house on the road from Dover to Chester was finished and occupied. This building was erected by Isaac Hance, but owned and occupied by Mr. Lawrence, whose son was known in after years throughout the neighborhood by the title of Uncle Jacob.
In 1794, when Jacob was just passing out of his teens, he went to spend Christmas with his cousin at Moravian Town, in Warren county. Jacob was of Dutch origin, and his cousin lived in a settlement where that language was still spoken. In that latitude no day in the year was as much thought of by the Dutch as Christmas. Among a portion of that people the idea prevailed that at the hour of midnight of this holy eve, which was supposed to be the hour of Messiah's nativity, every animal in the field and all the cattle in the barnyard bowed down on their knees, and continued in that devout attitude for the space of an hour. Jacob was a little inclined to skepticism in his youth, and hence did not altogether adopt this opinion. Anxious to have his doubts solved, he proposed to sit up that night and take observations.
After church--for in Moravian Town at that time all the people went to church on Christmas eve--the young folks stopped at the large barnyard of Jacob's cousin, and waited quietly for midnight. It was necessary for the spectators to be in a concealed place, otherwise the cattle would not kneel, and hence a secluded spot, a little outside of the yard, was chosen. But the night was cool and the time seemed long, and one by one the party stole away, till Jacob and his cousin were alone. Shortly afterward the cousin retired, and Jacob, by himself, remained to view the ceremony. As the hour of twelve approached a cloud passed before the moon, and a singular obscurity pervaded the atmosphere. But, alone and at midnight, Jacob began his observations under unusual excitement. He strained his eyes, and far off, under a dark, low shed, he saw, or thought he saw, the cows in a row, with faces toward the east, and knees bent. A strange feeling came over him; his eyes were large, his hair stood up, and deadly paleness was on his cheek; his knees smote together, and he exclaimed that it was so ! His voice startled an ox near by which before had not been seen. The motion of this animal startled Jacob, who left the scene, and without counting the seconds was in the house of his cousin, where he astonished the company by the relation of his vision. They regretted their lack of zeal, and were half inclined to go again to the barn.
But the hasty credence of Jacob did not last. He soon began to question whether in the darkness of the moment he could have seen at such a distance. An examination the next morning made it doubtful whether any cattle had been under the shed, and hence it ever after remained a matter of greater uncertainty than before whether the tradition respecting the kneeling of animals at midnight on Christmas eve was to be received.
But he had not completed his examination of the yard before another scene far more exciting attracted his attention. A black horse, well formed and full of spirit, was brought out before a crowd of people, and at a short distance a bay mare was held by the halter. It was now evident that preparation was going on for a race. One of the riders was missing, and measures were taken to secure a substitute. Jacob's cousin was invited, but declined Several others were urged without success. But at length Jim Hardy offered his services, and, addressing Judge E., the master of ceremonies and the master-spirit of the crowd, said he was ready to take a seat on the mare. He began to move forward. He threw his coat on the fence, kicked off his boots, tossed up his hat in the air, tied a handkerchief about his head and a strap around his waist, and was ready to mount, when the Judge conducted him to the shrine of Bacchus, where, as he had twice before done that morning, he drank in honor of the day and the occasion. Every thing was now made ready. On either side of the road, for nearly half a mile, stretched the long line of spectators.
Each rider was on his horse; the signal was given, and the well-trained animals were off. Under whip and spur their speed increased. Intense is the excitement, yet the crowd is gazing in breathless silence. The bay mare is ahead, but now Swift-sure is gaining. Two-thirds of the ground had been passed over when the horse on which Jim Hardy rode sprang aside, or stumbled; from the suddenness of the act doubts arose among eye witnesses, but the rider was thrown with violence, and fell headlong upon a stone. He raised his face for a moment; it was covered with blood. "He is dead !" "He is dead !" shouted several voices, and the words passed the whole length of the lines.
The master of ceremonies, our distinguished judge, w?? soon at the spot, shouting, "He is worth a dozen de men; he is not much hurt; he will mount again and try it over."
Uncle Jacob stood near the fatal spot where the rider fell. He knew Jim Hardy, and when he saw him in the agony of death, while the judge was endeavoring to conceal the fact and persuade some one else to ride, his very soul was stirred with shame and indignation. Jim died before night, and Jacob returned from that Christmas, and that race, with a desire never to see a similar one.
To the end of his life, which was a long one, this scene was remembered by Uncle Jacob. And if his opinions respecting the superstition of that day were not corrected, he never to the day of his death had a doubt respecting the bad tendencies of horse racing and the evil effects of intoxicating drinks.
Fortune-Hunting.--The old stone house near Dover which was completed on the day of the surrender of Cornwallis was the home of Uncle Jacob till his death. Industrious and contented, he lived in quiet enjoyment until in his declining years a rumor reached him of a great English estate that had been left to his family.
According to report the estate was worth millions, and could at once be received if the line of descent could be satisfactorily established. Mary Townley was the fortunate heir. Of Dutch extraction, she had lived in England and moved to this country at an early age, and here married a Mr. Lawrence. A newspaper article containing this information had fallen under the eyes of several members of this numerous family at the same time. Each one for a time kept the information to himself, while he endeavored to ascertain the name of his first American ancestress.
Uncle Jacob became greatly excited and began to hunt up the family record. He remembered an old Dutch Bible that used to be in the family and that contained the names of the first Lawrence family in this country. But what had become of this book was the occasion of much solicitude, for on that book, in his mind, depended the course which this great fortune would take. The more difficult it was to find this Bible the surer did Uncle Jacob feel that it contained the name of his grandmother and that her name was Mary Townley. After persistent search he learned that many years ago the Bible had been sold to an old Dutch woman living on Schooley's Mountain. The house of the Dutch lady was visited, but the Bible was gone. Other members of the family had been there before him, bought the book and taken it off. When this fact was ascertained Uncle Jacob was more excited than ever, and became apprehensive that he might lose his portion of the inheritance. In this case of perplexity he resolved to consult his dominie. This he had often done with satisfaction to himself, and in this instance the minister proved to know more about the history of the estate than did Jacob himself. Though the additional information amounted to nothing, yet it greatly increased Jacob's interest and anxiety, in the height of which he said that it would now only be necessary to procure some boxes and send them to the British consul, and he would fill them with gold and send them up to the stone house. He had not yet seen the Bible nor learned with certainty whether his grandfather had married Mary Townley, but had no doubt of the fact himself; he only sought the proof to satisfy others. He learned that the Bible was in the possession of a brother who lived about ten miles off, and wondered why he did not send the book or send word of its contents. He now desired the dominie to go with him to the house of the relative and get the book or at least read the record, for it might be, as the writing was in Dutch, that he could not himself read it when he saw it. The kind minister agreed to comply with his request on condition that no one should know where they were going, nor the object of their journey; for by this time the community was filled with rumor, and the minister was uneasy lest the people might think his affections were more on this world than on the next. Early one morning the journey was commenced, and several were anxious to know where Uncle Jacob and his dominie were going so early, but their curiosity was not satisfied. The route lay along the western side of Lake Hopatcong. The day was calm and without a cloud; the roadside decked with laurel, honeysuckle and rhododendron, the placid water of the lake stretching out before the eye like a vast mirror of silver, and the sweet songs of the birds, all seemed auspicious, and were interpreted by Jacob as indications of the golden future of his earthly career.
As he felt indebted to the dominie in a great measure for the expected fortune, his gratitude rose, and he promised him a handsome portion. The promise not producing the effect he expected, he feared he had not been sufficiently generous, and confidentially asked how many thousands it would take to put a minister above want and enable him to devote his whole time to doing good. This brought on a short sermon on the danger of riches, and the propriety of now determining how he would use the wealth should it come into his possession. Such a declaration. he was told, would enable him to see how much better man is in intention than in performance; and if it should turn out that he is now richer than he will ever be again, at least in imagination, there will be some satisfaction in having indulged in a noble purpose; but he was cautioned to remember that the feelings and purposes of a poor man are rarely the same when a poor man becomes a rich man. The sermon seemed to be well received by the solitary auditor, who declared that he would rather live and die as he was than to be rich, if he should thereby become as proud and selfish and useless to society as the rich men that he knew; but he knew that it would be otherwise with him, and the tear of joy danced in his eye as he spoke of the needy he would relieve, and the happiness he would promote by the coming fortune. While he was thus cherishing gratitude for favors expected, the journey was finished. The friends were seen and the Bible inquired for, but, sad to say, it had just been sent away; what was still worse, the record of the grandmother was torn out, and thus was destroyed the strongest hope of proving the claim. Still further search was to be made, and all hope of success was not abandoned. On the return the dominie made one or two calls on families in his parish. Before doing so he obtained a promise that nothing should be said about the object of the day's journey; but Jacob was too full of the subject literally to keep his promise, for, being left with one family while the dominie made a visit near by, he, having also obtained a promise of secrecy, began to relate the whole story. But while he was in the midst of it the dominie suddenly entered the room, when Jacob, jumping up and walking about, began to sing. Not having time to select his piece he broke out on the hymn "A charge to keep I have." This was too much for the rest, who could not control their risibles, and the continued bursts of laughter betrayed the broken promise.
The fortune-hunters having resumed the journey, soon the hind wheel of the carriage came off and the end of the axle broke. But a rail of a fence was tied underneath the carriage so that it could be dragged home. In the meantime the sky was overcast and rain began to fall. While thus traveling the dominie sought to improve the occasion with some moral reflections. "This journey," said he, "is a picture of the sunshine and shade of human life. This morning we started with everything bright and promising, and visions of gold before us. On our return the sky is dark with clouds, the prospect of wealth is gone, our disappointment is revealed to others, and here we are, riding home on a rail." The auditor seemed to be better pleased with the discourse of the morning than with that of the evening. Yet the latter was simpler and more easily comprehended, and was more valuable in its results. For the hearer came to the conclusion that it was better after all to be satisfied with the slow earnings of one's own industry than to be looking for a great fortune from some uncertain source.
But the experience of one person does not impart wisdom to others. The public journals afterward announced that Mary Townley did not marry a Lawrence but a person of another name, and another numerous family began the same search, with as great expectations and with worse results.
The Hard Winter of 1739-40.--One hundred and fifty years ago this township was a frontier; to which the populous city or well furnished mart was as inaccessible as either now is to the most isolated settlers of any of our new States. In 1713 Joseph Kirkbride bought of the proprietors of East Jersey a large part of what is now the township of Randolph. Shortly afterward William Schooley moved from Schooley's Mountain and bought of Kirkbride several hundred acres, including what is now Mill Brook. Mr. Schooley was a pioneer and endured all the hardships which commonly attend the first settlers. He was accustomed to trade with the Indians, and during one severe winter he was known to go more than once a distance of thirty miles through the snow to an Indian settlement to obtain corn, which he brought home in a bag on his shoulders, making his way over the snow by means of snowshoes, which were common at that time.
The farm adjoining the Center Grove school-house was purchased in 1739 by Daniel Carrell, and remained in the family until three or four years ago. The winter following the purchase was known as the hard winter. The snow fell to an unusual depth, and intense cold followed. There were not men enough to open the roads and horses could not travel. The hay that was stacked in the field was covered from the cattle, and even the barns in some instances could not be reached. As a consequence many horses and cows perished. A neighbor of Mr. Carrell, snowed in and unsupplied with provisions for himself and wife, made a desperate attempt on horseback to make his way through the snow. He set out early in the day, leaving his wife alone, hoping to be able to return before night. Husband and wife never saw each other again. The lonely woman, who could hear nothing of her husband, hoped that he had reached the house of his neighbor, and would ere long return with something to support life. Her bread failed and her fire gave out. When the snow melted in the spring the horse and his rider were found dead on the road not far from the house of Mr. Carrell, and when the dwelling was entered, the body of his wife, like his, lay stiff and cold in the icy hand of death.
Great changes have occurred since those days; neighbors have become more numerous and facilities for communication multiplied. The winters have been milder and the snow lighter. Snow drifts are occasionally piled to a considerable height, but the average does not equal that of which our sires have spoken. Mrs. Pierson, who died a few years ago, almost having completed her fifth score of years, used to tell of her riding on the frozen snow, in the days of her girlhood, when it covered the tops of the fences, and made field and road alike a common highway. Of late years the cold has occasionally been intense, and the mercury gone down in the thermometer to a fearful depth, but the cold period has been brief, lasting but a few days.
Religious Beginnings.--The early settlement and gradual increase in the population of this place and vicinity, may be inferred from a few statistics. The first church in Morris county was the Presbyterian church of Whippany, erected in 1718, on the opposite side of the road and not far from the present church in that place. That charge then included Hanover, Madison, Morristown, Parsippany, and the region beyond. This was four years before the first settler made his appearance in Dover. Though the people came from the different parts of the extensive forest, they did not form a very large congregation. But the enjoyment of a sanctuary increased the desire for such privileges. In 1740 the portion of the congregation living at and around Morristown withdrew from the Whippany church and organized the first Presbyterian church of Morristown. Eight years later the Presbyterians of Madison, or, as it was then called, Bottle Hill, withdrew and formed a church. In 1752 the first Presbyterian church of Rockaway was built and used, though not fully completed till 40 years later.
In 1755 the old mother church of Whippany was divided, and two churches were erected--one at Hanover and the other at Parsippany; retaining, however, their old pastor, who for some years supplied both pulpits. After this one minister supplied the pulpits of Rockaway and Parsippany. In 1805 the Rev. Barnabas King came to Rockaway, and he continued in the pastorate of that church more than fifty years. For a long time his parish embraced Dover, Berkshire Valley and Sparta.
In 1816 Mr. King drew up a subscription paper in order to obtain money to purchase books and tracts for distribution. The original document is before us, and as it shows the faith and works of that period it may gratify the curiosity of some to see it. Appended are the names of the subscribers. They were the early settlers of this vicinity, some of whom have passed away without leaving any descendants, but the most are still represented in their posterity. The paper is as follows:
"OCTOBER 22d, 1816.
"Believing that much may be done towards that object by Sabbath-schools and by the distribution of religious tracts, the subscribers agree to form themselves into a society to be called the Society for Promoting Religious Knowledge in Rockaway and the Neighborhoods Adjacent. They adopt the following rules as their constitution:
"1. Every adult person becomes a member by subscribing to pay semi-annually one cent a week; and every child or minor becomes a member by subscribing half a cent a week.
"2. When a sufficient number of subscribers shall have been obtained they shall be notified from the pulpit to meet and choose a president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary, and as many additional managers as a majority of the subscribers shall think proper, being careful to have at least one manager in each district where a Sabbath-school is maintained.
"The moneys subscribed are to be paid to the managers, and expended in procuring tickets, books, etc., for the use and encouragement of Sabbath-schools, and in procuring religious tracts for distribution, always keeping a regular account of receipts and expenditures.
"Each district where a Sabbath-school is maintained shall choose a committee of three persons, who shall be authorized to select such persons as may be able and willing to teach gratuitously every Sabbath after the services in the church.
"They may also apply to the treasurer for any number of tickets, tracts, or books for distribution, not exceeding in value the amount of money subscribed and paid to the managers from their own district."
To this the following named persons subscribed two cents each: Benj. Lamson, Stephen Conger, Titus Berry, Harriet Canfield, Jacob Van Ness and John Scofield.
The following subscribed half a cent each: John Hamilton, Maria Ford, Harriet King, Hilah Hurd, Joseph Ayers, Anna T. Ayers, Ezekiel M. Hurd, Phebe Hoagland, Polly Hoagland, S. A. Lawrence.
The following subscribed one cent each: C. Hamilton, E. Hoagland, Charles Hicks, Betsey Conger, Nancy King, Sarah Cooper, John D. Kimmel, Moses Hurd, Jacob Lawrence, J. Suly, preacher, Aaron Doty, Chas. Hoagland, Horace Cooper, Thomas Vail, Mared Hill, John Griffith, Joseph Casterline, Charles Losey, Sarah Pierson, Penina Casterline, Nancy Casterline, Calvin Casterline, Rachel Lyon, Mahitabel Smith, Jacob Palmer, Pierson Howell, Charles Cooper, John Hill, Isaac Garrigus, Samuel Garrigus, Thomas Coe, Daniel Lamson, John Kelsey, John Talmage, John Nott, Job. A. Broadwell, Charles Jackson, Silas Kelsey, Eleanor Coonrod, Mary Wilson, Henry Atwood, Comfort Coonrod, Mary Wilson, Henry Atwood, Samuel Palmer, Sylvanus Howell.
A reference to the date of this paper, 1816, reminds us of the revival of interest in the cause of missions, of the organization of the Bible Society, Tract Society, and other kindred organizations. Sabbath-schools at that period were new, and it is pleasing to know that a disposition prevailed in this vicinity to co-operate in this movement, and especially to establish Sabbath-schools. At this time one was opened in Dover, which has never been discontinued, the history of which would be an interesting document by itself. That this school was much needed, and that its influence on the manners of the people was very salutary may be learned from a letter written by a Methodist minister who visited this place in 1799, for the purpose of preaching the gospel, but was not permitted to do so. The letter is dated Chestertown, Md., May 16 1839, and is as follows:
"In the conference year of 1799 the Rev. Aaron Owens and myself [Thomas Smith] were stationed on what was then called Flanders circuit, New Jersey, including Sussex county and a part of several other counties. In traveling around that district of country we passed through the town of Dover. Beautifully situated, the scenery is fine, the surrounding hills rising one above the other; the distant mountains, arrayed in graceful order, exhibited to the world their earthly grandeur, the wisdom, skill, and power of nature's God.
"I said to my colleague, 'What think ye of Dover?' He said he intended to visit that place with the gospel. I said, 'Sir, I will be your second.' The plan being formed, the effort was made, but proved unsuccessful. During our visits to that place I obtained an old house, where I preached one sermon to a few elderly ladies, near the place where the attack was made on the life of Brother Owens. Having given up all hopes of Dover I left it; crossing a high and towering mountain, the top of which overlooked the plains of Dover, I beheld it afar off, and wept. On entering the cleft of a rock--the chamber of prayer--I bowed before the Lord, presented their moral condition before the throne of His love, praying, 'O, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, send unto them thy Son, they will hear Him.' However, in the latter end of December 1799, a gentleman from that place invited me to his house, and then to preach. I accepted the call, and the appointment was made for January 15th 1800. On that day I arrived at Dover. The weather was extremely cold. I rode up to the house of my friend, who met me at the door, saying he was sorry to see me. My coming to that place had so enraged his neighbors that he believed did I attempt to preach they would pull down his house and mob the congregation.
While we were talking several came up and let me know there would be no preaching that night. 'So I perceive, gentlemen,' said I. 'And this makes seven times I have visited you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, as his ambassador, with terms of reconciliation, and seven times you have prevented me save one, and now I am clear of your blood, and you shall see my face no more till we meet at the judgment seat of Christ. Three months ago you mobbed the Rev. Mr. Owens, an aged gentleman, upwards of sixty years of age. You met him on the road, and treated him most shamefully.' I left Dover at dusk and set out for my next appointment, sixteen miles off."
We hope for the honor of our ancestors that this picture is a little overdrawn, which is possible, since it was drawn from memory thirty-nine years after the visitations referred to. The Quaker meeting-house was then standing in its glory, and the peaceable Friends were never disturbed in their quiet and oftentimes silent worship. Other devout people resorted to the Rockaway sanctuary without ever complaining of the distance. But, after making all allowance, we must not deny that some of our forefathers were wicked, and that the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Nor must we withhold the meed of praise due to the venerable father who moved our progenitors to establish here a Sunday-school, and to engage in the diffusion of religious knowledge, at the same time receiving and retaining a little themselves.
The Sportsman's Golden Age.--The following reminiscences were originally published in a letter addressed to the editor of the Iron Era, by the late Guy Maxwell Hinchman, of Dover:
"In 1811 and 1812 there were immense flights of pigeons from the southwest to northeast, the flocks extending apparently from horizon to horizon, commencing at about 3 o'clock P. M., and continuing till twilight, making their way to the Green Pond Swamp, where they roosted for the night. Persons repairing to the swamp, and shooting promiscuously into the tree tops were enabled the next morning to carry away hundreds of birds--only a small portion of those killed and maimed, as the swamp at that time was nearly impenetrable. The noise produced by their flight when fired upon and settling again was deafening. At early dawn they took flight to the southwest, returning again in the afternoon. I recollect that early in April, one foggy morning accompanied by rain and sleet, the pigeons were apparently unable to take their course, and were completely demoralized, seeking rest upon every tree with which they came in contact. An aged gentleman, Mr. Phineas Fitz-Randolph, residing in Succasunna Plains, near where the Chester Railroad crosses the main street, stepped to the rear door of his house, and fired into the hapless crowd that had alighted upon an apple tree, while hundreds of others were endeavoring to obtain a footing. The result was the bagging of fifty birds. Fifteen, twenty or thirty birds at a single shot was not uncommon. I believe there have been no such flights since those years, in this region.
"Partridge, quail and woodcock could be obtained by experts in abundance; at that time very few persons could bring down their birds on the wing.
"Deer were plenty then in certain localities; in fact, in all our forests lying between Dover and Sparta many a thrilling scene transpired in the chase. There resided in the vicinity of Succasunna a gentleman somewhat advanced in years, a portion of whose life had been spent on Long Island, who was wont to recount wonderful feats of duck, brant and goose shooting that he had performed there; but never having been very successful in the hunts after deer, to which he was frequently a party, his stories were received with many grains of allowance. A party was about to have a chase on the Shrub Oaks, the eastern portion of the plains. The old gentleman, happening there, regretted that he had not his gun or he would accompany them. A gentleman of the party offered to supply him with an American musket, an excellent gun, and proceeded to charge it for him. Determined that if he fired it he should have something worthy of notice to speak of, he put in a rousing charge of powder, and 20 rifle balls of 90 to the pound. All being arranged, the old gentleman offered to take the hounds to cover and start the deer, making his way to the duck pond, lying a little south of the railroad as you pass to the Drakesville station. Hearing the cry of the hounds he took a position in an old road leading to the south part of the pond, somewhat elevated above the water. In an instant the hounds were in full cry; six deer broke cover, coming up the road in which he stood. Entering into the road they came in close contact. At the proper moment he discharged his piece, and the result was three deer fell mortally wounded, and a fourth deer--severely wounded--made its way to the Rockaway River at a point where the Morris and Essex Railroad crosses, west of Port Oram, and was there captured. That great shot established the gentleman's fame, and his gooseshooting stories received full credit. I know of but one person living, except the writer, who was conversant with the facts mentioned; he is an octogenarian, residing near Drakesville station, and when I saw him not long since was hale and hearty, with faculties unimpaired.
"During my working Mount Pleasant mine many amusing scenes occurred and others that were serious. On a very stormy winter day, too inclement for men to work above ground, I placed all hands to enlarge the sink, and covered the opening of the shaft with bundles of straw, to prevent the wind blowing down. We had not been there long, the hands being on both sides of the basin endeavoring to enlarge the area--the basin at that time having water five or six feet deep. I was standing in the midst of the workmen and nearly under the shaft, when I felt a sensation as of something descending the shaft, and sprang from under. A neighbor's cow, who thought to regale herself with the straw covering the shaft, missing her footing came down, struck the foot wall a few feet above the water, gave one moan, and plunged into the basin, driving the water in every direction, extinguishing our candles and leaving us in total darkness. The men on the farther side of the basin from the ladders made a stampede right through the water, and in two minutes there was not a man left in the mine. Many did not know what had fallen. That ended work for that day, and the cow remained in her watery grave until the day following, when we resurrected her, sent her coat to the tanner's, and I had the pleasure of paying the owner $25, at which she was valued.
"At another time I was sinking a shaft through earth that was inclined to cave. I had cautioned the men to keep it securely timbered, but in my absence for a day they neglected to secure the earth. It gave way, bringing down previous timbering, completely covering a good natured old Irishman that had long been in my employ. Fortunately the timbers, falling across each other, though pinning him tight against one side of the shaft, formed openings which admitted air, and enabled him to breathe. On returning home at night I found that, after remaining for some hours in that situation, the miners had just rescued him. He was somewhat bruised, but no bones were broken. Accosting him, I said, 'Jimmy' (his name was James Brady) 'what did you think about while shut up in the shaft?' 'Och !. I thought you were a good man, and if you were at home you would surely get me out, but I feared for the men.' 'Jimmy, did you pray?' 'Och ! it was just me that did pray.' 'What was your prayer?' 'Och ! it was the Psalms of David. Och ! was'nt it a happy deliverance! Give me a quarter till I away to the tavern for a quart of applejack, to trate the men.'
"One morning we were suddenly awakened by a startling sound which seemed to come from the kitchen. I hastened thither and found Jimmy, looking the picture of mortification, and exclaiming, 'To think of me doing such a thing! me who has used powther all me life! If it had been some simple body I shouldn't ha' wondered, but for me to do such a thing! it was a (???) quare trick.' The men had a large powder flask, which they used in filling their straws for blasting. Jimmy, in haste to light his fire, had used the contents of the flask. The door fortunately stood open; the flask was hurled through it, and also through a high board fence which stood at some distance.
"The same old man remained working at the mine after I disposed of it. On his right hand he had two crooked fingers, stiffened by some hurt, and in landing a barrel of water, the horse at the whim failing to turn when he should, Jimmy's stiff fingers being fast over the chime of the barrel, he was carried up to the pulley, about eight feet above the landing. The horse turned suddenly, and the barrel, dropping quickly, relieved his fingers. While suspended above the shaft he dropped into the mine, 60 feet, and falling in water was not killed.
"Not long after the poor old fellow was found frozen to death--which proves that a man born to be frozen will not be killed by falling down a mine shaft."
The following incidents were related by Mr. Hinchman, author of the above, in his autobiography, prepared for his children:
"I might relate many interesting hunting scenes; I will mention only a few. My wife and myself while living at Mount Pleasant were spending the day at Succasunna, and about 4 o'clock, when starting for home, a few persons informed me that they were just starting for a chase on the Shrub Oaks, which lay directly on my route homeward, and proposed to furnish me with a double barreled gun, and, as the runways were right on my way, that I should permit Mrs. Hinchman to drive home, and I remain for the hunt. Accordingly as we reached the hunting ground we came to a stand for assigning each to his position. Mine lay about a quarter of a mile distant from where the hounds were started, and immediately on the road. I had dismounted from the gig, and was arranging for Mrs. Hinchman to proceed, when I heard the hounds in full cry and coming directly to the point where I was placed. I had barely time to urge Mrs. Hinchman to drive on when I saw three deer making tremendous leaps over the low shrubs and coming between where I stood and the position of Mrs. Hinchman. They were upon me at once. Under the circumstances I was considerably flurried. Mrs. Hinchman had just started and was distant not more than 200 feet; the road was narrow and straight. I had just time to step to the extreme edge of the road, which brought my aim a little out of line with the carriage, when the first deer bounded into the road, which he would span in two leaps. The moment he struck the road I fired the first shot, and, it appearing not to have taken effect, I instantly fired the second, with apparently the same result. The hounds were close upon the deer, and having passed the road for a hundred yards or more ceased their cry. Going to them I found the deer dead. Had I known how accurate my first shot had been, and also the second--both being mortal--I might have had two deer. In the meantime Mrs. Hinchman had stopped, which gave me an opportunity of riding instead of footing it home. Others of the party took the game and the gun loaned to me, and we all proceeded to our homes, satisfied with the hour's sport.
"At another time while I resided at Mount Pleasant Dr. Ira Crittenden, in visiting his patients, learned that deer frequented a field of wheat on the Burwell farm--near where the Port Oram furnace now stands--and proposed that I should accompany him and watch for the deer. It was late in November and the wheat had grown to be good feed for them. The moon was within a few days of the full, and the night very light. After taking our places, each at the extremity of the field, in about half an hour I heard several deer approaching. They came to the fence enclosing the lot, and stopped. In a few moments I heard demonstrations, as stamping violently, and with two or three shrill snorts away they went. We held a consultation, and concluded to remain a while longer. I suppose an hour or more had elapsed when we heard them returning at the same place, distant about forty yards from where I was placed behind a little clump of shrubs. As before, they stopped at the fence, manifesting the same dissatisfaction, evidently aware of something they did not like. After remaining a much longer time than at their first appearance, an old buck with splendid antlers made a tremendous leap over the fence into the field. Remaining in his tracks when he alighted, he made a noble appearance; the moon shining on his white horns, he loomed to a great size. Those outside the lot were now quiet. I immediately raised my rifle and attempted to get an aim, but could not tell on looking over the barrel whether my aim was correct. My position was down on one knee; I placed my rifle on my knee, and brought it to bear on the deer, which I could see distinctly, and by passing it off and again upon him was enabled to get what I supposed was a pretty correct aim, and fired. With the same majestic leap with which he came into the field he left, and with a stampede they all went--there were at least four or five. Under the circumstances I had no faith that my shot had taken effect, but as they passed diagonally along the field and near the doctor he fancied he heard the deer fall and rise again. Of course, as the cover was so close, we made no examination that night. The next morning I went in pursuit, and by aid of spots of blood proceeded about 200 yards, where I found the buck dead. My shot could not have been more to the purpose if I had had daylight for my aim."
An Incident of the Last Training.--The last militia training in Dover under the old militia system occurred about the time that Captain Pruden and Supercargo Wood made their trip on "The Dover, of Dover," to Newark and back at the opening of the canal. They were both in Dover on training day, and remember the following incident: Some of the soldiers were sitting on the porch of the Stone Hotel or Stickle House, and one of them named William McKinnon said he could hit a tree with his ramrod. He fired the iron ramrod from his gun at a tree, three or four hundred feet distant, and the rod went through the center of the tree and remains there to this day--fifty years after the shooting. It is easily seen, as each end of the rod projects from the tree. The tree was small at the time, but during these fifty years has grown to a large size. It stands on the opposite side of the street from the hotel and about 400 feet to the northwest.
The early settlers in New Jersey were all true friends of education. The Quakers of West Jersey established in 1683 the first school fund in America. The Dutch were enjoined by the West India Company, who sent them over, to support a minister and a school-master. The Scotch Presbyterians when they first came to New Jersey brought preachers and schoolmasters with them.
The New Jersey Legislature of 1693 passed the first school law authorizing each district to choose trustees and a teacher, and to tax the people to pay his salary. Provision was first made for free schools in 1817, and three years later townships were authorized to raise money to educate such poor children as were paupers. In 1824 one-tenth of all the State taxes went to the school fund. In 1828 townships could vote moneys to build school-houses. In 1867 county superintendents were appointed. In 1871 all public schools were made free. From the commencement a steady progress in favor of education has been made in New Jersey.
There are now ten public school districts in the township of Randolph, the largest of which is the Dover district. This district has a graded school, in which are employed seven teachers, and each teacher has a department containing as many scholars as are to be found in either of the other districts.
Both before and after the public schools were in operation private schools were maintained. The first was probably the one held in the old homestead of Richard Brotherton. Another was held in a little room built for the purpose, opposite to the Quaker meeting-house, and another a mile southwest of Richard Brotherton's, on the road to Calais.
For a long while the oldest inhabitants were accustomed to speak of the Franklin school-house, situated a mile and a half east of Dover, as the place where their education began. This school-room was without ornaments and the seats were rough benches; the instructor, now called teacher, was then called master, and the rod--his badge of authority--was vigorously used.
After the death of the Hon. Mahlon Dickerson, of Ferromonte, a school of a high order was opened in his former residence by the Rev. Robert Crossett. This school, which lasted only three years, was of benefit to the township, and of special advantage to the more advanced scholars of Dover.
CHURCHES OF THE TOWNSHIP.
"The Quaker meeting-house" for more than three quarters of a century was the only church in the township. The first settlers of Randolph were Quakers. Among them was one John Reading, who, though he became a Presbyterian, was much esteemed by the Society of Friends. This man was a public surveyor, and surveyed the first piece of land in the township of Randolph. He often made purchases where he surveyed, and frequently aided his friends in making favorable purchases, because he was the first to know the value of new locations. It was through his influence that the first settlers came to this township. It would seem from the society in which they are found that the Kirkbrides and the Schooleys belonged to the Society of Friends. We know that the Randolphs, the Dells, the Brothertons and others of the first settlers were Quakers. These facts explain why the first house of worship in the township was a "Quaker meeting-house." It was built in 1748 or earlier, and stood on the farm now occupied by Charles Lampson, from which it was moved a few years after to its present site, a quarter of a mile to the west. Lately recovered and otherwise improved it still preserves its original quaint appearance. Built when timber was abundant, and to be had for the cutting, its substantial frame has lasted for a century and a third, and from present appearances may last another century or two. Though very limited in its seating capacity, yet at the time of its erection it was capable of accommodating all of the inhabitants of the township. Few and scattered as the first settlers were, one can easily conjecture with what social satisfaction and sacred delight they came together in their new meeting-house. Strong in their peculiar principles, for which in the old country they suffered persecution and even separation from their native land, they now, in the depths of the wilderness, in the New World, enjoyed their dreams of liberty, and devoutly gave thanks that they could in their own way worship God, with none to molest or make afraid. Sometimes the hour of religious meeting was spent in silence; and sometimes one of the worshipers arose and gave utterance to the thoughts that were burning in the heart. Without a pastor, without an ordained preacher or teacher, the Friends met in their plain meeting-house, and at times as the Spirit moved them--it might be in the men's apartment or it might be in the women's apartment, for all were on equality--one or another would rise and speak without ostentation or attempt at oratory; and then were heard addresses which drew all hearts in closer bonds of love, and awakened resolutions to live purer and better lives. Addresses were made as eloquent and as edifying as have since been made in the modern and more pretentious sanctuaries of the township. But the old Quaker meeting-house is silent, and these stirring speeches are mentioned as among the things that were. The good influence of the Friends in Randolph, however, is not extinct. It lives and has found its way to other places of worship in the township; and it has helped to give a healthy tone to the morals of the new comers who have made their home in the neighborhood.
Mt. Freedom Presbyterian Church was organized July 9th 1820, by the Rev. Samuel H. Cox, of Mendham, and Rev. Jacob Green, of Succasunna, who were appointed a committee for this purpose by the Presbytery of Jersey.
The following persons, having obtained letters of dismission from the churches to which they formerly belonged, composed the new society: John Corwin, Elizabeth Bryant, Phebe Clark, Nancy Lewis, Nancy Wheeler, Sarah Wilkinson, Anna Bonnel, Martha Hulbert, Elizabeth Connet, Elizabeth Roberts, Rachel Bryant, Lydia Roberts, Jane Roberts, Jacob Drake, Anna Drake and Elijah D. Wells. Jacob Drake, Elijah D. Wells and John Corwin were chosen and duly ordained and installed into the office of ruling elders of this church.
The Rev. Jacob Bryant, who had been instrumental in gathering a congregation and preparing the way for the church organization, received a call to become the pastor of this congregation, and on November 17th 1824 he was installed by the Presbytery of Elizabeth. Mr. Bryant was a native of Mt. Freedom, and was regarded by the people as the founder of this church, which under his ministry increased in numbers and in influence. He resigned his pastoral charge in 1829, but continued to supply the pulpit till his death, in 1846. His successor was the Rev. James McMurray, a graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary, who was ordained and installed pastor January 6th 1847, and continued in the pastorate till 1856. The Rev. Abram Williamson succeeded Mr. McMurray in 1856, and remained in charge of the church till March 1867. The next month a call was extended to the Rev. Elias R. Fairchild, D. D., who though never formally installed served the church till 1871; during his ministry there the church edifice was enlarged and improved, and many were added to the church.
In July 1871 the Rev. Robert S. Feagles was installed pastor by the Presbytery of Morris and Orange, and he resigned his pastorate in December 1878. In January 1879 the Rev. William W. Halloway took charge, and he is still the pastor. The present elders are Daniel Bryant, Pierson Allen, James Cramer, Nelson Hughson, Samuel Youngs, Frank Merchant and Charles De Hart. Daniel P. Merchant, recently deceased, was for a long time an elder and a leading man in the congregation and in the community.
The church now consists of 130 members. The congregation owns a house of worship, graveyard, parsonage, and five acres of land, which are all free from encumbrance.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Walnut Grove is the successor of an old Baptist church, the history of which has not been preserved, but which with its graveyard dates back to an early period in the settlement of the township. The Baptist church was for a time used as a union meeting-house; but the Baptist society has become extinct, and the old house of worship has disappeared. The Methodists have erected on the old site or near it a new and commodious edifice, worth about $5,000, and are in a prosperous condition. Rev. John Stilman was their first pastor. The church has a membership of 110. The pulpit is supplied by C. L. Banghart.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Mill Brook, situated half a mile north from the mill seat, is nearly as old as the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Dover, and was united with it, so that its successive pastors may be learned from the list of preachers who supplied that church. Occasionally for a short time it has had a pastor by itself. This year it is united with the Walnut Grove charge, and Mr. Banghart supplies the pulpit of both churches. It has a flourishing Sunday-school and takes a leading part in sustaining the moral enterprises of the township.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church.--This church is located about one mile west of Dover, on the road to Port Oram. It was built about the year 1847, through the instrumentality of the Rev. Father Senez, now of Jersey City. He was then stationed at Madison, and seeing the numbers that came to him every Sunday from Dover he determined to extend his labors to that vicinity. Every third or fourth Sunday he administered mass in a private house here; and, perceiving the congregation to be quite large, he felt the importance of securing for them a house of worship. This was no easy matter to accomplish, as most of the men were unmarried and dependent on the mines for their livelihood; and as mining was unsteady at the time these men might be here to-day and away to-morrow, so their church matters were of secondary consideration. The married men were few and poor. Notwithstanding all the apparent difficulties, with the characteristic zeal of a Frenchman, Father Senez undertook the work at once by levying a monthly tax of 25 cents on every man in the parish. After the first month's receipts were added up he concluded the tax levied was too small, and increased it to one dollar per month. In about a year the amount collected was thought to be sufficient to build the church. Accordingly a suitable lot was looked for, when Mrs. William Phillips generously gave the ground on which the old church now stands. The men of the parish turned out and worked by spells at the foundation till it was completed. The building was soon put up, though not entirely finished when it was first used. At this time, to the regret of all, Father Senez was removed from Madison and from this parish. The Rev. Father McQuaid, now bishop of Rochester, N. Y., succeeded him at Madison, and performed the pastoral duties of St. Mary's parish for about eighteen months. He was succeeded by Rev. Father Ward, who was the first priest who lived within the parish. Father Ward was in poor health and not much in sympathy with his surroundings; and remained less than a year. He was succeeded by Rev. John Callan, who finished the church, adding a gallery for the choir, and a basement, in which was held a parochial school. He continued in this pastorate eighteen years, discharging his duties in such a manner that he still has a warm place in the hearts of many of his old parishioners. His successor was the Rev. B. Quinn, an energetic worker. He established churches at Rockaway and Mount Hope, and made improvements in the parish. He also built a fine parochial residence. He was succeeded by Rev. Father Fitzsimmons, who remained nine months; and he by Father Byrne, who only labored here three months, when the Rev. Pierce McCarthy entered upon the pastoral charge.
As the church was not large enough to accommodate the congregation Father McCarthy undertook the work of erecting a new church. By fairs, picnics and contributions he collected a sum large enough to commence building. The plan of the new church was drawn by Jeremiah O'Rourke, of Newark. Work was commenced in November 1871. The corner stone was laid in June 1872, and the church was dedicated November 1st 1873. The building is made of stone found in the vicinity. It is 127 feet in length, 42 feet in breadth, 32 feet from floor to ceiling, 18 feet from water table to wall plate, and the steeple when finished will be 112 feet in height; cost of the whole about $50,000. Father McCarthy also procured grounds for a new cemetery, which was dedicated in 1875. In 1876 Father McCarthy was called to the church of St. Pius in East Newark. His name will long be cherished in the memories of the members of St. Mary's Church.
The Rev. James Hanly succeeded Father McCarthy, and he is the present pastor. In the year 1880 he collected over $8,000, and paid off the floating debt. He also collected $3,500 which was paid on the standing debt. He is esteemed and praised for his consistent piety and for his judicious management of the financial interests of the parish.
Religious Interests of Port Oram.--The first place in which public worship was held was the room connected with the weigh scales of the Thomas Iron Works. The Rev. John R. Jenkins, a member of the Presbytery of Morris and Orange, and a boss miner called "the Welsh preacher," conducted the services, which were half the time, at least, in the Welsh language--the Welsh families of Mine Hill and the Richards mine meeting at this central spot. In 1859 this Welsh organization became connected with the Presbyterian church of Dover; but in 1870 the members withdrew and organized the Welsh Presbyterian Church of Richards Mine at Mount Pleasant, and built, by the aid of the Thomas Iron Company, a pleasant house of worship, where the religious services are still, a portion of the Sabbath, in Welsh.
A Sunday-school, with Alvan Trowbridge for superintendent, was held in the school-house at Port Oram from the time of its erection in 1867 till the Methodist Episcopal church was dedicated. October 2nd 1868 the corner stone of the church was laid with appropriate services. In the corner stone was put a paper containing an account of Port Oram and surroundings, as follows:
"The church is to be 34 by 50, with a basement 9 feet; to cost $600. A blast furnace now in course of erection of the following dimensions: 52 feet square, 15 feet below the surface, 78 feet from bottom to the top (48 feet of stone, 18 feet of brick); cost $300,000. The following railways connect with Port Oram: 1st, Morris and Essex; 2nd, Mt. Hope; 3d, Baker Mine; 4th, Chester; with others in contemplation. There are three churches in Dover; the Rev. B. C. Megie has been twenty-nine years pastor of the Presbyterian; Rev. Mr. Seran is pastor of First M. E. church, Rev. James A. Upjohn of the Protestant Episcopal, and Rev. Father Quinn of the Roman Catholic church, situated between Dover and Port Oram. Andrew Johnson is President of the United States; Lucius M. Ward is governor of New Jersey; Morris county contains 35,000 population. Candidates for next governor John I. Blair and Theodore F. Randolph."
The following ministers have been pastors of this church: Revs. Isaac Thomas, 1870, 1871; J. P. Daily, 1872, 1873; David Walters, 1874; Thomas Rawlings, 1875-77; G. T. Jackson, 1878-80. Joseph P. Macauley, 1881.
The church is usually well filled, and the prayer meetings are well attended, the members freely taking part in offering prayer and remarks. The singing is spirited and good.
Mine Hill Presbyterian Church.--A Sunday-school was organized under the superintendence of David Jenkins, who acted also as librarian and sexton. The Misses Ford (Emeline, Ellen and Mary) rendered efficient aid as teachers in the Sunday-school. The membership increased and the school became a bond of union to the families through the children, and created a desire for religious services. Speakers from a distance often addressed the school; and the pastor of the Presbyterian church of Dover often preached in the school-house. Prayer meetings were held on Sunday evenings, conducted by David Jenkins and Pearce Rodgers, the former an elder and the latter a deacon of the Presbyterian church of Dover. This state of things continued for several years. A church was formally organized May 27th 1874 by a committee of the Presbytery of Morris and Orange. It consisted of the following twenty-five persons, dismissed for this purpose from the Presbyterian church of Dover: David Jenkins and wife, Pearce Rodgers, Mrs. Mary Powell, Isaac Bohenna, Elisha Paul, John M. Kelliway, Mary May, Paul Martin, William H. Bray, Joseph A. Thomas, Elizabeth Ennor, W. G. Thomas, Mary Libby, Jane Tonkin, Dinah Tonkin, E. Thomas, S. Fredinnick, W. Williams, John Warne, Mary Warne, Henry Rogers, John Dyer, Charlotte Williams and Peter Lobb.
David Jenkins, Wm. H. Bray and Joseph A. Thomas were elected and duly set apart to the office of ruling elders in this church, and were installed. Pearce Rodgers, a resident of Mine Hill, and a licentiate of the Presbytery of Morris and Orange, acted as their minister. A church edifice was erected and so far completed as to enable the congregation to use the basement, and on September 22nd 1874 Pearce Rodgers was ordained and installed pastor of this church. He still continues to be its pastor. The church edifice was completed at an expense of more than $6,000, and will seat about 400 persons. It was dedicated, free of debt, in the summer of 1878.
Port Oram is about two miles from Dover, on the canal and the Morris and Essex Railroad. The place was selected as an appropriate location for a store and a new settlement, because it had been the central point on the canal for the shipment of iron ore. In 1860 a store house was built; also a small freight depot of the Morris and Essex Railroad; and the place was called Port Oram, after Robert F. Oram, the person chiefly concerned in its selection and development. The store was opened under the name of John Hill & Co. Mr. Hill retired from the company the next year, and the firm has since been Oram, Hance & Co., consisting of Robert F. Oram, John Hance and Wm. G. Lathrop. Up to 1864 only four buildings had been erected.
After the commencement of the civil war, on the day of the battle of Bull Run, June 21st 1861, a large patriotic meeting was held in front of the store, and an elegant flag with the stars and stripes unfurled. The Hon. John Hill, member of Congress, presided; prayer was offered by Rev. B. C. Megie, of Dover; speeches were made by Hon. John Hill, Wm. Wood, afterward paymaster in the army, and Mr. McNeely, of Succasunna. A bullet which lodged in the arm of Daniel Gard during the Revolutionary war, and was preserved as a relic by the patriotic soldier, was exhibited by his son, Ephraim Gard, and seemed to rekindle the flame of patriotism in the whole crowd. The meeting was a memorable one, and evinced a strong feeling of sympathy with the administration without regard to political parties; and from that time Port Oram was a place well known throughout the whole region. Five persons who belonged to Port Oram and who were present at this meeting enlisted for the war. Two were the sons of Ephraim Gard and grandsons of the Revolutionary patriot Daniel Gard; two were the sons of John Hance, viz. George and William, the former entering the army and the latter the navy; and the fifth was Albert Wiggins, then a clerk in the store of S. Breese, in Dover. They all returned to Port Oram after the war except Albert Wiggins, who was drowned with thirty-one others from Morris county while crossing the Cumberland River in Kentucky. Mr. Wiggins was a young man of splendid physique and great promise.
Port Oram did not grow much until after the war; but from the beginning a large business was done at the company's store.
From 1864 to 1868 over forty buildings were erected, and the population increased from four to sixty-four families, making nearly four hundred persons. The increase continued until the paralysis of the iron industry, 1872-80. Since then business has revived, and the population may be over 600. Almost all the inhabitants are English miners, and employed by the Boonton Iron Company.
A school-house was built at an early date (1867) and the first teacher was Henry Allen, who was succeeded by the able and popular Erastus E. Potter, who is still the principal, and who has elevated the literary character of the place.
Ferromonte is a settlement of a few hundred inhabitants about a mile south of Mine Hill. It might be considered as a part of it, for the two places overlap each other and it would be difficult to draw the line where one begins and the other ends. But Ferromonte is the older of the two places, and might claim Mine Hill as included in itself. This is the seat of the famous iron deposit known as the Succasunna mine, once considered the oldest and best iron mine in the State.
Ferromonte was the residence of the Hon. Mahlon Dickerson, and here is the elegant residence of the late Frederick Canfield, the nephew of Mahlon Dickerson. This dwelling is occupied by Mrs. Frederick Canfield and her children. It contains one of the finest private cabinets of minerals in the country. The collection is extensive and the specimens are unsurpassed. It contains also a choice collection of birds, including all the birds of this latitude and the rarest and fairest of the tropical regions. After the death of General Dickerson his house was occupied by the Rev. Robert Crosset, who here held a classical school. It is now occupied by Colonel Stanburrough, who uses it as a place of summer resort. The gardens and grounds were once famous for their rare specimens of plants and trees, for Mr. Dickerson was a man of fine taste and a lover of nature.
Mill Brook is an old settlement, and now contains about fifty dwellings and a population of 300. Its history has been given in part in the preceding pages, which contain an account of the early settlers. It is said that the residence of S. J. Searing marks the site of the first house in the township. On the stream from which the place take its name, which is a tributary to the Rockaway, entering the river at Denville, was erected the first mill in the township. This stream furnishes motive power for a saw-mill, a grist-mill and a cider-mill.
Among the earlier and worthy settlers of Mill Brook should be mentioned the names of William Schooley, Henry Brotherton, William Mott, David Tuttle, George Swain, Ulysses Kinney, Jacob Searing, Samuel Moore, and Messrs. Blanchard, Coe, Briant, Pierson, Munson, Lampson, Menard and Pruden, most of whom have descendants still remaining here.
Mount Freedom and Walnut Grove may be grouped together and regarded as one settlement. The Presbyterian church is the proper center of Mount Freedom, and the tavern half a mile east of the Presbyterian church the center of Walnut Grove. These two places embrace about fifty dwellings and a population of 300. At Mount Freedom there are a church, a post-office, a store and twenty-five dwelling houses. At Walnut Grove there are a tavern, a school-house, a church, a blacksmith shop and twenty-five dwellings.
Mine Hill is a settlement about two miles west of Dover, on the road to Succasunna, having four or five hundred inhabitants. If its surroundings be included the population may be estimated at eight hundred. The mines are the attraction which draw laborers here and furnish employment for them. Besides the iron mines there are a church, a school-house, a store and post-office. David Jenkins is the agent of the Thomas Iron Company, and popular and generally useful in the neighborhood.
VICTIMS OF THE CIVIL WAR.
The names of the soldiers from Randolph township who served in the army during the late civil war will be found in the general history of the county. The following are notices of those who died in the service:
Captain John T. Alexander, of Scotch parentage, early entered the United States army, and served five years as sergeant in Indian campaigns in Oregon and Nevada. When the civil war broke out he was residing at Walnut Grove, and entered the service as captain of Company B 27th New Jersey volunteers. He was at the battle of Fredericksburg in January 1863; at the front, supporting Pettit's battery, on the 11th of February at Newport News. May 6th 1863, in crossing the Cumberland in a flat boat which was capsized, Captain Alexander and thirty-one others were drowned.
Sergeant William H. Bailey was a native of Newfoundland, Morris county, N. J., and enlisted at Newton, August 7th 1861, in the 2nd New York volunteer cavalry. He saw active service in twenty battles, from Ball's Bluff to the engagement at Aldie, in all of which he made himself conspicuous for gallantry. In the fight at Aldie, in 1863, when Kilpatrick engaged and defeated Stewart, Sergeant Bailey was shot in the leg, which was amputated in the hospital at Alexandria, Va. He seemed to be improving, when one night an artery broke, and the next morning he was found dead in his bed.
Captain Edward Payson Berry was born in Dover, in 1839. At the breaking out of the war he was teaching school at Branchville, and studying for the ministry. He was a member of the Presbyterian church of Dover. August 18th 1861 he and his friend Captain Charles F. Gage bought uniforms and started for Harper's Ferry, Va., where they joined as privates Bramhall's 6th New York mounted battery. They served in this battery two months without pay, and without being mustered in. They were then transferred to the 5th New Jersey volunteers and mustered into the service. From this time young Berry served in every engagement his regiment was in--and it saw a great deal of service--until the time of his death, July 10th 1863. His first promotion was to the post of hospital steward. At the battle of Fair Oaks he was second lieutenant, and so conducted himself that he was promoted to be first lieutenant. Soon after he was made quartermaster, then adjutant, then captain. At the second battle of Bull Run he was taken prisoner and marched to Richmond; during the long march he received no food except some corn that fell from the feed baskets of the horses of the guard. After two weeks' confinement in Libby prison he was exchanged, and at once returned to his command. In the terrible carnage at Gettysburg, July 2nd 1863, he was acting major of his regiment in Sickles's advance, when Longstreet massed his forces upon him. He was wounded in the leg, and left on the field when the line fell back. Here he lay three days and nights without food or drink, except a bunch of cherries which had been shot off from a tree and fallen near him. On the 5th of July he was taken to the hospital at Gettysburg, where his leg was amputated, from the effects of which he died on the 10th of that month.
Erastus Brant was living in this township in 1862; and in that year he joined Company B 27th N. J. volunteers. He was under fire at. Fredericksburg and was with the regiment in its campaigns, doing his duty faithfully in every position to which he was assigned. He was one of those drowned on the 6th of May in the Cumberland River.
Burtis M. Broadwell, of Dover, enlisted early in the war in Company D 5th New Jersey volunteers. He was a faithful soldier, who saw a great deal of service, and died in hospital October 5th 1864.
Sergeant Charles H. Carrell was born in Center Grove, and continued to reside there till the outbreak of the Rebellion. He enlisted in May 1861 in Company B 2nd N. J. volunteers, and was soon promoted to the rank of sergeant. He served with marked fidelity and zeal through the campaigns of 1861, including the first battle of Bull Run. In the summer of 1862 he was taken sick and removed to the hospital at Point Lookout, Md., where he died on the 30th of July in that year.
Corporal William Harrison Case was born in this vicinity, and entered the service in August 1862 as corporal of Company I 15th N. J. At the battle of Fredericksburg, the first in which the regiment was engaged, he received a wound. On the 12th of May 1864, at Spottsylvania, his regiment was ordered to charge the enemy's works. They mounted the crest, and standing on the top of the parapet fired on the rebels. A rebel officer drew his revolver and shot Corporal Case through his arm, the ball passing into his body. He fell down at the foot of the enemy's works, and for nearly twenty-four hours lay there, being once struck once by a spent ball; finally in the darkness he managed to crawl off, and, the ambulances being busily engaged, he walked to Fredericksburg, a distance of twelve or more miles. From here he was taken to Washington, and placed in Carver Hospital, where he died, June 3d 1864.
Thomas Dean went out in the famous 69th (Irish) regiment of New York, and was shot off a pontoon bridge at the first battle of Fredericksburg.
Job W. De Hart was born at Center Grove, July 31st 1839. In the early part of the war he enlisted as a private in Company B 160th N. Y. volunteers, and served in the army under Generals Weitzel and Banks until his death, which occurred January 2nd 1864, in the U. S. hospital at New Orleans.
Abraham Earles went out in October 1864 in Company K 39th N. J. volunteers. He died of disease in the service.
Alonzo Freeman, of Dover, enlisted at the outbreak of the war, when 18 years of age, in Company H 61st N. Y. volunteers. At the battle of Antietam, September 17th 1862, he was wounded in the thigh, and he lay upon the field nearly a week before he was discovered. He was removed to the hospital at Frederick City, Md., where he died the latter part of October.
Noah Haggerty, of Dover, enlisted May 18th 1861 in the 1st N. J. Attached to the provost guard, he served at the headquarters of Kearney, Montgomery, Torbert and other generals, saw a great deal of service, and was a brave soldier. He died in May 1867 of consumption, contracted from cold and exposure in the army.
Charles Albert Hughson was a native of this township, and resided at Walnut Grove. Early in the contest he enlisted in a New Jersey regiment, and performed with distinguished zeal and ability the duties assigned him. At the terrible battle of the Wilderness he was severely wounded while doing his duty, and was removed to Fairmount Hospital, Baltimore, where he died June 16th 1864, aged 25 years.
Jacob Kinney, of this township, belonged to the 6th New York light artillery, and is supposed to have been killed in the Seven Days fight in 1862.
Dorastus B. Logan, a native of Randolph, was appointed captain of Company K 11th regiment of New Jersey volunteers, in July 1862. He was at the second battle of Bull Run, at Fredericksburg and at Chancellorsville; was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg July 2nd 1863, and died on the field.
James H. Losey, of Dover, went out with Captain Price in September 1862 in Company B 27th N. J. volunteers. He followed the fortunes of the regiment through all its service, doing his duty well, and when the 27th was mustered out, after ten months' service, he re-enlisted in Company B 33d N. J. His regiment was with Sherman on his famous "march to the sea," and in the summer of 1864 the brave fellow was wounded in the leg at the battle of Peach Tree Creek, before Atlanta. He was removed to the hospital at Kingston, Georgia, where he died from the effects of the amputation of his limb.
Andrew J. Love, of Dover, enlisted in Company A 1st N. J. cavalry, and was discharged because of sickness. He died March 4th 1862.
George Love, brother of the foregoing, of Company E 9th N. J. volunteers, was discharged because of sickness, and died February 24th 1862.
Sergeant James McDavitt was a native of Randolph, and a resident of Dover. August 18th 1862 he entered the service as sergeant of Company E 11th regiment of New Jersey volunteers. He was at the second Bull Run battle, at Fredericksburg and at Chancellorsville, where this company lost 9 killed and 27 wounded. Sergeant McDavitt's comrades Horton, Cook, Mann and O'Brien fell about him; then Captain Halsey was wounded, and McDavitt ran to his assistance, and while binding up his wound was struck in the head by a ball and died in a few moments.
Jacob Miller, a German by birth, joined Company E 11th N. J. volunteers, and with unflagging zeal followed it in its long marches and severe engagements, till the awful contest at Gettysburg on the 2nd of July 1863, where he gave his life for the country that adopted him.
Charles Mulligan, of Irish parentage, a resident of this township, went to the front with the 15th N. J. regiment in 1862, proved himself a gallant soldier, and was killed at the battle of Winchester. His body is supposed to have been buried on the field.
Daniel Palmer was a resident of Dover. In August 1862 he enlisted in Company E 11th N. J., and was in all the campaigns of this regiment. He received a bullet in his shoulder at Chancellorsville, and was removed to the 3d corps hospital at Acquia Creek, Va. He was taken to Chestnut Hill, Washington, D. C., where he died from his wounds, June 23d 1863.
Thomas Plumstead was a resident of Dover. He entered the service in October 1864, in Company K 39th N. J., and was with his regiment when it garrisoned Fort Davis, and with the command on April 2nd 1865, when it charged the enemy's works. In this charge he was struck by a bullet and instantly killed. His companions in arms bear witness that he was distinguished for bravery and uniform good behavior, and he died beloved and regretted by all.
John Powers was born at Mill Brook, where he continued to reside until the breaking out of the war. In 1861 he enlisted as an artificer in Company K 1st N. Y. engineers. He was with this company in all its various campaigns, until October 1862, when he was taken sick with a disease of the throat resembling diphtheria, from which he died on the 9th of that month.
Captain Benjamin Price, a native of New York, was teaching school at Mill Brook when the war broke out. Having some knowledge of military tactics he gathered the older boys of his school in front of the old Quaker meeting-house, and drilled them in military maneuvers; a number of these boys afterward entered the army. In the fall of 1861 he closed his school and entered the army, and was appointed captain of Company D 1st New York Excelsior regiment. He was wounded at Williamsburgh, and was in the battles of Bull Run (second), Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Manasses Gap. July 24th, having been brevetted major for his gallant conduct, as he was leading his troops in a charge on the enemy's works he was shot through the neck and instantly killed.
Elias Roff was a resident of Walnut Grove, and was drowned at Washington, D. C., while in the performance of his duty.
Private Henry Smith enlisted from Walnut Grove, and gave his life in behalf of his country. The date and manner of his death are not known.
Daniel D. Tuttle was born at Mill Brook. In the summer of 1862 he enlisted in Company B 27th N. J. He joined the army under Burnside on the 15th of December; was under fire at Fredericksburg, and participated in Burnside's famous "mud march," and most likely at that time, through fatigue and exposure, contracted the disease that finally terminated his life. Soon after that campaign he was taken sick and died, March 2nd 1863, in Odd Fellows' Hall, Washington.
Louis Weise was a Dane by birth and served in the army of his native country. He also enlisted from near Walnut Grove, in Company K 1st New York engineers, and was killed August 19th 1863, by a shell from Fort Sumter, while in the discharge of duty near Morris Island.
Sergeant Albert D. Wiggins, at the time when Captain Alexander was raising his company, was residing in Dover, employed as clerk in Breese's dry goods store. He entered the service for nine months as a sergeant in Company B 27th N. J.; was with his company at the first battle of Fredericksburg, marched with it through all its wearisome campaigns, and on the 6th of May 1863 shared a watery grave with his gallant captain in the Cumberland River, having been in the boat that was capsized.
Edward Wolfe resided near Walnut Grove, and at the breaking out of the war enlisted in Company K 1st New York engineers, as an artificer. He died of measles, January 16th 1862, at Hilton Head, S. C.
TOWN MEETINGS AND OFFICERS.
The early records of the township are lost, stolen, or destroyed, hence the list of officers cannot be obtained. There can be no doubt, however, that the township was organized in 1805, and town meetings regularly held, and the proper officers elected and installed, without interruption, until the present time.
The following township officers were elected March 8th 1881, the election being held in three different places.
1st (northern) election district--Judge of election, Sylvester Dickerson; inspectors of elections, Charles H. Eagles and Andrew Kaiser; clerk of election, John Frank Mase.
2nd (central) election district--Judge of election, John V. Cain; inspectors, James H. Neighbour and Peter Vanderhoof; clerk, James S. Melick.
3d (southern) election district--Judge of election, James Nortman; inspectors, Peter E. Coe and George H. Wolfe; clerk, Edward B. Lieurs.
Township clerk, James S. Melick; assessor, Erastus E. Potter; collector, Charles H. Munson; freeholder, James H. Carrell; township committee--Albridge C. Smith, James T. Spargo and John A. Casterline; commissioners of appeals--Charles Spargo, James W. Bryant and Isaac Hance; justice of the peace, Moses Blanchard; constables--Samuel M. Sutton, William T. Williams, Joseph R. Williams, John Leitze, Charles Trowbridge and John M. Smith; overseer of the poor, Elisha Meeker; pound-keepers--Samuel Burchell, William Barrett, Marvin Ackerson, Alexander W. Garrigues, George Blanchard.
The town of Dover has a population of about 3,300. It was incorporated in 1869, with the following boundaries:
An Act to Incorporate Dover.--Be it enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey that all that tract of land situate, lying and being in the township of Randolph and county of Morris, and within the limits and boundaries hereinafter mentioned and described--that is to say: beginning at a stone bridge in the road near the house of Mahlon Munson; thence in a straight line to the road to Walnut Grove, including the house of John Conrod; thence in a straight line to the junction of Wallam and Jackson Brooks, passing near the Lawrence farm-house; thence in a straight line to the road to Mine Hill, in front of the old Catholic church; thence in a straight line to the Dover and Sparta turnpike, including the wheelright shop of Sylvester Dickerson; thence in a straight line, including the houses of Sylvester Dickerson, Charles M. Tunis and Stephen C. Berry, to the division line between the townships of Randolph and Rockaway; thence in a straight line to the stone bridge in the road to Morristown, between the houses of Robert F. and Thomas Oram; thence in a straight line to the stone bridge, to place of beginning--containing about eleven hundred acres, shall be and the same is hereby ordained, constituted and declared to be a town corporate, and shall henceforth be called, known and distinguished by the name of Dover.
The act provided that the officers of the town should be a mayor, a recorder, two aldermen and five common councilmen; and directed "such of the inhabitants of of Dover as reside within the aforesaid limits, and who have resided in the county five months, and in the State one year, immediately preceding the election to be held for town officers, and who are in other respects legal voters, to assemble at the hotel of Isaac B. Jolley, in Dover aforesaid, on the first Monday in May next, and there by a plurality of votes to elect a mayor, one alderman, and three common councilmen, to hold their respective offices for two years, and a recorder, one alderman and two common councilmen, to hold their respective offices for one year; and the tickets to be voted at said election shall state term for which the said aldermen and common councilmen are respectively elected; and on the first Monday of May in each and every year thereafter the inhabitants aforesaid shall and may hold a like election at such place as may be designated by the common council, for such of the said members of common council whose terms shall have expired; and that at every election after the first election herein provided for the members of common council elected shall hold their respective offices for two years, and until their successors are elected and sworn into office," etc., etc.
The first officers, who were elected in May 1869, were the following: George Richards, mayor; James H. Neighbour, recorder; Mahlon H. Dickerson and Ephraim Lindsley, aldermen; Wm. H. McDavit, Alpheus Beemer, Thomas J. Halsey, Daniel F. Wiggins, and Martin V. B. Searing, common councilmen; Wm. H. Lambert, clerk.
THE STORES IN DOVER.
The people of what is now Dover were in early times compelled for purposes of trade to go to Morristown, Newark, or more distant places; but as the population increased the inconvenience of procuring household supplies from a distance created a demand for accommodation near home, and a store was opened in Dover.
The first store was started about the beginning of the present century, in what is known as the Hoagland house, which stood on the north side of the Rockaway River near the depot of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, and was kept by Canfield & Hunt.
The next store, which was a small one, was kept by Moses Hurd sen., near the old school-house on the corner of Dickerson street and Morris avenue. This house took fire and burned down, and was never rebuilt.
The stone house on the north side of Blackwell street, three doors from Warren street, where the residence of Sheriff Mc Davit now is, was built for a store and long used for that purpose. Being centrally situated it became the center of trade in the village. It was first kept by Israel Losey, who resided next door, where stands the large brick building used by the National Union Bank.
John M. Losey and Manning Rutan carried on a profitable store business in a small building about half a mile from Dover on the road to Sparta, near Sylvester Dickerson's. Mr. Rutan afterward moved to Newark and continued the same business there, and Mr. Losey erected a large building on Blackwell street next door to the Mansion House, where he continued in an extensive business till his death. His successor in this store-house was Ephraim Lindsley, who occupied it when it was destroyed in the great fire of 1880, which consumed a block of buildings on Blackwell street; these have been replaced by an elegant row of brick houses, and Mr. Lindsley and son continue the business at the old stand. Manning Rutan after an absence of many years returned to Dover, and kept store in the old stone building above the National Union Bank, on Blackwell street. Mr. Rutan was an excellent citizen and the generous patron of all moral and religious efforts. About sixteen years ago he moved from Dover to Michigan and purchased a large tract of land, which has proved to be a financial success.
Stores have multiplied since then, and in 1881 there were upward of seventy, great and small--twenty-five on Blackwell street, six on Dickerson street, six on Warren street, twenty-two on Sussex street, and twelve on other streets. These consist of general country stores, in which almost every article is offered for sale; three large drug stores, groceries, meat and vegetable markets, dry goods stores, hardware stores and so on, including every variety of merchandise, as books, periodicals, music, musical instruments, cigars and the like.
IRON WORKS AND WORKERS.
We have seen that John Jackson built a forge on Granny's Brook in 1722. He employed forgemen and carried on the iron business until 1753, when he became involved and was sold out by the sheriff, and his 527 acres were bought by Hartshorn Fitz-Randolph, an influential and leading member ef the Society of Friends, who purchased 300 acres adjacent, making his whole farm consist of about 900 acres.
Josiah Beman, who in 1757 bought the north side of Dover, soon afterward erected a forge on the Rockaway River just east of where the canal crosses the river, and continued the iron business which Jackson had abandoned. Mr. Beman was succeeded by Israel Canfield, of Morristown, who built a slitting-mill and took Jacob Losey as a partner. Mr. Losey, who was a native of Dover, built and occupied the house where Henry McFarlan lives, and superintended the works, while Israel Canfield continued his residence in Morristown. The latter put in capital and the former personal services. Canfield & Losey carried on the iron business till the war of 1812; that war checked this industry, and the treaty of peace, which opened American ports to British competition, paralyzed this business, not only in Dover and its vicinity, but throughout the country. Consequently after the war Canfield & Losey closed up their works, and sold at auction their property, which was purchased by Blackwell & McFarlan. Mr. Blackwell died in 1827, after which the property was held by McFarlan & Son & Ayres, who held it as trustees. In 1830 William Scott leased the property of these trustees and carried on the business. In 1832 it came into the possession of Henry McFarlan, who nine years afterward moved from New York to Dover, and himself conducted the business, which consisted of a rolling-mill, spike machine, rivet machine, steel furnace and foundry. In 1880 Mr. McFarlan sold these works to Judge Francis S. Lathrop, then receiver of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, who formed a company out of the stockholders of the railroad company, with a capital of $200,000. This company repaired the buildings and made other improvements, and is now doing a good business, making things very lively in Dover. This company was concerned in the extension of the High Bridge branch of the Central Railroad of New Jersey from Port Oram to Dover. This extension was completed to Dover and Rockaway and the trains commenced running in June 1881, thus increasing the demand for labor in this vicinity.
Felix Hinchman was superintendent of the iron works for several years, and was succeeded by Guy M. Hinchman, who was identified with them for a generation. More will be found concerning G. M. Hinchman on another page of this book.
The first blacksmith in Dover was probably Jesse King, who lived on Prospect street, where Dr. Condit resides, and had a blacksmith shop near his house in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Jesse King was the father of John D. King, Andrew King and Wm. King, and the grandfather of Dr. Joseph King and of Milford, Halsey and David King, who are still in the business of their grandfather Jesse. Nearly contemporaneous with the first blacksmith was William Ford, who was also a machinist. Elias Garrigus, who learned his trade with William Ford, was a blacksmith for the Dover Iron Company for more than a quarter of a century. William A. Dickerson, who also learned his trade with William Ford, and succeeded Elias Garrigus, has been in this business for over half a century, and is still carrying it on, with the prospcct of many years before him.
There are now several other blacksmiths in Dover besides those who have been mentioned--one or two in connection with carriage factories.
Upward of 40 iron mines have been worked in this township, known as Baker, Black Hills, Brotherton, Bryant, Byram, Combs, Canfield, Cooper, Corwin, Conner Fowland, Charles King, David Horton, De Hart, Dalrymple, Solomon Dalrymple, Dickerson, Erb, Evers, George, Henderson, Horton, Hubbard, Harvey, Hurd. Jackson, Hill, King, Lawrence, Lewis, Munson, McFarland, Millen, North River, Orchard, Randall Hill, Spring, Sullivan, Stirling, Scrub Oak, Trowbridge and Van Doren. Some of these mines are now idle. Seven mines are located in Irondale and very near to each other. The Dickerson mine at Ferromonte, which is the old Succasunna mine, the Byram mine and the Orchard mine are the most valuable. A further account of these mines will be found on page 63. The ore is of an excellent quality.
William Ford was a machinist who fifty years ago did considerable work in his line. His shop was first where the locomotives of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad are kept; he afterward had a larger shop at or near the corner of Blackwell and McFarlan streets.
John E. Hoagland was also a skillful machinist, and was for many years the superintendent of this department of work in the Dover iron works. He was succeeded in this position by John Mase, who continued to occupy it till the property was sold to the new company.
The Morris County Machine and Iron Company is spoken of on page 61. It consists of a president, secretary and treasurer, and seven directors, as follows; President, George Richards; secretary and treasurer, William H. Lambert; directors, Henry McFarlan, Columbus Beach, M. D., I. B. Jolley, Richard George, I.W. Searing, Alpheus Beemer, George Richards.
THE SILK FACTORY.
A stock company, formed under the lead of Alpheus Beemer, is erecting a large brick building a little west from the center of Dover and on Granny's Brook, about 200 feet in front and four stories high, which will furnish room for 200 hands or more, to manufacture American silk.
CARPENTERS AND MASONS.
Emigrants who make their homes in the wilderness, and are content for a time to dwell in temporary cabins or log houses, usually feel competent to perform for themselves the labor of house carpenters. Some dwellings, even in such times, will appear more pretentious than others; and the owners, if skilled in the use of the ax and the saw, will be sought after to assist their neighbors in improving their houses or building new ones. Such services, frequently repeated, give one the advantage of surpassing others and lift him to the rank of a mechanic in his department, especially among a class where no educated mechanie resides. In this way some of the earliest residents grew into the business of carpenters, and did good work. Still the more ambitious were accustomed to go to Morristown or Newark for skilled labor when they proposed to erect a substantial frame building.
Mordecai Wilson, who was a carpenter and also a moulder, and worked for the Dover Iron Company, is among the earliest of those who resided in the township whose names can be recalled. His son followed the business and worked on some of the finest buildings erected here in his day.
James Searing, a native of the town, was for half a century, together with his sons, known as the principal carpenter in the place. His brother, Jacob Searing, who built and worked a saw-mill at Mill Brook, carried on the same trade. His sons, Isaac and Martin Searing, are the principal persons now engaged in this business.
Mr. Palmer and son are old citizens who have done much work in this line of business. J. J. Vreeland is an excellent carpenter and well known. The names of Joseph Reed and others are deserving mention. Mr. Reed, who learned his trade with James Searing, was for several years boss of the car factories of Dover, where he turned out some excellent work.
For years the first settlers in Randolph were obliged to go outside of the township for masons. Dennis Dalrymple of Morristown did all the stone work and plastering as a matter of course for the people in Dover and vicinity. At length, about the beginning of the present century, a mason named Fairchild moved into the township, and found employment here until he moved to Denville. Daniel Lampson, a native of Randolph, early succeeded in this business, and though consumptive in constitution was an efficient and excellent mason, and lived and worked at his trade till a good old age. David Tucker for two score years and more, with his sons and other employes, has supplied the wants of Dover and vicinity in this department of work. Abram Ross, Ira Cooper and others have long been known as good workmen in Dover belonging to this craft.
The Union Bank of Dover was formed in 1832. It was owned almost entirely by Anson G. Phelps, a wealthy iron merchant of New York city. The following were its first officers: President, Colonel John Scott; cashier, Thomas B. Segur (till his death, in 1854); directors--Richard Brotherton, William Scott, Jacob Wilson, Joseph Dalrymple, Jacob Hurd, Israel C. Losey, John M. Losey, Freeman Wood, Alexander Dickerson and Joseph Dickerson jr.
In 1866, when the national banking system came into operation, the "Union" closed up its affairs, paying all its liabilities. A private bank called "Segur's Bank" was organized in 1867; it continued till 1871, and received and paid the old bills of the Union Bank. The National Union Bank of Dover was organized in 1872. The same year the Dover Bank was chartered, which was a State bank and which consolidated with the National Union Bank in the year 1879. The officers of the National Union Bank were: Columbus Beach, M. D., president; Jay S. Treat, cashier; Edward Smith, bookkeeper; (???) Graff, teller; directors--George Richards, Richard George, Ephraim Lindsley, Henry McFarlan, Hudson Hoagland.
THE MORRIS CANAL.
This canal, whose construction is elsewhere narrated, was of great benefit to northern New Jersey, and was the cause of this portion of the State increasing in population faster than the southern portion. It tapped the coal regions of Pennsylvania, and had a decided influence in reviving the iron industry. So great were the difficulties of transporting iron previously that "a ton of iron could be carried from Archangel, on the White Sea, to New York for the same price as from Berkshire Valley." It was a gala day in Dover when the canal was ready for use, in 1831. A handsome boat was built and richly decorated, called "The Dover, of Dover." Byram Pruden, now in his 90th year (the only surviving soldier of 1812 in Randolph), was appointed captain, and made a successful trip. Judge Freeman Wood, who was at that time a partner in the store of Israel Losey, went on "The Dover, of Dover," as supercargo, and brought back goods for his store. It was the most sensational day that Dover had thus far seen; and henceforth New York was more easily reached.
Had it not been for the canal the iron mines would not have been developed, and the iron business would have been discontinued for many years.
The first post-office was kept by Jacob Losey; the exact date of his appointment we have been unable to as certain, but it is probable that he was appointed in the first decade of this century, though possibly, as some say, not till 1820--nearly thirty years after the establishment of an office at Rockaway, where in 1791 Colonel Joseph Jackson was appointed postmaster by General Washington. Jacob Losey's successors in this department have been David Sandford, Sydney Breese, Ephraim Lindsley, Wilmot Thompson, Alpheus Beemer, and Guido M. Hinchman, who is the present incumbent.
This post-office is now kept in a convenient and spacious apartment of the brick building used for the National Union Bank. Though the Dover post-office did but little business at first, this business has grown until the Dover office has become the greatest in the county except Morristown, and is placed among the classified post-offices, with salary affixed, the postmasters of which are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Dover postmaster now receives a salary of $1,800 per annum.
The first tavern in Dover was commenced in 1808. In 1792 Dover contained only four dwellings and a forge. Three of these buildings remained in 1842, and were known as the Beeman, Augur and Doty dwellings. In 1808 the Augur house was enlarged to fit it for a tavern, and it was afterward known as the "Old Tavern House." It stood inside of Mr. McFarlan's park, near the northeastern corner, the old road then extending in front of this house about 300 feet south of the canal and on the north side of the residence of Mr. McFarlan. It was torn down or removed when the park was inclosed, about 1860. This tavern was kept by Peter Hoagland.
The second hotel in Dover was kept by Jacob Hurd, who married the daughter of Peter Hoagland, erected a building on the corner of Blackwell and Sussex streets, and kept a popular and profitable inn there for a great many years. He at length sold out to Jackson & Jolley, who together continued the business for a while, and then Mr. Jackson sold out to I. B. Jolley, who enlarged the buildings and made other judicious improvements, and so added to the good reputation the house had under Jacob Hurd that it has acquired the name of being one of the best kept hotels in the State. It is called the Mansion House. Mr. Jolley is still the popular proprietor.
The stone building known as the Stickle House, on the corner of Blackwell and Warren streets, was originally built by the Dover Iron Company, and used for a hotel. From 1831 to 1847 it was used for a bank, called the Union Bank of Dover. When the new banking house next door to the Presbyterian church was opened the stone house was again used as a hotel. It has frequently changed keepers. Mr. Roff kept it before it was a bank, and after it ceased to be a bank it was kept by Mr. Van Deveer and others, until it was purchased by Edward Stickle. Owing to the popularity of the Mansion House the various keepers did not meet with much success until it came into the hands of its present possessor, Mr. Melek, an experienced inn-keeper, who has improved its reputation and given it a good degree of popularity.
A third tavern was opened about 1872 on the corner of Sussex and Clinton streets, by Charles Searing. Though not as advantageously located in reference to the railroad station, nor as spacious in its accomodations as the other inns, still the patronage of Searing's Hotel has been steadily increasing, and since the extension of the Central Railroad of New Jersey to Dover it has done a profitable business.
Another house was opened on the eastern part of Blackwell street, under the name of the Miner's Hotel; this was more of a boarding house than a hotel proper, and was shortlived.
The first express business in Dover was started in 1860 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, employing Mr. H. Breese. This company sold out to the Traders' Express, and J. M. Losey acted as their agent. In 1870 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company bought out the Traders' Express; Wm. A. Waer has been their agent ever since, and is justly appreciated for his promptness and fidelity.
The Central Express Company, connected with the Central Railroad of New Jersey, employed David A. Searing, who drove a stage from Dover to Port Oram, at that time the terminus of the Central road. Since the extension of that road to Dover J. M. Brown has acted as the express agent.
The names of the pastors are to be found in connection with the histories of their churches. The six lawyers are James H. Neighbour, Albridge C. Smith, Wm. T. Leport, J. Ford Smith, Moses Blanchard and B. C. Megie jr. The names of physicians are Thomas D. Crittenden, Joseph D. King, Isaiah W. Condit, A. Rossi, George O. Cummins, R. Bennet, Wm. Derry and Miss Mary Ford.
Of these Dr. Crittenden and Dr. King were born in Dover. Dr. Crittenden is the son of Dr. Ira Crittenden, who came from Lennox, Mass., when a young man, studied with Dr. Pierson, of Morristown, and graduated at the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons. In 1812 he married Harriet, youngest daughter of Stephen Jackson. In 1813 he built the house where Thomas Oram now lives, at Pleasant Valley, where he lived the remainder of his life, devoted to his profession. Two of his sons succeeded him in his profession--Wm. Crittenden at Rockaway, and Thomas Crittenden at Dover. Before Dr. Ira Crittenden began to practice in Randolph the people of this township sought medical aid chiefly from Morristown.
Dr. Condit, though not a native of Randolph, was born in Succasunna; he is a descendant on his mother's side from General William Winds, and has practiced longer in Dover than any other physician except Dr. Crittenden. His original progenitor in this country, John Condit, came from London to Newark in 1680. His son Peter moved to Orange. Peter's son John moved to Morris county, and his descendants were Jonathan, Isaac, Uzal and Isaiah Condit.
Leonhard Nachbor, or Leonard Neighbour, came to German Valley when a boy in 1707, and settled on a farm of 325 acres, about one mile below the Presbyterian church. This farm is still in the family, occupied at present by Silas Neighbour, brother of James. Leonard Neighbour died in 1766, aged 68; his son Leonard died in 1806, aged 75; the latter's son Leonard died in 1854, aged 90. David Neighbour, son of the last named, is still living, verging toward 90. His son James H. was the first settled lawyer in Dover, and has won a good reputation and acquired an extensive practice.
In 1848 a select school was held in Dover, in the basement of the Presbyterian church, by the Rev. David Stevenson. The efficient instruction of this energetic teacher not only benefited his pupils, but awakened an interest in the community for a more thorough course of education which has never died out.
In 1850 a select school was opened in Prospect street, by Mrs. Anna C. Whittlesey, who had been a missionary on the island of Ceylon, but returned to her native land after her husband's death. Mrs. Whittlesey built a neat school-house, and taught in it till her second marriage, to the Rev. Thornton A. Mills, D. D. Her labors as a teacher were appreciated, and some of her pupils still make grateful mention of the benefit they received from them. When this school was discontinued the Rev. B. C. Megie, J. L. Allen, Dr. I. M. Condit and others formed themselves into a company, erected a new school-house near Mrs. Whittlesey's, and employed teachers from time to time. Among those who taught with much acceptance were William Hall, S. C. Conant, Mr. Schriver, S. C. Megie and B. Chalmers Nevius. This was followed by a boarding and day school in the house of Rev. B. C. Megie, which was and is still conducted by his daughters. This school, called the Dover Institute, was designed for young ladies, but admitted both sexes. Many of the pupils have become teachers; a few boys from this institutution have entered college, and several young ladies have been prepared for Vassar and Wellesley Colleges.
Mention should also be made of the schools held in the Stone Academy--a building erected for church and school purposes. The upper floor was used by the Presbyterian church as its place of worship from 1835 to 1842, when the members occupied their own church edifice. The same room was afterward occupied by the Protestant Episcopal church until its beautiful stone sanctuary was completed in 1872. The first floor of the Stone Academy was used for school purposes. Among the popular teachers there may be mentioned Joseph H. Babcock, a young man of promising talents and "apt to teach." He, while teaching, studied law, yet never entered on its practice, but studied theology and entered the ministry of the Presbyterian church, and became an eloquent preacher. He took charge of a church in northern Indiana, where he was loved for his eminent services, but from overwork early died.
Another educator, who had a shortlived notoriety, was one Averill, alias Shield, who claimed to be a theological student, but who brought a woman to his boarding house whom he called his wife. It was ascertained that she was another man's wife; and a warrant was obtained for his arrest. Learning what was going on he shrewdly concealed himself in a hearse which was standing in the street, whence he saw those who were in search of him and heard their conversation. Stiff and silent as a dead man, he remained the whole day without any motion; and in the darkness of the night made his departure. He was not pursued, nor ever after heard from.
Another of the teachers of this academy, and one highly esteemed both for his mental and moral qualities, was Captain Franklin Pease. He taught several years in Dover, and then entered into the mercantile business in his native place, Pittsfield, Mass. He was appointed captain of a company from that State during the civil war, was wounded in the battle of the Wilderness, and died in an ambulance before he could reach the hospital.
Among the highly successful teachers of Dover should be mentioned the name of Darius Calkins, who taught a longer time than most teachers in this place. He was not only an able instructor, but a man of extensive knowledge and sound judgment. His influence over the young people was great, and always in the right direction. He, like Captain Pease, after a time changed his vocation and engaged in mercantile employments in New York city, where he is still living.
Several excellent lady teachers were employed in the Stone Academy, whose names we are not able to obtain; and the names already mentioned may include some who taught both in the public school and in the Stone Academy. Miss Hattie Breese was one who was esteemed for her successful mode of teaching; another was Miss Pike, and others equally deserving honorable mention must be passed over because we have not their names.
THE CHURCHES OF DOVER.
Lord Perth, a large stockholder in the lands of East Jersey, and a man of great influence among Scotch Presbyterians, induced many Presbyterians to emigrate to New Jersey about the same time that the excellent Robert Barclay prevailed on so many Quakers of Scotland to come; and Presbyterians, who early formed an important and even ascendant portion of the population of this province, soon made their way into this part of Morris county. Within ten years after the erection of the Quaker meeting-house a Presbyterian church was organized at Rockaway, and Dover was recognized for many long years as a part of that parish. The Presbyterians usually attended that church and aided in the support of the pastor. In the meantime they sustained a prayer meeting once a week in Dover, commonly at the school-house and not infrequently at private houses. A Sabbath-school was organized in 1816, which has been continued ever since. In 1831 the Rev. Edwin F. Hatfield, D. D., then just licensed to preach the gospel, assisted the Rev. Dr. King of Rockaway in conducting a protracted meeting, which resulted in an extensive revival of religion. Dr. Hatfield preached many successive evenings in the school-house in Dover, and a goodly number of persons became practically interested in Christian duties, who were ultimately formed into a church. A few of these persons are still living, but the greater part have departed this life.
The First Presbyterian Church of Dover was organized April 23d 1835, by a committee appointed by the Presbytery of Newark, consisting of the Rev. John Ford, of Parsippany, and Rev. Peter Kanouse, of Succasunna. The church consisted of the following twenty members: James Ford, Charity Ford, Martha Chrystal, James Searing, Rachel Searing, Thomas M. Sturtevant, Maria Sturtevant, William A. Dickerson, Louisa M. Hurd, Mary Wilson, Melinda Tuttle, John K. Bayles, Phebe Ann Bayles, Elizabeth Hoagland, Phebe King, Margaret King, Thomas B. Segur, Sarah P. Segur, Jabez L. Allen, Caroline C. Allen.
J. L. Allen, Thomas B. Segur and James Ford were chosen and duly set apart to the office of ruling elders. Of the above twenty persons eight survive. Of the elders Mr. Segur died in 1854, and J. L. Allen September 22nd 1869. James Ford, though 90 years of age, is in good health and able to act as an elder.
The first minister was the Rev. James Wyckoff, who was unanimously called to become pastor August 12th 1835, and was installed November 24th 1835, when the Rev. Peter Kanouse preached the sermon, Rev. Barnabas King, of Rockaway, gave the charge to the pastor, and Rev. Dr. Joseph Campbell, of Hackettstown, father-in-law of Mr. Wyckoff, gave the charge to the people. Mr. Wyckoff became ill after a pastorate of two years and removed to Hackettstown, where he died in May 1838.
The Rev. Robert R. Kellogg, of New York, began to supply the pulpit in July 1838, and continued till May 1839, when he received a call to the Presbyterian church of Gowanus, Brooklyn, N. Y. Mr. Kellogg preached in other churches, and was supplying the pulpit of the church at Port Jervis, when, after preaching twice on Sunday, he was suddenly taken ill and died the same night, September 26th 1866. He was succeeded by Rev. B. C. Megie, who commenced his ministry in July 1839, preaching part of the time at Berkshire Valley. He was installed by the presbytery of Rockaway, N. S., November 15th 1842, which was the day of dedication of the new church. Previously the congregation had worshiped in the old stone academy.
A second church was erected on the site of the old one, and dedicated July 26th 1872. Rev. Harvey D. Ganse, of the Reformed church of New York city, made an address at the laying of the corner stone, and President Cattell, of Lafayette College, Easton, preached the sermon at the dedication. The new church cost about $30,000, which was all provided for at the time of the dedication, and every pew was rented when the church was opened for service; the new organ cost $2,000. June 1st 1875 Mr. Megie left this church and accepted a call to the church of Pleasant Grove, on Schooley's Mountain, where he still resides.
The Rev. William W. Halloway jr. was installed pastor of the Presbyterian church of Dover October 25th 1876, when Rev. J. A. French, of Morristown, preached the sermon, Rev. Albert Erdman, of Morristown, gave the charge to the pastor, and Rev. Dr. Irving gave the charge to the people. Mr. Halloway is still in the pastorate of that church.
In 1878 a parsonage was built costing $7,000, and in 1881 the new church, damaged by a severe gale, was repaired and frescoed anew at a cost of $2,000, all of which is paid.
In 1880 the church reported to presbytery 248 members, with seven ruling elders, as follows: James Ford, Titus Berry, I. W. Condict, Ephraim Lindsley, J. H. Neighbour, J. S. Treat, A. C. Smith.
THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF DOVER
was organized and the church building dedicated in 1838. A class meeting had been regularly held for a considerable time before this. At the time of the dedication of the church the Rev. Manning Force was the presiding elder, and the Rev. J. O. Rodgers was the first minister. Mr. Rodgers is still living.
The following pastors have successively supplied the church: James M. Tuttle, Rodney Winans, William E. Perry, M. E. Ellison, J. Dobbins, William Burroughs (deceased), J. P. Fort, William W. Christine (who died in 1881), E. M. Griffiths, J. O. Winner, A. M. Palmer, Garet Van Horn, S. W. Hillard, John Scarlet, E. A. Hill (deceased), Martin Herr, I. W. Seran, C. S. Coit, Thomas Walters (deceased), J. R. Daniels, S. B. Rooney, J. J. Morrow and H. D. Opdyke, the present pastor.
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The Protestant Episcopal church of Dover was begun under the labors of Rev. Charles W. Rankin, rector of the first Episcopal church of Morristown, and of Bishop Doane. Henry McFarlan of Dover was appointed reader, and maintained the worship till 1852, when Rev. Charles H. Little became the minister, and continued one year. His successors in the rectorship were as follows: Rev. John D. Berry, 1853, one year; Nathan W. Monroe, 1854, one year; Charles S. Hoffman, 1855, one year; Francis Canfield, 1856, one year; H. C. H. Dudley, 1857, three years; Thomas W. Street, 1860, one year; David Margot, 1862, one year; James A. Upjohn, 1863, six years; J. F. Butterworth, 1869, two years; E. E. Butler, 1871, nine years; D. D. Bishop, 1880, present incumbent; Messrs. McFarlan and Eyland acting as lay readers when the church was without a regular pastor. Confirmation has been administered by Bishops Doane, Odenheimer and Starkey.
Worship was held in the old stone academy which was built in 1830 until the erection of the new church, which was consecrated, free from debt, in 1871. The new church cost over $15,000, which was paid by Henry McFarlan, George Richards and Mr. Eyland, each furnishing $5,000. There are now forty-five communicants, and a fair congregation.
FREE METHODIST CHURCH OF DOVER.
In the year 1870, under the lead of its pastor, the Rev. C. S. Coit, the First Methodist Episcopal Church decided to build a new church edifice. A lot was selected on Blackwell street with a view to erecting a building that would cost about $40,000. In the meantime it was proposed first to erect a chapel, and to build the church sooner or later as circumstances should allow. One of the leading members of this church was John W. Searing, a young man highly esteemed in the community for his exemplary character, and loved by the Methodists for his fervent piety. Mr. Searing attended a meeting of the Free Methodists at Rahway and connected himself with that society. One of their principles is cheap houses of worship; and Mr. Searing opposed the project of building a new church edifice that to him seemed to be extravagant. In his opposition he early organized a class meeting of Free Methodists. By invitation, the Rev. W. Gould, an influential member of this denomination, preached in the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Dover August 3d 1871. Shortly after, Lewis & Whitlock's hall was hired for the use of this society. Mrs. Dunning of the Sabine mission of New York addressed large audiences. A quarterly meeting, under the charge of Rev. W. Gould, was held in this hall October 20th, 21st and 22nd 1871. This may be considered as the beginning of the organization in Dover. John W. Searing was the first member received into the church; Manning F. Searing and his wife were the next members.
During the fall meetings were conducted by Rev. Mr. Gould and other preachers from the surrounding circuits. In 1872 the old Presbyterian church, made vacant by the erection of a new one, was occupied by the Free Methodists, and Rev. W. M. Parry did the most of the preaching. Upwards of fifty persons professed to be converted and joined the society. In July of this year a camp meeting was held on the grounds of John A. Casterline, a mile east of Dover. At this time a lot on Sussex street was donated by Manning Searing for the erection of a church. The building was completed at a cost of $5,000, and was dedicated Sunday December 8th 1872, the Rev. B. P. Roberts, president of the Free Methodist body, preaching and conducting the exercises. The church lot was encumbered by a mortgage held by Henry McFarlan, which sold under foreclosure for $1,000, the amount being paid by members of the Free Methodist church living, for the most part, outside of the bounds of the Dover society. The church since its formation has been under the care of the following pastors: Revs. W. M. Parry, 1872-74; W. Jones, 1874, 1875; J. Glenn, 1875-77; J. E. Bristol, 1877-79; W. Jones, 1879-81; J. W. Tamblyn, 1881.
Religious services in the German language were held in the Presbyterian church in 1871-74 by the Rev John Heberle, of Myersville, on Friday evenings, and occasionally the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered, the pastor of the Presbyterian church, Rev. B. C. Megie, assisting in this ordinance, and also in the baptism of German children. In 1875 the Rev. Johannes Richelson, of the Morristown German church, succeeded Mr. Heberle in conducting the German service in Dover.
THE SWEDISH CHURCH.
In 1872 and 1874 a number of Christian Swedes held religious services in the Presbyterian church. A Swedish pastor from Brooklyn, called Father Heornst, often conducted this service. At length, by the liberality of the people of Dover and the self-denial of the Swedes themselves, a church edifice was erected on Grant street, and this church called the Rev. P. Smith to be its pastor. Mr. Smith was much beloved, and had a small but interested congregation, until the paralysis of the iron industry scattered many of the Swedish miners. He was then compelled to leave his charge, and accepted an invitation to the pastorate of a Swedish church in Perth Amboy. Still he remembers his Dover flock, and often visits and preaches to them, so as to keep them together.
SECOND METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF DOVER.
This church, a branch from the First Church, was organized in 1876, and occupies the church building of the First church which was dedicated in 1838 and made vacant by the occupancy of the new building on Blackwell street, erected in 1872. The old church was remodeled and improved in 1876. The pastors have been as follows: Rev. W. H. McBride, one year; Abram M. Palmer, one year; William I. Gill, three years; and Rev. William H. McCormick, the present pastor, who commenced his pastorate here in 1881.
SOCIETIES IN DOVER.
A number of fraternities or social organizations exist in Dover--the Young Men's Christian Association, Sons of Temperance, Temple of Honor, Free Masons, Odd Fellows, Order of United Americans, Sovereigns of Industry, etc.
THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
of Dover was formed in the fall of 1868, in the Presbyterian church of Dover. An address was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Barclay of the Baptist church of Easton. After the address the association was formed and officers were chosen. The leading members of this association were Warren Segur, L. C. Bierworth, F. V. Wolfe, Garret Garrabrant, William H. Mase, E. Kirk Talcott, William F. Mattes, Daniel Derry. S. D. Gould, John Bulkly, A. J. Coe, C. F. Trowbridge, William E. Megie and others. These young men possessed sterling principles and a manly spirit of moral enterprise, and were spoiling for something to do. Once organized, though belonging to different religious denominations, they went to work. They sought out the poor, the sick and the neglected. They relieved many needy ones, brought some to the house of God and more to the Sunday-schools, and induced several young persons to enter upon a better and happier way of life. They hired a hall and opened a prayer meeting on Sunday afternoon, which is still continued. This prayer meeting became popular and was crowded, and the members of the association took an active part in its proceedings, which awakened in them and in the community a new religious interest. A revival commenced and a large number of young and old were converted. The association opened an evening school for free instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, and other branches of learning. Several foreigners, especially Swedes, learned to read and speak English.
In the fall of 1870 the association arranged for a course of public lectures and other entertainments during the winter. Among the lecturers were Olive Logan, R. J. De Cordova, Justin McCarthy, E. P. Whipple and P. B. Du Chaillu. The course proved unprofitable; at its close the society was in debt over three hundred dollars. An appeal was made to the churches for help, which was feebly responded to, and the association was for a time embarrassed by the burden of its debt.
The association still abounds in good works; it has promoted Christian fellowship among different denominations, and has aided in making the public sentiment of Dover religious.
Several organizations have been formed to repress the evils of drunkenness and to prevent the sober from becoming intemperate. The first and oldest temperance society in Dover relied only on the signing of the pledge of total abstinence for the accomplishment of its object. At one time this open organization wrought wonders. The churches indorsed total abstinence, religious men practiced it, and honorable men praised it. All stores which sold intoxicating drinks abandoned the sale. The licensed inn was closely watched, and the public sentiment of the place was a great restraint on the vender. Then the Washingtonian movement broke out, and drunkards began to reform all over the country by hundreds and by thousands. This reform spread through Randolph township, until a drunkard was a rarity. At length a relapse took place, and reformed inebriates returned to their cups, like "the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." To prevent this apostasy secret temperance societies were formed--Rechabites, Sons of Temperance, Good Templars, the Temple of Honor and other orders. It was not the design of these secret societies to supersede the open organizations; still they absorbed a good portion of the working element from the former method of work, diverted public attention, and almost suspended the action of the previous societies. Anxious to secure the welfare of the drunkard, and failing to secure that object through secret organizations, yet unwilling to abandon the effort, the temperance men entered upon a new method of warfare, and demanded the suppression of the liquor traffic, the removal of the temptation from the intemperate. This element in the temperance reform is now embodied in the Temperance Alliance.
Three methods of seeking deliverance from the evils of intemperance have their separate organizations in Dover: First, the old society, with its simple pledge; second, the secret society, which endeavors to keep its members from falling; third, the alliance, which would unite all in an effort to prohibit the sale.
Besides these three societies a fourth temperance society has recently been organized in Dover, known as "The Law and Order League." This society opposes the evil not by engaging in battle against the whole army of intemperance at once, but aims to attack its weaker points, and to destroy its forces little by little. Acknowledging that there are some legislative enactments designed to restrain the evil, it propses to enforce those enactments, to suppress the unlicensed sale, and to punish the violations of the license law. This society is at the present time the most vigorous organization in Dover.
LODGES AND COUNCILS.
Besides the Young Men's Christian Association and the temperance societies there are seven other fraternities in Dover, as follows:
Acacia Lodge, No. 20, F. & A. M.--Officers: F. H. Beach, W. M.; George M. Dorman, S. W.; Charles A. Gillen, J. W.; Edward Jackson, treasurer; James Tonkin, secretary.
Randolph Lodge, No. 130, I. O. O. F.--Cooney Mann, N. G.; Wm. Doney, V. G.; George Mann, treasurer; B. L. Hedden, secretary.
Bethlehem Encampment, No. 50, I. O. O. F.--Daniel Treloar, C. P.; James Tonkin, S. W.; J. J. Vreeland, treasurer; B. L. Hedden, secretary.
Major Anderson Post, No. 54, G. A. R.--D. S. Allen, post commander.
Dover Council, No. 6, O. U. A. M.--Alonzo Searing, secretary.
Morris Council, No. 541, Royal Arcanum.--A. C. Smith, regent; C. A. Covert, secretary; James S. Melick, treasurer.
Harmony Council Sovereigns of Industry.--Robert Phillips, president; B. L. Hedden, secretary; W. J. Turner, treasurer.
HON. MAHLON DICKERSON.
Of the leading men who were long residents of the township of Randolph, whose influence has made the community what it is, the name of the Hon. Mahlon Dickerson should stand first. He occupied more prominent positions than any other citizen. He lived at Ferromonte and owned and worked the Succasunna iron mine, now better known as the Dickerson mine. He was judge, general, member of the Legislature, governor of New Jersey, member of Congress and secretary of the navy in the cabinet of President Andrew Jackson. The following sketch of his life was prepared by Edmund D. Halsey, Esq., of Morristown, for another purpose and is inserted here by permission.
Governor Mahlon Dickerson, of whose name it has been well said none have been more respected, honored and distinguished in New Jersey, was descended from the Puritan Philemon Dickerson, who emigrated from England early in the history of the Massachusetts colony and who was among the freemen of Salem in 1638. In 1643 he purchased from the Indians a large tract of land on the north shore of Long Island and took up his residence at Southold. Here he died at the age of 74, leaving two sons, Thomas and Peter.
Peter Dickerson, son of Thomas and grandson of Philemon, came to Morris county, N. J., in 1741, and October 20th 1745 married his first wife, Ruth Coe, daughter of Joseph Coe. He was an ardent patriot and his house in Morristown was from the beginning of the difficulties with Great Britain a gathering place for those of kindred mind. He took an active part in awakening and organizing the opposition to the acts of the British crown, and on the ninth day of January 1775 was appointed one of the "committee of observation" for Morris county. On the first day of May following he was elected a delegate to the Provincial Congress which met at Trenton the same month. February 7th 1776 he was commissioned captain of a company in the third battalion of the first establishment, and on the 29th of November following captain of a company in the third battalion of the second establishment. Both the companies he commanded were equipped at his private expense, and the money he so advanced stands to his credit this day at Washington unpaid. He died May 10th 1780, in the 56th year of his age. He had eight children by his first wife, one of whom, Esther, married Colonel Jacob Drake, who was also a delegate from Morris county to the Provincial Congress of 1775, and who was colonel of the western regiment of New Jersey militia until he resigned to become a member of the first Assembly of New Jersey.
Jonathan Dickerson, the second child and oldest son of Peter, was born September 20th 1747 (O. S.), and on the 12th of October 1768 was united in marriage to Mary Coe, daughter of Thomas Coe, by Rev. Timothy Johnes. Like his father he took a prominent part in the politics of his county. He also displayed the talent for invention for which many of his descendants have been distinguished. The eleventh patent issued by our government, bearing the signature of Washington, was granted to him for an improved water wheel. In 1783 he was a member of the State Legislature from Morris county. The iron mines with which his region of country abounded, and which have added so much to its wealth, were then little regarded. The rich ore bed now known as the Dickerson mine was originally returned by the proprietors of West Jersey in 1715 to John Reading, who a year or two after sold it to Joseph Kirkbride for a mere trifle, though the presence of the mineral was so well known even to the Indians that they called the neighborhood "Socosonna" (which meant in their language "heavy stone"), which usage has changed to Succasunna. Jonathan Dickerson seems to have recognized its value, and in 1779 we find deeds to him from some of the Kirkbride heirs, and in partnership with one Minard La Fevre he purchased the whole. He was not, however, successful in making a fortune from his speculation, and it remained for his son Mahlon, who bought the property in 1807 from the heirs of his father and La Fevre, to develop its wealth, and in his hands it yielded a handsome income, which made its owner independent.
Jonathan Dickerson died November 7th 1805, leaving six children--Mahlon, the oldest and the subject of this sketch; Silas; Mary, afterwards wife of David S. Canfield; Aaron, John B., and Philemon. His widow survived him many years, and died March 1st 1827. She was buried with her husband at Succasunna.
Mahlon Dickerson was born at a place called Hanover Neck, in Morris county, April 17th 1770. He probably fitted for college at Morristown, which at that time possessed a classical school. In the manuscript diary of Joseph Lewis, a wealthy gentleman of Morristown and clerk of the county, is this entry: "1786, Monday, 27th November, Jonathan Dickerson's son (Mahlon) began to board at 7s. per week."
In 1789 Mahlon entered the American Whig Society at Princeton, and graduated the same year from the College of New Jersey, in the same class with Dr. Hosack. He returned to Morristown and engaged in the study of the law, and in November 1793 was admitted to the bar of New Jersey. In the following year he accompanied Captain Kinney's cavalry company in the expedition sent to Western Pennsylvania to suppress the whiskey rebellion--probably as an unattached volunteer, as his name does not appear in the list of that command. He was one of Governor Mifflin's aids during the expedition.
During the years 1795 and 1796 he was in active practice in his native county, his name frequently appearing in the minutes of the court. In the record of a case in the common pleas, July term 1797, is the quaint entry that "Mr. Mahlon Dickerson, the attorney for the above plaintiff, having removed to foreign parts and having agreed that Alexander C. McWhorter be substituted, &c., the court ordered the substitution to be made." The "foreign parts" were in the city of Philadelphia, where he was admitted to the bar of Pennsylvania the same year, and where he entered the law office of John Milnor, afterward a distinguished clergyman of the Episcopal church. He was shortly afterward elected one of the common councilmen of Philadelphia, and in 1802 he was appointed by President Jefferson, of whom he was a devoted admirer, commissioner of bankruptcy. January 1st 1805 Mr. Dickerson was appointed by Governor McKeon adjutant general of Philadelphia. His name also appears in the record as quartermaster-general. The title of "general" adhered to him through life, and even after his appointment as governor it was the one most generally given to him. His resignation of the position of adjutant-general was accepted July 22nd 1805, and he was the same day appointed recorder of the city of Philadelphia. The latter office he used to say was more congenial to his tastes than any of the higher posts he was afterward called to fill. He resigned it, however, October 2nd 1810, to return to Succasunna to develop the mineral property he had come possessed of.
A very earnest and active member of the Republican party, then in the ascendancy, of popular manners and sound legal attainments, his career in Philadelphia was a very successful one. He shared his prosperity with the other members of his family and assisted largely in the education of his younger brothers. His brother Aaron he enabled to graduate at Princeton in 1804, and assisted him in establishing himself in a fair practice in Philadelphia as a physician. The daughter of Dr. Aaron Dickerson is the widow of the late Attorney-General Vanatta of New Jersey. His brother Silas was instantly killed January 7th 1807, at Stanhope, N. J., his great coat catching a screen in a rapidly revolving axle and drawing him into some machinery for making nails, which he was having erected. Philemon, the youngest brother, after his graduation studied law with the general in Philadelphia and succeeded him as judge of the United States district court of New Jersey. He was also governor of New Jersey and one of its congressmen. His son Edward N. Dickerson is one of the most prominent patent lawyers of New York city.
Returning to New Jersey, General Dickerson was not permitted to remain in private life, but in the three following years, 1811, 1812 and 1813, he was as many times successively elected a member of the State Assembly from Morris county. The Legislature of 1813 met October 26th, and four days afterward Hon. William S. Pennington resigned his position as third justice of the supreme court, and Mr. Dickerson was the same day appointed to fill the vacancy, and was also appointed reporter of the court. He declined the latter office, however, on the 9th of February following. At a joint meeting of the Legislature to elect a United States senator, November 3d 1814, his name was mentioned and he received a flattering vote. No choice was made at this meeting, and at the next, held in February, Mr. Dickerson's name was withdrawn and Hon. James J. Wilson was elected. At the joint meeting, held October 26th 1815, he was unanimously elected governor of New Jersey, and was re-elected to that high office without opposition October 28th 1816.
He resigned the gubernatorial chair February 1st 1817, having been elected on the 23d of the previous month United States senator for the six years beginning March 4th 1817. So satisfactory was his course in the Senate to the people of his State that November 1st 1822 he was elected his own successor for another six years, without opposition.
His term of office expired March 6th 1829. His previous election had been during the "era of good feeling," but before the last term expired the strife between Jackson, Clay, Adams and Crawford had begun. He had allied himself closely to the cause of Old Hickory, and the Legislature to choose his successor was strongly Whig. At the joint meeting which assembled January 30th 1829 the resignation of Ephraim Bateman, the other senator from New Jersey, was sent in by the governor and was accepted by a vote of only 29 to 27--those voting in the negative being mostly Whigs. The meeting then proceeded first to elect a senator to fill the vacancy caused by this resignation. The names of Theodore Frelinghuysen and Joseph W. Scott were brought forward, but withdrawn with the understanding that they were to be candidates for the long term. The names of Samuel L. Southard, William B. Ewing, William N. Jeffers, Mahlon Dickerson and Garret D. Wall were mentioned for the short term. The Whigs, though having a majority of the meeting, were divided between Southard, the popular secretary of the navy under Adams, and Ewing, the chairman of the meeting. Ten calls of the meeting were had without result. Mr. Southard's vote varied from 20 to 25, and Mr. Ewing's from 8 to 13; the Democrats voting for Dickerson and Wall or for Dickerson alone. After the tenth ballot Hon. Stacey G. Potts offered the following resolution:
"Resolved, That in the opinion of this joint meeting the Honorable Samuel L. Southard is not an inhabitant of the State of New Jersey, and therefore not eligible to the office of senator in the Congress of the United States under the third article of the Constitution of the United States, and that his name be withdrawn from the list of nominations."
For this resolution all the Democrats and six of the Ewing men voted, and it was carried by a vote of 26 to 16. This made the friends of Mr. Southard so indignant that eight of them cast their votes for Mr. Dickerson, who was elected on the next ballot but one, by a vote of 28 for him, 23 for Ewing, and 2 for Wall. Mr. Frelinghuysen was chosen immediately after for the long term by a vote of 35 against 21 for Mr. Scott.
In the organization of the Senate in the following December Governor Dickerson was made chairman of the committee on manufactures--a position he was eminently qualified to fill. He was an ardent supporter of the tariff, and agreed with the President in protecting American industry, so far as legislation could do it. Examining the proceedings of the Senate during the time he was a member, it will be seen that that subject seldom failed to bring him to his feet. All or nearly all his published speeches were on this subject. Though not as brilliant or as eloquent as many of his associates, he was scarcely less influential in legislation, through his familiarity with his subject, which close study and earnest application gave him.
The affection of his constituency in New Jersey never wavered. At a meeting of the Jackson members of the Legislature in April 1832 the resolution was adopted "that we recommend our fellow citizen Mahlon Dickerson as a suitable candidate to be supported by the delgation of New Jersey [for vice-president] in convention, and that they be requested to present his name as the first choice of New Jersey." Nor was his name only mentioned by those of his own State. The Jackson men throughout the country favored his nomination as a fit successor to Calhoun, who had become alienated from them. At this juncture Mr. Van Buren's rejection as minister to England by the Senate made his vindication seem necessary to his party, and they resolved to make him vice-president. Mr. Dickerson warmly seconded this resolution, and withdrew his own name from the canvass. In all the political struggles of the day and the various combinations of parties and cliques which characterized that period he adhered most strenuously to the principles and policies of Jackson, and possessed his constant friendship.
His term as United States senator expired in March 1833, and in the fall of that year he was elected by the people of the county to represent them in the Legislative Council of the State.
On the 20th of May 1834 he was nominated by the President as minister to Russia, and the appointment was confirmed by the Senate on the 26th. It is said he was persuaded by Mr. Van Buren to decline this position, and remain in this country to further his (Mr. Van Buren's) plans for the presidency. Let this be as it may, the position was declined and the president shortly after sent his name to the Senate as secretary of the navy to succeed Mr. Woodbury, and the appointment was confirmed by the Senate on the 30th of June. He continued to occupy this place in the cabinet during the remaining years of Jackson's term and during the first two years of Mr. Van Buren's. He resigned his seat in 1838, and again retired to private life.
Shortly after his appointment occurred the difficulty in Boston Harbor in regard to the figurehead of Jackson upon the ship "Constitution." The modern effigy, half sawn in two, and the correspondence in relation to it are still in possession of the governor's family. On the 30th of January 1835, when crazy Lawrence attempted to assassinate Jackson in the Capitol, Dickerson was walking with him in the procession and shared his danger. He was one of the principal witnesses in the trial which followed.
In September 1840 he was appointed by Mr. Van Buren judge of United States district court for the State of New Jersey, to succeed Judge Rossell. He held the office but about six months, when he resigned (in 1841) and was succeeded by his younger brother Philemon, who held the position many years.
In 1844, when the constitution of his State, framed amid the confusion of the Revolutionary war and in great haste, had proved itself ill adapted to the wants of the State, Mr. Dickerson was selected by the citizens of Morris county to represent them in the convention, where his judicial training and practical good sense made him a valuable member.
In 1846 and 1847 General Dickerson was president of the American Institute, and in the minutes of the proceedings of that body, October 5th 1846 and October 5th 1847, may be found two addresses delivered by him, which are characteristic. The reader is not left in doubt as to what the speaker thought of protection, and in the closing sentence of one he speaks of free trade as "a system as visionary and impracticable as the everlasting and universal pacification of the world."
He was elected as honorary member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society March 7th 1848.
After his retirement from public life the general spent the remainder of his days at the handsome residence which he erected about 1844 near his mine, among the mountains of Randolph. His windows commanded a view of one of the finest sections of his State, and his large private library afforded him constant amusement when his business gave him leisure. On the garden and grounds about his house he lavished much time and money, planting trees and shrubs of every variety attainable. He was never married, but shared his house with his nephew Mr. Frederick Canfield, whose tastes for the natural sciences were akin to those of his uncle and whose interesting family made his last years comfortable and happy.
He died at his home, October 5th 1853, the immediate cause of his death being a heavy cold. It was really the general breaking up of the system by reason of old age, hastened perhaps by a stroke of paralysis which came upon him the year before. He was buried in the church yard on Succasunna Plains, where a plain monument marks his grave, bearing the inscription: "Mahlon Dickerson, son of Jonathan and Mary Dickerson. Born April 17th 1770, died October 5th 1853. His biography is written in the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Records of his Country. `Mark the perfect man and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.'"
General Dickerson was of fine personal appearance, standing six feet two inches high and showing the possession of a sound, rugged constitution. He was a hard student, devoting himself assiduously to the mastery of every subject he had to deal with. Notwithstanding the time taken by his business, public and private, he found opportunity to master several languages and attain distinction as a botanist. He was eccentric in some respects, and regardless of his personal appearance. A little incident illustrative of this trait, as well as his care for others, is worth relating. While living in Philadelphia a tailor brought to him a pair of pantaloons which by a mistake in the measure proved entirely too short. He was unwilling to throw them on the hands of the luckless tradesman, but had them pieced out at the bottom and wore them so.
He was a man of the highest integrity, having the very spirit of honesty. At one time he paid his men in the bills of a bank which shortly after suspended, before the men had used their money. He at once called in the worthless currency, redeemed it with good, and stood the loss himself. At another time he paid a workman a trifle less than was due him; but the man, supposing he had been overpaid, quietly left the neighborhood with what he supposed his employer's money. The general, discovering his own mistake, pursued the man on horseback for several miles and until he overtook him. Here he lectured him on his dishonest purpose and then paid him the trifle still due him.
He was not a professor of religion, but respected those who he believed were religious. It is said that on one occasion, when some persons at his table were speaking slightingly of religion and lightly of the inconsistencies of religious people, he called their attention to an excellent lady, known to them all, the widow of his brother Silas, with the remark that there was one person at least whose piety was unquestioned. The remark was so just that it concluded the talk on that subject.
None of the decisions rendered by him while on the supreme court bench of New Jersey are found in the reports, there being very few cases of any kind reported at that time. He no doubt contributed to the newspapers of the day; but, otherwise than this and in his published speeches while in the Senate, he left no published work behind him. At the time of his death obituary notices were published in many of the State papers--perhaps the best in the Trenton True American and the Newark Daily Advertiser. Short sketches of his life may be found in "The Biographical Encyclopedia of New Jersey," in Drake's Biographical Dictionary and in several other compendiums of biography. Several excellent portraits have been preserved of him in the Dickerson family and a small engraving has been taken from one of them.
Sincere in his professions and unyielding in his convictions of right, generous and faithful in his friendships and consistent in his political faith, his unbroken popularity for so many years with the people he represented can easily be accounted for. Few lives present so constant a succession of political services, and seldom have political honors been more worthily bestowed.
THE HINCHMAN FAMILY.
Joseph Hinchman, the first of that name of whom we have knowledge, had sons Joseph, James and William Joseph was surgeon and James surgeon's mate of an English ship of war during hostilities with the French in 1757. Joseph married Anna Griffing. Their children were John, James, Nathaniel, William and Joseph.
The last named was born in Jamaica, Long Island, August 28th 1762. At that place his father established a hospital for poor persons afflicted with the smallpox, and attended them himself. He died when his son Joseph was quite young.
The latter when about 16 years old enlisted in the patriot army. He was in several severe engagements, and suffered the privations and hardships of the winter encampment at Morristown. When his term of enlistment expired he studied medicine with his uncle, James Hinchman, in Florida, Orange county, N. Y., and commenced his medical practice at Minisink. On the 20th of December 1787 he married Zerviah Seely, a daughter of B. Seely, of Milford on the Delaware. He removed to the town of Chemung, in the county of Montgomery, afterward Tioga, in June 1788, settling upon what has since been known as the Louman farm. In 1793 or 1794 he removed to Newtown (now Elmira), where he had an extensive practice as a physician and surgeon.
By a commission which is dated February 18th 1795 he was appointed by Governor George Clinton sheriff of the county of Tioga, which then comprised within its limits Chemung, the present county of Tioga, Broome and a portion of Chenango. On the 13th of November 1800 he was appointed by Governor John Jay commissioner to inspect and improve the road leading from Catskill landing, in the county of Greene, to Catherinestown, in the county of Tioga.
In personal appearance Dr. Hinchman was of medium size and florid complexion. His manners were affable and pleasing, and at the same time his energy of character was remarkable.
He died July 23d 1802, having secured to himself many warmly attached friends. Among his intimate friends not belonging to the medical profession was Guy Maxwell, one of the leading business men of the vicinity in which he lived and died, in honor of whom the doctor named one of his sons.
Dr. Hinchman was a prominent member of the masonic order. In an upper room of his dwelling house, which was close by the old court-house, the fraternity held its regular meetings. It was there that many of the old pioneers took upon themselves the first obligations of the order.
Dr. Hinchman was the first person buried in the new burying ground at Newtown. His disease was a nervous fever, of two weeks' continuance.
Zerviah Hinchman, the widow of Dr. Hinchman, died May 17th 1810. The date of her birth, not before mentioned, was October 17th 1771.
Their children were: Stella, born October 25th 1788, married John H. Avery; Lesbia, born May 10th 1791, married William Platt; Hiram, born December 20th 1793, died December 23d 1797; Guy M., born November 29th 1795, married Susan G. De Camp, died February 13th 1879; Zerviah, born and died September 13th 1797; Felix, born February 21st 1799, married Catherine Palmer.
G. M. HINCHMAN.
Guy Maxwell Hinchman was for many years better known than any other man in Dover, perhaps than any other man in Morris county. He came into the township when Dover was in its infancy, and contributed to its growth till his death, in 1879. He never held a political office, but was superintendent of the iron works of Dover, president of the Union Bank, and actively concerned in all the improvements and in the prosperity of the place. He was a man of extensive information, of sound judgment, and refined taste. He cultivated the choicest private flower garden in New Jersey. No professional horticulturist could excel him in bringing a delicate flower to perfection. He was quite athletic in his youth, and his agility did not forsake him in his age; for in his 84th year he could mount his horse and ride as gracefully in the saddle as a juvenile equestrian. His penmanship was very superior, and to the close of life he could write and draw with the pen as perfectly as in earlier days.
He died of pneumonia, after a brief sickness, February 13th 1879, in his 84th year. During the winter months of that year he read the Bible entirely through three successive times. At his own request his former pastor, Rev. B. C. Megie, preached his funeral sermon from Gen. xxv. 8--" He died in a good old age, an old man and full of years."
Fortunately he has left us a sketch of his life, written in March 1876, which will be found below. Though long for these pages it will be read with interest as a biography, while at the same time it illustrates other matters of Dover history.
With profound gratitude to my Heavenly Father for his innumerable blessings, at the request of my children, I sit down in my 81st year to record a few facts that have transpired during my long and not very eventful life.
I was born in Newtown, Tioga county (now Elmira, Chemung county), in the State of New York, on the 29th day of November 1795, and received my Christian name from Guy Maxwell, merchant, a prominent citizen and among the first settlers of Newtown, and who, in consideration of my name, presented me with a hundred acres of land lying at the head of Seneca Lake. My parents were Joseph Hinchman and Zerviah Seely, who were united in marriage December 20th 1787. Their children were six in number, Stella, Lesbia, Guy, Zerviah, Hiram and Felix. Zerviah and Hiram died in infancy. My father was the first physician that located in Newtown, and I think the first in the county of Tioga. * * * My father died in July 1802, in the 40th year of his age, and was interred in the burying ground in the then western part of the town. Now, as I am writing, I have received information that the remains of those interred in the old burial ground, which is now in the heart of the city, must be removed to the new Woodlawn Cemetery.
The Academy of Medicine of Elmira, at a meeting held in November last, passed a resolution, and appointed a committee, of which Dr. William C. Wey is chairman, to superintend the removal of the remains of Dr. Hinchman and Drs. Mosher and Bliss. * * *
During the year 1807 my mother became the wife of Mr. Isaac Baldwin, of Chemung, and removed to his home. * * * On the 17th of May 1810 my mother died, in the 38th year of her age, and was interred by the side of my father at Newtown.
I remained in Mr. Baldwin's family until the latter days of August 1810, when, as it had been my mother's request that I should reside with my uncle Mr. James Hinchman, I started in company with my uncle Samuel S. Seely for New Jersey, traveling on horseback. Our route was down the river to Wilkes-Barre, at which place we parted company, he going by way of Columbia to Philadelphia, where he had business, and I by way of Easton, Pa., distant from Wilkes-Barre 60 miles, which I accomplished between the rising and the setting of the sun. It was thought to be a good day's ride, but it was a noble horse that performed the journey. * * * The following morning early I crossed the bridge over the Delaware into New Jersey, making my way toward Succasunna Plains, my destination, stopping at Washington, 12 miles east of Easton, for breakfast. I then proceeded, inquiring of persons my best route to Succasunna, but, strange to say, I could get no information until I reached Andersontown, some miles west of Hackettstown. Late in the afternoon of that day I reached my Uncle William Hinchman's residence in Flanders; remaining a day or two to rest, I then made my way to my Uncle James Hinchman's, at Succasunna, and at once commenced duty in my uncle's store as junior clerk-- Mr. William F. Kerr and Chilion F. De Camp being seniors. I remained so employed until 1815, alternating between the store on the Plains and a supply store at Brookland, at the outlet of Lake Hopatcong, where my uncle was working a four-fire forge, a grist-mill and a saw-mill. At the close of the year I went to Mount Pleasant mine, to look after affairs there, my uncle having a short time previous purchased it of Moses Tuttle, Esq., for the sum of $4,000, payable in iron ore, in monthly installments. In the latter part of 1815, or early in 1816, my uncle failed in business, as did most persons engaged in the iron business. As he had received no title for the mine he offered me his interest and that of his son John R. Hinchman. I accepted, and agreed to pay to each $900, and also to pay Mr. Moses Tuttle, in ore, the balance still due, as stipulated in their contract, which I performed, and received a title from Mr. Tuttle. I continued to work the mine for seven years. The ore was considered the best for blooming and the freest from impurities of any ore in the county. Many preferred it to Governor Dickerson's Succasunna ore; it was thought to make an iron of greater solidity.
In 1816 I married Susan G. De Camp, daughter of Joseph and Jane De Camp, and we took up our residence at the mine. Her sisters and brothers being married, her mother gave up her business to her son Chilion Ford, and came to reside with us, occasionally spending sometime with other members of the family.
In the fall of 1822 I sold the mine to Nathaniel Corwin for $3,000, and in the spring of 1823 removed to New York, entering into partnership with William H. Hinchman at No. 10 South street in the wholesale grocery business. In 1825 William died. I continued in the same business until 1834, when my health became so impaired I was compelled to relinquish business and come to the country with my family. I spent the winter of 1835 at Longwood, in the family of Mr. Chilion F. De Camp. During the winter and early spring months my health was so much improved that at the solicitation of Mr. Henry McFarlan I accepted the superintendence of the Dover iron works, belonging to the estate of Blackwell & McFarlan, which he then rented and afterward purchased. On the 5th day of May 1835 I engaged in my new vocation, and continued in the supervision of said works until July 1869, when the iron business became very dull, and Mr. McFarlan, finding his business matters perfectly easy, not having an obligation unmatured or outstanding and anxious to dispose of his works, decided to close his business. During the thirty-four years that I was so engaged the most cordial intercourse existed between Mr. McFarlan and myself; in fact, I became so identified with the business that my feelings would not have been different had my own interest been involved, and I am happy in the belief that I had Mr. McFarlan's entire confidence.
In 1835 and 1836 I resided in a house on the north side of Blackwell street, nearly opposite the Presbyterian church. In 1837 Mr. Chilion F. De Camp built my present residence, to which I removed, renting from him until 1850, when at his solicitation I purchased the premises; at that time it embraced several lots, being 210 feet on Blackwell street, the same on Dickerson street, and in depth 275 feet.
January 29th 1841 I was elected president of the Union Bank of Dover, and continued as such untill 1866, when the taxes on capital were so much increased that the stockholders believed that the capital could be used to better advantage than in banking, and the bank went into liquidation. All its bills and indebtedness were promptly paid. Straggling bills continued to be presented for nearly ten years, and though debarred at the latter time by limitation they were all promptly paid.
I have been mercifully granted health and strength to enjoy my many years of happiness. United to an amiable, loving wife of unerring judgment, who was ever the sunshine of the household, happy in our children and our friends, our home was the abode of comfort and peace. Our first affliction was the death of our little son Felix, in New York; and the next the death of our daughter Stella, the wife of Charles E. Noble. On the 27th of February 1875 my beloved wife died, after an illness of six days, aged 77 years and 10 days.
Nine children were born to us: an infant, dying soon after birth, Zerviah and Felix were born at Mount Pleasant; Augustus, Jane, Louisa and Stella were born in New York city; an infant, dying soon after birth, and Fronie were born in Dover, where I now reside.
In my boyhood and early manhood I was very active, engaging in all the pastimes and sports, such as wrestling, jumping, hopping, running, skating, hunting, swimming, etc., etc., and I became tolerably expert in all. I became fond of the rifle and fowling gun, was an expert shot at birds on the wing, and made some as good target shooting as was made in those days, using a rifle now in my possession, "Old Hickory," that I purchased of a staunch Jackson man, at the Thatched Cottage garden at Jersey City; firing ten shots at 100 yards measuring less than five inches in the aggregate from the center of the bullseye, whose diameter was two inches. On the same afternoon I witnessed shooting by "Davy Crockett, of Kentucky fame." He was then in Congress; a plain sensible man, and by no means the rough character he was frequently described as being--the only thing remarkable in his apparel was a cameo breastpin with the head of Washington, about three inches in diameter. His poise when shooting exhibited his familiarity with the rifle. He shot well on that occasion, but complained that the gun was different from those he had been accustomed to use.
JOSHUA H. BUTTERWORTH.
Joshua H. Butterworth came to Dover from Massachusetts about the year 1839. He was a skillful machinist, and he engaged in the service of Henry McFarlan, proprietor of the Dover rolling-mills and spike and iron mills. The machines in these mills were constructed by him, or under his supervision, and he was the superintendent of the works. Not only was he a mechanic of rare skill and ability, but he possessed a fertile inventive genius. He made many useful inventions, prominent among which was a combination lock for safes. This ought to have secured for him a fortune; but he was like many great inventors--he did not possess the ability to bring his inventions properly before the public and make them available for his own benefit. He left to others the management of the matter, and failed to derive from it any returns. He invented a very ingenious machine for making spikes, and heading and pointing them automatically. He was also the inventor of a machine for making boiler rivets. For this machine, which made rivets very rapidly, he applied for a patent; but by reason of some mismanagement his application failed. He accumulated a fortune of about $20,000.
Mr. Butterworth was twice married. By his first marriage he had one son. His second wife was Mary Carroll, daughter of James B. Carroll. She is still living. He died in 1879, after suffering from bad health during a year.
THOMAS B. SEGUR.
Thomas B. Segur, a merchant of Utica, N. Y., came to Dover in 1832 at the request of Anson G. Phelps to take charge of the Union Bank of Dover, which was organized that year. Mr. Segur continued to be its cashier till his death, which occurred in 1854. He was an excellent officer; during the twenty-four years of his service the bank donbled its capital, and it was said the institution never lost a dollar while he was cashier. A few weeks before his death William E. Dodge, the son in-law of Anson G. Phelps, deceased, called together the directors, who made to the family a donation of $5,000 as an expression of their appreciation of the cashier's valuable services. Mr. Segur was a man of great activity, and he took a leading part in the moral enterprises of the day. His zeal in the Sunday-school department, in missions, in the Bible cause, and especially in the temperance reform was untiring. Soon after coming to Dover he organized a temperance society for the town; and the next year he organized the Morris County Temperance Society, which led to the formation of temperance societies in all the other townships. He infused such energy into this movement that it commanded public attention and produced an extensive reformation. It was customary at that day to sell intoxicating drinks in ordinary country stores. Through his zealous and persistent efforts this practice was given up in every store in Dover, and for years the tavern was the only place where liquor could be obtained. Temperance meetings were held monthly, and the executive committee met weekly and all the members attended. The public monthly meetings were usually made up of the larger portion of every family in the place. The pledge of total abstinence was circulated at the close of each meeting, and the names of almost the entire community were on the pledge. A drunkard was a rare sight, and Dover was known as the banner temperance town of New Jersey. Its fame extended wherever the temperance reform spread. It was common for speakers of national reputation to address large audiences in Dover. John B. Gough and orators of like fame were often there. Mr. Segur was himself an eloquent speaker, and he made frequent addresses at home and abroad. He was president of the Dover society, the Morris county society and the New Jersey State Temperance Society. In 1841 through his instrumentality the Rev. Charles Warren--a sweet singer and a popular speaker--became the temperance agent of Morris county. Mr. Segur raised the funds to meet his expenses. Mr. Warren visited every town and village and every Sunday-school, and organized the children into juvenile temperance societies. Of the 2,458 children in the Sabbathschools of the county, 2,000 signed the pledge. In 1842 the great reform among drunkards began. Mr. Segur secured the services of Ira Hall, a reformed drunkard, who labored in the county and especially in this township; and during the year 266 drunkards signed the pledge, though within a twelvemonth 32 relapsed. This was a proud period in the history of this reform. Children hitherto excluded by their ragged appearance from the company of the more favored, now clothed by the earnings of reformed parents, took their place in schools and churches with the sons and daughters of the sober and pious. With countenances indicative of returning hope once despairing wives appeared with their husbands in the sanctuary of God. Two reformed men in Randolph moved from hired houses into their own dwellings, purchased by the savings of their industry since they signed the pledge. These two men, Uzal Crane and Mordecai Wilson, continued total abstainers till their death.
Thomas B. Segur was counted among the leading temperance men of the nation. But his zeal was not confined to the temperance reform. He was an earnest Sunday-school worker. While superintendent of a Sunday-school he held at his own house during the week a Bible class for young men. He also visited and addressed the Sunday-schools of the county and sometimes beyond the county. He took a leading part in the missionary cause; obtained in Dover over fifty subscribers for the Missionary Herald, took an active part in the "monthly concert," purchased a large missionary map, and with it lectured in many churches in this State. He died in 1854. Some weeks afterward a memorial service was held, at which the leading men of the county were present. The Rev. John M. Johnson, of Hanover--his faithful coworker in moral enterprises--was the chief speaker; he was followed by others who pronounced brief eulogies. Mr. Segur's death was a severe loss to Dover. Since that event the temperance reform has not advanced, but retreated in Randolph and in Morris county.
HON. GEORGE RICHARDS.
Among "the men of mark" in the State of New Jersey, and especially in the county of Morris, Hon. George Richards of Dover stands in the front rank. Of humble, honest and industrious parentage, he is a perfect type of the self-made man. Denied the advantages of an education in his youth except to a very limited extent, and at an early age forced to test the realities of life, the active and ever ready brain nature gave him has developed an executive ability surpassed by none, and a business career successful and varied in its nature. In his intercourse with men he is affable and easily approached, and is the same in manners to the millionaire that he is to those who labor for him. He is ever ready by influence or means to engage in any enterprise that will aid in benefiting those around him, and bestows his charity upon the deserving without letting his right hand know what his left hand doeth. He has thus carved for himself unconsciously in his adopted town, of which he has been so long the chief executive, an epitaph that will be rehearsed and remembered as long as the town of Dover exists.
Mr. Richards was born near Pottsville, Schuylkill county, Pa., on the 21st of March 1833. He was the eldest son of Henry and Hannah Richards, natives of England. The educational facilities in those days were of an exceedingly limited character, and George Richards at the age of thirteen years was removed from school and apprenticed to the machinist's trade. He made very rapid advancement in this occupation, but meeting with a severe accident in the third year of his apprenticeship he was forced to abandon his trade, so nearly acquired, and seek other means of employment. Although this was a great disappointment to the young machinist at that time, the lessons he had learned during the three years at the lathe and bench proved of an incalculable value in his later years. After a long and painful illness he removed to Durham, Pa., and there took his first lessons in practical mining. In 1850 he was sent by the Glendon Iron Company to Wiretown, Warren county, N. J., to explore for iron ore, and in 1851 he went for the same purpose to Whitehall, Sussex county. After he had remained at this place about a year the Glendon Iron Company perceived that a more extended and important field of operations needed the management of Mr. Richards, and placed him in charge of the Hurdtown mine, in Morris county; and in the next two years those two important and valuable mines of Morris county--Teabo and Hibernia--were added to his responsibility. From the time of his taking charge of these three valuable mines to the present time the practical workings of the same have been continuously under the eye and management of Mr. Richards; and the success thus gained by his employers is due to his care, prudence and forethought. Not only has he held the responsible office of mining superintendent, but he has held a number of public officrs, such as freeholder and State director of railroads and canals, and was one of the electors on the presidential ticket of 1880. A number of high and responsible positions have been tendered him, but large and important private business demands all his time and precludes acceptance of official positions of a public nature. He advocated and by his influence secured the act of incorporation of Dover, which transformed a rural village into one of the prettiest, busiest towns of New Jersey--the boast of the inhabitants and the admiration of sojourners. At the first charter election of Dover Mr. Richards was elected mayor, and since then he has held this official position six terms of two years each. As mayor he has shown a financial ability of the highest order; relieving the town of a heavy bonded indebtedness without a perceptible increase of taxation on its inhabitants.
His natural ability, force of character, and experience make him invaluable as an executive officer, and at once he masters every detail of the matters entrusted to his supervision or care. These characteristics have made him the president of a number of private corporations, as the Ogden Mine Railroad, the Ogden Iron Company, the Hibernia Mine Railroad, the Hibernia Underground Railroad, the Dover and Rockaway Railroad, the Dover Lumber Company, the Morris County M. & I. Company, the National Union Bank of Dover, and the Dover Iron Company. He is also a director in the Miners' Savings Bank, Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company, Prudential Insurance Company, Cranberry Coal and Iron Company, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad Company, Chester Iron Company, Dover Printing Company, and American Sheet Iron Company; and in all these corporations he is a ruling spirit, and his influence is a power in their successful management.
In 1860 he was married to Miss A. E. McCarty, who has been to him a helpmeet of inestimable value, and made his home a place of domestic happiness; and a more hospitable household cannot be found than the one presided over by George Richards and his amiable wife.
J. L. ALLEN.
Jabez L. Allen came from Morristown to Dover about the time the Union Bank was started, and engaged in the mercantile business. His store was at the corner of Blackwell and Sussex streets, where for several years he did a prosperous business. Modest and retiring, he was yet always in his place, and ever ready to do his part. He instinctively shrunk from speaking in public; when he did speak, however, he was attentively listened to, because his words were replete with good sense. He was a Christian man, and an elder in the Presbyterian church. He was a moral pillar in the community, and the most liberal man in town. As Sunday-school superintendent, teacher, or worker, he was most faithful. He was concerned in the organization of the Presbyterian church in 1835, and did more than any other man toward the erection of the first Presbyterian church edifice, in 1842, both in personal service and in money. No one did more to support the gospel at home; no one did more for benevolent purposes outside his own church. His religious character was exemplary; he was always in his place at church, in the Sunday-school, in the weekly prayer meeting, and in other religious gatherings. He married Caroline C., daughter of Jabez Mills, the father of a substantial Christian family, whose influence gave important aid to the moral character of the community. Mr. Allen became so interested in the erection of the new church, which was dedicated in 1842, that his business suffered; and he was compelled to abandon it. This led him to exchange the mercantile for the iron business. He purchased an iron mine, which though at first not promising yet afterward proved to be a valuable property. He paid $10,000 for it; for many years realized $5,000 and upwards annually, and finally sold it for $100,000.
His health became poor before he died, and in hopes of improving it he purchased property in Jacksonville, Florida, and intended to make that place his home. He died suddenly from the effects of a fall from a tree, just as he was about to remove to the south. His will left to the Presbyterian church of Dover $10,000 toward the erection of a new church and $5,000 for a parsonage. This bequest led to the erection of the beautiful sanctuary now used by the First Presbyterian Church of Dover. His death was a great blow to the congregation, both in the loss of his personal labors and in the discontinuance of his generous contributions to benevolent objects, which stimulated others to give. A memorial window in the new church records his name, and is a memento of his worth.
ROBERT F. ORAM.
Robert F. Oram came to this country from England in the year 1845, first settling in Schuylkill county, Pa. There he married about two years after. While there he was, with his brother Thomas Oram, engaged in mining and shipping coal to Philadelphia. Coal mining was then in its infancy. It was then, at Minersville, that the first coal breaker ever erected in this country was put up.
In the early part of 1848 Mr. Oram entered into an engagement to go to Dover, N. J., to take charge, with his brother, at Swedes mine, which was then owned by John Stanton, William Green jr. and Lyman Dennison. This mine was originally owned by Colonel Jackson, of Rockaway, and he sold to the above parties in 1847. Early in 1848 was purchased the Mount Pleasant mine, which Mr. Oram took charge of, commencing mining operations on the 16th day of August of that year. In 1849 was also purchased the property known as the Burrel farm, near Washington forge, on which are located the Orchard mine, the works of the Port Oram Furnace Company and the whole of the village of Port Oram. The Mellon mine and the Beach Glen property were purchased in 1850. All those properties were sold to Dudley B. Fuller and James Brown, of New York, in 1852. Soon afterward Messrs. Fuller & Lord became the owners. The firm name was changed to Fuller, Lord & Co., and so continued up to 1875. In the year 1858 Mr. Oram purchased from Fuller & Lord the property on which the village of Port Oram now stands, and in the following year commenced to improve the property. In 1859 he built four dwelling houses, and with John Hance built the Port Oram store house. They began the business of storekeeping in 1860, associated with John Hill and William G. Lathrop of Boonton. This firm continued a little over one year, when Mr. Hill retired and the firm of Oram, Hance & Co. commenced business. It has continued without any further change up to the present time. All these properties were in charge of R. F. Oram until February 1881, when he retired from their management.
This page was last modified on: 01 January, 2014
Copyright ©1999-2014 by Brianne Kelly-Bly, all rights reserved.