CITY, VILLAGE AND TOWNSHIP HISTORIES, ROXBURY TOWNSHIP.
BY REV. E. W. STODDARD, D. D.
ROXBURY is one of the five townships that formed the county of Morris February 21st 1798. The present towns of Washington, Chester and Mount Olive were within its limits. In February 1798 Washington was set off; in January 1799 Chester, and in March 1871 Mount Olive, so at this time Roxbury has only a small portion of its original territory. The line dividing East and West Jersey drawn in July 1675 intersected Roxbury; beginning near Waterloo, it passed the east side of Budd's Lake, and west of Bartleyville, on its way from the northwest corner of the State to Little Egg Harbor.
The population of Roxbury township at different census dates has been as follows: 1810, 1,563; 1820, 1,792; 1830, 2,262; 1840, 2,230; 1850, 2,263; 1860, 2,865; 1870, 3,320 (14 colored); 1875, 2,157; 1880, 2,139--including Drakeville (201) and Port Morris (228). We append the assessor's statistics for 1881: Acres, 12,158; valuation of real estate, $572,450; personal property, $137,375; debt, $39,745; polls, 492; State school tax, $1,705.76; county tax, $1,592.36; road tax, $2,000.
The surface of the township is broken by the Schooley's Mountain range (named from William Schooley), which passes entirely across it from the southwest toward the northeast. For a long period iron has been found, though not in so large quantities as in the range on the eastern border, now in the township of Randolph. The King mine, lying in the range northwest of Drakeville, was opened in 1878, and is capable of producing 5,000 tons a year. The Gove mine, opened in 1875, lies about a mile and a half north of Drakeville. It produces good ore and has a capacity of 5,000 tons a year. Another range begins in this township, which, passing southward, divides the north and south branches of the Raritan River. The north branch of the Raritan has its rise in a large spring near McCainville. There flows from the spring during all the year a stream of clear, cool water, remarkable for its quantity and purity, which no severity of drought has sensibly diminished. For about ten miles it is known as Black River. At Succasunna its waters spread out in a miniature lake, with a fall of a few feet at the outlet. From Cooper's Mill to Pottersville it is called Lamington River. Thence onward it is called the north branch. The south branch of the Raritan rises about a mile from the source of the north branch, with not so large a quantity of water, and runs near the base of Schooley's Mountain and nearly southwest, till these two small streams have received large additions and are nearly twenty miles apart. Thence the westward stream turns eastward, and unites with the north branch near New Brunswick.
From its broken and elevated condition Roxbury township is only moderately productive in grain and grass. Corn and apples are grown in abundance; also cherries. In the township is an apple distillery, and on the border of the township are two others, which consume each year many thousands of bushels of apples in producing alcoholic spirits.
In past years charcoal was made in large quantities. Bloom furnaces for the manufacture of soft iron were located near Baker's Mills, in the northeastern part of the township. Another was located at Shippenport, near Port Morris, and the best quality of charcoal iron was made.
Roxbury contains about one-third of Lake Hopatcong. This lake lies on its northwestern border, about nine hundred feet above tide water. It is nine miles long and one mile in width. Its situation rendered possible the building of the Morris Canal. This lake is the unfailing storehouse of the water that flows through this channel, westward to Easton, and eastward to the harbors of Newark and New York. The basin supplying Lake Hopatcong contains 115,500 acres. At the outlet the banks were raised eight feet, and a lock was set, controlling the flow of the water to the summit level. Through this lock pass all boats bearing ore from the mines in Jefferson township, and wood from the borders of Sussex county. This canal was for many years one of the chief outlets of the Lehigh Valley coal traffic. Lake Hopatcong quietly treasured in its nine miles of length the melting snows and falling showers, and generously yielded its waters from its summit height to the necessities of the Delaware and the Passaic. The borders of this lake are exceedingly rugged, broken and irregular; green and wooded hills rise from its edge; bold and bare rocks narrow its bounds and separate coves and small bays, upon which stand cottages for summer residences and here and there the humble cabin of the fisherman. On its east border, about midway in its length, stands the Lake View House, in this township. It is on a bold bluff, about one hundred feet above and three hundred feet east of the lake. It has accommodations for about one hundred and fifty guests and is kept open half the year. The "Matilda," a small screw steamer, passes down the lake, through the lock, to Hopatcong station, on the canal, to meet passengers coming by railroad. Some years ago a Delaware Indian, Chinkope, the last of his tribe, applied with his squaw for a passage with their canoe from Jersey City to Lake Hopatcong. Here they roamed, hunting and fishing, amidst the haunts of their ancestors. In early times there was at the outlet of the lake a forge with four fires.
This township, with its elevation of 900 feet, its hills and valleys, its clear atmosphere and pure water, offers as healthy a location as any in the county for a summer residence. The surroundings of Lake Hopatcong furnish for the country what the Highlands of Navesink furnish for the seashore. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in two hours will set the passenger from the city upon the border of the lake, where can be found health, seclusion, rowing, fishing, the wildness of camp life, the comforts of the cottage and the excitement of the hotel. Such is Lake Hopatcong, and such is life in these high altitudes of Roxbury.
SETTLEMENT AND FIRST SURVEYS.
So far as records show and traditions indicate the earliest settlement of the township was in the vicinity of the Raritan's headwaters, at Succasunna and Drakeville. In this locality it is probable were Indian residences, as in the valley near Succasunna arrow heads, hatchets and other relics have been found in abundance. A very interesting collection of these is in the cabinet gathered by the late Frederick D. Canfield, now in possession of the family at their residence near the famous Dickerson mine in Randolph township, two miles from Succasunna.
The first location of land of which we find date was made May 15th 1713, by Peter Garbut and Francis Breck, who took up 2,500 acres. Beginning at a corner near the Musconetcong iron works at Stanhope, the first line on the north side runs to a point east of Port Morris; the second line runs south to the top of a mount north of Budd's survey; another corner was near the Cary stone house, and another a little north of Flanders. John Reading, June 14th 1716, located 289.25 acres, which includes the north half of Budd's Lake; and in the same year he located land from Drakeville to Flanders, 588 acres, beginning at a white oak tree near an Indian path, now about six rods north of Baker's Hotel. October 27th 1714 John Budd located 1,054 acres south and west of Succasunna. In 1752 a tract of 1,725 acres was located by Ebenezer Large, north of Budd's Lake and extending from what is called the Mary Norris tract westward toward Hackettstown. This is now nearly all owned by the heirs of Archer Stevens. In 1754 William Throckmorton located lands where Succasunna and McCainville stand, and sold the same to Cornelius Slaight. Northeast of McCainville is the Mary Wills tract, now and since 1869 occupied by the Atlantic Giant Powder Company. East of this last and partly adjoining is a tract returned to James Parker in 1810, and now owned by A. R. Riggs. In 1757 Martin Ryerson located 218 acres, lying north of Budd's Lake and south of and adjoining the Large tract. In 1789 Jacob Drake located 502 acres northwest of Drakeville. Soon afterward George Eyre located a large tract, including nearly all the remainder of Budd's Lake. Later Mary Tompkins of London inherited a large tract adjoining and west of the London tract and extending to Stanhope. Israel Pemberton bought lands north of Budd's Lake. Joshua Newbold located a tract of 252 acres, which he afterward sold to Samuel Wills. This was inherited and is now occupied by H. C. Seward. Michael Newbold located a tract north of Flanders. Israel Canfield located 95 acres where Port Morris now stands.
VILLAGES AND POST-OFFICES.
The villages of the present Roxbury are Succasunna, Drakeville, McCainville and Port Morris. When the new court-house was built, about sixty years ago, there was a sharp contention among the freeholders whether it should be erected at Succasunna or Morristown. There was a tie in the vote and the chairman, though a resident of Succasunna, gave the casting vote in favor of Morristown.
Succasunna.--This word is of Indian origin, and the original form was Sogksoona, meaning, it is said, "heavy stone," which the iron ore resembles. The name Succasunna was first given to the Dickerson mine, and the corporate name of the company includes the word still. During the Revolution and before the ore from the mine was carried in sacks on the backs of horses to Elizabeth, thirty miles, for smelting. Another signification found for "Sogksoona" is "Black Stone Creek," and the name was supposed to apply to the north branch of the Raritan, now called, as we have said, Black River, which has its rise not a mile from Succasunna village. The valley here, which is more than a mile wide, has for many years been known as Succasunna Plains. The post-office (spelled Suckasunny), established July 1st 1808, James Hinchman postmaster, was first east of Black River, at the foot of the hill near the Dickerson mine, now known as the Vannier place. The present postmaster is Josiah Meeker, a trusted and influential citizen of the township, who has held the office since 1861; and the post-office is in the village of Succasunna, half a mile west of Black River.
In 1818 Succasunna became known as a racing center. A course a mile in length was built on a tract of 200 acres, where noted horsemen of the day came from neighboring States to test the speed of favorite animals. After a few years this sport was broken up by an enactment of the Legislature. The property was also used as a training ground of the county militia. The attractions of the place at present are its healthful climate and beautiful scenery and the conveniences of summer residence. The Vannier House, commanding a fine view of the Plains from the border of Randolph, can entertain one hundred guests. The Scheer House, at Drakeville, can accommodate sixty.
The post road from Newark through Morristown and Newton and westward passed through the Plains and Drakeville, and the post-office east of Black River was not far from the residence of General Mahlon Dickerson, one of the most noted citizens of New Jersey, whose kindly interest in the village of Succasunna was manifested in all suitable ways till the time of his death. The first service in the new church which he helped to build was his funeral.
Succasunna is located in the valley of the Black River, about a mile in width, between the Mine Hill range on the northeast and the ridge separating the north and south branches of the Raritan on the southwest. It has one broad street, a mile in length, crossed by two streets leading up and down the valley of the north branch. It has two churches: the Presbyterian, built about 1760; and the Methodist Episcopal, built in 1851 and 1852. There is one public house, which in the days of the academy was built as a boarding house for the students and for many years was occupied by the teacher of the academy. There are four stores, a school-house, a smith shop, a harness-maker, a shoe-maker, a milliner, and a pottery selling each year about $5,000 worth of stone and earthen ware. A pottery was here as early as 1800, and the present building was erected in 1813. The village has seventy-five houses within a mile of the churches, many of them occupied by laborers in the iron mines on the northeast border of Roxbury, in Randolph township. The activities of the village are largely sustained by the iron interest of the vicinity.
Drakeville was named after Col. Jacob Drake, who resided there many years and located land in the vicinity. For several years previous to 1810 it was called New Market. Its first post-office was established about 1844. Its postmaster, Albert R. Riggs, a prominent citizen of the township, was born at Drakeville and has resided there nearly seventy years. He still holds the post-office, which has been out of his hands only a brief period during forty years, and it is kept in the stone store where it was first opened. Theodore F. King is the present assistant postmaster.
Drakeville lies in the valley at the head of the south branch of the Raritan, having the Schooley's Mountain range on the northwest. It is on the old turnpike passing through Succasunna on the way toward Newton. It has a good water power for a grain and saw-mill. It lies so near the head waters of the south branch, and so near the outlet of Lake Hopatcong toward the east, that the supply of water is materially aided by the lake.
The first school in Drakeville was taught in a cooper's shop, in 1836. The first school-house was built in 1838, and is now in use.
The village has a Baptist church, built in 1874, a hotel, a blacksmith shop, a store, a post-office, and about forty houses within a mile of the church.
The Morris Canal passes through this village, having a lock and two planes, by which the level of the canal is changed about one hundred feet within half a mile.
McCainville is close to the headwaters of the north branch, and this valley toward the northeast leads to Berkshire Valley, and thence onward with the range of hills toward Newburgh, N. Y. The first school was taught in 1836, in a small red building. The new house was built in 1870, at a cost of $1,300.
This village contains about thirty houses. It has a store, a post-office, an apple distillery using about 8,000 bushels yearly, a hotel, a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright shop, a coal and lumber yard, and a shoe shop. The Central Railroad of New Jersey has a station and telegraph office. The Chester branch railroad has also a station.
The post-office at McCainville was established about 1872, and its first postmaster was George Drake. The present incumbent is Hiram Hulse.
Near this village are located the Atlantic giant powder works. Here are made and shipped--mainly by the Central Railroad of New Jersey, High Bridge branch--about 1,050 tons per year. It is sent to all parts of the country, and is exceedingly effective for blasting purposes. The works were built in 1873, and manufacture began in 1874. May 16th 1876 an explosion killed two men and destroyed the mixing house. This was soon rebuilt. In May 1880 fire destroyed the pulverizing house, a wooden structure, which has since been rebuilt with brick.
Port Morris.--This village lies on the Schooley's Mountain range, at the highest point, by way of canal and railway, between Newark and Easton. On this plateau, which is sixteen feet below Lake Hopatcong, the waters of that lake are drawn out to float by the Morris Canal the cargoes of iron ore and merchandise westward, and the vastly greater cargoes of coal from the Lehigh Valley eastward to the New York market.
Port Morris is the highest point in New Jersey on the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. An ordinary engine can draw only fifty loaded cars from the west to this point, while the same engine will take from here 100 cars to New York. Returning it can draw only 100 empty cars. In the fall of 1869 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Company built at Port Morris the first half of the present round-house, and a machine shop attached--the last half being added in the summer of 1873. It contains room for twenty-three engines. Here also was built the trestle work for stocking coal. It was begun in 1871 and completed in 1875. It is about half a mile in len7th, thirty to forty feet in height, four rows in width, and has a capacity of 170,000 tons of coal. When the demand is slack the coal is dumped. When there is a call the coal is passed through screens and sent at once to market. This labor gives employment to a large number of men. In 1873 the company built a row of twelve houses opposite the round-house for the use of employes. Other houses have been erected in the vicinity, and the inhabitants number 340. The company has about 200 employes here, and some of them reside in Stanhope. A church, a public school, a grocery store, a post-office, a depot and a telegraph office are among the conveniences of Port Morris. The post-office was established in 1879, with Ira H. Mowery as postmaster; he was succeeded by Thomas Reynolds.
Rustic.--A post office called Rustic was established in 1878 at Drakeville station, a mile and a half from Drakeville village, on the Morris and Essex Railroad. The only postmaster here has been John H. Low.
TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION.
Previous to 1832 the New York market was reached only by teams, and going and returning consumed three days. In 1824 ground was broken at Brooklyn, the outlet of Lake Hopa??cong, for the Morris Canal, in the presence of George B. McCulloch, the projector, the State officials, the engineers, the capitalists, and interested citizens. This canal is peculiar in that there are very few locks. The hills are crossed by plane cars. Boats of eighty tons are lifted over an elevation of 100 feet as rapidly as the ordinary movement in the water, and with greater economy than by locks. The canal above the elevation furnishes the power, the fall varying from 30 to 50 feet. The canal was completed in 1832.
The Morris and Essex Railroad was completed to Hackettstown in 1853. The largest outlay for improvements has been at Port Morris, after the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company obtained a lease of the Morris and Essex Railroad. The Chester railroad is a branch of the Morris and Essex, thirteen miles in length, which leaves the main line near Port Oram, two miles from Dover, and passes through McCainville and Succasunna. It was opened for traffic in January 1870. The High Bridge branch of the Central Railroad of New Jersey was completed to McCainville July 1st 1876, and extended to Port Oram in 1878. A further extension to Rockaway was completed in July 1881. It was designed to run this branch through Berkshire and Longwood Valley and so on to Newburgh. A branch to connect the Ogden Mine road with the Central Railroad of New Jersey at McCainville will probably be completed in 1882.
Before 1872 the mail was brought through this township by the post-rider, the four-horse mail coach, and, when the railroad came near, the one-horse mail wagon--each in turn waiting for the changing of the mail. Since 1872 the Chester branch railway has brought the mail twice each day. In the earlier time it would take three days for a letter to reach New York city and the answer to be received. It is no unusual thing for a letter to pass over the same distance and bring return in ten hours.
This township has always been on a line of travel; formerly loaded wagons slowly passed on their way to Newark and New York, and returning carried the merchandise of the counties of Sussex and Warren.
Succasunna Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest in the county. A deed executed in 1756 by James Parker, one of the West Jersey proprietors, for the sum of five shillings conveys one acre for a church and burial ground to Levi Lewis, Daniel Cary and others resident here. This Daniel Cary, whose ancestor came from England in 1634 to Cambridge, Mass., came to this place in 1742. He was an elder and trustee of the church from its organization, which is supposed to have occurred about 1745. The first church building must have been erected about 1760. It is said that Levi Lewis owned a saw-mill at Combs Hollow, where he sawed the timber for the church. The first pastor known to have been settled over this church was Rev. William Woodhull, who graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1764, and belonged to the Presbytery of New York. The original call, September 1st 1768, for his services over this church and that of Chester is now in possession of the Succasunna church, with the signatures of Daniel Cary, Levi Lewis, Jacob Drake, Jeremiah Rogers, Eliphalet Lewis, Benjamin Clark and Elisha Drake; part of these were the trustees to whom the deed of the church lot was given. These two churches pledged the "Rev'd Presbytery of New York," for the encouragement of the said Rev. William Woodhull, œ40 per year, the use of the parsonage, and his firewood. So easily were the purehearted ministers of more than a hundred years ago encouraged and freed from worldly care. The descendants of Mr. Woodhull are still living in this vicinity, and their virtues and intelligence declare they came from a worthy ancestry. The same may be said of those who signed the call and were co-workers with Mr. Woodhull in sustaining this ancient church.
The first church building and its burial ground have a share in the history of the Revolution. October 13th 1777 General Burgoyne and his army were captured near Saratoga, N. Y.. His park of artillery was brought to this place, and the soldiers having it in charge used this church for barrack and hospital purposes. The Hon. Lewis Condict, late of Morristown, when a child, saw these military stores. The larger cannon, some of which required three yoke of oxen to draw them, were ranged and sheltered outside the building, and the munitions in the church. The drums, band instruments and other accoutrements requiring shelter were stored in James Young's garret. When the new Centennial bell for Independence Hall, Philadelphia, was to be cast, the United States government contributed one of these cannon for bell metal. These trophies of British defeat, the powder-mill near Morristown and the magazine in the town, together with the zealous character of the people, made the British anxious to lodge their troops within the border of Morris county. But to the honor of her yeomanry be it said that the enemy never reached the county, except now and then a marauding party. Colonel Dayton and Captain Dickerson, of Succasunna, were among the competent leaders. While bankruptcy, disease, nakedness and famine were crowding upon Washington and the army, Morris county freely gave her sons to fight, her daughters to toil and suffer and her property to be consumed for country and liberty. The smallpox was among the soldiers, and General Washington required the inoculation of his army, then at Morristown, and the churches there and at Hanover and Succasunna were used as hospitals. This old graveyard has many nameless graves, and it is not too much to believe that some who dared to die for their country lie buried here. Seven of those who fell in the service during the rebellion of 1861-65 also rest in this cemetery.
This old church building had only the floor finished and plain seats--no plastered walls and no ceiling. In the memory of some now living it could be said literally of this house of the Lord, "The sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young." The swallows twittered from the rafters while the people worshiped from the floor. January 28th 1818, in the ministry of Rev. Jacob Green, the congregation "resolved to repair the meeting house, put on new covering, put in new windows and new timbers, and lath and plaster." This house, which was nearly square (36 by 40 feet), with its pulpit on the side, continued to accommodate the people till January 1st 1853, when, in the ministry of Rev. Josiah Fisher, the parish resolved to build a new church. The last day of service in the old church of nearly one hundred years' standing was the first Sabbath in May 1853.
The corner stone of the new church was laid May 26th 1853. In that stone were deposited a brief history of the church, the names of its officers and members at that time, certain newspapers, and a bullet found in removing the old building, bearing date, in etching, "July 4 1776." The new house was dedicated October 11th 1853. The building was 35 by 50 feet and cost about $4,000. In August 1872, in the ministry of Rev. E. W. Stoddard, it was resolved to enlarge the church by adding 12 feet to its length and a pulpit recess 6 by 14 feet. The work was begun September 15th, and the enlarged church was reoccupied on the first Sabbath in January 1873. The cost of the enlargement was about $2,500, and the seating capacity was increased forty per cent. It will now seat three hundred.
The records of the church from its organization to 1817 have been lost. The recorded membership at that time was 35, and from that date to this 540 have been added. The present membership is 110. Twenty-three members of this church have been chosen to the eldership since 1817. At that time Ebenezer Coe and Hiram Condict were elders. Albert R. Riggs, Josiah Meeker, Lemuel F. Corwin and Silas H. Hopkins were the elders in 1881.
Of the ministry we know that Rev. William Woodhull began his labors in the early part of 1768. Rev. Ebenezer Bradford also preached here before 1776. Who ministered to this church during the next twenty years we do not find. From 1798 Rev. Lemuel Fordham was pastor till his death. Rev. Jacob Green became pastor August 3d 1817, and served four years and nine months. From May 1st 1822 Rev. Enos A. Osborn supplied the pulpit six months; from January 23d 1823 Rev. Peter Kanouse was pastor five years and six months; from July 1828 Rev. E. Hooper supplied a few months; from June 8th 1829 Rev. Enos A. Osborn was pastor four and a half years; during two years from April 26th 1834 Rev. Messrs. Jones, of Chester, Woodbury, George Pierson and Edward Allen supplied the church in the order named, and for a short time each. Rev. Joseph More was pastor two and one-half years from April 17th 1836; Rev. David Frame one and one-half years from December 3d 1838; Rev. D. E. Megie three and three-fourths years from October 5th 1840; Rev. John Ward supply about two years from July 1845; Rev. J. K. Davis about two years from May 1st 1848; and Rev. Josiah Fisher pastor thirteen years and six months from September 1850. Rev. E. W. Stoddard has been pastor since May 1st 1864--eighteen years.
A parsonage was built in 1856, valued, with one acre of ground, at $2,000. In 1840 one and a half acres were added to the burial ground, and in 1872 five and a half acres were purchased, joining the graveyard and parsonage lot, at a cost of $1,200, and this addition will meet the cemetery necessities for the next two hundred years.
The Sabbath-school has been maintained nearly sixty years, the present superintendent having served about eighteen years continuously and in some capacity more than fifty years. The librarian, Josiah Meeker, has been at his post nearly twenty-five years. The attendance of scholars has reached 177. There are 350 volumes in the library, valued at $200. For many years a private house could accommodate the Sabbath-school; now it more than half fills the church.
Janes Chapel.--The Methodist Episcopal church, next in order of time, was called Janes Chapel, after the late Bishop E. S. Janes, who had his residence here. It grew out of the old Flanders circuit. Its first place of worship prior to 1850 was Corwin's Chapel, in the present village of Ironia. The quiet of this "class" was disturbed by the temperance question, and the part living in this vicinity decided to build a church at Succasunna. In 1849 Rev. T. T. Campfield, of the Flanders circuit, organized a class and preached in the old academy and in private houses. Rev. J. W. Gilder is said to have preached here as early as 1832, and, the academy being too small to hold the people assembled, the service was held in the Presbyterian church; but no organization was effected till 1850. The members remained connected with the Flanders charge, under Rev. Messrs. Campfield, Thackeray and Absalom Steelman, till 1852. The circuit included Flanders, Draketown, Tottens, Walnut Grove, Succasunna and Cross Roads. The New Jersey annual conference in 1852 constituted a new charge, Succasunna and Walnut Grove, and Rev. William Day was appointed preacher. The official board consisted of Rev. C. A. Lippencott, presiding elder; Rev. William Day, preacher in charge; Rev. Absalom Steelman, local preacher; Silas H. Hopkins, exhorter; Harmon K. Waer, Absalom Steelman, Silas H. Hopkins and E. Lewis, class leaders; Edward Lewis, David Trowbridge, William Fowler, Richard Greene and H. K. Waer, stewards; Richard Greene, M. Force, John S. McDougall, William Fowler, A. W. Snyder and C. A. Lippencott, trustees, elected July 3d 1850, at the residence of Bishop Janes. The membership was thirty-nine. The trustees began preparations for building soon after their election, Bishop Janes contributing $500. At the laying of the corner stone Rev. W. P. Corbit preached in the graveyard adjoining. The church was dedicated February 17th 1852, Rev. J. B. Wakely, D. D., officiating; assisted in the services by Revs. M. Force, C. A. Lippencott, J. Faull, E. Griffith and Swaim Thackeray. The church stands adjacent to the Presbyterian church, on a lot of an acre and a half, donated to the Methodist Episcopal church by the wife of Rev. C. A. Lippencott, for church and burial purposes. It is a frame building, thirty-five by fifty feet, with end gallery and belfry. It is valued at $5,000, and is capable of seating 300 people. The parsonage is nearly opposite, on a half-acre lot donated by the heirs of Rev. C. A. Lippencott. It is a neat frame dwelling, built in 1859 and 1860, and is valued at $1,500. In 1872 three acres of land were added to the burying ground, at a cost of $675.
Ministers have been appointed to this charge as follows: Rev. William Day, 1852; Rev. Ralph Arndt, 1853; Rev. John Stevenson, 1854; Rev. John Atkinson, 1855; Rev. John S. Coit, 1856; Rev. H. Harris, 1858; Rev. T. S. Dederick, 1860; Rev. Cornelius Clark jr., 1862; Rev. William W. Voorhees, 1864; Rev. Fletcher Lummis, 1866; Rev. William W. Searles, 1867; Rev. J. P. Fort, 1869; Rev. James H. Runyon, 1872; Rev. G. H. Winans, 1875; Rev. T. H. Landon, 1878; Rev. Isaac Thomas, 1881, the preacher in charge.
The present official board is as follows: Presiding elder, Rev. C. S. Coit; pastor, Isaac Thomas; stewards, William H. Greene, Allen M. Hunter, William F. Potter, W. C. Thompson, J. S. McDougall, J. C. Buck, John T. Lawrence and William Hambly; trustees, William H. Greene, S. T. Lawrence, William F. Potter, Allen M. Hunter, John S. McDougall, John T. Lawrence, J. C. Buck, S. T. Plumstead and Whitefield Green; class-leaders, S. B. Cook and John Trevilcock. The church membership is 170.
The Sabbath-school was organized about 1850, H. K. Waer superintendent. J. C. Buck filled the office many years. The present superintendent is Rev. Isaac Thomas; there are 130 scholars.
The Drakeville Baptist Church was organized from the membership of the Mount Olive Baptist church, of which Drakeville was one of the out stations. June 29th 1873 a board of trustees was chosen. July 14th 1873 $2,000 had been secured by subscription to build a church, and building soon began. May 27th 1874 the committee of organization reported 32 members ready to organize. May 31st 1874 the basement room of the church was finished and the first service held; Rev. J. G. Entreken being minister. October 5th 1874 the organization was completed. S. D. Salmon, Daniel O. Wilkinson and Thomas K. Wilkinson were chosen deacons, and A. D. Salmon, George W. King, Daniel O. Wilkinson and Jeremiah Baker trustees.
Membership, 48; Sunday-school membership, 60; library, 150 volumes. The church was recognized by a council, at which Rev. Mr. Gunning, of Morristown, was chosen to preside. Rev. Dr. Parmely, of Jersey City, preached the sermon, and Rev. Mr. Seabury, of Newton, shared in the services.
Mr. Entreken was pastor from 1874 to 1878; Rev. Mr. Millington served a year and a half, to April 1st 1881.
Port Morris Methodist Episcopal Church.--In May 1874 a Sabbath-school was organized, chiefly by the efforts of Miss Mary Mills of Stanhope. For two years the place of meeting was the machine shop attached to the round-house, where seats of plank were arranged upon blocks. A preaching service was held at 3 P. M., after the Sabbath-school, when this Christian woman and those assisting her could secure the services of a minister. In October 1875 Miss Mills secured the assistance of several Christian railroad men, working on the line of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. Service was held in this machine shop on Sabbath afternoon. Rev. C. E. Little, pastor at Hackettstown, preached. A large congregation of railroad employes and their families was present. The railroad men related their experiences. The whole company was greatly moved. Meetings were continued in the shop each Sabbath and each evening as convenient, till about one hundred professed conversion. About February 1876 a Methodist Episcopal church of some sixty members was organized, and connected with the Succasunna charge, Rev. G. H. Winans pastor. Official members: Rev. G. H. Winans, pastor; steward, W. B. Day.
The superintendent of the Sabbath-school at the organization was Miss Mary Mills; there were twenty scholars, and forty volumes in the library. The present superintendent is William B. Day. There are ninety scholars, and one hundred and fifty volumes in the library. The school meets at half past two. Rev. T. H. Landon was pastor from April 1878 to April 1881, being also the pastor of the M. E. church at Succasunna. The present pastor is Rev. J. M. Tuttle.
The chapel was built at Port Morris in April 1876, by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company, for the use of its employes, for church and school purposes. It thus becomes the center for a public school and a house of worship. This generous act of the railroad company is highly appreciated by this active community.
There are nine school districts and a suitable building in each. At Succasunna and McCainville the school-houses have two rooms, for two departments. The earliest school was at Succasunna, previous to 1800. Subscription was begun February 8th 1808 for an academy, which was built and occupied in 1809. One hundred and twenty-five shares were taken at $8 per share. An iron weather vane in the shape of a fish, in which is cut the date 1809, was set upon this building. After forty years' service it was transferred to a carpenter shop near McCainville, where it still remains in good condition. A bell was purchased for the academy in 1811. About 1825, new proprietors added 50 shares to the corporation. January 29th 1827 the shareholders elected as trustees Thomas Dickerson, Thomas Peterson, Absalom Woodruff, Joshua Case and John H. Oliver. About 1795 Mr. McCleod taught here. In the academy the following were teachers: Messrs. Carpenter, Beers Hard, Payson, Kingsbury, E. R. Fairchild, Ezra Fairchild, Sargeant, Brace, Miss Mercer, Mr. Decker, Mr. Belden, Joseph Riggs and Joseph McCord.
The Lower Berkshire school-house was built in 1870. Two miles west of Succasunna is the Alpaugh school-house; and two miles west of Drakeville a stone school-house near the Hilts iron mine.
Emanuel Lodge I. O. G. T., No. 46, was organized June 19th 1867, by J. B. Graw, G. W. C. T., and John Simpson, G. W. S., and consisted of seventeen members. The following were the first officers: Rev. Josiah Fisher, W. C. T.; Miss Lottie Thomas, W. V. T.; Henry Thomas, W. Chap.; Rev. William N. Searles, W. Sec.; F. M. Buck, W. Asst. Sec.; William H. Buck, W. F. S.; Mrs. Jennie Doering, W. Treas.; Wilbur Palmer, W. M.; John H. Doering, W. D. M.; Joseph Harvey, W. O. G.; Stephen Buddle, W. I. G.; John Thomas, W. R. S.; John Doering, W. L. S.; Richard Richards, P. W. C. T. The present number of members is sixty, and the officers are: John Gordon, W. C.; Ada Endean, W. V.; Rev. I. Thomas, W. Sec.; William Thomas, W. F. Sec.; John Harris, W. Treas.; James Buddle, W. I. G.; Samuel Daniels, W. O. G.; Bessie Treverre, W. R. S.; John Losaw, W. L. S.; John Evans, W. M.; Anna Thomas, W. D. M.; George Losaw, W. Asst. Sec ; John B. Newcomb, W. L. D.
Roxbury Lodge I. O. of O. F., No. 184, was instituted April 14th 1874, by the grand lodge of the State of New Jersey, with thirty members. The first officers were: William Thomas, noble grand; William Case, vice-grand; James Dolan, recording secretary; William Rogers, permanent secretary; John N. Young, treasurer. The officers in September 1881 were: John Bout, noble grand; John R. Gordon, vice-grand; John B. Merchant, recording secretary; James Treverro, permanent secretary; Conrad Stumpf, treasurer. The membership was then fifty-one.
REV. E. W. STODDARD, D. D.
Rev. Elijah Woodward Stoddard, D. D., of Succasunna, is a descendant of Anthony Stoddard of Boston, who emigrated in 1639 from London, where the records of the family are traced to 1490. The tradition is that their ancestor came with his cousin William the Conqueror from Normandy in 1066. The name Stoddard was derived from the office of standard-bearer. There were 14 children in the family of Anthony. The eldest son, Solomon, born in 1643, was educated at Harvard College, graduating in 1662. He entered the ministry and was called in 1669 to the church at Northampton, Mass., where he married Mrs. Esther Mather, the widow of his predecessor. They had twelve children. Of these the oldest three were daughters, who married ministers. The second, Esther, married Rev. Timothy Edwards, whose son Jonathan Edwards was associated with his grandfather in the pastorate at Northampton, and became well known as a theological writer. The seventh child and oldest living son, Anthony Stoddard, was born August 9th 1678, graduated at Harvard in 1697 and settled as a minister at Woodbury, Conn., where he continued 60 years. (His predecessor was settled 40 years and his successor 50 years.) Eliakim, the eldest living of eleven children, was born April 3d 1705, married Joanne Curtis in 1729, and resided in Woodbury, Conn. John, the eldest son of nine, born January 26th 1730, married (April 15th 1751) Mary Atwood, and resided in Watertown, Conn. John, the fifth child of nine, born July 1st 1763, married Sarah Woodward in 1785. Their home was in Watertown, Conn., until 1802, when they removed to Coventry, Chenango county, N. Y. Central New York was then an almost unbroken wilderness, famous for its large pine, hemlock and maple trees. The fathers and sons of these New England families began the work of clearing the forests.
John, the third son and the fourth child of nine, was born July 15th 1794, and married Merab Parker in September 1817. Their seven children are all living at this date (December 1881).
Elijah Woodward, the second son, was born April 23d 1820. His first view of life was on a forest farm, and during all his minority the clearing of new land was a part of each year's toil. The log house and the log school house were to be seen in all directions. The seats of the school-room were slabs of pine logs, with two oaken pins at each end for support. The writing-desk was a smooth board fastened against the wall, and the writer turned his back to the school. The pupils usually recited singly, rarely in classes. The blackboard for object teaching was not known. School-going was for three or four months in the winter. A lady teacher took charge of the small scholars in the summer. Books were few and every child was needed in the daily toil. Fondness for study alone could insure success, and Elijah Woodward gave every moment of leisure to the acquisition of knowledge. The Bible was emphatically the book in that Christian household, and the lad, taught that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," at the age of 12 years united with the disciples of Him who at that age commenced to teach in the temple
At 18 such mastery of the ordinary English branches as enabled him "to pass an examination" permitted the beginning of school teaching. Here was enjoyed a privilege at this day unknown, that of boarding around. A knowledge of parents and teachers was thus gained as it cannot be under the present system. Five winters were spent in teaching, the summers being passed at home.
At 23 the decision for the ministry was reached. Norwich and Oxford Academies prepared our subject for Amherst College, which he entered in September 1845. Graduating in June 1849, he entered the Union Theological Seminary, New York, in September of that year and graduated in May 1852. He was delegat ed by the American Home Missionary Society to Momence, Kankakee county, Ill., and labored there a short time; then the uncongenial climate made it expedient to remove to Hawley, Pa. This pastorate continued three years. In November 1856 a call was received from the Presbyterian church of Amenia, Dutchess county, N. Y.; in May 1860 a call to the Presbyterian church of Angelica, N. Y., and May 1st 1864 a call to the Presbyterian church of Succasunna, N. J. After Mr. Stoddard's first year in the ministry there were but very few and very brief interruptions from sickness. The students of the parish, as they have pursued their Latin, Greek, or mathematics, have spent helpful hours in the pastor's study, and gratified his love of teaching. In September 1880 Maryville College, of East Tennessee, conferred upon him the unexpected degree of D. D.; while those who knew him best feel that it was honor given where honor was due, his faithful ministrations have given a title to that heart reverence that has no synonym in letters. If we were to note some of the characteristics of the man at work, we would say an intense love of delving into the depths of a subject, which inspires to thorough research; a willingness to undertake any hard work in the line of duty and follow it patiently to the end; a practical remembrance of the commission "Feed my lambs," as well as "Feed my sheep;" a desire to spend and be spent in service; a faith that overcomes the world in its every day toils and trials and gives abiding peace; a steadfastness in purpose that proves the anchorage of hope; a courtesy that illustrates the charity that never faileth; an equipoise that may restrain from an impetuous assault on the enemy, but that holds, and guards, and moves steadily forward. But it is at the end of the race that the victor is crowned; it is at the harvest home that sheaves can be numbered; it is when work is done that the Master, looking on the folded flock, shall say to the shepherd, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
This page was last modified on: 01 January, 2014
Copyright ©1999-2014 by Brianne Kelly-Bly, all rights reserved.