CITY, VILLAGE AND TOWNSHIP HISTORIES, WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP.
BY REV. B. C. MEGIE, D. D.
WASHINGTON is the most westerly township of the county. It was one of the six townships into which the county was divided in 1798, before which time its territory constituted a part of Roxbury. It is bounded on the northeast by Roxbury township, on the southeast by Chester, on the southwest by Tewkesbury and Lebanon townships in Hunterdon county, and on the north by the Musconetcong River, which separates it from Mansfield township in Warren county.
A large portion of it is occupied by Schooley's Mountain, which, although rising 1,100 feet above the level of the sea and 600 feet above that of the surrounding country, forms a plateau or tableland, whose soil, unlike that of most of the other mountainous sections of the county, is deep and rich. The south branch of the Raritan flows nearly through the center in a westerly direction, with sufficient fall to supply a number of mills with an excellent water power. The Black River courses for a few miles along the southeastern boundary, but its descent is very gradual at this place. The Musconetcong on the northwest has considerable decline, and several fine mills have been constructed to profit by the aid which nature has given. Several other small streams, of sufficient size to turn mill-wheels, run through different portions of the township and have been utilized.
The slope to the south from Schooley's Mountain is abrupt, varying from 400 to 600 feet in a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, and faces a range of hills which rise more gradually to nearly the same elevation. These ranges in the southern part are known as Fox Hill, and between them and Schooley's Mountain, is a valley, which in this township is called German Valley and is about eight miles in length. Perhaps no portion of it is more beautiful than that which lies in Washington; and the view to be had, especially in the summer season, in descending from Schooley's Mountain to Middle or German Valley is rarely to be surpassed by ordinary landscape scenes. On the northern side of the mountain there is also a very fine view, looking toward the Musconetcong Valley in Warren county. The air here is very clear and pure, and the trains on the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad can be heard with surprising distinctness on a still night at a distance of several miles.
The land throughout the township is very rich, and fine crops of wheat, corn, oats and rye have been raised for years, both on the mountain farms and on those in the valley. It is said, indeed, that the farms on the mountain, by the gradual disintegration of the soil, are constantly becoming more productive, notwithstanding insufficient manuring. It has been thought on some hands that deposits of potter's clay, or kaolin, exist in considerable quantities in the township; in regard to which the following remarks from the geological report for 1878 on the "clay deposits" are applicable:
"Throughout much of the highlands and gneissic rock district of the State, and particularly towards the southwest, in the western portions of Morris, in Warren and Hunterdon counties, the disintegration of the strata near the surface, resulting in what is often called `rotten rock,' is a characteristic feature in the geology of these counties. The Bethlehem clay is one of these outcrops or localities of rock, thus altered in appearance and composition. Other localities, where a little of such clay can be dug, are reported, but they have not been considered as sufficiently developed to be included in this report. That others of workable extent and of value may yet be discovered is highly probable, and careful researches, prudently carried forward, within the limits of the gneissic and associated outcrop of the so-called azoic formation of the State are advised."
The census of the township shows comparatively slight changes in population for many years past. In the period of forty years from 1840 to 1880 the gain was only a little over two hundred, while in the thirty years preceding it was nearly seven hundred. This difference in the rate of increase is due in large part to the tendency in the population of rural and old settled districts to emigrate to the west and to the towns. It may be true also that the number of children in families is not as large now as formerly, although we are inclined to think that the average has changed but little, if at all. The population of the township in 1810 was 1,793; 1820, 1,876; 1830, 2,183; 1840, 2,451; 1850, 2,502; 1860, 2,504; 1870, 2,484; 1880, 2,681. The figures for the several villages in 1880 were as follows: German Valley, 130; Middle Valley, 60; Unionville, 57; Naughrightville, 81.
There are 20,932 acres of land in the township, according to the comptroller's report for 1880, valued at $1,101,432; in 1880 the personal property was valued at $481,138, making a total of $1,582,570 assessed valuation of taxable property, from which there is to be deducted $377,770 for debts. The number of polls in 1880 was 576. The rate of tax for county purposes was $3.33 per $1,000; for schools, $2 per $1,000; for township purposes, 60 cents per $1,000; roads, $2.08 per $1,000. Total amount of taxes to be raised, $10,200.61, of which there were for expenses of the county $4,016; schools, $2,384.61; roads, $2,500; township, $1,300. The number of marriages in 1878 was 13, of births 58, of deaths, 22.
According to Gordon's Gazetteer there were in the township in 1830 8 stores, 11 saw-mills, 6 grist-mills, 3 forges (?), 20 tan vats and 10 distilleries. The taxes for that year were: State $314, county $703, schools $300; total, $1,617.
In 1840, according to the "Historical Collections of New Jersey," there were in the township 17 (?) stores, 1 lumber yard, 1 forge, 1 tannery, 4 flouring (?) mills, 6 grist-mills, 8 saw and 4 oil-mills. The capital invested in manufacture was $127,000.
The following list of prices, by decades, for the period 1811-51, was furnished by Judge Robertson, of Beatyestown, a gentleman distinguished throughout the State for the accuracy as well as the extent of his knowledge; and, although it may not be of a strictly local nature, it can hardly fail to be interesting:
In the year 1758 an act was passed by the colonial Legislature appointing commissioners and authorizing them to buy up Indian lands and to extinguish the claim of the Indians to all lands in the province of New Jersey, and also to purchase a tract for a dwelling place for them.
There was formerly an Indian trail in this township, whose location is still remembered. It is said to have commenced at the falls of Lamington, at the corner of Somerset and Hunterdon counties, and run thence in nearly a straight line to the Delaware Water Gap. It crossed the south branch of the Raritan a little below the German Valley bridge. It crossed Schooley's Mountain a few hundred feet west of the mineral spring. It is said that the medicinal properties of the spring were well known to the aborigines and they frequently visited it. The trail passed on to the Musconetcong, near Newburg, and thence by way of Barker's Mills in Warren county to the Water Gap. It was said to be the dividing line between two tribes of Indians.
One of these tribes is said to have released to the commissioners above mentioned, and to have removed to a tract of 3,044 acres purchased under the same law, for the benefit of the Indians, and called Edgepelick, in the township of Evesham and county of Burlington. Although local tradition makes only one of the two tribes to have released to the State, it is probable that there was little difference in the time of the surrender of both, inasmuch as a note to Allison's laws declares that the commissioners appointed by the act of 1758 "obtained releases and grants from the Indians, fully extinguishing their claims to all lands in this colony."
In the possession of Hon. H. W. Hunt of Schooley's Mountain are a number of very old and unrecorded deeds. We quote from one of these, which carries a claim of title back to 1726, and which is interesting, aside from other matters, on account both of its similarity to and difference from more modern conveyances in the language used. It reads as follows:
"This indenture, made the 23d day of April 1745, between Samuel Schooley of Bethelhem in the county of Hunterdon, in the western division of the province of New Jersey, yeo., and Avis his wife, of the one part, and William Henn of Lebanon in the county of Hunterdon aforesaid, yeo., of the other part, witnesseth that the said Samuel Schooley and Avis his wife, for the consideration of one hundred and fifty pounds of Proclamation money to them paid by the said Wm. Henn, the receipt whereof they do hereby acknowledge, and thereof acquit and forever discharge the said Wm. Henn, his heirs and assigns, by these presents, have granted * * * unto the said William Henn * * * and to his heirs and assigns a certain messuage or tenement plantation and tract of land thereunto belonging, situate in Lebanon aforesaid; beginning at a stone set for a corner, thence southwesterly by De Cow's land to a white oak tree inmarked (T S) for a corner; thence northwesterly by the land late of Thomas Stevenson and the land of Wm. Cook to a corner stake; thence easterly by the said Wm. Cook's land to a corner stone; thence northerly by the said Wm. Cook's land to a white oak tree marked for a corner; thence easterly by Honnas Rushe's land to the first mentioned corner stone, the place of beginning; containing by estimation one hundred and ninety (190) acres be the same more or less. Being the remainder of three hundred and fifty acres of land which Isaac De Cow, of the town and county of Burlington in the western division of the province of New Jersey, yeoman, by indenture of the eleventh of the month called January, anno Domini 1726, did grant unto the said Samuel Schooley, his heirs and assigns in fee. Together also with all and singular the buildings, improvements, ways, easements, woods, waters, water courses, fisheries, fowlings, hawkings, huntings, rights, liberties, privileges, hereditaments, and appurtenances whatsoever unto the said messuage or tenement plantation, tract of land and premises hereby granted or mentioned to be granted, belonging or in any wise appertaining. * * * Under the yearly quit-rent accruing for the same to the chief lord of the fee thereof."
There were several log houses in the township. One is not far from William Martinas's place. Another, which stands just above Stephensburg, at some distance from any public road, was occupied a long time by Hetty Sullivan; and a third is on William Hann's place, also near Stephensburg. There is also across the road from the graveyard in German Valley a log house, which was occupied six or seven years ago. There is an old stone building at German Valley, said to be one of the oldest houses in the township, although it is also declared to have been erected in 1776; it is called the "fort." It was rebuilt in 1876, by Mr. Shonheit.
The inscriptions on several of the stones in the old graveyard at German Valley are in German. On one, of a bluish kind of slate, with prettily carved ornaments about the sides, is the following: Hier Ruehet in Gott Maria Elisabetha Weiss. Sie ist geboren den 29 tag September im Jahr 1724; ist gestorben den 12 tag September im Jahr 1728; ist alt morden 63 jahr"—(defaced).
There exists a faint memory of one Reynolds (mentioned in Dr. J. F. Tuttle's History of Morris County), who was hung at Morristown for complicity in counterfeiting the continental money.
One peculiarity connected with the history of the churches deserves notice at this point. There was no stove or fireplace or even chimney. A hole was dug in the middle of the audience room and bricked up, and a pile of charcoal was placed therein and set on fire. The smoke which escaped went out of a hole in the roof. It is said that the people were frequently made sick by the fumes, and had to be carried out. This was the only method of heating used for many years, both in the union church at German Valley and in the stone church at Pleasant Grove.
Four soldiers of the British army, who had been taken prisoners and confined in this section, hearing of approaching peace, and that they would be taken back to England, effected an escape from their jailers and made their way to the Musconetcong Valley. One was the father of Judge Robertson of Beatyestown, and settled in Warren county, and one was the grandfather of James Hance and settled near Stephensburg. The names of the others we have been unable to discover.
The following is found in the records of the German Valley church in regard to the death of Washington, who died December 10th 1799, it having apparently taken nearly eight weeks for the news to reach the Valley:
"February 4th 1800.—This day the Trustees of both Congregations, Valey Meeting-house, met at the house of David Welsh Esq., and Took in consideration the ways and in what manner the pulpit shall be Dressed, and have agreed that the pulpit be dressed in black, under the inspection of David Welsh Esq & Leonard Neighbour jr., Which we do hereby Instruct to Carry into effect, so as to have the same done by the 22nd day of this Instant."
THE IMMIGRANTS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS.
Many names of people dwelling at German Valley at a very early date are found in the records of the church established at that place in 1746, and are mentioned elsewhere in this narrative. A more extended mention of a few of these families, however, is given below :
The Hann family, now the most numerous on Schooley's mountain, as well as the oldest, traces its line of descent back for seven generations. A monument in the venerable graveyard of Pleasant Grove has the following inscription: "To the memory of William and Elsie Hann, emigrants from Germany, and early settlers in this township, who died in 1794, aged 90 years each." They came from Germany to Schooley's Mountain about 1730. Samuel Schooley, after whom this mountain is named, was the first person who bought land of the proprietors. In 1732 he sold a large number of acres to a Mr. Holloway, and the latter soon after sold it to William Hann, who occupied and cultivated it, and it remains still in the family.
William and Elsie Hann left three sons—Jacob, William and John. The last named died without male issue. Jacob had two sons—William and Philip. The descendents of William are as follows : Maurice, William Maurice, Arthur, making seven generations, including the original William. Philip had three sons, viz., John, Philip and Jacob. The line from John is William, Mancius, Minnie, making seven generations. Philip, son of Philip, had a son named Stewart, and a grandson named Miller, making six generations. Jacob, son of Philip, had a son named Philip H. and a grandson named Augustus, making six generations; he also had a son named John and a grandson named Matthias. William Hann, son of William and Elsie Hann, had a son named Lawrence and a granddaughter named Amanda, who married the Rev. H. W. Hunt, and was the mother of the present Holloway W. Hunt.
Other leading families about Pleasant Grove are those of John P. Sharp, who has three sons—Stewart, John, and Edgar Sharp; James Everitt, James and Lawrence Fritts, John Fisher, George and William Lindaberry, John Middleswarth, Peter Hoppock, Nelson, James, William, John and Philip Sliker, Isaac Smith, Theodore Felver and C. Sargeant.
In the eastern part of the township should be mentioned the families of Abram Dickerson, John Thomas, Cornelius T. Hildebrand, and Messrs. Flock, Stevens, Runyon, Trimmer, Dufford, Hance, Hoffman and Taylor.
One of the early settlers on Schooley's Mountain was John Collver, a descendant of John Collver of England. The last mentioned had three sons—John, Edward and Joseph. Edward came to America and settled at New London, Conn., and had two sons. One of these was killed by the Indians; the other, named John, had a son named John; he married Sarah Winthrop, granddaughter of Governor Winthrop, and came with his family and located on Schooley's Mountain. He died in 1760, aged 90, and his wife in 1766, aged 83. Both were buried in the private burying ground near Pleasant Grove church. The farm remained in the family for several generations.
Thomas, son of John Collver, purchased 200 acres on Schooley's Mountain in 1749. His son Simon Collver, born in 1745, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and died July 11th 1828. David, son of Simon, born in 1787, married in 1809 Margaret, daughter of Jacob Myers, who was born in 1792 and died in 1866. He died in 1878.
David J. Collver, son of David, removed in 1844 from Schooley's Mountain to Lafayette. In his 90th year he composed the song "The Republican Victory," which was published in the Newton Register. His reminiscences of Hackettstown were published in the Hackettstown Gazette in 1875. He organized the first Sunday-school in northern New Jersey, on Schooley's Mountain, in 1818.
George W., son of David J. Collver, was born on Schooley's Mountain, in 1810. He married Mary S. Hays, of Lafayette. He has lived at Allamuchy, Huntsville, Sparta and Lafayette.
Jonathan William Welsh was the first of that family to settle in this section. He came from Germany, and made his home on the river bank in front of Philip L. Welsh's present location. He soon came into possession of a tract of about four hundred acres of timber land and swamp, which now constitutes the farms of Philip L. and John C. Welsh. Among his children were David, William, Elizabeth and Philip.
David married Anna Maria Sharp, and lived on that part of the tract now occupied by John C. Welsh. They had no children. This David Welsh is the Judge Welsh mentioned elsewhere. On his death he left his farm to a nephew during his lifetime, with remainder over to his children, who sold it to the present owner.
William married, and lived on the farm now owned by Anthony Trimmer, at Middle Valley. One of their children was Dorothy, who married a prominent merchant of Hackettstown.
Elizabeth married David Miller, a merchant at Middle Valley. They had several children.
Philip married Susan Laric, and resided on that part of the original tract now owned by Philip L. Welsh. Their children were Elizabeth, Jacob, David, Margaret, Susan, Anthony and Philip.
Elizabeth married Jacob Swackhammer, and lived and died on the farm adjoining the Presbyterian church, now owned by John C. Welsh. Their children were: John, who married Mary Neighbour, and now lives at Middle Valley; Philip, who married Elizabeth Trimmer and occupied the homestead farm until his death; Susan and Mary, who married brothers, Jacob (2nd) and Isaiah Trimmer, respectively, and live in Hunterdon county, near Califon; and Margaret, who married Oliver Vecelius, of Hunterdon county, and had one child, Jehial, who lives at German Valley.
Jacob, son of Philip, was twice married, his first wife being Susan Couse. He was a man of much influence and held in high estimation in the community. He occupied many prominent public offices in the county and township, and was for forty-eight years an elder in the Presbyterian church at German Valley. His children were Mary, who married David Swackhammer and now resides on Pleasant Hill; Emily, who married Isaac Roelofson, a farmer of this township; and John C., who married Elizabeth Trimmer and was engaged in business as a merchant at Middle Valley for many years, but now resides on the farm mentioned above. He has been a successful business man and held many offices of trust. He has been connected with the Hackettstown Bank for many years and is now its president, and is well known throughout a large portion of the State. His children are: Jacob, who married Emma Latourette and succeeded his father at Middle Valley; Matthias T., who married Mary E. Hager, and lives at German Valley, and John C. jr., who died in infancy.
Philip L. owns and occupies the farm of his father. He was married to Mary E. Dufford, and afterward to Catherine Trimmer. He had six children by his second wife, four of whom are living, viz.: Gilbert, Carrie, Samuel and Katie, all residing at home.
Caroline married W. G. Dufford, of Washington, N. J. She died leaving one child, who married Daniel Spaugenburg, a merchant of Washington, N. J.
Jacob jr. married Eliza J. Sharp. He was a merchant of Hackettstown, N. J., and left six children. Of these Louisa married Robert Rusling, the present postmaster of that place; the others are living at home. By his second wife, Caroline Karns, he had one child, Samuel, who married Elizabeth Weiss. He was a merchant of German Valley, and died in the prime of life, leaving one child, Mary, who married William Apgar, and now resides in German Valley.
David, son of Philip and Susan, lived and died in Morristown, leaving several children, one of whom is Philip H. Welsh, now of Morristown, who has one son and several daughters.
Margaret married married George Crater, and lived and died at Flanders, leaving a large family of children.
Susan married Leonard Neighbour, a farmer of German Valley. They had three children: Catherine married Mancius Hoffman and resides at Schooley's Mountain; Lydia Ann and Arthur live at home.
Anthony married Eliza Voorhees, and lived at Succasunna. He, with all his children, died suddenly.
Philip married Catherine Brown and lived at Chester. He was a successful merchant at that place, and a man of very active life, holding many positions of trust. He was a man of strict integrity and much respected in the community.
Leonard Nachbur, or Neighbour, came from Germany, although probably not in 1707 with the first company of immigrants. He died in 1766, and the headstone of his grave is still to be seen in the enclosure of the old church at German Valley. His son Leonard Neighbour died in 1806, and the latter's son Leonard died in 1854.
The children of Leonard 3d were David, Leonard, William, Anne and Mary.
The children of David are: Silas, living on the old homestead; James H. Neighbour, a distinguished lawyer of Dover; Nicholas, living in German Valley; Calvin, living at Plainfield, Leonard D., living at High Bridge, and Elizabeth, wife of John P. S. Miller, living at Germantown.
The children of Leonard 4th are: Arthur, also living on the old homestead at German Valley; Catherine, who married Mancius H. Hoffman, and Lydia Anne, who lives at home.
The children of William are Lemuel and Adeline, both living at Middle Valley, and Jacob, who lives in the State of California. Anne lives in Illinois.
Mary married John Swackhammer and resides near German Valley.
Of those who held a prominent place in the township half a century ago, a gentleman well informed in local affairs has given us the following names: Richard Lewis, 'Squire Lawrence Hann, Thomas Fritts, John Dufford, Lawrence Hager, Dr. Samuel Willett, Rev. Holloway W. Hunt, Dr. Hutton, afterward of New York, and Rev. Dr. Pohlman, afterward pastor of the Lutheran church at Albany. Aaron Robertson, an old gentleman now living near Beatyestown, has a more than local reputation, and is regarded with the utmost respect and esteem by the entire community. He was at one time a judge of the court of errors and appeals, and was surrogate of Warren county two terms; he was also one of the commissioners appointed to examine the books of the Camden and Amboy Railroad in 1832. William Dellicker sen., son of Frederick Dellicker, "in early life studied for the ministry and actually preached one or two sermons, but finally abandoned his purpose and went into business at Spring-town. He was a man of considerable influence in the neighborhood, a member of the Legislature and a judge of the court of common pleas."
In addition to these names, Rev. I. A. Blauvelt has given a sketch of the members of the session of the Presbyterian church at German Valley in 1813-17, from which the following is condensed:
David Welsh was a man of considerable wealth and possessed an unusual degree of shrewdness and good judgment. Probably no man ever exerted more influence in the valley. He held the offices of justice of the peace and county judge, and for twenty-five years in succession was a member of the State Legislature. He brought home from Trenton the first carpet ever used in German Valley, and people came from far and near to see. it. He was also the owner of the first carriage in that place. After Mr. Castner's advent as pastor, Judge Welsh became so strict a Sabbatarian that it is said that, in order to prevent work on the Lord's day, he used to have the buckwheat cakes for Sunday baked on Saturday afternoon.
David Miller was a man much respected in the community during his residence in the valley, from which he removed to Hunterdon county, and afterward to Paterson. Of his children, Jacob was a member of the United States Senate, and William was a lawyer of much promise, but met with an early death. Jacob Welsh was a justice of the peace for fifteen years, and a judge of the court of common pleas.
Henry I. Hoffman, Dr. Ebenezer K. Sherwood and Andrew Flock were also members of the session at this period.
All accounts, says Mr. Blauvelt, point to the year 1707 as the time that the first settlers of this township set foot on the shores of the New World. They came from Saxony in Germany, from the vicinity of a small city called Halberstadt. They were Protestants, some of them being Lutherans and others of the Reformed faith. Wearied out by Romish oppression and persecution, they left their homes to seek a place where they could worship God in the way they thought right, without fear or molestation. It was in the year 1705 that they set out. At first they went to Neuwied, a town in Prussia. Their stay in Neuwied was short. From there they went to Holland, at that time the freest country in Europe, and in 1707 they sailed for America. By their residence in Holland they formed many acquaintances with the Dutch, and it was therefore their purpose, in coming to this country, to settle among the Dutch at New York. But the winds were adverse, and instead of reaching the Dutch settlement they were carried south to Delaware Bay. Sailing up the bay and river, they landed at Philadelphia, which had been settled by the English Quakers about twenty-five years before. Preferring still to make their home with the Dutch they determined to finish their journey to New York by land. Accordingly they left Philadelphia from a point known as the corner of Fourth and Vine streets, and passing up through Pennsylvania they crossed the Delaware at the spot where we now have the villages of Lambertville and New Hope. Thence by what is known as the "old York road" they came to the site of Ringoes. From this point the precise course which they took is not known; but they traveled in the general direction of New York until they arrived in the region now known as German Valley. Tradition has it that when these early settlers saw the beautiful country spread out before them one of their number exclaimed, "This, this indeed is the promised land which the Lord designed for us before we left our homes;" and the whole company forth-with agreed to give up their project of going to New York, and to settle down and make their homes in this peaceful valley.
The names of some of these settlers are known to us from the church records which have been preserved. The names of the elders of the German Valley church in 1769 were William Welsch, Caspar Eick, Conrad Roric (Rarick) and Dietrich Srubel; and in 1777 these were succeeded by Morris Sharpenstein (now Sharp), Jacob Heil, Peter Heil and Jacob Schuler. Among the names of those admitted to the communion of the church in 1769 are Sharpenstein, Rorick, Flammersfeld (now Flumerfelt), Hager, Welsh, Trumer (now Trimmer), Frees (now Frase), Pees (now Pace), Muller (now Miller), Hen (now Hann), Yung (now Young), and Cramer. In these names the sound has generally been retained more perfectly than the orthography, and most of them still have representatives in the township.
Lawrence Hager, the first of that name of whom we have knowledge, was born November 14th 1735. His son John was born September 21st 1759. The latter's son?? Lawrence was born September 15th 1786; married Mary, daughter of John and Anne C. Sharp, and lived in German Valley. His children were: Angelina, who married McEvers Forman, of Easton, Pa.; John S., of whom a sketch appears below; and Jacob M. and Lydia, both deceased.
It was the first Lawrence Hager who figures in the following anecdote: During the war a stranger one day appeared at the inn at German Valley, and between the drinks of brandy and water made many remarks extremely derogatory to the American cause and its defenders. He declared that the continental army was composed of a parcel of ragamuffins and vagabonds, and that the year would not go out without witnessing the suspension of General Washington from a tree. His remarks were not received with favor, but he was a man of gigantic build. His brawny arms and clenched fists were fine things to look at as specimens of well developed manhood, but would have been very disagreeable things to encounter in personal combat; and at that time, our informant says, it was the custom to dispute with fists rather than with words—an excellent custom that doubtless saved a world of talking, but which has fallen sadly into disuse. There was no one about the tavern who cared to dispute with the stranger, and he had his own way without fear or molestation for some time. At length, however, one of the bystanders bethought himself of a famous local debater, who was the ancestor of a gentleman who at a later day sat in the Senate chamber of the United States. Lawrence Hager was a man of very advanced age at this period, but he was of magnificent physique, and he entered the inn door like another Cicero and stared intently at the noisy stranger. At that time it was a custom among the farmers of that region to wear large leathern aprons, probably to serve the same office that overalls do now. As he entered the tavern he loosened the apron from about him, and, casting it on the floor, roared in stentorian tones, "Where is that Britisher?" This stirring argument closed the debate. The unfortunate tory gave one hasty glance at the orator and darted through a side door, to disappear forever—the last of the tories of the township of whom tradition preserveth memory.
JOHN S. HAGER.
John S. Hager was born in German Valley, Morris county, New Jersey, March 12th 1818. His ancestors on both sides were German Protestants, who, being driven from their homes by the fierce persecutions that took place during the religious wars that so long distracted their native land, first retreated to Holland, and afterward emigrated to America. They landed in Philadelphia in 1707, and with other German colonists finally settled in an uninhabited portion of New Jersey, to which they gave the name of German Valley, where they purchased lands and engaged in agricultural pursuits. His paternal great-grandfather was a soldier of the Revolution in the army of Washington, and his grandfather was a soldier in the war of 1812.
The subject of this sketch was reared on his father's farm, and after receiving a preparatory training entered the College of New Jersey, at Princeton, where he graduated in 1836. Subsequently he entered upon the study of law under the direction of Hon. J. W. Miller, formerly United States senator from New Jersey. He was admitted to the bar in 1840, and commenced the practice of his profession in Morristown, in his native State.
In 1849 Mr. Hager emigrated to California, where he arrived in the spring of that year, and for a while engaged in mining pursuits. In the winter of 1850 he became a permanent resident of San Francisco, where he resumed the practice of his profession. He soon acquired a large practice, and was recognized as among the leading members of the bar. In 1852, without his knowledge or consent, he was placed in nomination by the Democratic party of San Francisco for the State Senate, and being urged by a committee of citizens to accept he reluctantly consented, and was elected by a handsome majority when his colleague on the same ticket was defeated.
In 1855 he was elected State district judge for the district comprising the city and county of San Francisco, for the term of six years. Concerning this portion of his public service an editorial writer in the New York Herald said: "In that capacity he distinguished himself by firmness, impartiality, and fine legal attainments. Judge Hager had to brave the storm of the Vigilance Committee in 1856. His character stood so high that not a word was uttered to his discredit at a time when few magistrates escaped harsh criticism." At the end of his term Judge Hager retired from the bench with health considerably impaired by intense application to the duties of his office. He immediately entered upon an extended tour in Europe and portions of Asia and Africa, which occupied him two years.
During the late civil war he was a firm and avowed Union man. In 1865, and again in 1867, he was elected to the Senate of California, and as a member of that body voted in favor of the thirteenth amendment of the constitution of the United States, abolishing slavery. He also proposed the joint resolution in the Senate of California to reject the fifteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States, and advocated this resolution January 28th 1870, in a speech of great learning and eloquence. While presenting with much force the injurious results to his own State if the proposed amendment to admit Africans to the right of suffrage should also be extended to the Chinese, he said:
"I have no prejudices against this race merely on the ground of color. I would think meanly of myself if I stood in my place here to denounce them because their skins are not as white as mine. I am a northern man—born in a northern State; was a Union man during the war. From the first gun fired upon Sumter I took my stand under the flag and by the constitution. I remain there yet. Regretting the war, hoping and praying it would come to some amicable adjustment that might again unite us as a nation, I believed then, as I do now, that divided we would both fall, but united we might defy the world. * * * If we extend suffrage to the African how can we refuse it to the Chinese? They are superior as a race to the African; have maintained a government and attained a civilization superior to the negro. We, as Californians, have to meet this question in our own State. We stand here upon the extreme verge, the ultima thule, If I may so express it, of western civilization. We can go no further west; to do so, as Father Junipero said, is to take to the water. Eastern and western civilization meet upon our soil, and we alone have to breast this new influx which is now rolling in upon us from Asia. With our new commercial relations with China, and with steam communication, what will the future reveal? Why, sir, China might spare from her surplus population a million of men without experiencing the sensation of a vacuum, and in the course of a few years we may be entirely under the dominion of this people. * * * Is this mere fancy? Is it more improbable that suffrage will be extended to the Chinese within ten years than it was ten years ago that suffrage would be extended to the slaves of the South?"
While in the Legislature Mr. Hager took a leading position, and was at the head of the chief committee of the Senate. He was instrumental in effecting many needed reforms in the civil and criminal laws. He was known as an "anti-subsidist," and voted against all bills favoring the building of railroads for individuals at public expense. In 1870, when it was the unpopular side, he voted against the bills of the Central and Southern Pacific Railroad Companies in the memorable contest which took place to pass them over the veto of Governor Haight.
He also took a deep interest in establishing the University of California, and was chairman of the joint committee of the two houses appointed to mature and perfect the bill introduced and finally passed for that purpose. In 1868 he was elected one of the regents of the university, and he continues to hold that position.
In October 1872 he was married to a daughter of the late James H. Lucas, a prominent and leading citizen of St. Louis, a son of Judge John B. C. Lucas, who was born in Normandy, France, in 1762, emigrated to the United States, settled in Pennsylvania, and while representing that State in Congress was appointed by President Jefferson judge of the United States court in upper Louisiana, when he resigned his seat in Congress and removed to St. Louis in 1805, where during a long and eventful life he ranked among the most marked and influential men in that section of the west.
Mr. Hager was elected to the United States Senate as an anti-monopoly Democrat for the unexpired term of Eugene Casserly, resigned. His election was noticed with approval by leading journals of all parties. The San Francisco Examiner said:
"Long ago Judge Hager established a reputation for learning and integrity, which he illustrated on the bench of the fourth district court in this city, and during three terms in the State Senate, where he acquired legislative experience of service to him in his new capacity. He has all the elements of success with him and within him. We have no doubt he will make an impression in the federal Senate by his quiet, dignified deportment, his calm, judicial bearing, his scholarly attributes, his closely logcal yet interesting style of speech in debate, his judicial ability, and his familiarity with public affairs."
A Republican journal, the Sacramento Daily Union, said:
"Judge Hager's abilities, culture, educational training, and legislative experience, qualify him to maintain a respectable position in the national Senate. In something like six years' service in the California Senate, commencing as far back as 1851, he always showed great skill, self-possession and force in debate. We feel no apprehension but that he will prove an efficient and valuable ally of the people's cause."
Mr. Hager took his seat in the United States Senate February 9th 1874. During the time he was a member of that body he took a modest but influential part in the debates, and devoted himself with energy and faithfulness to the duties of his position.
The earliest hotel was situated in German Valley; we can obtain the name of no proprietor previous to Jacob Drake. It was certainly in existence at the time of the Revolution.
Another ancient caravansary was that at Pleasant Grove, with the somewhat unpleasantly suggestive name of the "Jug Tavern." This inn was probably built when the turnpike was first cut through and continued in operation for about fifty years. The earliest landlord was Lambert Bowman. It was during his proprietorship that an accident occurred which is still remembered. A celebration of the national anniversary was held at the Grove in 1808. Just in front of the Jug Tavern a large crowd had gathered to assist in or witness the firing off of a large cannon. By some accident one of the discharges of the gun was premature, and the swab struck Luther Garner, who was standing nearly in front of the piece, passing through his body, tearing off one of his arms, mutilating him in a horrible manner and killing him instantly.
Another hotel of long standing is that at Springtown, which was first kept by Azael Coleman, and which is still in operation. There was formerly a hotel at Middle Valley and also one at "Mud Street." There are at present four hotels in the township.
MILLS, STORES, ETC.
Jacob Swackhammer's grandfather informed him that the earliest grist-mill in the township was situated in German Valley and was kept at an early day by Henry Neitser. It is thought that it was in existence for some time previous to the Revolution. Nicholas Neighbour had a similar mill at Middle Valley, which was also a very old mill, and Caspar Wack had a fulling-mill and an oil-mill at German Valley during the time that he was pastor of the church at that place. It is probable that there were not more than two stores in the Valley previous to 1800, one at German Valley, kept by Jacob Neitser, and one at Middle Valley, kept by David Miller. The store at Pleasant Grove was established about 1820 and was first kept by Thomas Smith, but it was not in the same building in which Mancius H. Hann now carries on the business, the latter building being erected by Lawrence Hann about 1850. The store at Springtown, about half way between German Valley and Belmont Hall, was established about 1812, and was first kept by Welsh & Dellicker, afterward by Neighbour & Dellicker. The store was discontinued about ten or twelve years ago. There was also a store at German Valley kept by Lawrence Hann about sixty years ago. There are now ten stores in the township.
There were several blacksmiths' shops in operation at the commencement of the century. About that time the one at German Valley was occupied by William Willet, and the one at Middle Valley by Isaac Willet. Asher Jones carried on the one at Pleasant Grove, but in 1809 removed to Springtown, where he either opened a new one or succeeded some one already engaged in the business. We are informed that these four were the only ones at that time in the township. There are nine at present.
An apple distillery was kept by one Roelofson in the neighborhood of Middle Valley between 1800 and 1810, and continued in operation a number of years. Leonard Neighbour carried on a similar enterprise in the neighborhood of German Valley at a somewhat earlier date. Just previous to 1832 he divided the greater part of his property among his children, and the distillery came to Jacob's share. Soon after the division had been effected Leonard and his wife went to hear a temperance sermon by a Mr. Grant, a friend whom Dr. Hutton had brought from Philadelphia to lecture on that subject. So strongly were they impressed by this discourse that they at once destroyed the distillery and made good its value in Jacob's share.
There is a marble yard at Springtown and a butcher shop and harness shop at German Valley. Hance & Apgar and L. H. Trimmer deal largely in wood and lumber.
Probably the first post-offices were established in the township between 1810 and 1820. The first mail route was by way of Chester and passed over the mountain at Pleasant Grove. At this time or a little later there were offices at Springtown, Pleasant Grove, German Valley and Middle Valley. The one at Middle Valley is probably the oldest, and was first kept by David Miller. The one at Springtown was the post-office for the hotels at the "Springs," and has been changed several times back and forth between one place and the other. William Dellicker was the first to have charge of this office. Charles Watson was the first postmaster at Pleasant Grove, and he was succeeded by Jonathan Wilson. Wilson's clerk was in the habit of opening the letters containing money which passed through the mail, and for some time did so with impunity; but at last he was suspected, and, having taken and used some marked money which had been enclosed in a letter, was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to State prison, where he served his term.
In Beemish's Traveler's Directory for the United States for 1820 we find none of the localities in this township named as post-offices, and it is possible that the date fixed for the establishment of offices at the places above named is a trifle too early. There were at that time but 4,030 offices in the United States, which was regarded as a marvelous increase over the commencement of the century, when the total number was but 903. The rates of postage were as follows: For any distance not exceeding 36 miles, 6 cents; 80, 10 cents; 150, 12 1/2 cents; 400, 18 3/4 cents; exceeding 400, 25cents. Double letters (or those composed of two piecesof paper) were charged at double those rates, triple letters at triple rates, quadruple letters quadruple rates if they weighed one ounce, otherwise triple rates. Newspapers were carried not over 100 miles for 1 cent; over 100 miles, 1 1/2 cents; but to any place within the State 1 cent whatever the distance. One of the old mail carriers is still remembered. His route was from Trenton through Somerset, Hunterdon and Morris counties, and then back again to Trenton, of which he made a six days' journey. He carried a horn with which he was accustomed to signal his arrival. He used to make one of his stopping places at Dr. Jacob Karn's, about half a mile below Middle Valley, where he stayed over night.
There are at present seven post-offices in the township.
SCHOOLEY'S MOUNTAIN HOTELS.
The period between 1800 and 1820 seems to have been one of marked activity throughout the northern portions of the county. It was during this epoch that many of the principal highways were constructed, at once an evidence of growing enterprise and a fruitful source of improvement. The turnpike running over Schooley's Mountain and connecting Morristown with Easton was chartered in 1806, and is said to have been completed about the year 1810.
One result of the opening of this turnpike was to bring the mineral springs situated on the mountain within reach of travelers. Conover Bowne was the first to keep a hotel at this place; he began business about 1810. His place was close by the mineral spring, and the first attempt does not seem to have been very successful. His house was not large and could accommodate but few boarders. An agreement to sell a tract of land (being the same on which now stand the Heath House, Belmont Hall, and the residences of H. W. Hunt and W. W. Marsh), by Joseph Colver to Joseph Heath, dated 1799, still exists, in the possession of W. W. Marsh. Mr. Heath came from Hunterdon county, and saw at once the importance which the springs might be made to assume as a place of resort under proper management. Between 1810 and 1815 he erected a number of buildings, but not of a first-rate order, on the ground where the Heath House is at present situated. His establishment was able to accommodate comfortably between
thirty and forty boarders. In 1816 he secured the services of Ephraim Marsh as manager, and gradually made additions to the buildings and improved the property in various ways until about 1820, when he sold them to Mr. Marsh, who had become his son-in-law. From 1820 until 1850 continual improvements and additions were made by Mr. Marsh to the Heath House, until it reached its present capacity of about three hundred guests. The present proprietor is J. Warren Coleman.
Analyses of the mineral spring had been made between 1810 and 1815, by Drs. Jackson and McNevin, of the University of New York, who declared it to be the purest and best chalybeate water known at that time in the country; and this fact, together with the pure mountain air and the romantic surroundings, first brought it favorably into notice. Dr. Green, professor of chemistry in Lafayette College, who has recently analyzed the water of the spring, declares that he finds but very little change in its composition since the earliest analyses were made, nor has it varied in quantity in all that time. The waters have been known to effect wonderful cures in restoring physical vigor, and especially in cases of calculus concretions and derangement of the urinary functions or organs. The spring itself is now the property of William Wallace Marsh.
The mountain largely owes its fame and success as a summer resort to the enterprise and business energy of Judge Marsh. That gentleman (whose portrait appears herewith), was born at Mendham, in 1796, and came to Schooley's Mountain in 1816. For nearly half a century he was one of the prominent and most respected citizens of the county. He was long active in politics, and at different times represented the county in both branches of the Legislature, being for some time the president of the Senate. He held the office of judge of the court of common pleas for many years; was a member of the convention that revised our State constitution in 1844; was a prominent candidate for the governorship at the time of the nomination of Mr. Olden, and was president of the national convention in Philadelphia in 1856 that nominated Millard Fillmore for President—but which nomination he was constrained to renounce subsequently, and gave his reasons for so doing in an able letter published in the early part of the campaign.
Judge Marsh, however, was better and more widely known from his long connection with and eminent success in the management of the Morris Canal Company. The canal, costing millions of dollars, and designed as one of the great avenues for the transportation of produce and merchandise, but chiefly of anthracite coal from Pennsylvania to New York city, had become worthless as a public work, when Judge Marsh became president of the company. For the last sixteen years of his life he devoted all his energy and resources to this institution, and he lived long enough to see it become under his management not only a great business success but one of the most profitable investments of capital to be found anywhere.
He died in the summer of 1864, in his 68th year, while on a visit to his only surviving son, William Wallace Marsh, on Schooley's Mountain.
The first buildings of Belmont Hall were erected about 1820 by Conover Bowne, who had given up his house by the spring, and it was controlled by him for some years, after which it came into the possession of William Gibbons, of Madison, who had also became the owner of the mineral spring. Mr. Gibbons did much toward enlarging and improving the property, and remained in possession of it until his death. It then passed into the ownership of his daughter, Mrs. Frank Lathrop, and then into that of Edward Holland, and finally into the hands of David A. Crowell, who is the present owner as well as manager. Mr. Crowell has been connected with the hotels on the mountain for about thirty years, during the last twenty of which he has been the proprietor of the Belmont, which has prospered greatly under his charge.
As a summer resort Schooley's Mountain is one of the oldest in the country. The old hotel registers show a goodly list of distinguished visitors. From Pennsylvania came such men as John Sargent, once a candidate for the vice-presidency; Vice-President George M. Dallas, ex-Governor Edward Coles, Dr. George B. Wood, Richard Vaux, General Cadwallader and others. Among those from New Jersey were Garret D. Wall, Peter D. Vroom, Philemon Dickerson, William L. Dayton, Governor Pennington, Samuel L. Southard, Hon. Theodore Frelinghuysen and Hon. Frederick T. Frelinghuysen. Among those from New York were Jacob Le Roy, C. V. S. Roosevelt, ex-Governor E. D. Morgan, Rev. Dr. Spencer H. Cone, Rev. Dr. George B. Cheever, Dr. McIlroy and others. Many distinguished men from other sections of the country were frequent guests, and although the place has a larger number of visitors at the present time it probably occupied a much more prominent position as a fashionable resort forty years ago than now. Many of the guests, not to be enticed by the glare and attractions of Long Branch, Saratoga or Newport, have returned here year after year without intermission for periods of twenty or thirty years, and in a few instances for thirty-five and forty years. David Sargent, of Philadelphia, was an annual visitor for forty years, and Prof. Ruggles, of Washington, D. C., for thirty-nine years.
PHYSICIANS AND LAWYERS.
There seems to have been no resident physician in the township before 1800. Dr. Samuel Hedges, ancestor of the present Dr. Hedges of Chester, practiced in the valley and Fox Hill district, and Drs. Cook and Stewart, of Hackettstown, attended to the wants of the people on Schooley's Mountain. Dr. Eliphalet Kopp or Copp is the earliest resident physician of whom there appears to be any remembrance. He lived here perhaps as long ago as 1800, and came from New England. Dr. Ebenezer K. Sherwood settled at Middle Valley about 1813 or 1814, and removed from there to Hacklebarney about 1845. It was previous to 1820 that Dr. Samuel Willet commenced to practice at German Valley, which he continued to do until succeeded by his son Dr. Eliphalet C. Willet, who practices there at the present time, and is much respected and esteemed both as a physician and citizen. About twelve years ago Dr. Farrow settled at Middle Valley, and he has established a good practice. Dr. Martin has practiced for several years at the "Springs."
Ira C. Whitehead once practiced law in the township, but with that exception Holloway W. Hunt is the only lawyer who has ever made his home in Washington. Mr. Hunt resides at the "Springs," and is already known as a rising man in the profession. He has engaged actively in politics, and represented his district in the Legislature during the years 1878 and 1879. His grandfather, Rev. H. W. Hunt, was the youngest of sixteen children, and was born in Westchester county, N. Y., in 1769. He was pastor of the churches of Newton and Sparta, and afterward for forty years of the churches of Bethel, Alexandria and Kingwood in Hunterdon county. Of his four children the Rev. H. W. Hunt jr. removed to Washington township in 1826, where he married Amanda, daughter of Lawrence Hann, in 1827. Two of their children, Lawrence H. and Holloway W., now reside in the township.
The following information regarding schools is taken chiefly from the "Centennial Collections of Morris County," pages 51 and 52.
In 1798 there were six schools in Washington township. They were situated in what are now known as the districts of Pleasant Grove, Flocktown, Middle Valley, German Valley, Schooley's Mountain and Naughrightville. The buildings in the first three were of logs; in the last there was a frame school-house. The average daily attendance at these buildings was about 153, divided as follows: Flocktown 20, Pleasant Grove 18, Middle Valley 40, German Valley 30, Schooley's Mountain 25, Naughrightville 20.
The city or town schoolboy of to-day must regard with horror when he comes to learn of them the uncouth habits and dreadful hours which prevailed among the pupils of sixty and seventy years ago. A good housewife eighty-two years of age informed us that she used to have to rise very early and "scratch around sharp to get the young ones off in time for school." Mr. Birch, who taught in the Valley, was not particularly exacting in this respect, but Master Robert Caul, who came from Chester and was of Dutch descent, used to expect the children on the mountain to be in their places at 7 o'clock in the severest winter weather, and in milder seasons began to teach at half past 6. School was dismissed at 6 o'clock in the evening, and sometimes, when the children had learned their lessons better than usual, at 5 o'clock.
This same Mr. Birch, the savor of whose name still lingers in the memory of an old gentleman of ninety-six years, was of a genial and vivacious disposition. His visits to the tavern were often more frequent and more prolonged than would be considered desirable in a teacher now-a-days. His pupils, getting an inkling of this foible of his, on one occasion at noon-spell gathered in the school-room and locked the teacher out. On his return they succeeded in maintaining their position, and refused to surrender except on condition of being treated. The master forthwith (so runs the tale) returned to a neighboring magazine, procured a bottle and cup, and gave the children a drink all round.
A holiday was procured once in the school at Pleasant Grove by the mischief of the boys. They stopped up the chimney with leaves and other material so successfully that the room was utterly untenable, and a vacation was had until the chimney could be cleaned.
During the first three decades of the present century the old school-houses were replaced by stone structures, which were thought to be more durable and handsome.
The stone building at Flocktown was erected in 1823, that at Pleasant Grove in 1827, at a cost of $150; the one at Middle Valley in 1810, that at German Valley in 1830, that at Schooley's Mountain in 1825, and the one at Naughrightville in 1830.
The average daily attendance of pupils during these three decades was about 220, as follows: at Flocktown 40, at Pleasant Grove 25, at Middle Valley 55, at German Valley 35, at Schooley's Mountain 35, at Naughrightville 30.
Frame buildings have replaced the stone structures in all these districts with the exception of German Valley, where the school-house is the one erected in 1830. The present frame school-house at Stephensburg was erected in 1835, and the average daily attendance during the first ten years was about 28.
A log school-house was built in the Fairmount district in 1826, and in 1836 the present stone structure, which, as well as the site therefor, was given by Mr. Philhower to the district. The average attendance at the log house was about 18, and the former attendance in the second building about 25.
In the Unionville district a frame building was erected in 1830 and had an average attendance of 20 pupils. This building was succeeded in 1872 by the present one.
The average attendance at these schools for the year 1880 was as follows: Flock 22, Naughright 36, German Valley 78, Schooley's Mountain 43, Stephensburg 27, Pleasant Grove 21, Middle Valley 18, Philhower 19, Unionville 24. In 1840 there were (according to the Historical Collections of New Jersey) 15 schools and 753 pupils. In 1880 there were 9 schools (public), 724 children between 5 and 18 years of age, 587 pupils enrolled on the school register, and 11 teachers, of whom three were males and eight females. The total amount of income for the year was $3,137.59, of which all except $149.55 was used to support the schools. The male teachers received an average monthly salary of $31.72 and the female of $30.67. The schools were kept open for an average period of 9.6 months.
Among the early teachers were Robert Caul or Call, George Phillip, (???) Hurd, Jacob Alpaugh, Caspar Wack, Miss Brackett, and Mr. Birch already mentioned. Several private schools have existed in the township. Those of Rev. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hunt are noted elsewhere. Rev. Luke I. Stoutenburg conducted one at Schooley's Mountain for several years. Mr. Stoutenburg is a gentleman of much culture and refinement, and has exercised a large degree of influence for good in the community where he has dwelt.
THE STOUTENBURG FAMILY
originally came from the Hague, in Holland, and Jacobus Stouttenburg, its first representative in this country, settled at Hyde Park, Dutchess county, N. Y., about the year 1712. He married Miss Margaret Teller, in 1717, and to them were born eight children—Tobias, Peter, John, Jacobus, Luke, Anna, William, and Margaret. Luke, the grandfather of Rev. Mr. Stoutenburg, married Miss Rachel Teller, and to them were born also eight children. Of these James L. married Sarah Morris, of Clinton, Dutchess county, N. Y., and they were the parents of Rev. Luke I. Stoutenburg, who was born in Clinton. The first two generations of Stoutenburgs were large land owners in Dutchess county, and the family has always occupied a prominent place in that locality.
Rev. L. I. Stoutenburg was engaged, after the death of his father and when only fourteen years of age, as a clerk in a dry goods house in New York city, and after remaining there for two years commenced a course of study for the ministry, which he completed after eight years of industrious effort, and was licensed by the New York Congregational Association in 1841. On the evening after receiving his license he commenced preaching to the Congregational church at Chester, Morris county, where he continued his labors for nearly twenty-seven years. After his settlement there his congregation soon became large, revivals of religion among his people were numerous, and large numbers were converted. Under his ministry the old meeting-house was first repaired, and afterward replaced by the present handsome structure. His preaching was mainly directed against the existing evils of the community and the nation, especially against intemperance and slavery. He was for eleven years the superintendent of the public schools of Chester township, and was the projector and one of the main founders of the famous Chester Institute, of which he was proprietor and principal for three years after William Rankin (the learned, cultured, generous and noblehearted old gentleman who was the pioneer schoolmaster of northern New Jersey) left it to establish himself in Mendham in 1864. On account of ill health Mr. Stoutenburg was obliged to give up both church and school, and he removed to Schooley's Mountain Springs for the improvement of his health. There he purchased the Forest Grove House and established the Schooley's Mountain Seminary, which under his charge became one of the most successful and flourishing schools in the State. A large number of individuals, both ladies and gentlemen, who have been educated under his charge remember Mr. Stoutenburg with honor and esteem, both as a friend and preceptor; and although not now engaged in active labor, his life's work has been one of noble and useful endeavor. By his first wife, Miss Harriet E. Reeve, daughter of David Reeve, of Middletown, N. Y., he had four children—Sarah Esther, wife of Lawrence Hunt, of Schooley's Mountain Springs: James Emmet, a successful lawyer of Passaic, N. J.; Arthur Tobias, a student at Lafayette College; and William Franklin, who was professor in the Protestant College at Beyroot, Syria.
Of the young gentleman last named, his pastor, the Rev. E. P. Lennel, has written the following account: He entered Princeton College in 1875, and at once gained a prominent position for his high mental ability and moral character, and graduated in 1879 with high honor. It was his desire to enter the Christian ministry, but Providence seemed clearly to indicate another field. The friends of the Protestant College at Beyroot were then seeking a man to fill a vacancy in the faculty there. The unanimity with which these and the faculty at Princeton agreed upon Mr. Stoutenburg as the man for the place was highly complimentary to him and gratifying to his friends. He went, when he needed rest, to fill a very important and difficult position in the Syrian College. That he attained success and satisfied the high expectations of his friends is shown by the high esteem in which he was held by all who knew him at Beyroot. One of the faculty there wrote to a member of the family, after it was decided that he must rest for a time: "His quiet, genial, lovable disposition has endeared him to all his associates and the mission circle at Beyroot, while his talents and efficiency as a scholar and instructor command the respect of the students and the entire community. I could almost believe your brother a special favorite of the Master, there is so much truth and sweetness in his disposition." He set out on his return to this country during the year 1881, in high spirits and with bright hopes of meeting familiar faces once more, although somewhat broken in health. He was taken violently sick on the return voyage, and died and was buried at sea when but two days out from New York. The first intelligence of the event was received by his friends on the arrival of the ship, when they were waiting to welcome him home.
Judge Ephraim Marsh was the first to take an interest in iron mining in the township; he began to develop the vein on the Mine Hill farm as much as fifty years ago, and this mine was the one chiefly worked in Washington until 1857. The operations, however, were not extensive, and the ore was carted to neighboring forges to be worked up into blooms. At a later day the Fisher mine became prominent and in some years it has yielded as much as 15,000 tons of ore.
William Wallace Marsh, son of Judge Marsh, and now residing at Schooley's Mountain, has also been largely interested in the development of the iron industry. For many years he has been one of the directors of the Thomas Iron Company of Pennsylvania.
The following extract from Gordon's Gazetteer of New Jersey (published in 1830) may prove interesting in this connection:
"The first [ore] in a mine opened within a gunshot of the Heath House is highly magnetic, so much so, indeed, as to render the use of iron tools about it highly inconvenient. The following extraordinary circumstances we give on the authority of Mr. [Judge] Marsh. The tools by continued use become so strongly magnetized that in boring the rock the workman is unable after striking the auger with his hammer to separate them in the usual mode of wielding the hammer, and is compelled to resort to a lateral or rotary motion for this purpose; and the crowbar has been known to sustain in suspension all the other tools in the mine, in weight equal to a hundred pounds. These facts are supported by the assurance of Gen. Dickerson that the magnetic attraction of the tools used in his mine adds much to the fatigue of boring; and that it is of ordinary occurrence for the hammer to lift the auger from the hold during the process of boring."
The mines in this township according to the report of the State geologist for 1880 are the Hann, Hunt Farm, Stoutenburg, Fisher, Marsh, Dickerson, Hunt, Lake, Naughright, Sharp, Rarick, Hoppler and Poole mines producing magnetic ores, and on hematite veins the Neighbour and Dufford mines. The two last named are in the neighborhood of German Valley. The Neighbour mine, two miles northeast of Califon, sent its ore to the Chester furnace, but it proved too troublesome on account of the zinc in it, of which there was about ten per cent., besides nearly four per cent. of lead. The ore of the Dufford mine was used at the furnace at Port Oram.
Explorations made last winter and spring in the same neighborhood on farms of Messrs. Trimmer by Isaac Hummer, of High Bridge, discovered under drift from five to eight feet thick deposits of brown hematite on blue limestone, widespread on these farms. These discoveries, together with previous ones, indicate a general occurrence of these ores in the valley. The older openings are on the Fox Hill side of the valley, but these latest made are at the foot of Schooley's Mountain.
Town Clerks (records lost previous to 1841).—John McCarter, 1841; Jacob M. Hager, 1842-50; John T. Hoffman, 1851; Jacob Welsh jr., 1852-57; David Karn, 1858-64; Edward Weise, 1869-71; Lyman Kice, 1872-79; Matthias C. Welsh, 1880, 1881.
Assessors.—Jacob Bird, 1841, 1845-47; Peter Wortman, 1842-44; Eliphalet C. Willet, 1848-50; William Naughright, 1851-53; John C. Welsh, 1854-56; Leonard G. Neighbour, 1857-59; August Metler, 1860-62; John C. Emmons, 1863, 1864; Jacob A. Skinner, 1865; David M. Young, 1866; Philip G. Stephens, 1867-69; Edward Weise, 1870-72; Anthony Trimmer, 1873-75; P. S. Weise, 1876-78; Baker La Rue, 1879-81.
Collectors.—John Naughright, 1841-43; Jacob Hann, 1844-46; Silas Walters, 1847-49; Jesse Hoffman, 1850-52; Jacob M. Hager, 1853-55, Morris Naughright, 1856-58; Philip S. Weise, 1859-61; John A. De Cue, 1862-64; Silas Neighbour, 1865, 1866; George W. Bunn, 1867-69; Jacob C. Dellicker jr., 1870-75; William Runyon, 1876-78; E. Dufford, 1879-81.
Town Committee.—William Dellicker, 1841; William Emery jr., 1841; William Little jr., Jesse Hoffman, and George Bunn, 1841-43; Staats N. Weise and Lawrence Hann, 1842; Henry Bruner, 1843-45, 1849-51, 1855, 1856, 1861-64; Isaac Trimmer, 1843, 1844; John Read jr., 1844, 1845, 1854, 1857; George Dufford and Conrad R. Neighbour, 1844; William Hann 3d, Sylvester Neighbour and John Frone, 1845, 1846; Philip G. Stephens, 1846-48; Peter Wortman, 1846; Walter Thorp, 1847, 1858; Andrew Bay, 1847, 1848, 1857; Henry J. Hoffman, 1847-50; John J. Crater, 1847, 1848; Daniel Dilts, 1848; John A. De Cue, 1849-51, 1873-78; John Bilby, 1849; David Crater jr., 1849, 1850; Philip S. Weise, 1850, 1852-54, 1856-58, 1870-72; Morris Naughright, 1851-55, 1859-64, 1879-81; Thomas Lake, 1851; William Rinehart, 1851-53; Isaac Roelofson, 1852-54, 1856, 1859, 1860; John C. Welsh, 1852, 1853; David Karn, 1854; George W. Bunn, 1855, 1858, 1870-72; Silas Walters, 1855-57; Robert M. Hockenburg, 1855; John P. Sharp, 1856; John V. Stryker, 1857; Jacob Bird, 1858, 1859; Noah Hoffman, 1858-60; David Miller, 1859-64; John E. Tiger, 1860, 1861; Frederick H. Bryan, 1861, 1862; Joseph V. P. Bartles, 1862; John Rinehart, 1863, 1864; Sylvester Lake, 1863-69; Samuel Pickle, 1865-69, 1876-78; Obadiah Latourette, 1865-70; 1871-74; Joseph H. Parker, 1865-67; Anthony Trimmer, 1865-69; William Runyon, 1868-71; Elijah Dufford, 1870-72; William Martinas, 1873-78; S. H. Pickle, 1873-75; Silas Neighbour, 1873-81; H. P. Dufford, 1875-78; Jacob H. Hann, 1879-81.
Commissioners of Appeals.—Aaron Howell, 1841; John J. Dufford, 1841; David Welsh 3d, 1841; Lawrence Neighbour, 1842; John J. Crater, 1842, 1843; John Reed, 1842, 1843; Nicholas McLean, 1843-45; Silas Walters, 1844; Henry Kennedy, 1844; William Sharp, 1845; William Rinehart, 1845-50, 1860-65; Andrew Bay, 1846; Jacob Swackhammer, 1846; William Sharp, 1847; Henry I. Hoffman, 1847; Jacob Hann, 1848; George F. Crater, 1848-50; John T. Hoffman, 1849, 1854-57; Philip G. Stephens, 1850, 1876; Eliphalet C. Willet, 1851-53, 1861, 1862, 1865, 1877, 1878; John Crater, 1851; Peter Wortman, 1851, 1852; John H. Weise, 1852; George W. Bunn, 1853, 1854; Jacob W. Neighbour, 1853; Augustus Metler, 1854-57; Aaron Robertson, 1855; Noah Hoffman, 1856-59; John Read jr., 1858, 1859; Jacob Bird, 1858, 1859, 1861-69; John A. De Cue, 1860; J. V. P. Bartles, 1870-75, 1877, 1878; Obadiah Latourette, 1870-74; Henry V. Anderson, 1860; Frederick H. Bryan, 1863, 1864; Henry Brunner, 1866-69; Holloway W. Hunt, 1866-72, 1876, 1878; J. C. Dellicker, 1871, 1872; A. S. Sutton, 1871; Philip Schuyler, 1871; Caspar P. Apgar, 1873, 1874, 1876; J. V. Stryker, 1875; John Naughright, 1875; William Dellicker, 1877, 1879-81; John C. Welsh, 1879-81; Samuel Pickle, 1879-81.
Constables.—Alfred Kaar, 1841-43, 1845, 1846; Joseph Knight, 1841; Morris Weise, 1842; Philip H. Hann, 1843; Elias Howell, 1843; Christopher Trimmer, 1844, 1845; Jacob W. Neighbour, 1844, 1847; Andrew Philhower, 1844; George W. Bunn, 1845, 1847, 1864, 1867-69; Philip W. Swackhammer, 1845; Philip S. Weise, 1846, 1876-78; Conrad R. Neighbour, 1846; John H. Pace, 1846; Staats N. Weise, 1847; Barney C. Denman, 1847; William T. Hildebrandt, 1848; Sylvester Lake, 1848; Daniel Dilts, 1849; John J. Crater, 1849, 1850; John Craft, 1841: E. C. Willet, 1854-56, 1859; David Karn, 1852, 1853; Jacob Cole, 1855, 1857; William A. Miller, 1856; Augustus Metler, 1858; Israel Sweazy, 1860, 1861; James C. Beatty, 1862, 1863; David Swackhammer, 1865; David M. Young, 1866; Philip G. Stephens, 1867-69; Jacob C. Dellicker, 1870-75; Edward Weise, 1870-74; A. Trimmer, 1875; William Runyon, 1876-80; E. Dufford, 1879, 1880; Baker La Rue, 1879-81; William Voorhees, 1880, 1881; L. R. Shoenheit, 1880, 1881.
Chosen Freeholders.—Andrew Bay, 1841; John F. Smith, 1841; Lawrence Hager, 1842-49; Jacob Bird, 1842-44; John Naughright, 1845, 1846, 1850-54, 1865-70; William Dellicker, 1847, 1852, 1855-64, 1867, 1868; John A. De Cue, 1853-55, 1857-60; George W. Bunn, 1856, 1871, 1872; Eliphalet C. Willet, 1861-63, 1873-77; Frederick H. Bryan, 1864-66; Silas Neighbour, 1869-72; Edward Weise, 1873-76; L. H. Hunt, 1877-79; James Anthony, 1878, 1880, 1881.
Overseers of Poor.—William Naughright, 1846-50; David Karn, 1851-53; E. C. Willet, 1854-59; Jacob Coles, 1857; Augustus Metler, 1858; Israel Sweazy, 1860, 1861; James C. Beatty, 1862, 1863; George W. Bunn, 1864, 1867-69; David Swackhammer, 1865; Frederick Swackhammer, 1866; Jacob C. Dellicker, 1870-75; William Runyon, 1876-80; Baker La Rue, 1881.
School Commissioners.—Holloway W. Hunt, 1841-46; William Dellicker, 1841-45; James Scott, 1841, 1842; R. G. Vermilye, 1843-45; John J. Crater, 1846.
School Superintendents.—Rev. James H. Mason Knox, 1847, 1848; John F. Edwards, 1849; Frederick Dellicker, 1850-52; Garret Van Artsdalen, 1853, 1854; Theodore Naughright, 1855-64; Holloway W. Hunt, 1865, 1866.
CHURCHES OF WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP.
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, GERMAN VALLEY.
For our account of this church we are indebted to the late pastor, the Rev. A. Hiller.
This is probably the oldest church organization in the township and is the only Lutheran church in the county. It does not appear that the early settlers brought any ministers with them to this country; neither is it likely that they had any settled pastors for many years after their arrival. The Lutherans were probably visited from time to time by missionaries sent out from Hamburg and Holland as early as 1730. We have information that John Augustus Wolf, A. M., of Lobeglen, was ordained at Hamburg and sent as missionary to the province of New Jersey in the year 1734. The Lutheran church in the Valley for many years formed a part of the organization called Zion Church at Germantown, Hunterdon county, eight miles distant. The pastors lived there and preached here every third or fourth Sunday. There is a tradition that the first church edifice was built of logs, and that it stood on or near the site of the old stone church, the walls of which are still standing. This church was built by the Lutherans and the German Reformed people, probably as early as 1747. The old stone church referred to above was also built by the two congregations as a union church, in the year 1774. The walls are still standing, and with proper care will continue to stand for another century. The construction of this church is peculiar, and differs materially from the style of church architecture of to-day. It has no steeple and no gable ends, the roof sloping down to the walls on the four sides. There are two rows of windows on each side and there is no chimney. Over the little pulpit box which stood on one leg against the north side of the audience room was suspended a great "sounding board," and there were galleries on three sides of the church.
First among the early Lutheran ministers who preached here was the Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, D. D., known as the "father of American Lutheranism," a man of great learning and deep piety. Besides his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew he spoke English, German, Dutch, French, Latin and Swedish. He visited the different German settlements throughout the country and organized the scattered Lutherans, and afterward saw that they were provided with pastors. He was here as early as 1745. In March 1746 Rev. John Kurtz was sent here for a season "to collect the scattered flocks and instruct the young." In 1748 Rev. John Christopher Hartwick, the founder of Hartwick Seminary, N. Y., took charge of the congregation, but remained only a short time, when he accepted a call to New York city. He was followed in 1749 by the Rev. John Albert Weygand, who was ordained as the regular preacher of this charge on the first Sunday in Advent, 1750. Mr. Weygand was succeeded in 1753 by Pastor Schenck, of whose labors we have no further information. The latter was followed by the Rev. Dr. H. M. Muhlenberg, who had frequently visited this field before and exercised a sort of presiding eldership over it. He was pastor here from the 3d of June 1759 until the 2nd of May 1760. Dr. Muhlenberg was followed in 1760 by the Rev. Paul D. Brizelius, a Swede by birth, who had recently been licensed "by the Synod of the United American Lutheran Church of the Swedish and German Nations." It was during his pastorate that the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg organized the congregation at German Valley. In 1767 Pastor Brizelius accepted a call to Nova Scotia and was succeeded by the Rev. Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, the eldest son of Dr. Muhlenberg, who, having finished his studies at Halle, in Germany, had recently returned to America. He was settled here February 5th 1769. In 1772 he accepted a call to Woodstock, Va. The American Revolution breaking out soon after he earnestly espoused the cause of the colonists and joined the army, accepting from General Washington a colonel's commission. He raised the Eighth regiment, 300 men enlisting from his own congregations. He remained in the army until the close of the war, at which time he occupied the honored position of major general. He never returned to the ministry. He was succeeded as pastor here by his brother Henry Ernst Muhlenberg, who came here as assistant pastor to his father, who still had the supervision of the church in the year 1773. He styles himself "deputy rector of Zion." It was during his ministry that the old stone church was built. He was succeeded in July 1775 by the Rev. William Graaf, who was a native of Leinengen in the southwestern part of Germany. He pursued his theological studies at Geissen, in Hesse Darmstadt. He is described as a "learned and pious minister of the gospel, faithful in the discharge of his official duties, and a kind and indulgent parent." He was pastor here until his death, in 1809. During his ministry the Lutheran church at Spruce Run was organized. He was succeeded August 31st 1809 by the Rev. Earnest Lewis Hazelius, D. D., who, besides preaching to three congregations from nine to sixteen miles apart, successfully conducted a classical academy. In the year 1815 he was elected professor of Christian theology and principal of the classical department of Hartwick Seminary, N. Y., and immediately entered upon the work assigned him. He was succeeded August 5th 1816 by the Rev. David Hendricks, a graduate of Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., and who had studied theology under the direction of the Rev. Frederick Mayer, at Albany, N. Y. Mr. Hendricks was succeeded August 18th 1822 by the Rev. Henry Newmen Pohlman, D. D., who was pastor here twentyone years. During his pastorate, in the winter of 1839-40, a remarkable revival occurred in the church at New Germantown. Over 200 were converted; of whom 140 joined the associated churches.
Dr. Pohlman, having accepted a call to a church in Albany, N. Y., was succeeded here November 10th 1843 by the Rev. James R. Keiser. During his ministry a separation took place between the old mother church at New Germantown and the church at German Valley. The first resident pastor here was the Rev. Ephraim Deyoe, who succeeded Mr. Keiser in Nevember 1846. During his ministry the parsonage was built. He was succeeded by Rev. A. Hiller, September 9th 1858. During Mr. Hiller's ministry the church and parsonage were rebuilt. In 1881 he received and accepted a call to be professor of systematic theology in the Hartwick Theological Seminary, N. Y., to enter upon his labors there about the middle of September 1881, which completed the twenty-third year of his ministry in German Valley.
GERMAN REFORMED AND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, GERMAN VALLEY.
The following account is mainly condensed or copied from a most valuable "Historical Sketch of the German Reformed and Presbyterian Church of German Valley, delivered on the dedication of the church edifice, April 28th 1870, by Rev. I. Alstyne Blauvelt." We trust this acknowledgment will excuse the absence of quotation marks or further notice of this source of information.
To the German immigrants who had left their fatherland to obtain greater religious freedom on the shores of America as related on page 376 a church and a minister were necessities. After clearings had been made and rude log houses had been constructed to provide them shelter the new-comers set to work to build a log church, which is said to have been located near the spot where the ruins of the old stone church now stand. In what manner services in this edifice were conducted, or whether a regular minister accompanied the band in their exile, or whether they procured one soon after their arrival in the new country, is likely to remain always a matter of conjecture; certain it is, however, that the first minister to this community of whom we have any knowledge from record or tradition was the Rev. Michael Schlatter. He was sent out by the synods of North and South Holland, as a sort of missionary and superintendent, "to visit the various German settlements, organize churches, preach the gospel, administer the sacraments, prepare the way for the settlement of ministers who might be sent from the old country, and take the general oversight of the churches." He was a regularly educated minister, and well qualified for the duties imposed upon him. He sailed for America on the 1st of June 1746, and landed in Boston in August of that year. He went from Boston to New York, and afterward to Philadelphia, where he became pastor of the German Reformed church of that place in connection with one at Germantown. In his journal he writes:
"When I arrived safely at home on the 3d [of July 1747] I found a very earnest and moving letter written by several congregations in the province of New Jersey, namely at Rockaway [now Lebanon], German Valley, Fox Hill and Amwell, in the region of the Raritan, distant about seventy miles from Philadelphia. They urge me, with the strongest motives, yea they pray me, for God's sake, to pay them a visit that I may administer to them the Lord's Supper, and by baptism incorporate their children in the church, who have already, during three or more years, remained without baptism." And again: "On the 13th I undertook the journey to the three congregations in New Jersey, from which I had, on the 3d of July, received a most friendly and pressing invitation to meet them. On the 14th, after a journey of sixty miles, I came to Rockaway [Lebanon]. Here I received twenty young persons into the church after they had made a profession of their faith; preached a preparatory sermon on the 15th and on the following day administered the Holy Supper in a small church to an attentive and reverent assembly. In the afternoon I went to Fox Hill, where I preached a preparatory sermon, and on the following day, which was the 18th, I administered the Holy Supper to forty members. After I had performed this solemn service to the great edification of the congregation, and yet in each place preached a thanksgiving sermon after the communion, I returned again to Philadelphia on the 20th, joyful in heart and giving thanks to God for the support which he had rendered me. I cannot refrain from referring briefly to the fact that those three congregations, from gratitude for the service I had rendered them, handed me a pecuniary reward, the first money which since my arrival in America up to this time I have received for my labor and pains."
It was about three years longer before a pastor was secured for the church, or rather the two churches of German Valley and Rockaway, and even then their ministrant had not been ordained. His name was John Conrad Wirts, and he was a native of Zurich, Switzerland. It is not known when he came to this country, but he had preached for some time previous at Easton, in Pennsylvania.
An interregnum of a number of years followed the departure of Mr. Wirts in 1792. During that time it is thought Rev. Caspar Michael Stapel held occasional services at the Valley, but he was located at Amwell, in what is now known as Hunterdon county. His successor in that place was Rev. John Wesley Gilbert Nevelling, who is also supposed to have preached to the community at German Valley. One incident connected with this gentleman has come down to us through the mist and smoke of years. He had a habit, most unfortunately for himself, of smoking, and while he was riding on horseback with his pipe in his mouth his horse stumbled and fell, and the pipe stem was driven into the rider's throat, inflicting such a wound as ever after to disable him from preaching.
It was the year 1768 before another regular pastor was installed in the charge of the church at the Valley. His name was Frederick Dalliker. At first his charge consisted of the churches of Rockaway, Alexandria, German Valley and Foxenburg or Fox Hill, at which latter place a separate church was started about this time. A new church was built about the year 1776. The congregations were composed of Lutherans or Presbyterians and the Reformed sect. Before building, articles of agreement were drawn up and signed by the representatives of the two churches. The original paper was in German, and the following translation was made in 1817 by Rev. Caspar Wack:
"Whereas we the members of the Evangelical Reformed Congregation, and we the members of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, who by reason of the preachen which we have with Germantown, by reason of the money expended for the church and parsonage house are members of Zion's church, living in the Dutch Valley, Roxbury township, Morris county, are willing to build a meeting-house jointly;
"Be it hereby known to all men that the following conditions were agreed to by the subscribers, representing both congregations, viz.:
"I. Both parties have agreed to build the meeting-house at their united expenses, so that none of the parties may throw up anything to the other.
"II. As the church is built jointly, so it shall be kept by our posterity jointly; the friendship of both congregations giving us hope that in case of the necessary repairs of the meeting-house the weaker party will be supported by the stronger.
"III. Both parties with respect to public worship shall have an equal right; in case both preachers should meet together, then alternately the one must wait till twelve o'clock on the service of the other.
"IV. For the good of both congregations none shall be permitted to preach but such as are under a regular church government.
"V. Whereas, we do not only concern ourselves for ourselves, but for our posterity also, it is our will and opinion that none of the parties shall or can sell their right in any way or manner.
"Acted the 4th day of February 1784, which is testified to by Frederick Dalliker, V. D. M.; Henry Muhlenberg jr., deputy rector of Zion's corporation; Wilhelm Welsch, Diedric Strubel, Conrad Rorick, Caspar Eick, Anthon Waldorf, Adam Lorenz, Philip Weise, Christo pher Karn, Leonard Neighbour, Roulof Roulofson, John Schwackhammer, Andrew Flucky."
It was customary in those days and for some time afterward to help along public works by means of a bee, or gathering of the good folks of the vicinage, and thus save the contractor's bill. Perhaps all of the early school-houses and churches built in the township were commenced in this manner; certainly several of them were. At all events there was a very lively bee on this occasion. To stimulate the energies of all it had been decreed that the horses of him who brought the first load should be decorated with flags and ribbons as a testimonial of high honor. There was much excitement on the subject, and each one determined if possible to secure the prize. Judge David Welsh, who lived on the ground where David the fourth now resides, determined to try a little strategy. Accordingly, the evening before, he secretly loaded his wagon with stone and then concealed it through the night. In the morning he was up betimes, had his horses harnessed, and started for the ground before sunrise. But he was none too early, for as he drove up to the spot he heard the heavy wagons thundering down the mountains on both sides; although he won the prize of the decorations he was but little in advance of many others, and before he could get his wagon unloaded all German Valley was on the ground.
Mr. Dalliker remained pastor of the church until 1782, when a call was given to Rev. Caspar Wack, who accepted it (probably in that year), after some objection on his part and insistance on the part of the congregation. A call still extant is dated 1786, and is addressed to C. Wack "present preacher of the Valley and Fox Hill congregations." He perhaps did not labor at Rockaway till 1786.
Mr. Wack was the first young man born in America who entered the ministry of the German Reformed church, and he was the first man ever ordained by that church in this country. In connection with preaching he carried on the business of farming, on lands afterward included in the farms of John Swackhammer and John Creger. He taught a singing school, attended to the management of an oil-mill, conducted a fulling-mill, gave the instruction in a day school, baptized the infants, married the young, buried the aged, on Sundays preached to the congregations of German Valley, Fox Hill, Rockaway, Stillwater, Knowlton, and Sussex Court-house, and made money.
The following anecdotes are related of him: When he first came to the Valley the church services were conducted in German, a custom which he followed but for a time. A certain army officer happening in the neighborhood, and understanding that Mr. Wack preached in German, went to hear him on an occasion when his discourse was in English; after which he made the remark that he never knew before that German was so like English, and that he could understand a great deal of what Mr. Wack said. A Universalist preacher, once attempting to dispute with him, affirmed that his doctrine was an old one—that it was preached in Paradise; meaning to claim that the promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head was a proof of the doctrine of universal salvation. Mr. Wack replied: "Yes, your doctrine was preached in Paradise, and the devil preached it; his text was `Ye shall not surely die.'"
While Mr. Wack was on one of his long rides a young man asked and received permission to ride behind him on his horse. The young man was one whose life was a great way from the teachings both of law and gospel, and when he was seated on the parson's horse Mr. Wack gave him such an amount of wholesome admonition that he afterward declared it to be the hardest ride that he ever took.
Mr. Wack remained in this charge twenty-seven years, during which time ninety-eight persons were confirmed as communicants. He left the Valley in 1809, after which the church was vacant four years.
The successor of Mr. Wack was Rev. Jacob R. Castner, whose ministry lasted until 1820. He lived in a house which is still standing, though greatly enlarged—the house where Lawrence Hager lived and died. The ecclesiastical connection of the congregation had been with the German Reformed Synod of Pennsylvania until 1813, when it made application to the Presbytery of New Brunswick to be taken under its care; and beginning with the ministry of Mr. Castner it became the Presbyterian Church of German Valley. This was due largely to the fact that its previous connection had been with a body too far away for it to receive proper sympathy and care therefrom. Mr. Castner was a very urgent advocate of propriety in manners and life, and denounced with great vigor the very common sin of Sabbath-breaking, as well as other misdemeanors of a religious, or perhaps sacrilegious, nature, to which some of his parishioners were addicted. So stinging was his language in rebuking sin and sinners that he gained quite a character for invective, which virtue, however, was not always described by that name, as witness the following:
One of his parishioners represented to him that he had several daughters, who were fair to look upon, and possessed moreover of such charms and virtues as to excite the admiration of all the young men of the neighborhood. They accordingly had many suitors, but of course the fair damsels could not smile on all. As a consequence the rejected admirers were very angry, and were in the habit of venting their displeasure by unhanging the old gentleman's gates, stealing the bolts and linchpins out of his wagons, and committing many other depredations of a very annoying character. Mr. Castner expressed his sympathy for his friend, who had come to ask his assistance, but remarked that he did not exactly see how he could help him. ".Vy," said the man, "you 'pints meetin' to my house. De boys will all come; dey wants to see de gals. Den, ven you gits 'em dare, you zhust give 'em von real goot blagarden. Dey say you's goot at it."
During Mr. Castner's pastorate the first Sabbath-school was organized in the township, in 1816. He served the three churches of German Valley, Fairmount and Chester.
John C. Vandervoort was pastor from 1820 to 1828. Mancius S. Hutton was pastor from 1828 to 1834. During his pastorate the present church edifice was erected on a lot given by Lawrence Hager and Mr. Swackhammer. It was then esteemed a marvel of beauty, and still holds a front rank among country churches for comfort, neatness, and taste in furnishing. James Scott was pastor from 1834 to 1843, and was the first who had no other pastoral care than the church at German Valley. Robert G. Vermilye was pastor from 1843 to 1846, and James H. Mason Knox from 1846 to 1851. During his pastorate a parochial school was organized, by aid from the board of education. This school has made a deep and lasting impression upon the moral as well as intellectual condition of the community. Garret Van Artsdalen was pastor from 1851 to 1854, and William R. Glen from 1868 to 1874. During Mr. Glen's pastorate the church edifice was enlarged and refurnished. A large colony was also sent out to form the Presbyterian church of Lower Valley.
Edward P. Lennel became pastor in 1874 and still remains in charge. To him we are indebted for the history of the church from the close of Mr. Wack's pastorate.
The church has ever been noted for its Christian unity and its large-hearted support of its ministry, and has ever been influential for good in a large region of country.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AT PLEASANT GROVE.
The stone church at Pleasant Grove was built between 1803 and 1807. It is possible that the latter year is the date of its completion, and that it was more than one year in course of construction. There is a tradition, however, to the effect that a log house of worship preceded the erection of the stone church, both standing on the site where the present one is. The church community was organized under the care of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and the first pastor was the Rev. Dr. Joseph Campbell, who left the principalship of the preparatory school at Princeton to commence his labors at the Grove church in 1809. None of the early records of the church are preserved, and it is only from 1833 that the names of the officers, and other matters connected with the organization, can be learned. Dr. Campbell continued to minister to the church until October 1830, and from that time until October 1833 there seems to have been no settled pastor.
In 1833 the Rev. H. Whitefield Hunt jr. was installed as pastor. The elders at that time were Conrad Honness, Samuel Stephens, Peter Lance, James Hance, John Lance and John Lindaberry. Mr. Hunt was a man of much ability and exercised a commanding influence in the community where he was called to labor. He was born at Sparta, in Sussex county, in 1799. He was prepared for college under Dr. Findley at Basking Ridge, and graduated from Princeton in 1820. He was converted in early life, and for a time previous to his college course assisted Rev. I. Tyler in his classical school at Trenton. After graduation he conducted the Trenton Academy. He was licensed as an evangelist previous to his graduation from the Princeton seminary, and in 1823 made a missionary tour throughout the State of New York. He was ordained by the presbytery at Newton in 1823 as a colleague of his father in the church at Alexandria, where he remained until 1826. In May of that year he opened a classical school at Schooley's Mountain, which he continued for about five years. In 1831 he became a stated supply at Pleasant Grove, Danville and Stanhope, and he was installed as pastor at Pleasant Grove in 1832, and at the 2nd Mansfield in 1857, in both of which churches he continued until 1860. His pastorate at Pleasant Grove consequently continued twenty-eight years.
Mr. Hunt was succeeded in 1861 by the Rev. G. Lane, who remained but two years in charge of the church, and was in turn succeeded by the Rev. J. H. Clark (1863-69). Mr. Clark was fond of gardening and agricultural pursuits, and signalized his pastorate by planting fine orchards of apple, pear and peach trees in the parsonage grounds; and industry of which his successors still reap the fruits.
The pastorate was filled from 1870 to 1872 by the Rev. M. Ayres Depue, and from 1872 to 1876 by Rev. Samuel Sawyer. In the latter year the Rev. Burtis C. Megie, D. D., was installed.
Dr. Megie had previously been in charge of the church at Dover, during a period of thirty-eight years. His original progenitor in this country was John Megie, who came from Scotland to Perth Amboy in 1685. His son was Joseph. Joseph had sons, among whom were Joseph and Michael. Michael was the father of Rev Dr. David Megie of Elizabeth, and grandfather of Judge William Megie, of Elizabeth, and Rev. Dr. David Megie of Patterson. Joseph was the father of Daniel H. Megie, of New York city, and grandfather of Rev. B. C. Megie, D. D., of Pleasant Grove, Rev. Daniel E. Megie, of Boonton, and Rev. William H. Megie, of Brooklyn.
The following figures show the number of communicants connected with the church since the year 1830: There were when Dr. Campbell left, in 1830, 83 communicants; added during the pastorate of H. W. Hunt, 223; of G. Lane, 14; of Mr. Clark, 57; of Mr. Depue, 16; of Mr. Sawyer, 100; added up to 1879, 63; total, 556.
The present church edifice was built in 1857, and is a handsome and commodious frame structure. In the graveyard in which it is situated there are no stones of very great antiquity, but the cemetery is remarkable for the great length of days to which those who have been buried in it had attained. Perhaps a third of the stones mark the resting places of persons of over seventy years of age; several of those who rest beneath them reached the age of ninety years and upward, and one a hundred.
One monument in this inclosure, a plain slab of marble, is remarkable for a daguerreotype fixed in it. It is the picture of Mrs. Hannah Louisa Dorland, wife of Rev. Jacob S. Harden, and who was poisoned by him in the most deliberate and cruel manner. The event, which occurred in 1859 (in another county, however), created intense excitement throughout all this portion of the State. Harden was hanged at Belvidere in 1860.
Rev. Dr. Spencer H. Cone, pastor of the First Baptist Church of New York city, is buried here.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF DRAKESTOWN.
The church edifice is located in Washington township, near the northwest boundary of Mount Olive. We cannot ascertain the exact period when the itinerant preachers first appeared in this neighborhood, or when the first society was organized, or the names or number of original members. For many years the meetings were held in the stone school-house on the main road leading from Hackettstown to Flanders. The old building is still occupied as a district school-house.
A list of the ministers appointed by the Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York annual conferences to preach at this place is as follows:
1811, David Bartine sen. and Manning Force; 1812, David Bartine sen. and Charles Read; 1813, Sylvester Hill and George Banghart; 1814, James Moore and Benjamin Collins; 1815, John Finley and Anthony Atwood; 1816-48, William Ogden, James Long, John K. Shaw, George F. Brown, Abraham Gearhart, Francis A. Monell, William Wiggins, Warren C. Nelson, Curtis Talley, Edward Saunders, Joseph G. Chattle, Edmund Hance, Benjamin Kelly, George Winsor, Abraham Owen, Samuel Jacquett, Crooks S. Vancleve, William M. Burroughs, Josiah Canfield, T. T. Canfield, Caleb Lippencott, Swaim Thackaray, Robert Sutcliff; John S. Coit (appointed to the charge in 1854); John B. Heward, 1856, 1857; E. W. Adams, 1858, 1859; G. B. Jackson, 1860; William C. Nelson, 1861, 1862; John L. Hays, 1863, 1864; Richard Thomas, 1865, 1866; H. Trumbower, 1867; S. P. Lacey, 1868, 1869; Thomas Rawlings, 1870-72; J. H. Hartpence, 1873; S. K. Doolittle, 1874-76; G. F. Apgar, 1877-79; D. E. Frambes, 1880, 1881.
The membership at the present time is 90. The Sabbath-school is in a prosperous condition; Mr. Young is the superintendent. There is an average attendance of about 50 scholars. The school is kept up through the year. There are about 250 volumes in the library. In 1855 the church was built, at a cost of about $2,000. In the course of a few years the steeple and bell were added, costing about $600. The board of trustees at the time the church was built consisted of William H. Anderson, Henry V. Anderson, John Bilby, Sylvanus Lawrence and John Smith jr. The present trustees are William McLean, Henry Wiley, John S. Wiley, Stewart Ayres, Jacob Wack and Jacob F. Force.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF SCHOOLEY'S MOUNTAIN.
The Presbyterian Church of Schooley's Mountain is at Schooley's Mountain Springs, the popular summer resort. It is a young organization, not large in numbers, but filling an important field. It has a commodious and elegant church edifice, and sustains a very efficient and prosperous Sabbath-school. For more than half a century there have been religious meetings sustained here, largely by the visitors at the hotels. A stone church was built in 1825 upon ground conveyed in trust to the trustees of Princeton Theological Seminary, and the present edifice was erected upon the same ground in 1870. There was, however, no distinct church organization here until March 17th 1875, when the Presbytery of Morris and Orange constituted this as the Presbyterian Church of Schooley's Mountain. This action was the result of a remarkable revival which had occurred during the months preceding. Rev. Samuel Sawyer, then the settled pastor of the Presbyterian church of Pleasant Grove, had by invitation made this an outpost. Here for some years he had been preaching once on the Sabbath. Convinced that there was more than usual interest in this community, he began extra services here late in 1874. These continued and grew in interest until over seventy were converted. So large a harvest seemed to indicate the need of a granary here—hence this church. The basis of organization was the reception of twenty-four members from sister churches, who were here constituted the Presbyterian Church of Schooley's Mountain. At the first communion forty-eight others united by profession of faith, and two by certificate, making in all seventy four persons. During the six years that have since passed this church has maintained regular worship, both public and social.
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