From the book:
HISTORY OF ESSEX AND HUDSON COUNTIES, NEW JERSEY.
Compiled by William H. Shaw. Everts & Peck, Philadelphia. 1884.
CHAPTER LXVIII BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP.
By Rev. Charles E. Knox
|BLOOMFIELD took its name, in 1796, from Gen.
Joseph Bloomfield, afterwards Governor and chancellor of New Jersey. Local
names had become attached previously to separate settlements during the
slow growth of a hundred years. "Second River" was designated by the
Newark Town Council as a district of Newark in 1743—44 for that portion of
the late Bloomfield now known as Belleville. "Cranetown became a popular name for
the western portion towards the mountains at about the same early time "Watseson
Plain" and "Wattseson Hill" were the hill and the plain in the
southern part. "Newtown" was applied to the straggling settlement
eastwards well down the present Belleville Avenue. The "Morris
Plantation" had drifted into "Morris’s Mill" or the
"Morris Neighborhood." The "Stone House Plain" for the
northern end appears as early as 1695. "Crab Orchard," as colloquial
for land then covered by crab-apple trees north of the old church, and
"Hopewell" as an invention of the young men for the same region, had
died a natural death.
If a native name was to be selected, Wataeson or Watsesing should have been chosen. This Indian name is said to mean crooked or elbow-like, and to have been applied to Third River, the principal stream of the present town, which is very crooked throughout its course, and which makes a large elbow near the centre of the town.
Gen. Bloomfield, who had come into notice during the Revolutionary war, was now recognized throughout the State as a rising man. His public services and personal popularity directed attention to him at the critical time. His name was chosen, and the honor tendered was acknowledged in circumstances alike creditable to the people and to him. The choice was the act of the Presbyterian congregation then worshiping for some time in "the Joseph Davis house;" and inasmuch as the people were then beginning the erection of a house of worship, a white marble tablet, with the inscription, "Bloomfield, 1796," was set in the brown free-stone tower, to mark the beginning of a new township.
The next year Gen. Bloomfield paid the town a visit with a military escort, in formal recognition of the honor done him. The civil township, however, was not erected until 1812, when it included the territory from the crest of the mountain to the Passaic River.
The Bloomfields were of the old colony of Woodbridge. Moses Bloomfield, M.D., the father of Gen. Bloomfield, was "an influential member of the Legislature, and of the Provincial Congress before the Revolution."
Joseph Bloomfield was captain in the Third Regiment of the New Jersey Regulars in 1776. The regiment, commanded by Col. Elias Dayton, was sent that year to support the Northern army in Canada, but it was diverted from Albany to the Mohawk valley. Capt. Bloomeld brought Lady Johnston, of Johnstown Hall, as a prisoner to Albany. The regiment went on to the German Flats and to Fort Stanwix (Rome, N.Y.), to which place Capt. Bloomfield returned from Albany, bringing the news of the Declaration of Independence. He was made major in December, 1776, and was present in the battles of Brandywine and Monmouth, and resigned his commission in 1778 to accept the clerkship of the Assembly. In 1783 he was attorney-general of the State, and was re-elected to that office in 1788. In 1794 he was general of militia, and took part in the suppression of the "whiskey insurrection" in Pennsylvania. He was Governor and also chancellor of New Jersey in 1801, and from 1803 to 1812. In the war of 1812 he was appointed a brigadier-general. He died in 1825, and was buried in Burlington, where he had resided for many years.
Earlier and Later Outlines.— The tongue of land bounded by the curve in the Passaic River was originally divided between the Puritan and the Dutch colonies. The mountain was the ridge of the tongue. The whole breadth of the middle and the southern portions was Newark, and its settlement proceeded from the "town on the Passaic." The smaller portion of the tract— the tip of the tongue— was Acquackanonck, and its settlement proceeded from the Bergen colony, through Hackensack and through the nearer Indian village of Acquackanonck (Passaic), at the head of navigation. The line between the two was the original line of the Newark colony in 1666. The eastern line at that time was defined to be the "Pesayac River," and to reach northward "to the Third River above the town," and the northern boundary "from thence upon a northwest line to the mountaine."
The mountain was the west line of the Newark colony, or the Newark town proper.
The purchase from the Indians in 1666 did not define a west line. The corrected deed of sale in 1677—78 specifies "that it is meant, agreed and intended that their bounds shall reach or goe to the top of the said Great Mountaine and that Wee, the said Indians, will marke out the same."
The Town Patent or Charter was not given till 1718, and has a complete boundary. It specifies the land "Purchased from ye Indians, now known by ye name Name of Newarke, Bounded easterly by a great creek that runs from Hackingsack Bay, through ye Salt Meadow Called by the Indians Wequahick, and now Known by ye Name of Bound Creek, and continuing from the head of ye Said Creek to the head of a Cove to a Markt Tree; from thence it Extended Westerly upon a Straight Line, by Computation Seven Miles be the Same more or Less, to the End or foot of the Great Mountain, and to the Ridge thereof, called by the Indians Wachung, Near where Runs a branch of Rahway River; from thence extending on a Northerly Course along the Ridge of the Said Mountain to a heap of Stones, Erected to Ascertain the Boundary between the s’d Town of Newark and the Town of Achquickatnunck; front thence Running a South-east course by Achquickatnunck Bound Line to where the brook or Rivalet Called by the Indians Yantokah, but now Known by the Naune of the Third River, Emptieth itself into Pasayack River, and from thence Continuing Down along by the said Pasaiack River and Hacklngsack Bay to the mouth of the said Bound Creek." (East Jersey Records, liber A A A, folio 145.)
This gives us the west and north and east line of what became afterwards Bloomfield.
For one hundred and thirty years, however, before Bloomfield received its name the territory was identified with the Newark township, and it was not until one hundred and forty-six years from the first settlement that it received a separate town charter.
The township of Newark, designated for provincial convenience, was much broader. It extended far westward beyond the upper Passaic.
The town definition for the use of the province, first made in 1693, is as follows:
"The township of Newark shall include all the land from the mouth of the Bound creek, and from thence to Bound Hill, from thence Northwest to the partition line of the Province, and from the mouth of the said Bound creek up Pissiack River to the third river, and from thence to the partition line of the Province." (Leaming and Spicer’s Grants and Concessions, p. 320 seq)
The southern line of Bloomfield was established in 1806, when the township of Newark was divided by its own authority into three wards,— the Newark Ward, the Orange Ward and the Bloomfield Ward. The Orange Ward became that same year the township of Orange and the Bloomfield Ward became the township of Bloomfield in 1812. The line between the Orange and the Bloomfield Wards was established in 1806, as follows:
"Beginning at the Green Island in Passaik River, and running from thence to the Boiling Spring on lands of Phinehas Baldwin, dec’d., and from thence to the Bridge at the Slough between the houses of Jonathan Baldwin and Elihu Pierson, and from thence to the bridge near Martin Richards’, and from thence to Turkey Eagle Rock, on the top of the first Mountain; which we agree shall be the line between the Bloomfield Ward anti the wards of Newark and Orange."
Internal Divisions.- The benevolent care of the poor was the occasion of the first internal division of the Newark township. The "inhabitants of Second River and the Body of Newark" acted separately "in all affairs rebating to the Poor" for fifty-three years. The line of division established, was in part the line which afterwards divided Belleville from Bloomfield. The description given in 1748-44 is as follows:
"Beginning at Passaik River at the Gully near the house of Doctor Pigot, thence northwest to Second River, thence up the same to the Saw Mill belonging to George Harrison, thence a direct line to the north east corner of the Plantation of Stephen Morris, thence to the Notch in the mountain, leaving William Crane’s house to the southward thence on a direct line to Stephen Van Sile’s Bars, and Abraham Francisco’s to the Northward of said line; and it was agreed that all on the Northward of said lines should be esteemed Inhabitants of Second River, and all on the Southward of the Body of Newark."
This Notch is not the "Great Notch," which is beyond the town limits, but undoubtedly the little opening in the mountain just north of the present Mountain House.
This line crossed the mountain to the upper Passaic and so recognized either the provincial division of Newark or the aspiration of the Newark settlers for further territory. The division continued until Bloomfield had received its name in 1796, and until within three months of the time when Second River took the name of Belleville, on July 4, 1797. (The division wits discontinued on April 10, 1797.)
Belleville became a separate township in 1839. It took from the township of Bloomfield about one-third of its territory, and established the line between them as follows:
From the great boiling spring at the corner of the township of Orange "northerly on a straight line to a point on the northerly side of the old road leading from the village of Bloomfield to Newark, midway between the dwelling-houses of Charles R. Akers and Nicholas Coughlin; thence on a straight line to the northwest corner of the roads nearest to and north of the bridge across Randolph’s pond; thence on a straight line to the northwest corner of the roads leading to Franklinville and Morris’s Mill, near Peter Groshong’s dwelling-house; thence along the west aide of the road leading to Franklinville to the division line between said Groshong and lands late of Abraham Pake, deceased; thence, westwardly along said division line and the northern line of lands of Stephen Morris, to the centre of the Morris Canal; thence, along the middle of said canal northwardly, to the southern line of land of Christopher Mandeville, thence along said Mandeville’s line to the western line of said road, to the corner of the road leading from Franklinville, to Stone House plains; thence northwardly on a straight course to a point in the eastern line of the road near the late dwelling-house of Garret P. Jacobus, deceased, where the line of Acquackanonck township, in the county of Passaic, crosses said road."
"Cranetown "by popular designation became after 1812, West Bloomfield, but was incorporated as Montclair in 1868. The incorporation took away another third of the original Bloomfield, on its western side. The line between Bloomfield and Montclair was located as follows:
"Beginning at a point in the centre of the stone arch bridge over the stream crossing the road west of and near to the residence of Henry Stucky, on the Orange line; thence, front said starting-point in a straight line, about north thirty-one degrees five minutes east, to a point in Passaic County line, which point is five hundred feet west, on said county line, from the centre of the road running in front of the residence of Cornelius Van Houten."
The present township of Bloomfield is four and a half miles long, by an average breadth of one and three-quarter miles. (For statistics of square miles, population, etc. see the end of this historical sketch.)
The township of Acquackanonck lies on the north, Belleville and Newark on the east, Newark and Orange on the south, and Montclair on the west.
Surface, Streams and Soil.— Between the natural boundary of the mountain crest on the west and the natural boundary of the Passaic River on the east lies an unusually diversified and beautiful expanse of country. Parallel waves or ridges of land run from north to south. The mountain slope descends into plain and valley, and rises again upon a wave nearly the length of the township, known now as the Ridgewood line. This territory forms the beautiful region of Montclair.
The Ridgewood eastward slope spreads out into a level plain between the Second and Third Rivers and along these little streams, and swells upwards again in knolls and crests to the brow of another eastward ridge. This territory forms the picturesque and diversified region of Bloomfield.
The eastward ridge, broken by the Third River valley at the north and by the Second River valley at the south, slopes to the Passaic, and constitutes the attractive town of Belleville.
The water system of Bloomfield is simply tributary. Only two small streams, dignified by the historical names of Second and Third Rivers, traverse the region and empty through Belleville into the Passaic. They furnish numerous sites for mills and manufactories, but their insufficient water-power has long since been supplemented by steam.
The geological formation is sandstone, with trap underlying the mountain. The loamy soil was rich formerly in timbered uplands, in orchards, meadows, and farm lands; but the undulating surface is so diversified in attractive sites for residences that the whole town is being rapidly occupied as a suburban home of the cities.
Indian History.— The early Indian history is connected with the general purchases of the Newark colony. Few native names have been preserved as specially connected with this portion of the tract— hardly more than Yauntakah as the name of Third River, Wachung as the mountain, and Watseson, Wattseson or Watsessing, the crooked stream. The Hackensacks continued numerous for some years. Outbreaks were sometimes feared, as in the time of King Philip’s war in Connecticut in 1783, but no disturbance occurred here. As the natives were a peaceable tribe and their lands were honestly purchased, they quietly withdrew. The last one left the region for Canada in 1761.
Early History.— The period of the early history may be considered as extending from the year of settlement on the Passaic to the times of the Revolution.
THE DUTCH MOVEMENT.— The Holland colony at Bergen flowed northward to Hackensack, then westward to Acquackanonck (Passaic), and thence still westward over the mountain, and southward into the Newark colony. The strongest Dutch settlement within the region which became Bloomfield was "Second River." The northeast portion of the township was filled with Dutch farmers. That portion became known in more recent times as Franklin, and fell within the boundaries of Belleville. The northwest settlements became Stone House Plains and Speertown.
The Dutch purchase at Acquackanonck was from the Indians in 1679, and from the proprietors in 1684. The lands laid out in strips for farms ran parallel with the northern boundary of Bloomfield, and the migration swept over the boundary and possessed the northern part of the town. The northern end of Horseneck was filled almost exclusively with Holland people down to about 1800, and their reactionary southeast movement gave the township of Bloomfield some of its best citizens. At length the Holland blood was mixed with the Puritan, and the Holland families are now found in all parts of the town.
Some of the oldest names are Speer or Spier, Thomason, Arent, Vreelandt, Uriansen, Van Siles, Francisco, Kiper, Cadmus, Garrabrant, Van Riper, Jerolemon, Low and Kidney.
Vincent is a very old name of French Huguenot extraction, but at first was associated with the Hollanders.
Their church was established at Second River in 1727, and another Reformed Dutch Church was built at Stone House Plains on the opening of the present century, 1801.
THE PURITAN OR NEW ENGLAND COLONY.— The principal early population, however, was a portion of the Newark colony. The New England colonists were neither petty settlers of a little village nor were they great handed proprietors. They aimed at the possession of a large tract, but their purpose was a division into small plots for equal citizens. Many of those who established, themselves on a "home lot" in the first village, and took up a meadow lot in the salt marshes, took up also an "out-lot" or a "mountain lot" in the northern and western part of the town. Their children found their way to these lands and became the first out-settlers. Once past the swamps behind the Newark hill, they pitched on the Watseson lands or on the Second River sites, and followed the fenceless wagon tracks which forked to the mountains.
THE EARLIEST NAMES.— Owners of land are found in the southern part of the Bloomfield region within nine years after the Newark settlement.
In 1675, Stephen Davis, Robert Lyman, Hans Albert, Jonathan Sergeant and Matthew Camfield have land "in the mill-brook swamps," northwest of the Newark settlement, in the region along the present Morris Canal.
In 1679, Samuel Ward and John Gardner and Jabez Rogers have land at the mouth of the Second River.
John Ward, dish-turner, Elizabeth Ward (Ogden), Elizabeth Morris, John Ward, Sr., Samuel Harrison, Edward Ball and Thomas Pierson have land from 1675 to 1679 at or near the Second River.
Samuel Dodd takes land in 1678—79 "on Watseson," and Daniel Dodd, Thomas Richards and Thomas Pierson near or on "Watseson plane" or "on Watseson Hill;" and at about the same time Benjamin Baldwin at Watseson Hill and Second River.
Jasper Craine, Thomas Huntinton, Samuel Kitchell and Aaron Blachley are owners of land "at the head of the Second River," "in the branches of the Second River," "by the first branch of the Second River." In 1775, Robert Lyman, John Baldwin, Sr., Richard Harrison, Samuel Swaine, John Catlin, Hannah Freeman, Thomas Johnson, Anthony Oliff, "at the mountain," probably on the borders of the present Orange and Montclair.
Elizabeth Ward and Samuel Plum locate lands also on the Third River in 1679, and Samuel Plum "by the Ocquekanunc lyne."
We do not know that there was a house built in all the region before 1695, but these were the inhabitants in the sense of land-owners who used the tracts as wild lands or woodlands or grazing lands. There are at the least about sixty of them definitely known in the general territory extending from the present Orange border to the Acquackanonck line from the mountain to the Passaic.
Towards the end of the first quarter of the new century houses begin to appear.
EARLY ROADS.— "A highway is to pass through" the lands of Elizabeth Ward (Ogden), and of Elizabeth Morris "near" and "by" the Second River in 1675.
There is a "third going over," supposed to be a third crossing or ford of Second River, on Thomas Pierson’s land about 1678. A north and south highway bounds Matthew Camfield’s land on the Third River, next to Benjamin Baldwin, in 1698.
A highway is to pass through Elizabeth Ward’s (Ogden’s) land "by the Third River," which land adjoins Samuel Plum’s land by the "Ocquekanunc lyne" by the great river, in 1679.
These points in roads indicate rough wagon tracks, during the first early years of settlement, northwest towards Watseson, through the present centre of the town towards the "Morris plantation," and northwards from the Newark village through the present Belleville to the Acquackanonck line.
The road to the present centre of the town from the Newark settlement undoubtedly bent northeastward to pass around "mill brook swamp." It then found its way past "sunfish pond," over "Watseson Hill" to the Second River, to the plain between that river and the Third River and to hands on the Third River farther north.
In 1675 the east and west line of Aaron Blatchley’s land, "by the first branch of ye second river," is a highway. This is, no doubt, a rough road from the Newark settlement westward to the lands of Crane, Huntinton, Kitchell and Blotchley, in the upper part of the present Montclair. Surveyors are chosen in town-meeting, on Dec. 12, 1681, "to lay out highways as far as the Mountains if need be, and Passages to all Lands." An east and west highway lies along the south side of Matthew Camfield’s land, "by the mountain path," next Thomas Huntington, in 1698. A road from the town to the mountain crosses "Bushie Plain Brook" near a saw-mill in 1712.
These signify, no doubt, the early road or roads from the settlement to "Newark Mountains," as Orange was at first called.
A road from Stephen Morris’ mill, "up the hill," as the hill "will alow," was laid out in 1762. This is, no doubt, the Bay Lane road, and it indicates that the old Cranetown roads, from "Isaac Dodd’s corner" and from the Caleb Davis house, and the road westward on Watseson Plain to the mountains, were already in existence.
EARLY HOUSES.— We do not know that there was a house built in all this region before 1695. John Baldwin, Sr., in 1670, was to have one extra acre, by vote of the town, added to his "second division, of upland" for "his staying on his place the first summer." This seems a special inducement for him to remain somewhere on the outlands of the Newark tract, whether within or without the present Bloomfield.
Thomas Davis had "liberty to set up a saw mill" in the summer of 1695. It has been supposed that this was the saw mill on a site near the pond above Wheeler’s paper mill, in Montclair. The existence of a saw mill points to coming houses. Thomas Pierson’s "fence" appears below Watseson Hill in 1695. Anthony Olive’s house, on the border of Orange, near Wigwam Brook, makes its appearance in 1712, and the same year a saw mill, near or on "Bushie Plain Brook," which brook crossed the road "from the town to the mountain."
The first authentic dates of dwelling-houses are two,— the house of David Dodd, afterwards occupied by his son, Amos Dodd, still bearing in the corner-stone the initials of himself and wife, "NOUM 10, 1719, D.S.D." (Nov. 10, 1719, Daniel Sarah Dodd), the present dwelling-house (1884) of Chester Gilbert; and a dwelling-house of Abraham Van Geisen, on the east bank of Third River, near "Canoe Swamp." There was also a "mill lately built" (a grist mill, probably) in 1720 on the Third River, on Capt. John Morris’ plantation, and also a dwelling of one Vannevklor, near Toney’s Brook, in 1724. Among other ancient houses without authentic dates are the following: the Joseph Davis mansion, opposite the Baptist Church, supposed to have been built before the Revolution; the Abraham Cadmus house, on Montgomery Street; the Moses Farrand house, below Watseson Hill, Washington’s temporary quarters (now an inglorious unused cider mill, with honorable bullet scars in the old shell); the Thomas Cadmus house, on Washington Street, since known as Washington’s headquarters; the old house far down on Belleville Avenue; the Ephraim Morris house, removed some years since from the grounds of Mr. Thomas; and the old Crane houses, in Montclair.
A good number of these ancient houses were built of stone, for in 1721 the freestone began to be quarried for the market. The chimney and the big oven built outside the house indicated the Holland family.
Samuel Ward’s mill (a woolen mill) was in existence in 1725; and George Harrison’s saw mill, at Montgomery, either in 1728 or in 1740.
With mills to saw and a mill to grind and a mill to card the wool, and abundance of field-stone or even quarry-stone, the houses multiplied henceforth.
The Revolution and its Traditions.— When the Third Battalion was called for by Congress, and by the State, in 1776, Joseph Bloomfield, then from Bridgeton, appears as the captain of the Seventh Company.
The larger part of the enlistments from the northern part of Newark were in the militia rather than in the regular service. The following officers from Essex County, in 1777, were quite likely from this territory: Lieutenant Colonels, Jacob Crane, Mathias Ward and Thomas Cadmus; Major, Caleb Dodd; Captains, Amos Dodd, Henry Joralemon, Abraham Speer and Cornelius Speer.
The following officers are without date of enlistment: James Joralemon, (wounded afterwards at Springfield,) John Kidney, Josiah Pierson, Samuel Pierson, Thomas Seigler, Isaac Smith, Henry Speer, Jonas Ward; Jesse Baldwin at first ensign, then lieutenant, then quartermaster, then quartermaster in the regular army; Second Lieutenants, John and Joseph Crane and James Spear; Sergeants, Obadiah Crane, Joseph Crowell, Samuel Jones, who host a leg in Newark in 1782; Musicians, Benjamin and David D. Crane.
There are among the privates from the county thirty Baldwins, among them Daniel, David, Ichabod, Israel, Jabez, Jesse, Jonathan, Matthias, Lewis, Silas, Simson and Zophar; fourteen Balls, among them Daniel and Joseph; four Cadmuses, Henry, Isaac, John and Peter; twenty-nine Cranes, among them Aaron, Amos, Elias, Israel, James, John, Mathias, Moses, Nathanael and Phineas; eight Davises, among them John, Jonathan, Joseph and Peter; twenty-two Dodds, among them Abiel, Abijah, David, Ebenezer, Isaac, John, Joseph, Moses, Parmenas, Thomas, Timothy and Uzal; Thomas Doremus; three Franciscos, Anthony, John and Peter; eight Freelands and three Vreelands; four Freemans; Garrabrant Garrabrants and two others of the name; fifteen Harrisons; four Jacobuses; three Joralemons, one of them Halmock; five Kings, among them Aury; six Kingslands; David and Davis Morris; seven Ogdens, among them John; thirteen Osborns, Osbornes and Osburns; Richard Powelson; Isaac and Peter Riker; six Spears and Spiers; eleven Taylors; two Van Houtens; five Van-Rikers, among them Cornelius, Gerrit and Morris; four Van Winkles; John and Levi Vincent; and seventeen Wards, among them Bethuel, Caleb, Caleb, Jr., Jacob, Joseph, Nathaniel, Samuel, Timothy and Zebina.
A large share of these persons whose names are selected from the rosters were from this outlying part of Newark. They took their place, some as minutemen, some in the regular troops and many as militia, ready for an emergency, such as they were called to face in the battle of Springfield.
The Declaration of Independence, it is said, was first read in this region at the school-house on Watsessing Hill.
There were two campaigns of the Revolution which touched this region,— the retreat of Washington through New Jersey in 1776, and the attempts of the British on Washington’s position at Morristown through Connecticut Farms and Springfield, in 1780.
When, after the battle on Long Island, in September, 1776, Washington’s army retreated across the Hudson to Acquackanonck, and then fell down to Newark, Newark as a township is no doubt meant. The army in rapid retreat marched, no doubt, on parallel roads, and the old road over Watsessing Hill and Plain was probably one of these roads. The tradition is that when Washington came to the Joseph Davis house he found it occupied by Gen. Knox and sick soldiers, and refused to displace them in order to make it his quarters. It is quite likely that he went on over the hill, and took temporary quarters at the Moses Farrand house. When the army swept on to Newark village, and a detachment moved through Orange, both portions of the army pursued by the enemy, the people fled over the mountains and into Stone House Plains.
The two pastors of the people, Dr. Alexander MacWhorter and Rev. Jedediah Chapman were zealous patriots, and were compelled to flee: Dr. MacWhorter in the council of Washington. The posts on the mountain crest were filled with watchmen, the rear of the mountain with refugees. The whole region was ravaged for plunder. The Hessians swept through Watseson and East Orange. When the reaction came, on Washington’s return through Trenton, Princeton and Monmouth to Morristown, the people returned to their desolated fields and plundered houses. "Whiskey Lane" still remains as the name given to one of the roads where whiskey was seized by a British company, or where whiskey itself seized the raiders.
At the battles of Connecticut Farms and of Springfield, in 1780, the militia of the whole region seized firelock and sword. The captains, the major, the lieutenant-colonel from this region were among them; and Washington was delighted with the patriotism and bravery of the people. He was just then on the march from Morristown to the Hudson, but he moved slowly, and was temporarily in Bloomfield, at the Thomas Cadmus and the Stephen Fordham houses.
The Hollanders were patriots equally with the Puritans, as the names of the officers have shown. The adventure of Capt. John Kidney, Capt. Henry Joralemon, Jacob Garlon and Halmock Joralemon shows them in the raids which shot back and forth across the marshes and the sound. The story is that with fleet horses and a common wood-sled, on a wild wintry night, they crossed the marshes to Bergen, proceeded to a school-house where British officers and soldiers were making merry, surrounded and took the house, with their mighty force of four, muffled and secured an officer and a refugee, regained the meadows before the alarm-gun fired, took the prisoners to the Morristown jail, and returned the heroes of the day among their old neighbors.
The Later History from the time of the Revolution.— Patriotism, education and religion were the passions of the Puritans. Each of these passions took form in unusually bold expression in Bloomfield. The "Common," the parading-ground of citizen soldiers, was spacious and central. It was laid in front of the church lot, which was already occupied with material for the new edifice. The academy, which soon followed the church, was a massive edifice for a rural community in the early century. It included in its plan of education, in connection with neighboring pastors, missionary and theological training, and sent many young men into the ministry. It was the culmination of the excellent common schools long before established and of the catechetical instruction of the Puritans.
The stone church, far larger than their present need, with foundations and walls wisely laid for successive enlargement and for modern adornment, was the concrete symbol of their value of religion.
The Presbyterian Church was identified with the name of the town and with the larger body of the people. The Reformed Dutch Church at Stone House Plains was identified with only a section of the town.
The church at Newark village became the First Presbyterian Church of Newark in 1753. The church at Newark Mountains became the Second Presbyterian Church in Newark in 1783, afterwards the First Presbyterian Church of Orange. The Bloomfield Church became the Third Presbyterian Church of Newark; the congregation organized in 1794, the civil society in 1796 and the ecclesiastical body in 1798.
According to the proportion of members taken from the two older churches, about two-thirds of the people had attended previously the Orange Church and about one-third the Newark Village Church.
Services had also been held a long time in the little school-house near the church site, and for some six years in the Joseph Davis house. The Rev. Jedediah Chapman, of Orange, the last clergyman of the vicinity who wore the three-cornered cocked hat as the badge of the ministry, catechised the children at the school-house.
No doubt the building of the new edifice was stimulated by the erection of neighboring churches after the Revolutionary war. Churches had been built at Elizabeth in 1785, at Newark in 1790, at Springfield in 1791, at Caldwell in 1795—96.
A parchment subscription in October, 1796, contains fifty-nine names with five subscriptions of one hundred pounds each and other subscriptions all the way down to one pound. The Baldwins, Cranes, Dodds, Morrises, Wards, Balls, and Davises constituted about three-fifths of the population in the Puritan part of the town at that time. The Vincents, Cadmuses, Cockefairs, Uriances and Garrabrants were the principal Holland names among the Puritans. The sum of the parchment subscription in 1796 was £1615 4s., or $4038.
The second subscription, in 1798, "for the use of the meeting-house" amounted to L737 12s., or $1844. It was a large enterprise, and there was little wealth. All were workmen,— amuel Laurence Ward was the architect, and Josiah James, of Newark, also superintendent of construction; Aury King, chief mason, associated with Henry Cadmus and Henry King. The managers of the building were Simeon Baldwin, Nathaniel Crane and Joseph Davis. The trustees in 1797 were Samuel Ward, Ephraim Morris, Oliver Crane and Joseph Davis.
Gen. Bloomfield made a visit in 1797 in recognition of the honor done him in giving his name to the town, was publicly welcomed by the people, and contributed one hundred and forty dollars to help on the building. Mrs. Bloomfield presented a pulpit Bible and psalm-book. The services began in the edifice in 1799, before the windows were in or the floors were laid, and the first Sunday of the new century opened with the new pastor.
The building has since been twice enlarged. Fifteen feet were added in length in 1853, and a handsome transept Sunday-school room was completed in 1883.
The original elders and deacons in 1798 were Simeon Baldwin, Ephraim Morris, Isaac Dodd and Joseph Crane; the original membership, eighty-three persons.
The succession of pastors has been Rev. Abel Jackson, 1800—10; Rev. Cyrus Gildersleeve, 1812—18; Rev. Gideon N. Judd, D.D., 1820—34; Rev. Ebenezer Seymour, 1834—47; Rev. George Duffield, D.D., 1847—51; Rev. James M. Sherwood, 1852—58; Rev. Ellis J. Newlin, D.D., 1859—63; Rev. Charles E. Knox, D.D., 1864—73; Rev. Henry W. Ballantine, 1877—84.
The Reformed Church.— The Holland people in the northern part of the town were no doubt connected with the neighboring Dutch congregations at a day quite as early as the Puritans of the town with their own. The Dutch Churches were on the west at Horseneck, on the north at Totowa, on the northeast at Acquackanonck, and on the southeast at Second River. While such men as Bertholf, at Acquackanonck and Second River, were abounding in apostolic missionary journeys, and the learned and humble-minded Meyer was at Totowa and Horseneck, and their associates or successors, Coens, Van Sanvoord, Hoeghoort, Marinus, Leydt and Schoonmaker were caring for the Holland people all the way down to 1794, the Holland farmers of the Franklin, Stone House Plain and Speertown neighborhoods found attractive churches and pastors at hand. Their natural affinity was at Acquackanonek and Second River. However early the school-house was erected, there was the preacher in an occasional service in the Dutch tongue and later in the English. It is probable that Stone House Plains was first a regular preaching-station under the Rev. Peter Stryker, who came to Second River in 1794. Under him the Reformed Church at Stone House Plain was organized in 1801. The first church edifice was erected in 1802. The present edifice, built of freestone and ten feet longer than the first, was built on the old site in 1857, the spire completed in 1860—61. The Rev. Mr. Stryker served both churches for some years. The Rev. Staats Van Sanvoord seems to have succeeded him as pastor of the two churches, and the two churches continued together until 1826. The succeeding pastors have been Rev. John G. Tarbell, 1827—28; Rev. Alexander G. Hillman, 1836—41; Rev. Eben S. Hammond, 1842-44; Rev. William Thompson, 1845—46; Rev. Robert A. Quinn, 1847—49; Rev. John A. Leiddell, 1849—50; Rev. John Wiseman, 1851—52; Rev. Peter S. Talmage, 1853—65. During his pastorate the new church organized at Franklin in 1855 was for a time under his care. Rev. Benjamin J. Stateser, 1866-72; Rev. John Kershaw, 1873—82; Rev. William G.E. Lee.
A good number of the Holland people, such as the Cadmus, Joralemon and Kidney families, residing among the Puritan population, were also connected with the church at Second River.
Other Churches.— The Presbyterian Church of West Bloomfield, a colony from the Bloomfield Church in 1838, the Methodist Episcopal Church in that part of the town, St. Luke’s Church and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, which have their early history as a portion of Bloomfield, are placed in the history of Montclair.
The Reformed Church, the Episcopal Church, the Methodist Church, the Roman Catholic Church of Second River, and the Reformed Church of Franklin, although all originating in the original territory, either of the Newark colony or of Bloomfield, have their place in the history of Belleville.
The Reformed Church at Franklin sprang out of a preaching-station at which the preaching was supplied from 1849 to 1855 by the pastors both of Stone House Plain and Belleville.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH of Bloomfield was originally on the Second River circuit. Services were held at first in the house of Mrs. Naomi Cockefair, above the Morris neighborhood. A small stone church was erected there in 1822, Rev. Manning Force and Rev. Benjamin Collins officiating as early pastors. Rev. Mr. Wiggins and Rev. Isaac Winner were on the circuit in 1828 and 1830, the circuit including Belleville, Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Caldwell, Orange, etc. James Wilde and his son, Henry Wilde, whose woolen manufacturing and print-works were in West Bloomfield, added, with their English Wesleyan workmen, a strong force to the Methodist Society, so that a church was erected in 1836 between the two villages. From this central location two parts went out, one to Bloomfield and the other to West Bloomfield. The society in the "Coit neighborhood" meanwhile had become a "class." The Coit stone building was taken down, and used in 1853 in the erection of the present edifice on the park in Bloomfield. This edifice was enlarged and adorned in 1881, and a new Sunday-school room added in 1883—84. Prominent among their many pastors have been Rev. G.R. Snyder, 1853—54; Rev. Sylvester H. Opdyke, 1858—59; Rev. Joseph R. Adams, 1865-67; Rev. Stacy W. Hillard, 1868—70; Rev. Stephen L. Baldwin, D.D., 1871; Rev. Henry Spellmeyer, D.D., 1872—74; Rev. Edson W. Burr; 1875-77; Rev. Warren W. Hoagland, 1878-79; Rev. Richard Harcourt, 1881; and Rev. Daniel R. Lowrie, 1882—84.
THE WATSESSING METHODIST CHURCH is an offshoot from this church, and was organized in 1872.
A PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL was erected on the "old road" from Bloomfield to Newark in 1830. It was a weak organization, and was after several years disbanded. The building became private property.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH was organized in a private house in 1851. The society secured and refitted the old Franklin school-house in 1852, where their first preaching services were held. Their public recognition as a church took place in the lecture-room of the Presbyterian Church on Feb. 13, 1852. Their house of worship, built of brick, at the junction of Franklin and Washington Streets, at a cost of eight thousand dollars, was opened in 1853. Their five pastors have been the Rev. John D. Meeson, 1852—53; Rev. James H. Pratt, 1853—58; the Rev. Henry F. Smith, D.D., 1858—68; the Rev. William F. Stubbert, D.D., 1869—1875, and the Rev. E.D. Simons, from 1876.
THE GERMAN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH received strength and nurture from the pastor of the Presbyterian Church, the Rev. James M. Sherwood. It was organized by him on Jan. 1, 1855, and worshiped in the lecture-room of the old church for some ten years. Their first stated supply of the pulpit was the colporteur, Charles H. Theberath, who continued his services through the year 1858. Rev. Christian Wisner, while still an elder of the church and a theological student, was his successor, and was the first regular pastor from 1864 to 1867. Their second pastor, from 1868, who was also an elder in the church, is the Rev. John M. Ensslin. Their church edifice was dedicated on July 1, 1866; it was built at a cost of five thousand three hundred dollars and a parsonage at a cost of three thousand dollars is in process of erection, in 1884.
THE FIRST FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH of Bloomfield had its origin in a Bible class under Mr. Volney Elliott in 1857—58. The organization was completed on July 7, 1858, in the vacant Primitive Methodist Chapel on the old road to Newark. It has not at-tamed a public edifice nor a settled pastor, but devotional services have been held for some years at private houses.
CHRIST CHURCH was established as a mission of the Episcopal Church in 1858,— the Rev. Samuel A. Clark and the Rev. Henry B. Sherman acting for the executive committee of the Protestant Episcopal Society in the State of New Jersey. The first services were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Sherman in Union Hall. The Rev. Henry B. Barstow officiated until the Rev. Henry Marsh was appointed the stated missionary.
The church was organized as a parish on Oct. 4, 1858. A lot for a church edifice was at first purchased on the turnpike, but the site on Liberty Street on which the church now stands was deemed more desirable. The church edifice was erected during the winter of 1860—61 at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars. It has since been enlarged and improved, and a rectory and a school building have been added. The following have been the rectors: the Rev. Henry Marsh, 1858—63; Rev. Charles Ritter, 1863—64; Rev. W.A. Maybin, 1864—65; Rev. Albert Z. Gray, D.D., now dean of Racine College, Wisconsin, 1865—68; Rev. W.H. Carter, D.D., LL.D., 1869; Rev. Mm. Martin Amstout; Rev. T.J. Danner, 1872—76; Rev. William G. Farrington, D.D., from 1877. During the rectorate of the Rev. Dr. Carter two mission organizations were begun, one in Watsessing and the other in the Franklin district of Belleville.
ST. PAUL’S CHURCH, at Watsessing, had its origin in a weekly service established in 1869. A chapel was soon built, and the organization was recognized as a mission of Christ Church in January, 1870. In 1875 the chapel building was removed to Dodd Street, just over the town line, and the church became St. Paul’s Protestant Episcopal Church of East Orange. The church became independent of its mission relation in 1876, and called its first rector on May 14, 1876. The rectors have been Rev. William White Wilson, 1876—80; Rev. Daniel I. Edwards, from 1880.
THE WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH is a colony of the original Presbyterian Church. It was organized in the old church in January, 1870. The first preaching service was held in the academy building on July 11, 1869, and worship was continued there and in Eucleian Hall until the next summer. The chapel was during that time in process of erection on the church lot at the corner of Franklin and Fremont Streets, the old church assisting the new in the erection. The edifice was dedicated and the first pastor installed in September. The two pastors have been the Rev. Duncan Kennedy, D.D., 1870—81; Rev. Samuel W. Duffield, from 1881.
THE CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART is a colony of the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Montclair. The Montclair parish had previously included in its care all the Roman Catholics from Caldwehl to Watsessing. The Bloomfield parish was organized on July 1, 1878, under the supervision of Rev. J.M. Nardiello, the present and only priest. The cornerstone was laid July 28, 1878, and the church was formally dedicated on November 17th of that year. The church has a handsome parochial school building, constructed of stone, trimmed with brick, and a priest’s residence.
Schools and Education.— The history of schools and of education may be divided into three periods.
1. The early school period before the erection of the academy.
The school and the church were in close union among the Hollanders. We may believe, therefore, that the establishment of a Dutch Church at Second River in 1827 was either accompanied or soon followed by a school.
The Puritan settlements from 1719 onwards no doubt developed some form of instruction outside the incipient schools of Newark village.
The oldest tradition, however, does not point to a school-house earlier than 1740. The memory of the Cranetown people places their first school-house in that year.
The first authentic record is in the foundation-stone of the Watsessing Hill School-house, which announces its first construction in 1758, and its addition on the east end in 1782. Both parts were built of stone. It remained standing till 1852, when it made place for the house of Mr. Jay L. Adams. (Now the residence of Mr. Willard Richards.)
At some time before 1780, Thomas Davis gave a quarter of an acre of land for a school-house site "near the house of Capt. John Ogden," which was near the present house of Mr. Jason Crane. But in 1782, Caleb and Joseph Davis, probably the grandson and the great-grandson of Thomas Davis, exchanged for the quarter-acre a new half-acre at the corner of the Newtown road. On this new lot was placed, at about 1782, a wooden building, which was soon after burned, and a small stone edifice took its place.
After sixty-seven years the half-acre was enlarged by additional purchases on the east side. The little stone school-house in 1849 gave way to a substantial brick building, located on the recent addition, and the lot of 1782 became a portion of the present school play-ground behind the Presbyterian Church.
The only person of whom we have definite knowledge as connected with the schools before 1790 was the boy Stephen Dodd, then eleven years of age, who went to school on Watsessing Hill, or, as it then probabhy began to be called, the Franklin School-house.
Alexander Wilson, the celebrated ornithologist was for a time teacher in the upper school-house tradition has it that in lively spirits he wrote the qualities of the good people of the time in doggerel verse. But the earliest teacher of whom we have full information was Mr. Amzi Armstrong, a young man about seventeen years of age, who taught on Watsessing Hill in 1788 or 1789. He came from Florida, N.Y., and twenty years later, as Dr. Amzi Armstrong, became the successful principal of the academy. He studied theology under the Rev. Jedediah Chapman, of Orange, while he was teaching in the Franklin School-house, and was called to be pastor of the Mendham Presbyterian Church in 1796. One of his successors was the son of Mr. Armstrong’s former pastor in Florida, Mr. Amzi Lewis, Jr., who was teaching here in 1810. With him was associated Mr. Amos Holbrook. The two taught in the two school-houses, alternating a month or so at a time, in the year 1810.
2. The period of the Academy and of Madam Cook’s school.
THE ACADEMY was projected in 1807, and sufficiently finished in 1810 for the reception of students. It was an unusual enterprise among the academies of the day. Its object was the education of young men for the ministry, and it was closely identified with the interests of the church. It seems in its highest days quite to have surpassed in reputation the academies of Newark and of Orange, whose origin preceded. It absorbed the attention of the town; and as all schools then were on the plan of the payment of the tuition, the academy first, and afterwards the academy and "Madame Cook’s School," quite overshadowed the common schools.
It was built by "a society for the promotion of literature," and "for the purpose of building an academy" upon joint-stock subscription, in shares of twenty-five dollars each. Its massive brick walls have since been adorned with a mansard roof, and its color has been made more pleasing to the eye. The corner-stone was laid with addresses by the Rev. Abel Jackson and by the Rev. William Woodbridge, then principal of the Newark Academy.
Mr. Amzi Lewis, Jr., became the first principal, a man of pleasing address and of undoubted abilities, who declined in health and soon died.
His successor was a graduate and a tutor from Princeton,— the Rev. Humphrey Mount Perine. The Rev Abner Brundage was his usher or assistant.
Rev. John Ford, who came from Princeton in 1812, followed Mr. Perine, and added French to the preceding attractions, assisted by his brother, Rev. Marcus Ford.
The students of the classical department were from thirty to forty in number, young men of mature age, who assisted the principal in conducting the morning and evening devotions. The primary department in the front basement numbered at that time about seventy-five pupils.
Rev. Abner Brundage, who was a student among them, could recall in his old age twenty-two of his fellow-students who became professional men. Among them were Rev. Jacob Tuttle, father of Rev. Joseph F. Tuttle, D.D. (president of Wabash College, Indiana), Rev. John M. Babbit, Rev. Stephen Saunders, Rev. Elias Harrison, D.D., Rev. Samuel H. Cox, D.D. LL.D., Rev. Enos A. Osborne, Rev. Backus Wilbur, Rev. Ezra H. Day, Rev. Robert Condit, D.D.. Rev. William J. Armstrong, D D., Rev. Edwin E Downer, Rev. Stephen Dodd Ward, Albert Pierson (afterward principal of the academy), Hon. William B. Kinney, Hon. William Pennington, Dr. Samuel Lawrence Ward, Dr. Charles Davis, Dr. Joseph Smith Dodd and his brother, Amzi Dodd, Esq., William Miller and Ira Whitehead. The institution gained celebrity, and became the principal seminary of learning in this part of the State.
Rev. Amzi Ammstmong, D.D., became principal from 1816 to 1826. He came from Mendham, and conducted the institution with signal ability. His disposition was happy, his wit was keen, his judgment was sound, his mind was penetrating and commanding. He was assisted by his son, Rev. Dr. William J. Armstrong, by Mm. Albert Pierson, who afterward became his son-in-law, by his second son, afterward Hon. Amzi Armstrong, by Rev. Dr. Philip C. Hay, and Rev. Stephen D. Ward, then young men.
Most of the students intending to enter the ministry entered the junior class at college and then the Theological Seminary; but in some instances their whole course, academic and theological, was taken under Dr. Armstrong.
Among the students were the Rev. Erasmus D. Willis, Rev. Festus Hanks, Rev. George Pierson, Rev. Charles E. Hyde, Rev. Daniel W. Lothrop, Rev. James Adams, Rev. Samuel Hutchings, Rev. E.R. Hoisington, Rev. John Seeley, Rev. Peter Kanouse, Rev. George Taylor, Rev. Nehemiah Losey, Samuel H.B. Black, Aaron Kitchell and Jotham Johnson.
Albert Pierson was principal from 1826 to 1830 or 1831, with Zophar B. Dodd and afterward John A. Nash as supervisor of the board and labor of the students. Mr. Pierson was the first scholar of his class in college, a skillful teacher, "a grave, diligent, exact, and exacting master of latinity" as one of his diligent students remembers him. Among the students of that time were the Rev. Joseph Vance, Rev. Nathan Shotwell, Rev. Obadiah W. Johnson, Rev. Thomas Cochran, Rev. Eheazer T. Ball, Rev. Aaron Beach, Rev. Lewis Hamilton, Rev. H.L. Hequembourg, Rev. Arthur Grange; Rev. Jacob Ennis, Rev. Abraham De Witt, Rev. ----- Thomson, Rev. Joseph Clark, Rev. George D. Young, Rev. Alanson Scofield, Rev. Nathan H. Gale, Rev. Nicholas W. Chevalier, Rev. William C. Munroe, Heman Mead, John A. Brevort, and later Rev. Robert R. Kellogg, Rev. Peter Dougherty, Rev. J.H. Sherwood, Rev. Elias T. Richards, D.D., Rev. John H. Morrison, D.D., of the Lodiana Mission, India, (with whom originated the "Week of Prayer" now observed by the Evangelical Alliance throughout the world), Rev. George D. Armstrong, D.D., Rev. Mclancthon W. Jacobus, D.D., Rev. Joseph F. Tuttle, D.D., Rev. Samuel Paine, Rev. Nathaniel Beach, Rev. Marcus Crane, David A. Frame, John Provost, I.M. IVard, M.D., Joseph A. Davis, M.D., Moses W. Dodd and others.
Under Dr. Armstrong the academy was conducted as his own private school. Before he left Bloomfield the property was conveyed to the Presbyterian Education Society. The original stock in the building was lost, but fifteen hundred dollars were subscribed in Bloomfield to the society to aid them in making the purchase.
Mr. Edwin Hall, hate a tutor in Middlebury College, was the principal in 1831—32. This was the Rev. Dr. Edwin Hall, afterwards professor of theology in the Auburn Theological Seminary. He was principal but a single year, but he left on his departure the reputation of a stimulating and commanding teacher. Twenty-five or thirty beneficiaries were sustained by the Education Society. His administration was promising a new career of success in the history of the institution, when the smallpox broke out among the students, and a second attack followed. This unexpected interruption and certain other complications were the occasion of the termination of the academic and theological period of the institution. It had had a successful career of twenty-two years.
Among the students under Rev. Dr. Hall were Hon. Edward W. Whelpley, Edward A. Lambert, Rev. Melancthon W. Jacobus, D.D., Rev Burtis C. Megie and his brother, Rev. Daniel E. Megie, Rev. Thomas Sydenham Ward and his brother, Rev. John Ward, Rev. Charles E. Mills, Rev. Samuel Laurence Tuttle, Rev. Alexander O. Peloubet, Rev. William Purcell, Rev. J.H. Howe, and Rev. John Knox.
The principals who afterwards conducted the academy as a private school were Egbert W. Wheeler, 1832—33; Franklin W. Sherrill, with Marshal Warner, assistant, 1833—37; William K. McDonald, 1838—1843; David A. Frame, with Amzi Dodd, Joseph Riggs and Thomas C. Dodd, assistants, 1842—44; Warren S. Holt and James H. Rundall, 1844-45; James H. Rundall, 1845—66.
The property passed through a number of changes, and was finally bought from James H. Rundall by the board of directors of the German Theological School. It is now occupied by them as a seminary, with academic and theological departments.
MADAME COOKE’S SCHOOL.— During the latter part of the academy period the Bloomfield Female Seminary was organized. A building was prepared facing "the common," in 1836, by an association of gentlemen, at a cost of six thousand dollars. Madame Cooke’s School, as it was familiarly called, was for the young ladies of the place what the academy had been for the young men.
Mrs. Harriet B. Cooke had taught in Vergennes, Middleburg and Woodstock, Vt., and in Augusta, Ga. For eighteen years her seminary in Bloomfield was the centre of a powerful intellectual and religious influence. She was a woman of powerful and penetrating mind. With great decision of character, her quick insight, profound sympathy and deep piety swayed teachers, scholars and families in the town. The celebrity of her school became established. Her rooms were filled with incomers and her day-desks with the girls and young ladies of the vicinity.
Her son, Mr. Robert L. Cooke, in 1837 became associated with her, and continued the school after his mother had withdrawn. The religious life was the ruling object of Mrs. Cooke, but the instruction commanded high esteem. She wrote, late in life, a book entitled "Memories of My Life Work," and died at her son’s residence, adjacent to the seminary building, in 1861. She enumerated eighteen hundred and fifty pupils, sixteen teachers and students who became foreign missionaries and many others who became teachers and home missionaries during her life as a teacher.
At the end of the flourishing period of the academy the interest in the common district schools revived. Although overshadowed by the more commanding institutions, and although no public school was accessible except on the payment of tuition, the interest in them had not ceased. Rev. Samuel Fisher, D.D., residing at West Bloomfield, father of Rev. Samuel W. Fisher, D.D., then pastor of the West Bloomfield Church, Chabrier Peloubet, David A. Frame and Dr. I.D. Dodd were prominent members of the school committee of the town. Dr. J.A. Davis was the first town superintendent. The Rev. Ebenezer Seymour succeeded him in the office.
Rev. Calvin Lathrop was a teacher in the Central School.
3. The period of the free school system. The beginning of this period is distinctly marked by the enactment of a special school law for the township of Bloomfield. The town has the honor of seeking and securing the first free school town law in the State. (Plainfield had a special district law enacted in a preceding year. The free school law for Newark was enacted in 1850.) The law was enacted in 1849, and a period of concentration and more thorough gradation began.
There had been seven school districts in the township,— the Franklin, Central, Union and Stone House Plain, belonging at the present time to Bloomfield; the Speertown, West Bloomfield and the Washington, belonging afterwards to Montclair.
The Central and the Union were united in a strong district, since known as the Central Union School District. The Franklin District was soon absorbed. The two school-houses were sold or removed, the lot in the rear of the church was doubled in size, the double-sized space appropriated as a play-ground, an adjoining lot made the school site, and a new school building was erected. The new central building was three stories in height, sixty-four feet long and thirty-two feet broad, and cost two thousand five hundred dollars. It was afterwards enlarged and stood for twenty-one years. During these twenty-one years, and especially in the latter portion of that time, the modern graded system of instruction was developed, which culminated in a High School.
The principals up to the time of the High School were Lewis B. Hardcastle, Warren Holden, E.H. Hallock, Mr. Purrington, Henry A. Ventres, John R. McDevitt, John H. West and F.H. Morrell.
The grammar, intermediate and primary departments had now taken form and a system of branch primaries began to be developed. The Berkeley Primary was established in 1868. The Brookside Primary was opened in 1870.
A second advance in the free school period now took place in the establishment of the High School and in the further elaboration of the whole system.
The High School aims to secure for its teacher a college graduate, and to include in its instruction the classic languages, the advanced preparatory mathematics, outlines of natural science, and the higher English subjects.
By an exchange of land with the church, in 1871, the school lot was better adjusted to the school needs. The present large edifice, faced with Philadelphia brick, three stories in height, forty-eight feet broad, ninety-two feet long, with towers for stairways, was erected at a cost of twenty-nine thousand dollars, and was ready for occupation in 1872.
The principals have been J. Henry Root, 1871—80, with from twelve to twenty assistants in the three school-houses; Benjamin Mason 1880—81, with seventeen assistants, and John B. Dunbar, from 1881 to the present time, with eighteen assistants.
The High School instructors have been, Everett S. Stockpole, 1872—74; W.V. Louderbough, 1875—76; E.C. Adams, 1876—78; S.W. Chary, 1878—79; John F. Woodhull, 1881—82; and Edward K. Alden, in 1882.
The first assistants to the principal have been Miss Eliza B. Whipple and Miss Helen Adelaide Shibley.
A library was begun in 1875, and has advanced to seven hundred volumes in the three school-houses. The first class was graduated from the High School in 1876.
A new branch primary building, to be known as the Central Primary, is now in process of construction. It is located on Liberty Street, near the centre of the town, is two stories in height, is built of pressed brick, trimmed with brown stone, contains six class rooms and two play-rooms, and is estimated to cost fifteen thousand dollars. The central building will hereafter be occupied only by the grammar and High School departments.
The whole system of popular education, under a careful and attentive board of trustees, with the assistance of the resident county superintendent, Mr. Charles M. Davis, is attaining a high degree of efficiency.
The trustees of 1849 were David Oakes, Warren S. Baldwin, Artemas N. Baldwin, James Morris and Robert L. Cooke, acting for the Central Union; and Dr. Joseph A. Davis, Eliphalet Hall, Abraham H. Cadmus, Chabrier Peloubet and Albert Matthews, acting for the Franklin District during the process of consolidation. The trustees in 1871 were Warren S. Baldwin, Chabrier Peloubet, Samuel Carl, Rev. Daniel H. Temple and E.W. Page. The trustees of 1884 are Chabrier Peloubet, Edmund A. Smith, Dr. William H. White, Thomas Oakes, John Sherman, and William A. Baldwin.
The enrollment of scholars for 1871 was five hundred and seventy-two, and for 1883—84 nine hundred and five. There are forty-three students in the High School, three hundred and forty-six in the grammar school and five hundred and seventeen in the three primaries.
The amount paid for the salaries of teachers in 1850—51 was $1083; in 1871—72, $5796; in 1883—84, $11,013.
Private Schools.— The inspiration communicated by the academy and the Young Ladies’ Seminary gave rise to several private institutions, which, for a number of years, had a marked influence on the town.
The four which were the most attractive were those of Rev. Ebenezer Seymour and of Charles M. Davis, in Bloomfield, and those of David A. Frame and of Warren S. Holt, in West Bloomfield.
THE BLOOMFIELD INSTITUTE was established by the Rev. Ebenezer Seymour after his retirement from the pastorate of the church. It was opened in 1847, and for thirteen years was a successful school. It had at one time two departments, one for young men and one for young ladies, and attracted students from abroad. Rev. Mr. Seymour was sunny in disposition, genial in manners and unfailing in kindness of heart. Fond of music, an enthusiast in natural science, attentive to the religious culture of his students, he united the "home" and the "school" in a high order of social and intellectual discipline. Many of his students found their way to the college and to the ministry.
After the period of his school was ended he established a Mineralogical Exchange in New York, and was widely known among the mineralogists of this country as well as in Europe.
THE BLOOMFIELD CLASSICAL SCHOOL was opened as a boarding-school for boys, in 1851, by Charles M. Davis and Robert Foster, both graduates of the College of New Jersey. Mr. Foster withdrew after two years, and soon after became the principal of the collegiate department of the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, which position he still holds. The school was limited to twenty-five boarders, and was continued under Mr. Davis’ care until 1868. Many of his boys became active and influential men, and not a few of them died fighting for their country. Mr. Davis was afterwards principal of the Newark Academy. He has now been for some years superintendent of the public schools in Essex County. His residence is the old Joseph Davis house.
The schools of David A. Frame and of Warren S. Holt were in West Bloomfield; but both gentlemen were for a short time in the succession of teachers at the academy.
Private schools of shorter duration and of lesser note, as day-schools for girls and young ladies, have been numerous in more recent years, but the rising excellence of the graded free-school system has limited the opportunity for large success in such a form of instruction. The latest school of the kind has been established recently by Miss Henrietta B. Northall in the former parsonage, and is commending itself to the confidence of the people.
Other Literary Organizations.— The earliest literary organization was the Wardsesson Library Company, which existed as early as 1795. It was at the period of the school activity, when young Amzi Armstrong was at the Franklin School-house. It was to this association that Gen. Bloomfield made his gift of one hundred volumes as an addition in i797. Adam Smith on the "Wealth of Nations," "The Spectator," Russell’s "Ancient Europe," Mosheim’s "Ecclesiastical History" and Crevier’s "Roman History" are still preserved as relics of the old library.
THE YOUNG MEN’S LYCEUM represented another literary influence outside the school history. It was organized in 1838, at a large and enthusiastic meeting held in the church, but held its ordinary meetings in the little school-house. William R. McDonald, principal of the academy, and afterwards professor of literature in Washington College, Pa., and Mr. Robert L. Cooke, then assistant in Madame Cooke’s school, were leading minds in discussion and in lectures on literary and scientific subjects. They were supported by such persons as the physicians of the town— Drs. Isaac D. Dodd, Joseph Smith Dodd and Joseph A. Davis— Chabrier Peloubet and Robert N. Foster.
One of the principal effects of this lyceum was the building of the old lecture-room of the church, which was erected to serve the church for religious meetings, the lyceum for its literary occasions and the town for its elections. The proper successor of the Lyceum was the Young Men’s Literary Union, organized in 1865, and transformed into the Eucleian Society in 1867. Although not large in number, the society was vigorous and alert in discussions, in debating contests with lyceums of neighboring cities, in maintaining several courses of public literary lectures. It maintained a reading-room in its hall, and originated measures which led to the formation of a library association.,
THE BLOOMFIELD LIBRARY ASSOCIATION was an effort to re-establish a library. A plan was projected in 1871 which promised success. Two conceptions, that of a public hall and that of a library, were united. A charter was obtained which gave the name and the idea of a library a prominent place, but which aimed also to secure every advantage of a commodious and attractive audience-room. The result was that the library hall absorbed the library itself; and that financial embarrassments which overtook the edifice left the small library gathered in inglorious retirement. The library building and lot were obtained at an expense of thirty-one thousand dollars, but only one of the two sections of the projected building was erected. Some two hundred and fifty volumes of the original Wardsesson Library were transferred to the Young Men’s Lyceum. A number of these volumes descended to the Eucleian Society and afterwards to the Library Association.
THE GERMAN THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL.— The German Theological School of Newark, N.J., located in Bloomfield, has its origin in successful church-work among the German people of Newark and vicinity. The Presbyterian Churches of the vicinity had become interested, from 1848 to 1869, in the increasing German population. To supply their German churches with a ministry, and to supply a further educated ministry to the Germans of America, this institution was founded in 1869.
The first beginnings were in the city of Newark, where instruction was given to the first class on Sept. 20, 1864, and where German and American pastors were the instructors until 1872. During that year and the following the plans were enlarged. A faculty was chosen, a curriculum of study was fully formed and the property in Bloomfield was purchased.
The property consists of the original Bloomfield Academy building and a lot of land about an acre in extent. The building is a solid parallelogram, with a mansard roof; has four stories and a basement, and fronts the southern end of the park. It is occupied by the students as a dormitory, and contains also the lecture-rooms and apartments for the family of a "house-father."
The number of the students is limited by the special religious design of the institution. From twenty to twenty-five have been usually in attendance. The first class graduated in 1874. The present attendance, in 1884, is twenty-seven.
The course of study is divided into two departments,— the theological department, which has a three years course; and the academic course of four years, which conforms in good part to the character of a German gymnasium. The instruction is both in English and in German. The education is designed to include a compacted discipline in the essentials of the American academy, college and seminary. The student’s mind is formed both in the German and the English mode of thinking. The theological professors devote at least one hour a day to the academic or gymnasium department. The gymnasium is now open for the admission of other students than those studying theology, and a separate "testimonial" is given to those who complete the gymnasial course.
The theological faculty in 1884 consists of Rev. Charles E. Knox, D.D., president and professor of homiletics, church government and pastoral theology. Rev. George C. Seibert, Ph.D., D.D., professor of Biblical exegesis and theology; Rev. Immanuel Casanowicz, instructor in Hebrew and church history.
The additional instructors in the gymnasium are Harry E. Richards, M.D., professor of mathematics and natural science; Hermann L. Ebeling, A.B (Johns Hopkins), classical instructor; Rev. William C. Piderit, assistant instructor.
The board of directors is elected by the Presbytery of Newark; Rev. Jonathan F. Stearns is president, Samuel L. Pinneo is secretary and F. Wolcott Jackson treasurer. Both directors and professors are subject to the approval of the General Assembly, the highest body of the Presbyterian Church.
The endowment amounts to $40,500, which includes building and grounds, $14,500; Newark professorship, $22,000; scholarship, $4000.
The current expenses are provided in large part from individual and church contributions.
Inasmuch as the institution was first located in the city of Newark, is under thc care of the Presbytery of Newark, is associated intimately with the city of Newark, and its present location is but a mile and a half outside the city limits, the corporate name is still retained,— The German Theological School of Newark, N.J.
Public Communications.— The movement which separated the township of Orange from the township of Newark was a movement which pervaded the mind of the wider community. It was a quickening of enterprise and of facilities for commerce, for manufacture, for agriculture.
During that year of 1806 four important public roads were made. The crooked was made straight, the wet was made dry, the rough was made smooth, the steep ascent was made gradual, and the tide of wheeled movement at once increased. This was the construction by the act of the State of four turnpikes, radiating from Newark,— the Newark and Pompton road, through Bloomfield; the Newark and Mount Pleasant road, through Orange; the Springfield and Newark road; the Essex and Middlesex pike, from Newark to New Brunswick. These wide avenues penetrated a wide circuit of country. Distant roads, farms and mills felt their power. New mills, stores and residences, and all forms of internal commercial life were created. That portion of the Pompton pike which was within the township of Newark— that is, east of the mountain crest— was commonly known as the Bloomfield turnpike. The Newark and Pompton turnpike was constructed from Robert Colfax’s corner, at Pompton, to Broad Street, in Newark, near or at the stone bridge which covered the old "Mill Brook." It was to cross the Passaic, River near the Little Falls, and to pass through the "most convenient gap in the mountain near Cranetown." The capital stock was four thousand dollars a mile, the shares twenty-five dollars, the three toll-gates, six miles apart, situated near the Morris Canal, at the top of the mountain, and at Syngack, near the upper Passaic.
The incorporators were John N. Cumming, John Dodd, Israel Crane, Noah Sayre, Isaac Mead, Robert Gould and Nathaniel Douglass; the commissioners, Andrew Wilson, Nathaniel Camp and Richard Edsal. There was no little opposition, for it cut a diagonal through the farms to the mountain top. But the excitement was allayed. The constructed road attracted distant wheels from towards the Delaware over its broad and hard bed. Israel Crane was a leading director, and from his busy wholesale and retail store at Cranetown the great wagons went even beyond the borders of the State.
The road became indebted to Mr. Crane, who cared for its condition, and at length passed into his possession. It was finally sold after his death by his heirs to the Essex Public Road Board. Within a few years that board has further widened and graded the old pike, and now the Bloomfield Avenue, to the top of the mountain, is one of a system of broad and beautiful streets which radiate from the city through great reaches of suburban population.
THE MORRIS CANAL passes through the entire length of old Bloomfield, and was completed some years before the township of Belleville was formed. It was valuable to Bloomfield in the introduction of coal and in the transportation of wood and of general merchandize. Two packet-boats also, at one time, plied for some years between Paterson and Newark. The inclined plane at Bloomfield, fifty-seven feet in vertical height, represents what is termed "the summit plane," an invention for raising boats from level to level, peculiar to this canal. The upper level terminates at a solid bank across the canal, and high above the water, over this bank, pass the tracks of the inclined plane, which descend beneath the water of the level below. The boat is made in two half-hull boxes, joined with a hinge; the boat carriage has also a corresponding joint, and so boat and carriage climb the summit bank, and descend from it, without disturbance of the cargo.
From the upper end of the Bloomfield plane stretches "the long level" for seventeen miles, and from the lower end the canal reaches to Newark with but a single lock.
The canal was completed from the Delaware to the Passaic, at Newark, in 1831, and five years later it was extended from Newark to Jersey City.
Jacob F. Randolph, a resident of Bloomfield, became president of the company in 1869, which office he still holds. The canal was transferred, in 1871, under a perpetual lease, to the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and is now one of the great coat carriers of that company. The lease yields to the canal company six per cent. on its stocks and indebtedness.
THE NEWARK AND BLOOMFIELD RAILROAD was opened for passengers from Bloomfield on Dec. 20, 1855, and some six months later from West Bloomfield. Negotiations were at first made with the New Jersey Railroad Company, but the final arrangement for building the road was completed with the Morris and Essex Company. When first opened to West Bloomfield, the same person sold the tickets at the station and was the brakeman on the train. One train of one car, with an engine furnished by the Morris and Essex Company, ran up and down the six trips demanded by the time-table. A bell was rung at the station to notify the people of the approaching train.
The first incorporators, when the charter was obtained in 1852, were Zenas S. Crane, Joseph S. Davis, Ira Dodd, Grant J. Wheeler, Robert C. Cook, David Oakes, David Conger, William S. Morris and Warren S. Baldwin; but the direction had much changed before the road was opened. Dr. Joseph A. Davis was the first president, and was most efficient in procuring the construction of the road. Ira Dodd was afterwards superintendent. The actual capital stock in 1856 was $105,000, of which $55,000 was held by the Morris and Essex Company and $50,000 taken by subscribers, mostly in Bloomfield. The bridge across the Passaic just east of the station, in Newark, was built by the Bloomfield company. When work was begun, Dr. Davis took up the first spadeful of earth near the present Clark Street, and the Rev. Job Halsey, of West Bloomfield, made an address. The number of passengers in January, 1856, was 3843, besides commuters, and in July, 10,642,660 of whom were between Bloomfield and West Bloomfield, and 355 between Roseville and Newark. At the end of the first seven months there was a deficit of $330.53.
"Doddtown" was first called by the conductor as the houseless station next below Bloomfield, but the old historic Indian name Watsessing soon took its place. A fourth station in the old town was opened about 1860, which was named Ridgewood, but has since been changed to Glen Ridge. Through trains were run to New York from about 1865, under the Morris and Essex Company, which controlled the branch road. Subsequently, when the Morris and Essex Railroad was leased to the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, the Bloomfield Branch passed under the controlling management as one of the auxiliaries.
The Bloomfield Branch has now seventeen trains a day each way between Montclair and New York. The fastest time now from Montclair to New York is forty-two minutes.
THE NEW YORK, MONTCLAIR AND GREENWOOD LAKE RAILWAY grew out of some dissatisfaction with the time and the accommodations given by the Bloomfield road. The incorporation was in 1867, and the incorporators were Albert Pearce, Henry C. Spalding, Samuel Wilde, Joseph B. Beadle and Julius H. Pratt. The proposal to bond the towns along the line of the road was resisted by Bloomfield, whose people were more naturally interested in their own road. As the two strong centres of population at West Bloomfield and Bloomfield were now ripe for separate organization, the disagreement in respect to the railroad was the occasion of the erection of the township of Montclair. The new township was erected the next year, the bonds were issued, Bloomfield having been exempted in the act which authorized them.
The terminus was at first fixed at Montclair, but the road was afterwards extended to Greenwood Lake. The road was completed in 1872, and its good effect was at once seen in the rapid development of the northern part of the new township, and in the improvement of the old road, in its better facilities and quicker time.
The road has come recently into the possession of the Lake Erie and Great Western Railway, and now has two stations in Belleville, one in Bloomfield and three in Montclair.
Since the completion of this railway the passenger transit on both the roads has greatly increased and the sparsely settled lands of both towns are rapidly becoming filled with avenues of tasteful suburban houses.
THE NEWARK, BLOOMFIELD AND MONTCLAIR HORSE CAR RAILROAD obtained its charter in 1867. It was originally built from the Bloomfield Cemetery along the west side of the Park, down the old road, or Franklin Street, and passed into a new avenue opened by the road to the north end of Mount Prospect Avenue, in Newark. The route proved too crooked and the time too long, and the rails have been since laid from Mount Prospect Avenue, directly up Bloomfield Avenue, to the west end of Liberty Street. David Oakes, Warren S. Baldwin, Robert M. Henning, James H. Clark, G. Lee Stout, Charles Akers, William Harris, Edward S. Wilde, Philip Weaver and Julius H. Pratt were the original corporators from Bloomfield.
The extension to Montclair has not been undertaken.
THE WACHUNG BRANCH of the New York, Montclair and Greenwood Lake Railway passes through the southern part of the township. It connects the west end of the city of Orange, with the main road at extreme northern end of Newark.
THE MONTCLAIR GAS COMPANY has the gasometer in the lower part of Bloomfield. The gas lamps have been introduced into the streets of the two towns.
THE WATER SYSTEM of Bloomfield was laid, with hydrants, in the year 1884. It is connected with the Orange water-works, near the ancient "boiling springs," which divides the towns.
THE POST OFFICES of the town now are four,— Bloomfield, Brookdale, which is the ancient Stone House Plain, Watsessing and Glen Ridge.
CENTRES OF POPULATION.— Besides the principal centres of residence around the Park several subordinate centres have a special interest.
BROOKDALE OR STONE HOUSE PLAIN still continues to be the staid home of the Holland descendants.
THE MORRIS NEIGHBORHOOD is, as it has been from the beginning, a family cluster of houses, and may be said to include the store of James W. Baldwin & Brothers, and its adjoining residences on the ancient Baldwin tract.
WATESSING has grown into a distinct settlement, with its two small churches and post-office, and with the extensive manufacturing of organs by Peloubet & Co., and the manufacturing of hardware goods by R.S. Grummon, touching its northern border.
In 1867 Mr. Robert Pale purchased fifty-six acres of field land, in the northwest portion of the town, on which he has since erected twenty-seven dwellings on four new streets. This development of an unoccupied portion of the town has stimulated additional building, and a wide tract of residences now extend upwards to the Ridgewood Avenue.
GLENRIDGE occupies the slope and crest of the wooded ridge on the west border of the town. The ridge itself has also an avenue running a mile northward, with beautiful sites and tasteful residences. From the crest, the houses look down upon both the village of Bloomfield and the valleys of Montclair, and across to the Montclair Mountain. The spires of the city and the waters of the bay of New York may be seen.
The original attractions of this portion of the town are much enhanced by the tasteful residences which are rapidly increasing.
STATISTICS.— Relative Areas of the towns in the original Bloomfield:
The original Bloomfield comprised about two-fifths of the original Newark tract.
THE PROGRESS OF POPULATION.— The county of Essex was formed in 1682. Three years later, George Scot, in his "Model of the Government of the Province of East New Jersey," estimated Elizabethtown and plantations at four thousand acres, and Newark and plantations at five thousand acres. This could have been only the limited territory around the two settlements, but this territory contained most of the population of the ancient Essex County. The population was reckoned at one hundred families for Newark and one hundred and fifty for Elizabeth, which gave three thousand five hundred people.
One hundred years later, in 1790, the population of Essex County was seventeen thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, and Essex was the fourth county of the State. The population of the original territory of Bloomfield was, in 1880, fifteen thousand five hundred and sixteen, nearly the county population of one hundred years ago.
In twenty years from 1790 Essex had become the first county of the State. The movement of population was in the four leading counties.
Bloomfield became a township in 1812. The population within the original boundary from 1820 has moved as follows:
Societies.— (by Henry Farmer.) BLOOMFIELD LODGE, No. 40, F. and A.M.— Over sixty years ago a number of Masonic brethren met at the house of Joseph Munn, at West Bloomfield (now Montclair), for the purpose of forming a Masonic lodge. Capt. Simon Baldwin was appointed moderator and Ephraim P. Stiles secretary. This was on July 20, 1824. A lodge was established, which was known as Bloomfield Lodge, and a committee was appointed to procure a suitable room and furniture. A room in the house of Joseph Munn was obtained at a rental of twenty dollars a year, and the furniture of Chatham Lodge (then suspended) was secured. A committee was appointed to make application for a dispensation from the Most Worshipful Grand Master until the meeting of the Grand Lodge, and the following officers were elected: Simeon Baldwin, W.M.; Daniel D. Beach, S.W.; Joshua Smith J.W.; Ephraim P. Stiles, Sec.; Zenas S. Crane Treas.; Matthias Taylor, S.D.; John Robinson, J.D.; Linus Baldwin, Tyler; William Frame, M. of C.
The following names appear upon the minutes of that date as the charter members: Matthias Smith, D.D. Beach, John Robinson, Joshua Smith, Jonathan Stephens, Linus Baldwin, Benjamin Reynolds, Matthias Taylor, Christopher Garrabrant, William Frame, John Munn, Thomas Speer, Jr., Simeon Baldwin, Zenas S. Crane, L.F. Lewis Mitchell, Joseph Munn, Nathaniel H. Baldwin, John Aikins, Aaron Ballard, Robert Aikins, Peter Doremus, Thomas Ryland, William Young, John Moore, Hugh Boggs, Henry Stanley, Ephraim P. Stiles.
By-laws were at once adopted, and here it may be observed, in inculcating every moral and social virtue among the brethren, the originators framed a law which, if generally adopted now, would prevent many a domestic broil for which the lodge is often made to bear the blame. It was laid down in these by-laws that the lodge meet once a month, and be opened at seven o’clock from the vernal to the autumnal equinox, and at six o’clock from the autumnal to the vernal equinox, and shall at all times close at ten o’clock. The first regular communication was held on the 15th of September, 1824, when Most Worshipful Grand Master Jeptha B. Munn installed the officers named above, and at the close of the ceremonies addressed the brethren in very complimentary terms on the material of their lodge.
The lodge was duly warranted, and was designated as No. 48. It prospered and increased in membership until the cold wave of the anti-Masonic excitement struck New Jersey, when Bloomfield Lodge wisely determined to surrender their charter, regalia, etc., until more auspicious times. This action was taken Aug. 26, 1828, and in December of the same year it was resolved to sell the furniture and divide the funds among the members.
The lodge lay dormant for twenty-eight years. On Feb. 19, 1856, many of the old brethren met again at Odd-Fellows’ Hall, and resuscitated it under the title of Bloomfield Lodge, No. 40, the old warrant being reissued to them by Grand Master Stewart, with the new decree of authority indorsed on its back by the Grand Lodge officers in the preceding January.
The officers of the revived lodge were installed by Past Grand Master Jephtha B. Munn, April 1, 1856, as follows: Simeon Baldwin (the first master), W.M. John H. Ehlers, S.W.; Charles Smith, J.W.; John H. Cadmus, Treas.; Riley W. Bond, Sec.; M.W. Smith, S.D.; Sylvester Slater, J.D.; Peter Speer, Tyler.
On April 1, 1861, the lodge removed to a room specially fitted for them in Archdeacon’s Hotel, in the centre of Bloomfield, where it continued to hold its fraternal gatherings until 1871, when it removed to its present location, Masonic Hall, in Corby’s building, Glenwood Avenue. Regular communications are held on the first and Third Tuesdays of each month.
From its organization, Sept. 14, 1824, to its dissolution, Dec. 2, 1828, the Past Masters were Simeon Baldwin, 1824—26; Daniel D. Beach, 1827; Simeon Baldwin, 1828. From its resuscitation in 1856 the Past Masters successively have been as follows: Simeon Baldwin (one year), Hans Ehlers (two years), Augustus Baldwin (1859), Simeon Baldwin (1860), Augustus Baldwin (1861), Joseph D. Evans (1862), Wright F. Conger (three years), Thomas W. Langstroth (four years), James A. Hedden (three years), John F. Folsom (two years), J. Banks Reford (two years), John F. Folsom, Charles H. Bailey, James A. Hedden (1879), Walter S. Freeman (two years), Charles S. Squire (1881—84).
The officers for 1884 are Charles S. Squire, W.M.; Thomas E. Hayes, S.W.; Robert B. Harris, J.W.; William Cadmus, Treas.; George W. Cadmus, Sec.; J. Banks Reford, S.D.; Moses Davis, J.P.; Thomas Moritz, Walter Freeman, Master of Ceremonies; John Sherman, John G. Keyler, Stewards; John B. Griffith, Tyler. The membership in December, 1883, was seventy-eight.
WILLIAM S. PIERSON POST, No. 58, GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, is comparatively a young organization, but has a good working membership of about fifty veterans of the late war. It was organized Oct. 13, 1881, with the following officers: A.J. Marsh, Commander; William B. Sheppard, Senior Vice-Commander; J.H. Cockefair, Junior Vice-Commander; S.M. Hulin, Adjutant; Enoch Chatterton, Quartermaster, D.W. Gregory, Chaplain; J.V. Smith, Officer of the Day; who, with the subjoined, comprised the charter members.— R.D. Brown, C.S. Robotham, Horace Dodd, Daniel Delhagen, W.C. Johnson, P.M. Jacobus, William J. Baldwin, G.W. Cadmus, A.P. Banta, J.C. Ward, T.L. Brandreth, Aaron P. Quimby, J.E. Hampson, William J. Raab, J.H. Price, Thomas Senior, Louis Schaup, J.G. Koeber, Frederick Florus, Richard Jacobus, Charles Batchelor, Francis Moran, C.L. Voorhees, G.W. Taylor, John Gottschalk, Richird Powers, P. Cunningham, William M. Sandford, Eli Drew, John Rushton, Charles Schaffer.
The Past Commanders of Pierson Post have been A.J. Marsh, William B. Sheppard, J.H. Cockefair, and C.L. Voorhees.
The officers for 1884 were William B. Sheppard, C.; William J. Raab, S.V.C.; A. Cadmus, J.V.C.; John Brown, Chaplain; A.J. Marsh, Adjutant; G.W. Cadmus, Quartermaster; J.H. Cockefair, Officer of the Day; F. Florus, Officer of the Guard; C. Batchelor, Surgeon; G.A. Wheeler, Sergeant-Major; John Rushton, Outside Guard.
The post meets each Tuesday evening at Unangst’s Hall.
EXCELSIOR LODGE, No. 2342, K. of H, was organized Jan. 5, 1881, with Emmons B. Corby as Dictator; William H. Dodd, Vice-Dictator; James H. May, Assistant Dictator; George Slater, Reporter; Charles B. Farrand, Financial Reporter; John H. Brown, Treasurer; David E. Ward, Chaplain; Thomas S. Brandreth, Guide; Daniel H. Peil, Guardian; R.W. Farrand, Sentinel; and thirty-one charter members in addition to the above.
The present officers are Dict., Thomas Monk; Vice Dict., John Jenkins; Assistant Dict., Lyman B. Clapper; Reporter, David W. Gregory; Financial Reporter, C.L. Voorhees; Treasurer, George M. Cadmus; Chaplain, Willis H. Cadmus; Guide, T.S. Brandreth; Guardian, F. Florus; Sentinel, J.N. Delhagen.
The present number of members is seventy-five. The lodge has a neatly furnished room in Spragg’s building, Glenwood Avenue, known as Knights of Honor Hall, and meets every Wednesday evening.
BLOOMFIELD LODGE, No. 2908, KNIGHTS OF HONOR, was instituted Feb. 8, 1883. This is a German organization numbering twenty-seven members, and works in the German language. At its organization it was composed of twenty members, with Adam Metz as Past Dictator, and Henry Meuser Dictator. The officers for 1884 were Adam Metz, Dictator; Henry Meuser, Past Dictator; John Kircher, Vice-Dictator John Schneider, Assistant Dictator; John Herrman, Financial Reporter; Reporter, Henry Schwartz; Treasure; John Jager; Guide, George Hetzel; Inside Guardian, Henry Brickler; Outside Guardian, Louis Schlaef; Chaplain, John Guethmueller.
The lodge meets in the hall of the Knights of Honor on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month.
THE FREUNDSCHAFTS BUND, or sick benefit society, is a popular institution among the German residents of Bloomfield. It gives a weekly sum to its members in case of sickness, and on the decease of one of the society each surviving member is assessed two dollars for the widows’ and orphans’ fund, or one dollar on the death of a member’s wife. The society was organized Nov. 5, 1870, in the lecture-room of the German Presbyterian Church, and was then composed of fourteen members.
The first officers were John G. Keyler, President) Philip Bernhard, Vice-President; Jacob Fornoff, Treas.; Charles Muller, Sec.; Adam Wissner, Peter Fornoff, Gustav Ane, finance committee.
The officers for 1884 were John Herman, President; Otto Mans, Vice-President; Jacob Myer, Treas.; Henry Meuser, Rec. Sec.; Fried. Geib, Fin. Sec.; John Meuser, Fried. Riemer, George Buchner, Finance Committee.
The society meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month at Odd-Fellows’ Hall. Its present membership is sixty-three.
OLIVE BRANCH LODGE, No. 51, I.O. OF O.F., was chartered Feb. 5, 1847, and first met in a room on the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Fulton Street, West Bloomfield (now Montclair). Its first officers and charter members were as follows: John Hall, N.G.; John I. Robinson, V.G.; Edward Doremus, Warden John G. Stanley, Rec. Sec.; Joseph B. Ball, Perm. Sec.; John N. Biddulph, Treas.; Joseph Wilde, R.S.N.G.; D.N. Smith, L.S.N.G.; Abraham Zeek, R.S.V.G.; J. Coomie, L.S.V.G.; S. Carle, Jr., I.G.; Uzal P. Corby, O.G.; John C. Doremus and. M.W. Smith, S.S.
After working for a period of ten or twelve years the lodge became weak both in membership and finances, and it was decided to close its career in West Bloomfield. The lodge furniture and effects were sold to the Masonic lodge then meeting in the same room. About a dozen members retained the charter and removed the lodge to Bloomfield, meeting in the house of Frederick Gilbert, one of the members, and there and then elected officers and so kept the lodge alive under its old charter. Three months later a room was secured in a building adjoining Archdeacon’s Hotel, where the brethren held their meetings for several years. Subsequently they removed to Baxter’s building, near the corner of Bloomfield and Washington Avenues; but here they were disturbed by the Essex County Road Board, who, in the widening of Bloomfield Avenue, unceremoniously cut the lodge-room in two, and it was found absolutely necessary to vacate the premises, although they had a five years’ lease of the same. They then located (1873) in the present lodge-room, on Glenwood Avenue, where they have neat and finely-furnished rooms.
The list of Past Grands includes the following names: John Hall, Edmund Doremus, S.L. Robinson, H.B. Robinson, John I. Robinson, John G. Stanley, Joseph Munn Baldwin, John N. Biddulph, John D. Brock, Joseph E. Ball, M.W. Smith, R.C. Potts, Stephen Personette, A.A. Sanford, Samuel Carl, Edward Wilde, John D. Taylor, John C. Doremus, Charles P. Sanford, Sardius Stewart, Riley W. Bond, James Randall, William Sharp, Grant A. Wheeler, E.T. Gould, Frederick Gilbert, Charles Gilbert, Henry J. Robinson, N.H. Dodd, T.E. Hayes, John G. Keyler, John F. Folsom, J. Banks Reford, Uzal T. Hayes, Joseph Fairbanks, Charles F. Underhill, Thomas S. Brown, Theodore Cadmus, Joseph Carter, Alexander C. Marr, Joseph H. Eveland, William K. Williamson, Robert D. Brown, John H. Lockwood, Francis Danbacher, F. Berstecher, Charles M. Lockwood, Edward Yereance, William Cook, William Dodd, Emmons B. Corby.
The present officers of the lodge are William H. Dodd, N.G.; James H. Wilde, V.G.; William A. Akers, R.S.; J. Banks Reford, P.S.; N.H. Dodd, Treas.; John G. Keyler, Conductor; Thomas Mortimer, Warden; John Rasbach, I.G.; Lewis Lind, O.G.; William Hoffman, R.S.N.G.; William Cook, L.S.N.G.; Elmer Carter, R.S.S.; Jacob Meyers, L.S.S.; Eugene Yereance, R.S.V.G.; Elias Chitterling, L.S.V.G.
The total membership is sixty-four. Meetings are held every Monday evening. During the year ending Dec. 31, 1883, the lodge paid out in relief four hundred and thirty-four dollars.
KNIGHT’S OP PYTHIAS.— During the summer of 1884 a few members of the order residing in Bloomfield determined upon organizing a lodge in the town, and having secured the necessary number of members and the lodge paraphernalia, a charter was granted, and on the 30th of September Eureka Lodge, No. 46, was duly instituted, with the following officers and charter members: John H. Lockwood, Jr., C.C.; William Linder, P.C.; Lewis Johnson, V.C.; Arthur Spragg, Prelate; Charles M. Lockwood, M. of E.; Charles H. Kimball, K. of R. and S.; William Baldwin, M. of F.; John Jenkins, M.A.; James C. Crisp, I.G.; John Christophersen, O.G.; Henry Paxton, Adam Metz, Cornelius Voorhees, John Mellor, Thomas Upton, Frederick Hall, William Tompkins and N.B. Adams. The lodge has a membership of twenty-one, and meets every Tuesday evening in the Knights of Honor Hall, Glenwood Avenue.
Bloomfield Fire Department. (By Henry Farmer.)— The citizens of Bloomfield were awakened to the necessity of doing something for themselves in the way of protection against fire by the disastrous conflagrations near the centre of the town in the early part of 1883. The destruction of the old Archdeacon Hotel, Dodd’s livery stables and other property in the "Centre" led to a private meeting of citizens about the middle of March in that year for the purpose of taking steps for the formation of an organization for protection of life and property from fire. Twenty citizens attended and formed the temporary organization known as the Bloomfield Fire Protective Association. A canvass of the town was made for subscriptions to a fund for the purchase of fire apparatus, and in about three months the sum of $1678.55 had been placed in the hands of the treasurer.
On May 7th the temporary organization was dissolved, and a permanent organization of the Bloomfield Fire Association was effected, with W.R. Weeks as president; A.R. Brewer, vice-president; F.G. Tower, secretary; W.B. Chambers, treasurer; A.J. Marsh, fire marshal; and a board of trustees which should include two members of the township committee. A contract was made with a Baltimore firm for a hook-and-ladder truck, and in the meantime an association purchased the land near the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad depot and erected the building now in use, which the trustees leased for a period of ten years at the annual rental of two hundred dollars. While the truck was building the Hook-and-Ladder Company, No. 1, was organized, its members all being connected with the Fire Association. At one of the first meetings held by them the name of Essex, No. 1, was adopted. The truck arrived Aug. 10, 1883, and a grand celebration took place, in which the Montclair firemen participated. The occasion was one of great enthusiasm, and it was really the dawn of a new era for Bloomfield.
No sooner had the efforts for a fire department taken practical shape than a demand was made for a supply of water. The town committee responded with alacrity, and after a thorough examination into the subject, effected a contract with the Orange Water Company for a supply from their works, at East Orange. The mains have all been laid and nearly one hundred hydrants have been erected, so that all the populous parts of the town are well protected.
A bell-tower sixty-four feet high has been erected in the rear of the truck-house, and a bell weighing two thousand and sixty-eight pounds, costing five hundred dollars, has been hung for fire-signals.
The Bloomfield Fire Association has the following officers: President, G.T. Moore; Vice-President, T.R. Gillman; Secretary, J.B. Reford; Treasurer, W.B. Chambers. Of the active fire department A.T. Marsh is the chief engineer, and S.W. Sabin and W.L. Puffer his assistants. The companies are officered as follows:
Essex Hook-and-Ladder Company, No. 1: Foreman, F.G. Tower; Assistant Foreman, T.H. Johnson; Clerk, H.B. Davis. The truck is a fine specimen of workmanship, complete in its equipments, and cost sixteen hundred dollars.
PHOENIX HOSE COMPANY, No. 1.— Foreman, Egbert Ward; First Assistant, W.B. Corby; Second Assistant, J. Emmons Freeman; Secretary, J.B. Gillman; Treasurer, W.T. Spencer; Executive Committee, J.S. Jarvie, Joseph Carter, Theodore Cadmus. The company was organized in the summer of 1884, and used for a while a small jumper furnished by the town. In September they secured a very handsome hose-carriage, purchased in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., at a cost of five hundred dollars, which was raised by the personal efforts of the members. On the 22d of September the hose-carriage was received, and the largest demonstration of the kind ever witnessed in Bloomfield took place. All the uniformed political clubs joined in the parade with the firemen from Montclair, East Orange and Bloomfield.
The carriage is housed in convenient quarters on Bloomfield Avenue, opposite Liberty Street, where an office for the chief engineer is also located. The hose-house and the truck-house are connected with a fire-alarm telegraph. The township is divided into five fire districts.
The company have one thousand feet of new hose, besides which, there are two hundred and fifty feet located in Watsessing, in which village it is intended to locate the jumper.
Mr. Oakes was descended from English stock, his grandfather, John Oakes, having been a resident of Ellastone Mills, Staffordshire, England. The latter had two sons, David and Thomas, of whom Thomas emigrated to America in 1802, and pursued his vocation, that of a consulting engineer and millwright, having acted in the former capacity for the Philadelphia Board of Water-Works and later been made superintendent of the Schuylkill Navigation Company. He married Rachel Kingsland, whose children were David, Joseph, Sarah, John, and Mary. Mr. Oakes, in connection with his duties as an official of the Schuylkill Canal, removed to Reading, where his death occurred in 1828. His son David was born Jan. 13, 1809, in that portion of Bloomfield now known as Franklin township, where he lived until nearly two years of age, when his parents removed to the present site of Bloomfield, and he, until the age of seventeen, pursued his studies at the school adjacent to his home. In 1826 he removed to Orange, N.J., for the purpose of acquiring the trade of a finisher of woolen goods. Soon after completing his apprenticeship he located in the village of Bloomfield, and at once erected a frame building, which, having equipped with the necessary machinery and stock, he began the manufacture of woolen goods. After a successful business had been established the structure was, in 1836, destroyed by fire. The enterprise of Mr. Oakes was manifested in the immediate erection of a new building, which was devoted to the exclusive manufacture of flannels and yarn. Again, in 1842, the products of the mill were varied, tweeds becoming the staple article, which, by their superior quality, gained a wide reputation. The mills were enlarged in 1849, and in 1860 the first brick building erected, which was followed by various additions in 1878 and again in 1879, 1880 and 1882 respectively, Mr. Oakes’ son Thomas having succeeded him as general manager.
Mr. Oakes was married to Abigail H., daughter of Simeon Baldwin, of Bloomfield. Their children are Sarah (Mrs. Cornelius Van Lieu), deceased; George A., deceased; and Thomas. Mr. Oakes continued in active business during his life-time, having established a reputation not less as a master in his special department of industry than for integrity and uprightness in all commercial transactions. He was in politics early a Whig, later a Republican, and always strongly Anti-Slavery in his proclivities. In 1860 and 1861 he was a member of the State Legislature, and filled at various times the important offices connected with his county and township. He was a director of the National Newark Banking Company and a member of the board of managers of the Howard Savings Institution. He was for years one of the board of trustees of the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church and a member of this church at the time of his death, which occurred July 26, 1878.
The Morris family were originally residents of the north of England, from whence four brothers emigrated to America. Ephraim, the grandfather of the subject of this biographical sketch, a descendant of one of these brothers, resided in Bloomfield upon land acquired by his father, and a portion of which is still in possession of the family. Among his sons was Stephen, born on the ancestral estate, who married Katherine Smith, and had children,— Ephraim, Jacob, James, Joseph, Mary, Emeline, (Mrs. George Hulin) and Albert, of whom Albert and Emeline are the only survivors. Ephraim was born Aug. 27, 1800, in Bloomfield, where he received such educational advantages as were obtainable in the country schools, after which he became associated with his father in the management of a saw mill. While thus engaged his genius was first manifested in the invention of a logwood cutter for the cutting of dye-wood on which a patent was obtained and the machine successfully used for many years. During the construction of the Morris Canal a premium was offered for the best ideas with reference to an inclined plane for transferring boats. The plan of Mr. Morris was accepted as the most practical one offered, and in use for many years after its introduction. He soon after became the general manager of this canal, and filled the position from 1832 until about 1843. He then became associated with George Law in the construction of the foundations for the coffer dam in connection with the Croton Aqueduct at High Bridge, and also engaged in a similar undertaking on the occasion of the building of the Stevens Battery at Hoboken. After this Mr. Morris established the firm of Morris & Cumings, and turned his attention almost exclusively to dredging, meanwhile securing patents on many valuable inventions in connection with the business. The clam-shell bucket, for digging and dredging channels and removing submarine obstructions, is the product of his inventive genius, as is also a machine for yarding coal, which has for many years been in use by the coal yards of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Dela‘ware and Hudson Canal Company. He invented an automatic weighing-machine for weighing coal in vessels, and later obtained patents on many simpler appliances. Mr. Morris was married, in the fall of 1818, to Miss Martha Vandel, daughter of Daniel Vandel, to whom were born children,— Mary (Mrs. Webster Collins), Augustus T., John, Stephen S. and Charles, of whom Augustus T. is the only survivor. Mr. Morris’ extensive business interests so absorbed his time as to preclude active participation in affairs of a political nature, though he was early an ardent Whig and later a Republican. He was reared in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a firm supporter. The death of Mr. Morris occurred on the 9th of June, 1865, in his sixty-fifth year.
WARREN S. BALDWIN.
The Baldwin family is one of the old families of the Newark colony. As early as 1674 the town-meeting "agreed that the weavers, Thomas Pierson and Benjamin Baldwin, shall be considered by the surveyors to make their out-lots on the hill shorter." From this Benjamin Baldwin sprang the Baldwin family, which for many years has extended along the main street of Bloomfield from the Presbyterian Church to the Morris Neighborhood. He was one of those "chosen to collect the money that is gathered by the subscription in Newark for the maintenance of the ministry in the year 1692," a readiness for which kindly work was manifest in his descendant a century and three-quarters later in connection with his church in Bloomfield. Benjamin Baldwin made his will in 1726, and died probably soon after in the Newark settlement. Benjamin Baldwin, Jr., the son, died before any division of his father’s property had taken place, and his brother Joseph, in 1732, became owner of "the plantation at Watsesson, where he now lives," on the south side of the Second River, as far as the old road and Harrison Street. David, the son of Benjamin, Jr., married Eunice, the daughter of Daniel Dodd, settled on the one hundred acres of land on the west side of Third River, and became the founder of a numerous family. Shortly after the Revolution the Baldwin family became the most numerous of the early families in this part of the Newark colony. Jesse, the son of David, and grandfather of Warren S. Baldwin, was a well-known soldier and officer in the army. He was first ensign, then lieutenant, then quartermaster, and then transferred as quartermaster to the regular army. Samuel Baldwin, the son of Jesse, was the father of Warren S. Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin was born on the 7th of June, 1812. His father died at the early age of thirty-five. His only brother died a year later, in 1818, and Warren, at the early age of six, was the only child of his mother. Left with inadequate means of livelihood, she found in him a dutiful son and a growing support. At the age of twenty he began business as a merchant, and continued it throughout his life. His early bereavement and the good counsels of his home disciplined him in habits of prudence, sagacity and diligence. His business habits were soon recognized, and a steady and growing success followed. His integrity and good judgment soon led him to posts of trust and of honor in and beyond his native community. As a member of the Presbyterian Church, he was made a member of its Session, for thirty-five years was a member of its board of trustees, and discharged his service for a long period as secretary or treasurer or president of that body.
In thoughtful attention to public education he became also a valuable citizen. He aided in procuring the school law of 1849. He was also treasurer of the school district for the long period of twenty-four years, and had the satisfaction of seeing the school system and the school buildings make a decided advance. So also as a citizen he rendered valuable service as a town officer. He was repeatedly a member of the township committee, and during the twenty years from 1851 to 1871 was nine times one of the commissioners of appeals. He was a member of the Bard of Chosen Freeholders of the county, and was chosen in 1856 to represent the people in the house of the Assembly of the State. On his death, on Aug. 30, 1873, he left a bequest of one thousand dollars to the church which he had served with such affection and fidelity.
His life was full of modest usefulness, active, industrious, efficient. His character was without disguise, his action was direct, his habit prompt and kindly, his ambition to be useful and to be honorably esteemed. The purity of his motives, the constancy of his principles, the inviolability of his trusts were observed and relied upon by the entire community. In the best and highest sense, in his early home, in his domestic attachments, in his commercial advance, in his moral and in his religious character, his career was an inspiration to the young and a satisfaction to his wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Baldwin married, on Dec. 16, 1841, Elizabeth Wilde, daughter of James Wilde, of Bloomfield. His children were four sons and three daughters. Five of his children survive him, the three sons perpetuating his varied pursuits in the store, the school, the town and the church.
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