A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

History: Jacob Greiner Sells His Livestock, Furniture at Public Sale in Cliffwood (1877)

The 31 Mar 1877 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 3) contained this notice of public sale:

Mr Jacob Greiner will sell his farm stock and a lot of household furniture at public sale, on the Henry L Clark farm at Cliffwood.

Perhaps Mr Greiner's family perished in our area between 1870 and 1877, prompting him to sell his livestock and furniture and take a job as a gardener in the Newark area? I see no trace of his wife or children after 1870 and the census of 1880 said he was a widower.

Henry L Clark was a New York lawyer, apparently with a local farm in Cliffwood.

The Long Depression was at its worst between Oct 1873 and Mar 1879. 18,000 businesses and 10 US states went bankrupt. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, sometimes called The Great Upheaval, was a particularly dark time. It was during this period that Mr Greiner had his public sale of livestock and furniture.

Jacob Greiner

The 1870 Federal Census showed a Jacob Greiner, age 33, born in Bavaria, as head of household in South Amboy. He was listed as a laborer and an alien. Living with him were his wife Catharine, age 28, and daughter Catharine, age 10, who were both born in Bavaria, as well as son Henry, age 4, and daughter Rebecca, age 1 month (born May 1870), who were both born in New Jersey.

The 1880 Federal Census showed him as the widower Jacob Greiner, age 43, born in Wurttemberg, living at the Scotland Street, South Orange household of George B Turrell and family, where he worked as a gardener.

Henry L Clark

The 1860 Federal Census showed Henry L Clark, age 50, born in NY, as a lawyer living in Matawan. He had $75,000 in property. His wife Phebe M Clark was 50 yrs old and born in NY. His children were Marie and Eleanor, ages 19 and 17, respectively.

Henry L, Phebe (P M) and Eleanor (E F) Clark were living in New York City in the 1870 Federal Census. Henry was listed as a lawyer age 60 years.

Henry and Phebe Clark and their daughters Mary Denslew and Eleanor Clark were living in New York City again in the 1880 Federal Census. Henry was a lawyer, age 65 years.


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