A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Signs of a 2013 Aberdeen Election

Are two parties running for office this year in Aberdeen? The challengers seem to be so far up the back bench that they've fallen from their seats and down the back wall. Where are they?

Representation from both parties on the council would be a good thing but there's little chance of an outsider breaking into the currently exclusive club given the silence of the opposition. Certainly there are some deep pockets on the incumbent side, judging by the large wooden signs placed everywhere around the township -- there will be no change in engineering firm again this time around, that's for sure. But the challenge has not been laid out and it's too late to muster a fight now. There's plenty to want changed or done, but that argument will have to wait for some future election. Likely the railroad station and glass plant projects will still be works in progress next time round.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mrs Buchen's 4th Grade Class and Matawan Past and Present (1971)

A dear reader provided me with a copy of Matawan Past and Present: A Look at Our Town, prepared by Mrs Dorothy Buchen's 4th grade class (1970 - 1971) at Strathmore Elementary School. The paperback contains 114 pages of local history and then-current information about local businesses, government and society.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

History: Main Street, Matawan (1873) (Part 1)

Above is a northern portion of Main Street in downtown Matawan, as pictured on page 17 of the 1873 edition of Wolverton's Atlas of Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Along the left side of the map is Matawan Creek, while on the top right you will see a bit of Gravelly Brook, which actually ran parallel to Main Street throughout that part of the borough. Both of these waterways were later diverted as part of the creation of Lake Matawan and Lake Lefferts.

Above is the current (2013) Google Maps rendering of the same part of downtown Matawan featured in the Wolverton Atlas (1873).



I've selected a section of 1873 Main Street that includes Trinity Episcopal at the north (east side) and Matawan Methodist Episcopal Church at the south (west side). Trinity is still there but it's Bart's Restaurant today. The Methodist church was torn down but was located at the intersection with Ravine Drive, just north of the US Post Office. The Methodist congregation moved to Aberdeen.

I should point out that Main Street is not marked as such on this portion of the 1873 map,  but you should get the idea. Main Street is oriented roughly north-south on the 1873  map, while it runs NNW on today's Google Map.

Below you will find the results of my research on the properties along this downtown section of Main Street. The listings are north to south in the context of the map segment being studied. After Hendrick and Koertenius Wyckoff,, the research results are presented for properties south along the west side of the street and then south along the east side.




Hendrick and Koertenius Wyckoff

H. & K. H. Wyckoff occupied lots on either side of Main Street at the very top of this picture. The Wyckoffs advertised in the Sep 1869 edition of The Matawan Journal as wheelwrights and blacksmiths operating on Main Street. (See related article)
  • Koertenius Wyckoff, age 30 NJ, blacksmith, $5,000 $1,000, page 6, dwelling 48, household 49. Wife and young daughter and son, plus Benjamin Sickly, age 60, grist and flour mill. (1870 Federal Census)
  • Hendrick Wyckoff, age 66 NJ, blacksmith, $2,000 $500, page 32, dwelling 265, household 271. Wife. (1870 Federal Census)




J Lamberson (70 Main Street)

The next lot on the west side of the street belonged to a J. Lamberson, who had a small building on the property. A modern ranch style home at 70 Main Street currently sits on that corner lot. While it isn't marked, the cross street is called North Street.


Trinity Episcopal Church (74 Main Street)

On the south side of North Street (marked Epis. CH. and indicated with a green icon) is Trinity Episcopal Church, whose congregation is now located on Ryers Lane in Freneau. The old brick church building is still at 74 Main Street and as classy as ever, but occupied by the popular Bart's Restaurant  since 1982.

Sydney Bray (76 Main Street)

Just south of the church was Sydney Bray (marked S Bray), a lumber merchant.  Bob McCloskey Insurance (BMI), which has been in business since 1975, occupies this building at 76 Main Street. The house belonged for many years to the Radl family -- Joseph and his daughter Ann each rented out an apartment in the house for extra income. Below are some references to 76 Main as found in the Matawan Journal back to 1919.
  • Mrs Matilda Linzmayer Peterson, 82 years old, was living at this address when she died in 1973, according to the 12 Apr 1973 edition of The Matawan Journal. 
  • Francis G Roberts, 71, died at home at this address in 1965, according to the 28 Jan 1965 edition of The Matawan Journal. 
  • This address was listed as having an apartment for rent in the 6 Feb 1958 edition of The Matawan Journal. The rental had 2 1/2 rooms, private bath with shower, private entrance 1st floor, refrigerator, heat, water, lights supplied. Furnished or unfurnished. Ideal for couple or two gentlemen.  
  • Ann M Radl, R. N., was offering high calonic irrigations (colon cleansings) and electric bakings by appointment at this address in 1933, presumably as a treatment for polio, according to the 13 Oct 1933 edition of The Matawan Journal. (The Hospital for Deformities and Joint Diseases, New York City, advertised in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol 71, 1918, pg 30, that it was treating 200 patients a day with 'electric baking, hydrotherapeutics, galvanic, faradic, and sinusoidal electric currents, massage, and muscle education before a mirror.")
  • Ann M Radl, 42 years old, was enumerated on Main Street in Matawan in the 1930 Federal Census. She listed herself as superintendent of the general hospital, perhaps the Matawan Hospital? Her widowed father, Joseph Radl, 79, was born in Bohemia to Austrian parents and had come to the US in 1872. Ann was listed as single and her building was said to have no building number. (Note: Ann's mother was also named Ann M Radl, according to the 1910 Federal Census. The family lived on Lower Broad Street at that time.  Joseph was a shoemaker. Young Ann was a bookkeeper at a department store.)
  • Five recently renovated rooms at 39 Broad Street, with "bath, gas, electric, steam heat, stationary tub," were newly available, according to the 20 Jan 1928 edition of The Matawan Journal. Prospective renters were to contact "Miss Radl" at 76 Main Street.
  • Mr and Mrs Joseph Radl, 76 Main Street, were entertaining their daughter, Mrs Roland E Waller, while she waited a month to join her husband, an ensign in the US Navy, in Honolulu, according to the 11 Aug 1921 edition of The Matawan Journal. Her husband had recently been transferred from the US Naval Air Station at Hampton Roads, Virginia.
  • Those interested in renting a garage were directed to inquire at 76 Main Street, according to the 12 Jun 1919 edition of The Matawan Journal.


Thomas W Thorne

The next two lots south of Sydney Bray's place belonged to Thomas W Thorne (T. W. Thorne). The first was and still is a vacant lot. The second has a house on it (above) that could be the same building that stood there in 1873.
  • Thomas W Thorne, age 65 NJ, retired merchant, lived in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census. His daughters Eleanor (30) and Annie (28) were in the household, as were a boarder and a servant.
  • Thomas W Thorne died in Matawan on 7 Jun 1981.
  • Thomas W Thorne, age 55 NJ, merchant in dry goods and groceries, with $4,500 in personal property and $30,000 in real property, was enumerated in Holmdel in the 1870 Federal Census, along with daughter Ellen and Annie. (Joseph Thorne, age 45 NJ, merchant in dry goods and groceries, was enumerated next on the same page. Joseph is likely Thomas' brother.)
  • Thomas (35 NJ) and Margaret (26 NJ) Thorne were enumerated in Raritan, NJ in the 1850 Federal Census. He was a merchant.


Charles W Fountain

Charles W Fountain (C W Fountain) was a 38 yr old grocer and dry goods merchant when he was enumerated in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. He was residing with his wife Anna (35), and children Henry, Jane and William, and a domestic servant. Charles had $11,000 in real property and $4,000 in personal property.

Daniel H and Charles F Wyckoff

Daniel H and Charles F Wyckoff (D H Wyckoff; C F Wyckoff) occupied neighboring lots on the west side of Main Street. D H Wyckoff and Company advertised in the Sep 1869 edition of The Matawan Journal as a coal dealer. (See related article)
  • Daniel H Wyckoff, age 44 NJ, coal merchant, $35,000, $13,000, page 25, dwelling 216, household 220. Wife, two young children, and Charles F Wyckoff, below. (1870 Federal Census)
  • Charles F Wyckoff, age 20 NJ, coal dealer, $ - , $2,000, living with Daniel, above (1870 Federal Census)


Behind the Episcopal church is Mill Street, which runs parallel to Main Street for a couple of blocks. It turns 90 degrees and joins Main StreetA few businesses were on that street, including Cartan & Co and the S. G. & S Mill. Matawan Creek was a commercial waterway at the time.


 Dr Aaron Pitman (94 Main Street - Burrowes Mansion)

Aaron Pitman (Dr. A Pitman) was born about 1817 in NJ, according to the 1870 Federal Census. He was enumerated in Matawan with wife Ann and four children: Charles, Hattie, Rodman and Emma. Both Aaron and his son Charles were dentists. Aaron had $10,000 in real property and $2,000 in personal property. The family had a domestic servant.

His long and detailed obituary appeared in the 27 Oct 1894 edition of The Matawan Journal:

"On the Death of Dr. Pitman.

Dr. Aaron Pitman, who died on October 17, was born on a farm near Princeton on April 22, 1817. He had
seven brothers and four sisters, two of his brothers being older than he. When a young man Mr. Pitman learned the trade of cabinet making and later took dentistry as a profession. On December 23, 1839, he married Miss Anne Wilson of New Brunswick at Newark and from there went to Trenton. Here he lived for a short time when he removed to Matawan in 1840. The doctor and his wife took up their residence in what was called the "Round House," which was on the site now occupied by E. I. Brown. From there he moved to W. E. Arrowsmith's house adjoining Dr. Knecht's and after living there a few years bought in 1854 the residence in which he resided until his death. This house was a tavern during the Revolutionary War and is now 153 years old.

Aaron Pitman lived in Burrowes Mansion most of the second half of the 19th century.

During Dr. Pitman's early residence here he followed his calling in various sections of the county, it being the custom in those days to drive about the country with a horse and wagon. He had an office at Freehold and spent two days in the week there until his sons William W. and Charles F. grew to manhood, when he turned that office over to them. He then confined his practice to Matawan and until the last
few years had his share of the work.

About four years ago his throat became affected and an operation was performed to clear his windpipe of an obstruction. This was done by a New York specialist, but apparently did little good. The doctor lost his voice and since that time could converse only in a hoarse whisper. Subsequently he submitted himself to an examination by seven of the most prominent physicians in New York and they advised that another operation be performed and suggested the same specialist be asked to do it. But the doctor refused
to consent, as his recollection of his previous experience was not of the pleasantest. His windpipe was gradually closing up and it was thought he would choke to death, but when death came the expectation was not realized and he passed away peacefully and without a struggle. The doctor leaves a wife, two sons and two daughters— Charles P, Rodman C., Miss Hattie and Miss Emma J. Pitman.

Dr. Pitman was a noted man in many ways. He was six feet two inches tall and when in his usual health weighed around 225 pounds. He was of commanding appearance and noted in his younger days for his great strength and bravery, and it is said of him that his prowess had become so well known that no ordinary man could compete with him. During the rebellion he was a strong anti-war Democrat, believing that the differences between the North and South should be settled by arbitration. For his fearless expressions his life was threatened on more than one occasion, but knowing no fear he pursued his avocation and his courage protected him when other men might have lost their lives.

Just previous to Dr. Pitman coming to Matawan he joined the old Liberty Street Methodist Church in New Brunswick and since that time he was an active worker for the cause of the Master. He was ordained a local preacher in 1850 by Bishop Beverly Waugh and was authorized to perform the marriage ceremony. His membership with the Methodist church here extended over half a century and he always oecupied a particular pew in the "Amen" corner.

The funeral services were held last Saturday afternoon in the Methodist church. The doctor's remains were placed in the lecture room (in accordance with his request) and the services held in the auditorium of the church. Revs J. L. Howard, W. W. Moffett, and G. C. Maddock were present and delivered eulogistic addresses on the life of the deceased, after which the funeral cortege moved to Rose Hill
Cemetery where interment was made."

Aaron Longstreet

Aaron Longstreet (A Longstreet) (17 Aug 1805 - 4 Nov 1894) was a 64 yr old lumber merchant enumerated in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. His wife Catharine was 53 yrs old and son Henry was 11 yrs old. They had a domestic servant. Aaron had $18,000 in real property and $50,000 in personal property.

This house sits on the north end of the Longstreet lot but seems to be too small and too close to the Burrowes Mansion to be the original house. Perhaps the lot was subdivided and the Gulf station takes up the southern part?
Aaron and Catharine appeared in the 1860 Federal Census with children Mary (20), Huldah (10) and Henry (2). Aaron was a merchant with $9,000 in real property and $12,000 in personal property.

Aaron and Catharine were enumerated in Raritan (Keyport) in the 1850 Federal Census with children Mary (10) and Huldah (7/12). He was a merchant with $12,000 in property. 

Aaron is buried at Holmdel Cemetery in Holmdel, according to Find-a-Grave.

James H Horner

James H Horner (J Horner) was a 39 yr old dry goods dealer and grocer in the 1870 Federal Census for Matawan. He lived with his wife Charlotte (36) and 4 yr old twins, son William and daughter Jessie. He had $8,000 in real property and $8,000 in personal property.

Mrs Michael Conover

Nancy Conover (Mrs M Conover) was the 66 yr old wife of Michael Conover, age 71 in the 1870 Federal Census for Matawan. Michael was a farmer with $3,000 in real property and $600 in personal property.

Gordon D White

 See Gordon D White below.

George W Bell - Drug Store, Office of The Matawan Journal

George W Bell (G W Bell) was a 55 yr old druggist from England who was enumerated in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. His 21 yr old son Americus was a clerk in the store. Also in the household was son Franklin (15) and a domestic servant. George had $3,000 in real property and $2,500 in personal property.

George operated both the drug store (Drug Store) and the local newspaper, The Matawan Journal (Ofc of Matawan Journal).


There was an unlabeled alleyway that connected Main Street with Matawan Creek. Along Main Street between this alley and  Little Street was a block with a series of 7 small, mostly unlabeled, structures facing Main Street. One was labeled Market EWH. Another was labeled SM.

Along the alley itself - 

Miss E Brown

I was unable to identify Miss Brown.

Lydia Disbrow

Lydia Disbrow (Mrs J Disbrow) had a shop of some sort at the end of the alleyway, at the edge of Matawan Creek. She was the 50 yr old wife of John N Disbrow, 53 yr old constable, per the 1870 Federal Census. John had $4,000 in real property and $2,500 in personal property.

An advertisement in the 18 Jan 1873 edition of The Matawan Journal promoted John's role as both constable and auctioneer. He not only collected on local debts but also sold the repossessed items at auction.

"John N Disbrow - Constable and Auctioneer, Matawan, NJ. Attends to the collection of all claims. Orders for Auction Sales may be left at the Matawan Journal Office."

LITTLE STREET (West side of Main Street)


Gordon D White

Gordon D White, born about 1823 in New Jersey, was a retired manufacturer enumerated in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. The handwriting is unclear, but he appears to have had $50,000 in real property and $30,000 in personal property.  He was living with his wife Catharine and four children.

Gordon and Catharine White were enumerated in Raritan (Keyport) in the 1850 Federal Census. His business appears to read "stove & tin." He had $700 in property.

They were enumerated in Matawan in the 1860 Federal Census. Gordon's occupation was stove manufacturer.



Perhaps this factory was Gordon White's stove manufacturing facility?


B Reed 

 I had no luck finding this person in the census or newspapers.



Morristown Road is what we now call Ravine Drive. It remains Morristown Road for a section of roadway between Cross Road and Cliffwood Road.


EAST SIDE OF MAIN STREET (North of Little Street)


Colonel John Travers

Opposite the Episcopal Church on the east side of the street was the property of a J Travers. This would be Col John Travers, who was the prime force behind the construction of the Trinity Episcopal Church in Matawan. An online history of the church says Col Travers lived at the mouth of the Cheesequake river in Middletown Point, a part of Matawan Township, but the 1850 Federal Census says John Travers, born about 1791 in Maryland, lived in South Amboy with his family - wife Harriet, age 48, daughter Emily, age 13, son Robert, age 10. A farmer with $20,000 in property, Col Travers was hosting 35-year-old Massachusettsan F C "Putman", clergyman, identical with Ferdinand C Putnam, who would be the first pastor at Trinity. Also in the household were several laborers, likely some of those helping to build the church on Main Street in Matawan.


Daniel Lewis

Next on the east side of Main Street, just south of Travers, was the property of D Lewis. The 1870 Federal Census shows a Daniel Lewis, age 52 NJ, boot and shoe maker, with wife Catharine, age 48 NJ. The property had a building on Main Street and another, possibly a shed, at the back end.


Joseph Rose

Next on the east side of Main Street, just south of Lewis, was the property of J Rose. The 1870 Federal Census has a Joseph Rose, age 60 NY, farmer, with $35,000 in real property and $30,000 in personal property. Living with him was his wife, Frances, age 60 CT, and several other persons. The property had a building on Main Street. At the rear of the property was a school.

There was an alley south of the Rose property, possibly to provide access to the school.


Francis P Simpson

South of the Rose property was the Simpson estate. This was likely the property of Francis P Simpson, born about 1800 in England, who was a merchant in Matawan with $21,000 in real property and $14,000 in personal property in the 1860 Federal Census. His wife, Charlotte, was a widow in the 1870 Census. Her daughter Mary and lawyer son William, as well as a number of others were in the household with the widow in 1870.


Lawrence Cartan

South of the Simpson estate was a property labeled L Cartan. The 1870 Federal Census showed a Lawrence Cartan, 59 Ireland, with $8,000 in real property and $5,000 in personal property, who operated a grist and flour mill. He had a wife Ellen and 3 children at the time of the census.


Richard W Brown

South of the Cartan property were two lots, with one building on each, both owned by R Brown. The 1870 Federal Census had a Richard W Brown, age 42 NJ, brick mason, with $800 in real property and $250 in personal property. His wife Margaret was 34 NJ.


Peter L Cortelyou

South of the Brown properties was a lot with a building owned by a P L Cortelyou. The 1870 Federal Census showed a Peter L Cortelyou, age 40 NY, farmer, with $25,000 real property and $8,000 in personal property, and wife Jane B 40 NY and four children.

This ad (left), which appeared in the 24 May 1873 edition of The Matawan Journal, read: "HOUSE FOR SALE LOW! In the lower part of Matawan, pleasantly located on Main street. The style is modern, and there are 7 rooms. Lot streets on 3 streets. A good garden, and a small barn. Apply to P L CORTELYOU."


William H Conover

South of the Cortelyou property was a lot labeled W H Conover. A number of choices are available for this one, so additional research will be required.
  • The 1870 Federal Census had a Michael Conover, 71 NJ, farmer, with wife Nancy, with a William H Conover, 32 NJ, farm laborer, with wife and kids living as a separate family within the household. Likely father and son. Michael had $3,000 in real property and $600 in personal property. William had $1,500 in real and $300 in personal property. The enumeration showed the Presbyterian Church just above Michael on that page of the census.
  • A William H Conover, Jr was named Prosecutor of the Pleas for Monmouth County, according to the 13 Apr 1872 edition of The Matawan Journal. (pg 3 col 2)
  • The 16 May 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 2) included a William H Conover on a list of local applicants to Monmouth County for a hotel and saloon license.


Aaron H Hopkins Estate

Aaron H Hopkins (A H Hopkins) was a 49 yr old boatman living in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. His wife Lucy (Burlew) Hopkins was 43 yrs old and their three children -- William,, Elwood, and Eudora -- were living in the household. Aaron had $6,500 in real property and $2,500 in personal property. Son William was also a boatman.

Aaron was the 38 yr old "captain of a vessel" living in the Middletown Point area of Matawan in the 1860 Federal Census. Many of his neighbors were also in maritime occupations. He owned $7,000 in real property and $3,800 in personal property. His wife, Lucy was 29. There were three young children in the household - William, Elwood and Eudora.

Aaron was a 39 yr old boatman living in Middletown Point when he registered for the Civil War draft in Jun 1863.

Aaron was a 27 yr old boatman living in Raritan (Keyport) in the 1850 Federal Census. He had $2,000 in property. His wife's name was rendered as Lucia; she was 22 yrs old. They had a 2 yr old son William.

One genealogy shows that Aaron died in 1871 in Matawan, explaining why the property is listed as an estate.

Aaron named a ship after his wife, according to an article in the 20 Oct 1955 edition of The Matawan Journal regarding the upcoming 100th birthday of Nicholas Conover. The "Lucy Hopkins" was among the ships he piloted in his day. The article says that the Lucy Hopkins was eventually scuttled at South River to create a dock. Conover lived many years in Matawan


Two Empty Lots

There were two empty lots between the Hopkins estate and Mrs Brown's place.

Mrs Brown

Mrs Brown could be Anne E Brown, born about 1825, the apparent widow of Benjamin Brown, born about 1819. They had several children and were living in South Amboy for the enumeration of the 1850 Federal Census. Anne was a single mother in South Amboy in the 1860 Federal Census and the same in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. She had $3,000 in real property and $500 in personal property in the 1860 census and $4,000/$1,000 in the 1870 Federal Census.

Aaron H Hopkins Estate

See above.


William S Horner

William S Horner (W S Horner), a 61 yr old grocer and dry goods merchant, appeared in the 1870 Federal Census. He had $10,000 in real property and $25,000 in personal property. His wife Hannah was 60 yrs old and his son Robert S Horner, 20 yrs old, was a clerk in the store and resided with his parents. The family had an Irish maid servant.

William was a merchant in the 1860 Federal Census. He had $9,000 in real property and $16,000 in personal property. His son William H Horner, 18 yrs old, was a bookkeeper. Robert was going by his middle name, Stockton in this census; he was 10 yrs old. The family had a different Irish maid servant.


John M Hulshart

John M Hulshart (J M Hulshart), a 37 year old brick mason, was enumerated in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. He had $6,000 in real property and $2,000 in personal property. His wife Elizabeth M Hulshart was 38 yrs old and their son Clifford was 8 yrs old.

John was a 27 yr old master mason enumerated in Matawan in the 1860 Federal Census. He was head of household with two other masons and a 59 yr old housekeeper residing with him. He had $1,000 of real property and $700 in personal property.  The name was rendered Hulsart, a common variation for the name.

John was a mason enumerated with a group of masons and their families in Raritan (Keyport) in the 1850 Federal Census.

John was a mason enumerated in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census. Again his name was rendered as Hulsart. He had married a second wife, enumerated as Amanda, age 40. They had three young children, the eldest boy possibly from the marriage with Elizabeth and the younger two possibly from the marriage with Amanda due to the gap in births.


Lieutenant John N Cottrell

Lieutenant John N Cottrell (J N Cottrell) (1827 - 1910) served as an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War, operated a pottery business in Matawan, and moved in with his son in Neptune, where he died in 1910. He is buried at Mount Prospect Cemetery in Neptune. See his gravestone and other details at Find-a-Grave.

John was a 42 yr old pottery ware maker enumerated in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. His household included his wife Percilla and 7 children ages 1 to 18, with a set of twins in the bunch. A 4 yr old boy was named Wyckoff Cottrell, suggesting a connection to that family. He owned $2,120 in real property and $500 personal property.

John was a 1st Lieutenant in Company D, 38th NJ Volunteer Infantry with Union troops in the Civil War. The 38th NJ Infantry served at Fort Powhatan, a garrison on the James River east of Petersburg, Virginia, during the last months of the war.

Name: John N Cottrell
Enlistment Date: 20 Sep 1864
Rank at enlistment: 1st Lieutenant
State Served: New Jersey
Survived the War?: Yes
Service Record: Commissioned an officer in Company D, New Jersey 38th Infantry Regiment on 24 Sep 1864.Mustered out on 30 Jun 1865 at City Point, VA.
Sources: Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War 1861-65

John was living with his son Wyckoff Cottrell in Neptune in the 1900 Federal Census. Wyckoff was a mason and had been married only two years at the time of the census.


Francis W Hayward

See slaughterhouse listing below.

William W Disbrow

William W Disbrow, born about 1826 in New Jersey, was a commission merchant in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census. His 42 yrs old wife Carrie was born in South Carolina. They had three children: daughters Lillian and Irene and son Lee.

The 1870 Federal Census showed William as a single parent with three children: daughters Lillie, Lizzie and Irene. The eldest were born in South Carolina, while the youngest was born in NJ. William was a waterman by occupation.
The 10 Mar 1897 edition of The Red Bank Register carried this interesting obituary for William's wife, per Distant Cousin. "Mrs. William W. Disbrow died of pneumonia at Matawan on Tuesday of last week, aged sixty years. She was a native of North Carolina and was distantly related to Robert E. Lee of Virginia. She married Mr. Disbrow in 1871. Her husband and one son survive her." 

William L S Harrison Estate

William L S Harrison was born about 1820 in New York and ran a prominent printing business for the City of New York in the 1850s and 60s. He died in 1865. The property (W L S Harrison Estate), apparently acquired when Harrison lived in Matawan at some point, remained intestate in 1873.

The 18 Jul 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 3) reported the death in Brooklyn of Amy Harrison, the only remaining member of the Harrison family, who had once lived in Matawan. The parents and two of the three children died from consumption, leaving only one son, according to the article. Amy was the niece of Mrs Benjamin Tuthill, of Matawan, thus the local news coverage of this death.

The Matawan Journal said, in part: "The family some years ago resided in Matawan, and at that time consisted of father, mother and three children. Consumption had taken away all except the youngest child, now a young man. The father, Mr. W. H. Harrison, in his life, had one of the best job printing establishments in New York, where he amassed quite a handsome fortune."

The 20 May 1865 edition of The New York Times reported that W L S Harrison died on 19 May 1865, age 41.

The 1860 Federal Census showed William Harrison, 40 yrs old, printer, wife Julia, and several children living in Manhattan. Amy Harrison, age 6 in this census, is likely identical with Amy Harrison living with Freeman and Emeline Harrison in Sparta, NY in the 1870 census.

Freeman, born about 1811, was a physician. He appeared in Alumni Record and General Catalogue of Syracuse University (1911, pg 1675, available at Google Books) as Freeman Peck Harrison, Geneva Medical College, Class of 1844, a student from Sparta, NY.

William L S Harrison, printer, was charged and eventually cleared of all charges related to the printing of counterfeit Turkish currency, about which The New York Times published a lengthy piece in its 9 Oct 1858 edition. Harrison lived at 82 Duane Street in Manhatan at the time.

Benjamin and Margaret Tuthill, 57 and 46 yrs old, respectively, and family were enumerated in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census. (Margaret's father and Freeman Harrison's wife were both born in England. Perhaps there is a hint there to the relationship mentioned between the families? It's a wild stretch, but Margaret's father and Emeline could be siblings.)

Capt Haddock Whitlock

Roger Haddock Whitlock (Capt H Whitlock) was born 2 Feb 1800 in Freehold. He married three times and had fifteen children. (See Stillwell's History of NJ, Vol 3, p 122, the details of which are captured in the notes on this page at Rootsweb WorldConnect) The Federal Census showed him living in Raritan (Keyport) in 1850 and Matawan in 1870. His occupation in both instances was "waterman."

Francis W Hayward, the Slaughterhouse

Francis W Hayward (F W Hayward), a 31 yr old butcher born in Massachusetts, ran the slaughterhouse next door to the hotel stables in Matawan, as enumerated in the 1870 Federal Census. He had $8,500 in real property and $3,000 in personal property. His wife Mary and infant daughter Carrie lived in the household, as did his brother, John W Hayward, age 26 and born in NJ. John was also a butcher. Evidently the Hayward family moved from Massachusetts to NJ in the early 1840s.


John H. Farry, the Matawan Hotel and Stables

John H Farry (J H Farry) was a 40 year old hotel keeper born in New York, according to the 1870 Federal Census. He ran the Matawan Hotel (Matawan Ho) and the associated stables (Stables). John claimed $50,000 in real property and $15,000 in personal property in that census. His wife Delia was 32 yrs old and also born in New York. Their four children were born in NJ.


G. D. White Company

G. D. White Co was a stove manufacturing company belonging to Gordon D White.


Mary Crook

The widow Mary Crook (Mrs Crook) was born 25 May 1806 in Kent County, England. She married Benjamin Crook and came to the US in 1829. He died shortly after they moved to Matawan, leaving her with a number of children to raise, so she opened a notions shop selling sweets and toys. She joined the Methodist Episcopal Church of Matawan in 1844. She died at home on 2 Feb 1881 and was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Mary had three grandchildren living with her in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. The children could be from any of her boys. She had $8,000 in real property and $4,000 in personal property.

Mary's occupation as running a "fancy store" in Matawan was spelled out in the 1860 Federal Census but not in the others. Her eldest granddaughter was enumerated in her household, as was her daughter Eliza and husband, William S Dunlop, who was in the "market business." Henry and William Miller, barbers, and an Irish maid servant were also living there.

Mary was living in Raritan (Keyport) in the 1850 Federal Census, along with her 17-year-old son Charles, stone cutter; Eliza, 15; and Thaddeus, 13.

Mary was in Middletown in the 1840 Federal Census in the household of her son, Benjamin Crook (age 15-19). Living in the household were six persons: Benjamin; Unknown (age 10-14); Charles, 7; Eliza, 5; Thaddeus, 3; and Mary, 32.

Mary's son Charles Crook was building a new shop and would be moving his marble works to another part of town on 1 Apr 1878, according to the 16 Feb 1878 edition of The Matawan Journal, which cited The Newton Herald for the news. The 1880 Federal Census showed Charles Crook, operator of a marble works, living on Church Street in Newton, Sussex County, NJ with his wife and children.

Mary's obituary (right) appeared in the 5 Feb 1881 edition of The Matawan Journal.




A few doors up from the Methodist Episcopal church you'd find Little Street.  The image above shows Little Street in a recent image, crossing from bottom right to upper left, and Main Street from lower left to upper right. Broad Street can be seen in the right corner.

In 1873, Little Street was on both sides of Main Street, but it stopped at Broad Street. There was no bridge over Lake Matawan at the time. In fact, there was no Lake Matawan.

Frederick Schock

At the northeast corner of Little Street and Main Street was a small property shown on the map as F Chock. This was very likely a tobacconist shop operated by one Frederick Schock, born about 1843 in Baden, Germany, who was a tobacco and cigar retailer based on his enumeration in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. Esma Travel is at that corner now, in a long building that extends down Little Street.

Washington Engine Company

East of the Schock property on Little Street was the Washington Engine Company (Eng Hos). Established in 1869, the engine company was at 47 Little Street from 1869 to 1976, when it relocated to Jackson Street.

A special election was scheduled for 8 May 1883 for Matawan fire district voters to approve collection of a local tax totaling $100 to allow the incorporation of the Washington Engine Company, according to the 5 May 1883 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 6).

The 20th annual election of officers for the Washington Engine Company was documented in the 9 Feb 1889 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Next door to the engine company at the time of the move in 1976 was the Matawan First Aid Squad building at 28 Little Street. The squad was established in 1934 as an offshoot of the engine company. See the 9 Jul 2009 edition of The Independent for coverage of the first aid squad's 75th anniversary celebration.


EAST SIDE OF MAIN STREET (South of Little Street)


Christian Straub

Christian Straub (C Straub) owned a butcher shop at Main and Little Streets. He was born in Mecklenburg, Germany in Apr 1841 and came to the US as an infant a year later. Christian, 29 Mecklenburg, was enumerated in Matawan in 1870 and in South Amboy in 1900. His wife Caroline was deceased by 1900; Christian was widowed and head of household with a number of children. What looks to have been Christian's older brother Frederick, 34 Mecklenburg, also a butcher, was living in Christian's household in Matawan in 1870. 


Charles Gelhaus

Charles Gelhaus (C Gelhaus), born about 1842 in Baden, Germany was a new baker in Matawan when he was enumerated in the 1870 Federal Census. He was living with his wife Caroline, 27 years old and also born in Baden; daughter Anna, age 2 NY, and son Otto, born in Oct 1849 in NJ. They had $4,000 in real property and $1,500 in personal property. An elderly seaman with a French name was boarding in their household.


Joseph Maggs 

Joseph Maggs (J Maggs), born about 1804 in England, was a manufacturer with $75,000 in real property and $10,000 in personal property in Matawan when he was enumerated in the 1870 Federal Census. His wife Mary was ten years younger and born in NJ.

The 13 Sep 1873 edition of The Matawan Journal carried this advertisement, suggesting that Joseph grew grapes, probably for the New York City market:

The subscriber will give the above reward for information that will lead to the detection of the party or parties who robbed his vineyard of  a large quantity of GRAPES.
     JOSEPH MAGGS, Matawan, Sept 13, 1873 

Joseph was a cabinet maker enumerated in Raritan (Keyport) in the 1850 Federal Census. He had $21,500 in property at the time. When he died in Mar 1878, Joseph was a brick manufacturer, a common occupation in the area at the time due to local clay deposits. That is a hint to the "manufacturer" reference in the 1870 census.

Joseph's younger brother William, sister-in-law Ann, and five niece and nephews were living in his household at the time. William was born about 1811 in New York, suggesting that William and Joseph's parents emigrated to the US between 1804 and 1811. This period was remarkable for the Napoleonic Wars, but the British, who were warring with France during this entire time frame, owned the seas.


Methodist Episcopal Church

The bottom center of this map shows the intersection of Main Street and Morristown Road (now Ravine Drive). The green box at that intersection is the old Methodist Episcopal Church (M. E. CH.), which is where Matawan Drugs stood for many years and, more recently, a dollar store operated. (The cursive "Matawan" from the Matawan Drugs sign is still on the wall of the building.) The old Matawan Hospital would have been on Morristown Road within a block of Main Street.

Friday, September 6, 2013

History: Burtina Place, Keyport

Burtina Place and Octavia Place, which are located between Green Grove Avenue, Maple Place, Hurley Street and Van Dorn Street in Keyport, are named after the daughters of Burtis Ashburn and Julia Mary (English) Aumack, of Union Beach.

Burtis was born 2 May 1892 in Raritan Township, NJ and died in Mar 1973 in North Brunswick, NJ. He was a furniture salesman in the 1920, 1930 and 1940 enumerations of the US Census.

Julia was born 25 May 1892, also in Raritan Township, and died 6 Sep 1960 in Newark, NJ. She was a public school teacher for 42 years in Monmouth County, 20 years in Union Beach, including as a principal.  She married Burtis in 1913 and had two daughters before 1920. (See Julia's obituary in the 15 Sep 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 3, cols 1-2.)

A neighbor told me that Burtis Aumack built a small neighborhood in Keyport in 1933 and named two of the new streets after his kids. Real estate listings and local papers indicate that development began in 1929 and continued through the 1930s and 1940s into the early 1950s. *

I'm unclear how a furniture salesman ended up building homes, but Burtis was certainly well respected in the area: he served on a police committee that was established when the Borough of Union Beach was established in 1925, according to an online borough police department history. (Perhaps there is a "construction" connection in the fact that Burtis was on "Strother's Builders" bowling team, as recorded in the 5 Feb 1953 edition of The Matawan Journal?)

The Union Beach Board of Education named Julia as Acting Principal of the Florence Avenue School, according to the 19 May 1955 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Burtis and his wife traveled from New York to Southampton, England in July 1938 aboard the S S Normandie and returned from Le Havre, France to New York in August 1938 aboard the S S Ile de France. (It was during August 1938 that Britain's Neville Chamberlain sent an emissary to Czechoslovakia to seek a resolution to the Sudeten Crisis. Chamberlain himself met with Adolf Hitler in September 1938 and ceded the land to Germany, in an attempt to appease Hitler. The beginning of the Second World War loomed - a dangerous time to take a vacation.)

As for the girls for whom the streets were named: Burtina Mae Aumack attended West Chester Teachers College in the mid 1930s and worked for years as a teacher. Like her mother, Burtina was enumerated as a public school teacher in the 1940 Federal Census. She was mentioned as working at Keyport High School in school yearbooks from the late 1950s and early 1960s, and again in the Red Bank Register in September 1963. She retired with a pension from the Keyport Board of Education in January 1980. Burtina was married to Captain George W Parcels, commander, New Jersey State Police Patrol, Garden State Parkway, according to the 23 Sep 1963 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 3 col 5).

Her sister, Octavia (Aumack) Mahawage made several sea voyages to South America, served in education adminitration, and died in Columbus, Ohio in August 1990.

Julia Aumack's brother, Eugene V English, was killed in an automobile accident on Route 35 in Holmdel, according to the 19 Jul 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal. Burtina Parcels' son Burt was also killed in a car crash, just 3 years ago. (See 7 May 2010 edition of the Barnstable Patriot)

I found the following references to Burtina Place in The Matawan Journal beginning in 1945 and Octavia Place in 1951.
  • Mr and Mrs Joseph Shumock, of 3 Burtina Place, were the proud parents of a newborn daughter, according to the 18 Jan 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal. 
  • Mr and Mrs George Boyce, of Burtina Place, were the proud parents of a newborn son, according to the 5 Jul 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal.
  • Ms Dorothy Boyce hosted a shower at her home on Burtina Place, according to the 6 Sep 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal.
  • George Raymond Boyce, son of Mr and Mrs George E Boyce, of Burtina Place, was engaged, according to an announcement in the 13 Jun 1946 edition of The Matawan Journal.
  • Mrs Joseph Shumock and her children Harold and Judy, of Burtina Place; William Conway, of Green Grove Avenue; and Mrs Peter TenEyck of Matawan were visiting Mrs Shumock's and Mrs TenEyck's relatives in LaBelle, Missouri, according to the 31 Jul 1947 edition of The Matawan Journal.
  • Mr and Mrs Vanderbilt Boyce, of Burtina Place, were the proud parents of a newborn daughter, according to the 13 Oct 1949 edition of the Matawan Journal.
  • Mr and Mrs Charles Herriger, Jr, 5 Octavia Place, were the proud parents of a newborn daughter, according to the 28 Jun 1951 edition of The Matawan Journal.
* Land records show 3 and 8 Burtina PL were built in 1929; 1 Burtina PL in 1931; 7 Burtina PL in 1951. 3 Octavia PL was built in 1948; 4 Octavia PL in 1951; 10 Octavia PL in 1953; 9 Octavia PL in 1989.

Monday, September 2, 2013

History: JCP&L Markets Easy Washer (1935)

Ever think about buying your washing machine from Jersey Central Power and Light Co (JCP&L)? Back in the 1930's, when the electric company was trying to broaden their business to household customers,  homemakers were being cajoled with ads that promised an easier life with electric appliances. The ad above (transcribed below) appeared in the 15 Feb 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Now only $59.50 for this new EASY WASHER
  • New Easy Wringer. A new, easy individual WRINGER that you will like because it is different and better. Balloon-type rolls, self-reversing drain board, quick safety release.
  • Easy Wringer Drive. Heavy beveled gears, long lived, rust proof, noiseless. Trouble free construction used in over 1,000,000 Easy Washers.
  • Easy Electric Pump Model 3F2. Empties the water when you have finished washing. No heavy buckets to lift or carry. No messy floors, wet feet.
  • Easy Agitator. Washes a big family size load of clothes with unequaled speed. Long scrubbing vanes vigorously agitate water and clothes, giving quick thorough cleansing. Simple to understand and operate.
  • Easy Gear Case Standard. EASY Lifetime Gear Train made to unequaled precision for long wear and freedom from service.
Buy Your Easy Washer Now. It will pay for itself as you use it.

Power and Light Co

Sunday, September 1, 2013

History: Wagon House Fire at Cliffwood Hotel; Matawan Journal Ads and Notices (1870)

According to the 15 Oct 1870 edition of The Matawan Journal, the wagon house at the Cliffwood Hotel burned to the ground the night of Saturday 1 October 1870, along with a carriage and buggy that happened to be inside. The cause of the fire was unknown.

A few ads from that page:

It is a fact.
It is the truth,
That Schanck & Holbrook's
Is the place to buy your hats.

Mrs H James,
Paris Millinery
Opposite the Bank, Matawan
Laces and Ribbons

E I Brown
Operative and Mechanical Dentist
Opposite M Bissell's Furniture Warerooms,
Matawan, NJ
All work guaranteed to give satisfaction

     The Commissioners of Appeal will meet at the Hotel of John Farry, Matawan, on November 22, 1870, at 10 am.
     The collector will meet the inhabitants of the Township as follows, to receive taxes: Richard Worrell's Hotel, Mount Pleasant, Tuesday December 13 from 10 am to 3 pm. John Farry's Hotel, Matawan, Wednesday December 14.
     Taxes can be settled at any time before return day, by calling on the collector.
     All unsettled taxes returned December 20th. Twelve percent interest added on all unsettled taxes after December 20th, 1870.
     Benjamin Griggs, Assessor   James H Horner, Collector

     Its ingredients are identical with the component parts of healthy blood.
     As a remedy for all diseases of the throat and lungs it is an infallible Cure, even in the last stages of CONSUMPTION.
     It softens the cough, strengthens the system, and restores the sick to health.
     In chronic of GENERAL DEBILITY and all diseases arising from an impure or impoverished state of the blood,
     And thousands of lives are annually saved by its use. No sick person need despair, for they can enjoy perfect health by the use of Dupont's BLOOD FOOD