Aberdeen NJ Life

A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Matawan Historical Society

 I have been volunteering at the Matawan Historical Society for over a month. While there I found that many people knew of my work on this blog and appreciated it. Today I noticed that the site was difficult to find in a routine Google search, so I am adding this post to see if that helps the system locate my blog. 

I hope to eventually move much of this research to the new MHS website. It will take some time. I encourage you to check out the society's website and Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Principe de Paz in Cliffwood Beach

La Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Principe de Paz (First Presbyterian Prince of Peace Church) has been meeting in the old Bayview Presbyterian Church at the corner of West Concourse and Greenwood Avenue for the past five years. Their congregation served the Puerto Rican and Cuban communities in Asbury Park for more than twenty years as a Presbyterian mission development project before coming here.

Julissa Alvarez-Garcia, the commissioned lay pastor at Principe de Paz, has been involved with her congregation since Asbury Park. She worked with a Presbytery committee to facilitate the move, which included a lengthy layover at Shrewsbury Presbyterian Church while a permanent home was found.

Alvarez-Garcia and the congregation, with support from the Presbytery, have significantly renovated the old Bayview building and improved the grounds. Some things you can see and some you cannot. The parking lot was paved and sidewalks and ramps were built. The boiler system was replaced. A leaking oil tank was discovered and removed, along with many truckloads of affected soil. The most recent improvements include the demolition of the vacant manse next door. (Thanks to Councilman Greg Cannon for his assistance with getting the utilities capped.)

Alvarez-Garcia and her congregation hosted the 25 June 2013 meeting of the Presbytery of Monmouth. And she was chosen by the Presbytery to serve as one of their commissioners to attend the 222nd annual session of the PCUSA General Assembly in Portland, Oregon in June 2016.

Principe de Paz are good neighbors and a welcome addition to Cliffwood Beach. Check out their Facebook page for details on their activities. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

History: Free Public High Schools in New Jersey

High schools in New Jersey started in the big cities -- Newark in 1836, and Trenton in 1842. Unfortunately, each local district established its own approach to post-common school education, yielding little agreement on what a high school might teach, or even whether a particular school district wanted to provide education beyond grammar school. Many communities didn't want to pay higher taxes just to fund a "poor man's academy", so little was done outside of the big cities to provide free education past the eighth grade.
The system of free public schools in New Jersey is based on the Free School Law of 1871. About fifty years earlier, the State School Fund had been an effort to help townships educate the poor. Between 1817 and 1871, the state abolished pauper schools, tuition payments, and the funding of sectarian schools and gave us school districts, local superintendents of schools, school boards, state tax education apportionments, and, of course, the beginnings of local school taxes.

In 1905, State Superintendent of Schools Charles J Baxter sent a letter to local school districts, pointing out that they had a constitutional mandate to provide free education to students up to and including the age of eighteen under the Free School Law of 1871. In the letter, Baxter told districts this could be accomplished either by operating a high school within an individual district or by making arrangements with a nearby district to accept their students. Baxter threatened to withhold the state school aid apportionment of any district which failed to comply.

Monmouth County Schools Superintendent John Enright tested eighth grade graduates of Matawan and Raritan townships and found five Matawan twp graduates eligible to study in high school. "These graduates have a high school course to finish before they are graduates from the school. They are simply leaving the grammar school department to undertake the studies of the high school department.The granting of diplomas this time is something new and an incentive for the younger scholars to continue along and work hard to obtain them. This marks the close usually of the ninth year work. Sometimes scholars cannot stay in school after passing from the grammar to the high school department and some of them would be as proud of a diploma obtained in that way as if they had taken the entire course and become full fledged graduates."   (26 May 1898 edition of The Matawan Journal)

County Superintendent Enright gathered the local school boards in December 1907 to explain new state rules on fees charged to sending districts as well as maximum high school tuition and daily attendance charges. (12 Dec 1907 edition of The Matawan Journal)

The Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library has some dated but still useful books on this subject:
  • The New Jersey High School: A History, by Robert D Bole and Laurence B Johnson (1964) (974.9 B)
  • Elementary Education in New Jersey: A History, by Roscoe L West (1964) (974.9 W)
  • Education in New Jersey 1630-1871, by Nelson R Burr (1942)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Matawan Presbyterian Church Fire - Christmas 1955

It was Sunday morning New Year's Eve 1955. The congregation of the Matawan Presbyterian Church gathered at the high school for worship that day, an arrangement made only the afternoon before. A rented organ played the introit. The choir wore borrowed robes. The women of the church had hung drapes and arranged desks on the school's stage. And in the center of that makeshift chancel was a table covered in maroon cloth, upon which stood an old brass cross recovered from the communion table during the awful fire that destroyed the First Presbyterian Church's sanctuary on Main Street on Christmas Sunday the week before.

All signs of smoke and ash had been carefully removed from that cross, but the fire was on everyone's minds and in everyone's hearts. Memories of the blaze and the fight to save the edifice were of course fresh and raw. Their thoughts dwelt on an odd mixture of the heroic and the mundane, the corporate and the private, and the spiritual and the worldly. They had borne witness to the heroism and generosity of the firefighters, but also the drilling of holes in the sanctuary floor to drain inches of water from the building. Everyone was grateful that no lives were lost, but most didn't know that a widower had stood vigil the night of the fire over the body of his deceased wife, which had been in the burning building and safely evacuated.

Members had felt the hand of evil in the destruction of their historic church home, but also saw signs of hope in the preservation of the church's records, its pulpit Bible and brass cross, its communion set, and its baptismal font. Many had watched the last symbol of FPC's presence on Main Street -- the old Stanford White steeple -- as it was pulled down from its precarious vigil into the ashen debris below. They were wondering what would be next, so they gathered at the high school for words of encouragement and solace but also of hope in the future.

Reverend Chester Galloway rose to deliver his sermon that morning. In his hand was the pulpit Bible he had used for the scripture lesson on Christmas Sunday. The Bible's cover had been charred and its pages soaked through when it was found, but it survived sheltered on the shelf within the pulpit where Reverend Galloway had left it.  The Reverend stood for a new beginning when he opened his sermon with a bit of tough love, saying, "We can sit down and cry or we can pick up the pieces and start all over again."

Reference: "Presbyterians Pioneer at Matawan," pp. 55 - 60
Thirty-year-old Russell H Apgar, a member of the church since January 1948, had confessed to setting fires on Christmas Eve in the Sunday School building and on Christmas Day in the sanctuary as his "contribution" towards a budding church school expansion campaign. He was assessed to be insane, was moved to a mental hospital in Trenton, and was later convicted of arson and sentenced to 5-7 years in state prison.

Below are selected newspaper articles from the period related to Apgar and the fire:

8 May 1947 - This excerpt from The Matawan Journal providing news from a Borough of Matawan meeting, suggests that Russell Apgar was a fire fighter at the Midway Hose company in Matawan. A review of regional newspapers shows many Apgars were fire fighters.

15 Jan 1948 Matawan Journal

29 Dec 1955 - Matawan Journal

Page one of the 29 Dec 1955 edition of The Matawan Journal, which featured the first news of the fire, was not functioning correctly at the time of this posting. The balance of the edition appears starting on page two.

5 Jan 1956 - Matawan Journal

16 Feb 1956 - Matawan Journal

7 Jun 1956 - Matawan Journal

2 May 1957 - Red Bank Register

22 May 1958 - Matawan Journal

Friday, August 21, 2015

History: State Route 35 South at GSP Exit 117 in October 1956

My wife came across this interesting video from the Jack Kirby Archives showing a driver exiting the Garden State Parkway at Exit 117 on 6 October 1956. He headed south on Route 35, turned right on Bethany Road, then made a left into a new housing development under construction in Holmdel.

I've made a timeline of this short video and added some stills from the video. Although I've been careful, I'm sure I've omitted some observations and made some mistakes. I'd be interested in your additions and corrections.
  • 0:10 Garden State Parkway Exit 117; Sign: Matawan/Keyport
  • 0:22 Sign: Keyport/Keansburg (left arrow); Middletown (right arrow); Keyport water tower in distance
  • 0:26 Merged onto Route 35 South - view in distance of Route 35 North overpass
0:29 Sign; Route 35 N visible in background

  • 0:29 Sign: Red Bank/Asbury Park (right arrow); Keansburg/Atlantic Highlands (left arrow)
  • 0:31 Signs: Route 35 (right arrow); Route 36 (left arrow); tall, narrow sign across the highway, illegible
  • 0:33 Beers Street intersection on right?
0:36 Turn in road before current Home Depot

  • 0:35 Turn in roadway approaching entrance to current Home Depot; Sign: Briarcliff Homes 
  • 0:37 Sign: Route 35 Red Bank/Eatontown/Asbury Park
  • 0:38 Sign: Old Manor Estates
0:38 View of Route 35 S heading towards Holmdel Road

  • 0:40 Sign: Split Rock Estates, Turn Right; downslope heading towards Holmdel Road
0:44 Dutch Motel; unidentified restaurant

  • 0:44 Signs: Esso (right); Dutch Motel (right); restaurant (right); Texaco (left)
  • 0:45 At Holmdel Road & Route 35
0:46 Old Manor Estates sign; Sunoco garage

  • 0:46 Sign: Old Manor Estates, Turn Here, from $14,990
  • 0:48 Sunoco garage
0:52 Restaurant with airplane on roof; steaks and chops

  • 0:52 Restaurant with airplane on roof near roadway; sells steaks and chops; possibly nearing Hazlet Avenue intersection

  • 0:58 Signs: Foxwood Homes (right); Molly Pitcher Inn (left, in distance)
  • 1:00 Sign: Turn right at Bethany Road
1:03 Fitzgerald's Green Acres Bar

  • 1:03 Fitzgerald's Green Acres Bar
  • 1:07 Sign: Raritan Ridge, left turn
  • 1:08 Sign: Old Manor Estates, Holmdel Township, 200 Feet Turn Right

1:11 Farm stand and truck

  • 1:11 Farm stand, possibly Casola Farms; old truck has an illegible business identified on side
  • 1:14 Bethany Road
1:19 Bethany Road railroad crossing, looking southwest

  • 1:19 Bethany Road railroad crossing
  • 1:25 Bethany Road at intersection with Telegraph Hill Road (on left)
  • 1:31 Old Manor Estates model homes on left and right side of Bethany Road; parking area  on right
1:39 Bethany Road approaching construction site

  • 1:39 Bethany Road - approaching Old Manor Estates construction site
  • 1:46 Bethany Road - major construction site
  • 1:56 Bethany Road - Newly built Old Manor Estates homes


The 18 Mar 1981 edition of The Bayshore Independent contains the obituary of Frank G Havey, of Hazlet, who moved to the area in 1958 and worked as manager at Fitzgerald's Green Acres Bar for eight years.


The restaurant with the airplane on the roof was originally called Hazlet Lunch and was operated by Bill Kahlert, according to Hazlet Township, pp 12-13, by William B Longo. Kahlert was a pilot and owned his own plane. A plane was added to the roof at one point and the restaurant became a local landmar,, according to Longo, who said the luncheonette closed in the early 1970s and reopened as a disco later that decade. (Check out Longo's old photos, post cards)

A Keyport Facebook group consensus was that Hazlet Lunch later became known as Sergeant Pepper's and then The Red Barron, burning to the ground sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The group said it was located where the Midas service center is situated today, near the Hazlet Fairgrounds and the Buhler automobile dealership.

The 29 Aug 1979 edition of the Bayshore Independent (pg 2)  reported on the 24 Aug 1979 fire that destroyed Sgt Pepper's Club on the eve of its reopening. Heat lamps being used to dry a new coat of polyurethane on the bar caused the fire, according to officials. The roof caved in and the airplane fell inside the burning structure. The club, which operated for two years as Sgt Pepper's, operated as a go-go bar during the day and a rock-n-roll club at night. It had been closed for two months due to ABC violations related to the go-go bar. It had previously been called The Hangar, The Red Baron, and The Hazlet Lunch. The owner planned to rebuild.

25 Mar 2016 Note: Timeline of video has been edited above based on feedback in comments below.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A&P in Cliffwood to Close Before Labor Day

The A&P grocery store in Cliffwood is closing its doors on Friday 4 September 2015. It is part of a larger corporate bankruptcy, according to the 20 Jul 2015 edition of The Wall Street Journal. Other local A&P groceries being closed include the Route 9 store in Old Bridge and the store on Route 35 in Holmdel. Corporate is raising some quick cash as part of its Chapter 11 proceedings. Others not yet named will also close or change hands soon enough.

The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company opened this grocery store in Cliffwood on 6 October 1959. (See related article)

The Cliffwood store survived the arrival of Price Club, whose  box store in Hazlet soon killed the small, family-run Foodtown in downtown Matawan. But A&P couldn't stop the bleeding as shoppers flocked to the many well-stocked and competitively priced stores in the area, including Shop Rites on Lloyd Road in Aberdeen and Route 35 in Hazlet and Stop n Shops in Aberdeen and Keyport.

Opinions of A&P in Cliffwood weren't mixed; the store had grown increasingly unpopular in the area, leaving it to serve more as a large convenience store than as a grocer. It was my impression that A&P wasn't as "fresh obsessed" as its advertising implied. I can't tell you how many times I found expired products on the shelf or in my grocery bag. My neighbors complained that prices weren't competitive and selection was poor.

Residents will just have to wait and see what will become of the space. The economy is strong and vacancies that abounded along Route 35 two or three years ago have all been filled. The intersection of Route 35 and Cliffwood Avenue has just been upgraded. Perhaps a new tenant will be found quickly?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Several Cliffwood Beach Road Projects Nearly Complete

Aberdeen Township's three main objectives for flood mitigation, as posed in the 2014 Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan for Monmouth County, were to deal with 1) State Route 35 between Cliffwood Avenue and Raritan Boulevard; 2) Lakeshore Drive near the beach park; and 3) Amboy Avenue near Matawan Creek.

The NJ DOT had been planning a major project on Route 35 for some time, and that work seems to be nearly completed. Some landscaping still needs to be done on the parcel across from the Goodwill, where the construction crew has been putting its equipment and supplies for the past two years, but that's about it. Route 35 has been raised and the creeks now pass easily under the roadway. No more detours onto County Road and Cliffwood Avenue. The intersections at Cliffwood Avenue and Amboy Avenue have been modified and new signals added to improve traffic flow. Amboy Avenue no longer feeds into Cliffwood Avenue but dead ends after McDonald's and the auto parts store. And the roadways have all been repaved and lined.

Lakeshore Drive was recently raised down where the creek passes under it and around the park at the beachfront. The roadway was newly paved, shiny new guard rails were installed, and lines were painted. Only time will tell if this work will provide meaningful flood mitigation.

There has been some work going on along Amboy Avenue between Prospect Avenue and the Blue Rock Cafe. The road was closed to local traffic recently and only limited vehicle traffic was crossing the bridge. The Up the Creek Tavern by the Keyport Marina has been totally rebuilt and raised quite high -- maybe it should now be called Up Above the Creek? I'm not quite sure of the status of the roadway and bridge. The Blue Rock Cafe is open and doing a rousing business despite the road closing. If you are in the area, be sure to grab a beer or have a meal, or both.

My 2015-16 Aberdeen Township tax bill arrived yesterday. Enclosed was a letter from the Township Manager discussing the township's careful stewardship of tax revenues. Much of the discussion focused on the township's adroit use of county, state and federal programs to repair and maintain our roads. It's an interesting read, mostly the part on page 2.

The manager appreciates our patience as those of us with awful road surfaces await planned improvements. She claims to have a map of the township on her office wall to remind her of the need for roadwork in particular spots. I am being patient, but I might send her a photo to add to her wall of the large pool that forms in front of my house when it rains ever since a township crew repaved the fire hydrant apron in front of my house.

All in all good news. Taxes are only going up about $5/month and improvements to my street are towards the top of the waiting list.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Van Wickle House - Prominent Matawan Family at Broad and Church

Jason Peist, an owner of 171 Broad Street in Matawan, wrote me this week to share some historic images of the house, which stands on the southeast corner of the intersection of Church and Broad Streets. He invited me to post the images and the history behind them for my readers. Most appreciated.

Below is a set of photographs of the house circa 1919, showing each side of the building.

171 Broad Street (Broad Street view - W side) circa 1919. Visible to the left is a water tower at a factory along the nearby railroad tracks, and a house on Orchard Street, which was behind 171 Broad.

171 Broad Street (Church Street view - N side) circa 1919

171 Broad Street (rear view - E side) circa 1919

171 Broad Street (side view - S side) circa 1919. This was a side entrance. In the window can be seen some beakers, presumably related to the dental office inside. To the left is a house across Church Street, and to the right are two large houses on Broad Street, approximately where the Municipal Building now stands.
If you look closely at the detail below of the Church Street side of the house, you will see a sign that reads DENTIST facing out to passersby at the street corner. The "ickle" portion of the dentist's name can be made out in italicized print arching across the word DENTIST.

171 Broad Street (Church Street view - detail) circa 1919
The current owner did some research and found that from 1899 to 1929, the house served as the home and office of its first owner, a dentist named Orwill Van Wickle. The first floor was his dental practice and the living quarters were upstairs. My research turned up that Orwill was the brother of a long time mayor of the borough.

The 1900 Federal Census for New Jersey listed Orville Van Wickle (Sep 1855 NJ NJ NY) as head of household on Broad Street and with the occupation of dentist. Also in the household was his brother, Daniel E Van Wickle (Apr 1864 NJ NJ NY), a merchant; sister Ora Van Wickle (Dec 1870 NJ NY NY); and widowed sister Anna A Conover (Apr 1858 NJ NJ NY).

Anna Conover was head of the Broad Street household in the 1910 Federal Census. Her sister Ora appeared as Aurelia. Her brothers had married, Orwill to Alice a year earlier and Robert to Florine three years earlier. Robert and Florine had had three children, but only 3 year old son Robert was still alive. Orwill was a dentist.

I found their parents and siblings in Matawan in the 1870 Federal Census. James Van Wickle (53 NJ) and wife Elcy (48 NY) had children Alice (25 NJ), Ann (23 NJ), Sophia (21 NJ), Ida (18 NJ), Orville (14 NJ), Lucina (12 NJ), Eleanor (9 NJ) and Orelia (6 NJ). James was a farm laborer with real property worth $4,000 and personal property worth $600.

Orwill initially hung his shingle as a dentist in town, working from the Post Office building. The professionals listings on the front page of the 21 Oct 1893 edition of The Matawan Journal show Dr O Van Wickle, Dentist.

Orwill's brother Daniel served for many years as Matawan's mayor. (Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 121st session (1897)
Orwill's brother Daniel Ellswoth Van Wickle served many years as Matawan's mayor and head of the Borough Board of Commissioners, among other political positions. The 1908 Annual Report of the Comptroller of the Treasury of the State of New Jersey shows Daniel E Van Wickle as mayor of Matawan. The Matawan Journal's Personal Mention column (pg 5, col 2) of the 19 Sep 1901 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that R C McElrath of Jersey City was the guest of Dr and Mayor Van Wickle on Sunday. Mr Van Wickle presided over the last meeting of the Board of Borough Commissioners in 1896, according to an except of a May 1896 article summarized in one of my Matawan history blog articles. (link)

The 16 Sep 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1, col 6) showed Orwill Van Wickle running as the Republican candidate for member of the Monmouth County Executive Committee, presumably the equivalent of county freeholder. The same edition's social page (pg 6, col 1) said brother Daniel's wife and sister Ora were hosting "auction bridge" and a social hour after the game.

Post card image of the Matawan public school on Broad Street.

The house is currently across the street from the Matawan Municipal Building, which served as the Broad Street School for many years. Matawan's first public school, pictured above, was built during Van Wickle's tenure in the home and was just down the road. That school eventually served as the Matawan High School until Matawan Regional was built.

 Orwill Van Wickle died in 1926 and is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery. His wife, Alice Ryer Van Wickle, died in 1936 and is buried there as well. (Find-a-Grave)

The house was purchased in 1929 by Frank Bliss. He and his wife did a major renovation of the home, adding a sun porch, a 9' entrance door, numerous built-ins, a large rear bedroom and bath, and an upstairs office. They stored away the original entry door and kept all their renovation paperwork, all of which the owner still has. For good or ill, Bliss stripped off the gingerbread details from the face of the home.

I've only touched the surface on this story, but alas my time is out for research today. Below are some relatively current images of the home, from Google Streetview. Thanks, Jason, for the information. Please let me know if you (or any of my readers ) can add to or correct anything here.
171 Broad Street (Looking down Church Street from the corner with Broad Street) circa 2014

171 Broad Street (Looking down Broad Street at the corner with Church Street) circa 2014

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Veterans Buried at Mt Pleasant Cemetery, Matawan, NJ

A friend at the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan gave me a list of 37 veterans of American wars who are buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Route 516 near Route 79 in the Freneau section of Matawan, Monmouth County, New Jersey. The list was produced by the American Legion Post 176 in Matawan.

The list is from the time when the church still owned the cemetery. I can't vouch for its accuracy but present it here so the roster doesn't get lost. I checked around and didn't see it posted elsewhere. If I've duplicated the effort, no harm done.

I've added my research notes in italics and brackets after certain listings.

American Revolution
  • Captain Samuel Carhart (25 Jun 1737 - 26 Dec 1809)
  • Lieutenant Samuel Forman (3 Nov 1713 - 18 Jan 1792)
  • Private William Forman (? - ?)
  • Private Thomas Geran  (1 Mar 1760 - 1 Apr 1842)
  • Private Mathias Hulsart (1756 - 1846)
  • Captain Thomas Hunn (6 Oct 1736 - 15 Sep 1797)
  • Private John Lisk (15 Feb 1756 - 23 Mar 1823)
  • Private Matthew T Roberts (21 Mar 1755 - 2 Mar 1837)
  • Ensign Cornelius Vanderhoff (17 Oct 1762 - 10 May 1816)
  • Private Christopher Van Pelt (1750 - 15 Oct 1816)
War of 1812
  •  Private William Hyers (29 Oct 1772 - 10 Aug 1831)
  • Major Peter La Torrette (28 Feb 1785 - 11 Sep 1849)
  • Private Robert Little (1784 - 29 Oct 1821)
  • Private Asher Tice (19 May 1781 - 26 Feb 1865)
  • Second Lieutenant Samuel C Vanderhoff (? - 12 Dec 1847)
  • Corporal John Van Nuyse (14 Sep 1792 - 21 Sep 1845)
  • Private William P Walton (16 Mar 1770 - 27 Jan 1823)
US Civil War
  • Private Elisha Arose (9 Jun 1821 - 30 Aug 1902)
  • Private William R Bloodgood (? - 2 Apr 1896)
  • Private Benjamin Cooper (6 Jul 1814 - 21 Aug 1891)
  • Private Gershom Cottrell (21 Mar 1823 - 19 Nov 1907)
  • Private William M Cottrell (18 Aug 1819 - 5 Aug 1895)
  • Private Thomas S Ellison (1826 - 1908)
  • James J Hyer (5 Aug 1818 - 21 Feb 1906)
  • Private David Provost (12 Sep 1749 - 5 Mar 1819)
  • Private William R Ralph (1828 - 14 Jan 1889)
  • Private David O Rappleyea (12 May 1848 - 28 May 1896) {David was age 2 in the South Amboy household of Jeremiah and Elizabeth Rappleyea in the 1850 Federal Census. He enlisted on 15 Sep 1864 for the US Civil War and served in Company H of the 38th New Jersey Infantry Regiment. His company left on 4 Oct 1864 for City Point, VA, where they and the other companies formed a brigade of the Army of the James, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, and served garrison duty til the end of the war at Fort Powhatan, James River. The regiment lost 14 to disease. David mustered out on 30 Jun 1865 at City Point, Virginia. He married Mary and settled down in Manalapan, where they had a son William H Rappleyea about 1869, according to the 1870 Federal Census. David, Mary E and sons Alonzo and Edward were residing in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census; William was not listed and is presumed to have died young. David filed for an early disability in May 1891 from his residence in NJ.}
  • Private/Sergeant Howard Reeder (? - 24 Jan 1900) {The Falls River Monthly Meeting of Friends recorded Howard's birth as 1827. Howard was living with his wife Hannah Ann and daughter Sarah in Lower Makefield, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the 1850 Federal Census. His father, Charles M Reeder, age 75, a farmer, was enumerated on the same page of the census. Howard enlisted in the US Civil War on 26 May 1861 and served as a Sergeant in Company I, 3rd Pennsylvania Reserve Regiment, 32nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He mustered out 30 Aug 1862. He joined the 5th Regiment Militia Infantry for a couple of weeks in September 1862 as part of a call to the defense of Maryland against Lee's Army. He subsequently served as a Private in Company I, 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment, 161st Pennsylvania Volunteers. He deserted on 24 Aug 1864 but returned and mustered out with his company on 11 Aug 1865 at Richmond, Virginia. His military pension record shows that he filed a disability claim as an invalid while living in  NJ in January 1896.}
  • Private Job Roberts (4 Sep 1842 - 1925) {Job Mott Roberts was born in Ohio, the son of Thomas T and Ann (Throckmorton) Roberts. In 1863, Job enlisted in the 2nd Infantry Regiment, which was part of the Army of the Potomac. Job could have seen battle at Chancellorsville and/or Gettysburg that year. He was an insurance agent living in Staten Island with his wife Ella in the 1900 Federal Census. In the 1920 Federal Census, Job was living with his cousin, Catherine J Scobey, in Atlantic Township (named Colts Neck since 1962).
  • Sergeant Charles P Van Brackle (5 Jun 1844 - 29 Jul 1889) {Charles is one of the rare people I have come across to appear in what's left of the 1890 Federal Census, which was mostly destroyed by fire. Actually it is his widow, Rhoda, who was listed in the veterans schedule, likely related to his pension. Charles had two listings. First he served 5 Dec 1861 to 4 Jun 1863 as a private in Co G, 31st NJ Infantry. He then served 16 Sep 1864 to 30 Jun 1865 as a private in Company D, 28th NJ Infantry.}
  • Private John H Van Pelt (? - 13 Apr 1903) {Caution should be observed in using the following information, as the names could represent more than one person. John looks to be John Henry Van Pelt, var John Henry Vanpelt, born in March 1840 in New Jersey; son of John Henry Van Pelt, Jr, born about 1816 in New Jersey, and his wife Rebecca, born about 1818 in New Jersey; and grandson of John Henry Van Pelt, born about about 1781 in New Jersey. John (12) was living with his parents in Marlboro in the 1850 Federal Census, along with brother Hendrick (11), Mary (9), James (7), Noe (5) and Esack (1). John's grandfather, father and siblings James (15) and Esaac (12) were living in Marlboro in the 1860 Federal Census. I found a John H Van Pelt who enlisted on the Union side of the Civil War as a Private, Co G, NJ 3rd Infantry on 27 April 1861 and mustered out at Trenton on 31 July 1861. He enlisted again on 12 August 1861 as a Corporal in Co K, NJ 5th Infantry and mustered out at Washington, DC on 25 October 1862. He re-enlisted on 16 September 1864 as a Private in Co D, 38th NJ Infantry, and mustered out on 30 June 1865 at City Point, Virginia. A John H Van Pelt filed for a pension claiming service in Co G, 19th NJ Infantry (Note: Not 3rd, as above); Co K, 5th NJ Infantry; and Co D, 38th NJ Infantry -- application 16757, certificate 89813. John may be identical with John H Vanpelt (33) with wife Rebecca (24), living in Marlboro in the 1870 Federal Census. They were on the same page of the census with Hendrick Vanpelt (55) and his wife Margaret (50), possibly John's uncle and aunt. John's father remarried about 1870. John (30) lived in his parents' household in Marlboro in the 1875 NJ State Census, with his father, John H (56), step mother Annie E (31), step-brother Holmes (5) and step-sister Mary (1). John may be identical with John H Vanpelt (40), who lived in Manapalan in the 1880 Federal Census with wife Sarah (24) and daughter Mary (1). John's parents, John (66), Anna E (35), appeared in the 1880 Federal Census in Madison, Middlesex County, along with John's step-brother Holmes (12), step-sister Mary E (5) and step-sister Sarah (3). John may be identical with John H Van Pelt (60 - Mar 1840), living in Raritan, Monmouth Co, NJ in the 1900 Federal Census with wife Sarah (46 - Dec 1853), nephew John (14 - Jan 1886), grand-nephew Wesley (3 - Jun 1896) and grand-nephew (?) George W (30 - Dec 1869). The 23 April 1903 edition of The Matawan Journal contains a brief obituary for John. "John H Van Pelt, an old soldier who lived on the Atwater Place, was buried last Friday (17 April). On Saturday April 11 he went to visit James Emmons in Colts Neck and the following Monday he died suddenly. He was 64 years old and leaves a wife and two sons. Interment was in the Mount Pleasant burying ground." See his grave's Find-a-Grave listing here.}
  • Private William Van Pelt (? - ?)
  • Charles Warn (1845 - 1926) {Charles was enumerated in the 1920 Federal Census as a house builder living in Keansburg with his wife Sarah and sister in law Mary Morris. He was enumerated in the 1850 Federal Census as the 2 yr old son of James M and Margaret Warn and grandson of James M Warn. Charles' father and paternal grandfather were farmers.}
  • Private John E Yetman (1825 - 28 Nov 1893) {John Enoch Yetman was a private in Company A, 28th NJ Infantry in the war. He was born in Manalapan, was married to Catherine Elizabeth Applegate in Cranbury, lived in Newark, Millstone and Matawan, and died in Hoboken. The family, including John, his wife and four children, was enumerated in Matawan Twp in the 1880 Federal Census. Ancestry has a nice photo of John in his Civil War reunion uniform.}
World War I
  • Private Herman Lamberson (23 Apr 1888 - 16 Jan 1936) {Herman was assigned to the 566th Casual Company, 155th Depot Brigade at Camp Lee, Virginia. He was the son of John and Bertha Lamberson. Herman's father worked in one of the local brickyards in 1900, according to the 1900 Federal Census.}
  • Elmer J Morgan (? - Mar 1950) {Elmer J Morgan was born about 1900 in New Jersey, according to the 1940 Federal Census. He and his wife Ethel (age 40) and son William E (age 9) were living at 34 First Street in Matawan at the time. Elmer was a truck driver. I couldn't find a military record. Elmer and Ethel were in Matawan in the 1930 Federal Census. They were each 30 years old. Elmer worked at a local buffing company.}
World War II
  •  William Hubbs (2 Aug 1914 - 12 Mar 1959)  {Corporal William Hubbs was assigned to the 1060th Base Unit, Army Air Force, which was a personnel distribution center in Greensboro, NC during the war. He was the son of Charles P Hubbs, Sr and Ameline "Lina" Applegate.}