A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

William H Sutphin - Local Mayor and Congressman

For a touch of local history, here's a brief biography of a prominent man who spent much of his life in public service. William Halstead Sutphin was born 30 August 1887 in Browntown, NJ to James Taylor Sutphin and Charlotte B (Garretson) Sutphin (Ancestry subscribers only). He died 14 October 1972 in Salisbury, Maryland. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

At 28 years of age, Sutphin was mayor of the Borough of Matawan (1915-1916). In 1916, he served with the reserves on the Mexican border as a first lieutenant with the NJ Cavalry. When World War I followed, he was with the Air Service in France (1917-1919) , where he earned the rank of Captain. After the war, he returned to a roofing salesman job (1920-1931) and regained his position as mayor of Matawan (1921-1926). As mayor, Sutphin signed the ordinance that established the Matawan Police Department on 9 March 1926.

The wartime airman and young former mayor ran for Congress as a Democrat against the Republican Thomas M. Gopsill. They were vying for the 3rd Congressional District seat previously held by Harold G Hoffman. Sutphin won election, serving as the Congressman representing Matawan from 1931 to 1943. After losing his bid for re-election in 1942, Sutphin became vice president of a New York City paint company, then retired to Maryland in 1951, where he died some 20 years later. (Congressional Bio Directory)

There is a Sutphin Avenue in Matawan that is undoubtedly named after the former mayor and Congressman. It is a one-way street that joins Route 79 near Claire Court with Route 516.


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