A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

History: Asher P Woolley, Retail Hardware, Matawan (1921)

The 27 October 1921 edition of The Matawan Journal contained this ad for the Wright Pipeless Warm Air Heater, the latest in heating equipment by the Mahoning Foundry Company of Youngstown, Ohio.

The local vendor was Asher P Woolley of 188 Main Street in Matawan. Asher, age 28, appeared in the 1920 Federal Census living at 31 Park Avenue in Matawan with his wife Myrtle, age 36. He was occupied in retail hardware, according to the census.

Pancho Villa Expedition - May 1916 (Wikimedia)

Asher was operating the hardware store and living at 31 Park Avenue when he registered for the draft circa 1917.  According to that record, he was born 30 Dec 1891 in Morganville, NJ. He was short and slender with blue eyes and brown hair. Asher had previously served 2 months as a Private in the 1st NJ Cavalry. (Note: According to NJ Military and Veterans Affairs, the 1st Cavalry Squadron mustered into Federal service at Sea Girt on 21 June 1916 for service on the Mexican border (for the so-called Border War), then mustered out at Newark on 21 October 1916. The 1st Cavalry Squadron later became the 117th Cavalry Regiment.)

The 1900 Federal Census showed Asher (8) living in Marlboro with his parents, Alfred (35, farmer) and Lillie (36) Wooley and his younger siblings Gracie (7) and Lester (4). Alfred's grandmother, Fannie, born in July 1816, was living with them, as was Thomas Cogan or Cagan, a 14 year old servant born in NJ to Irish parents.

Asher was still living with his parents in Marlboro in the 1910 Federal Census. He was occupied as a salesman in a grocery store. Asher had a new younger sibling named Florence (11). The household had two new Russian-Polish servants: George Edge (26) and John Velinskiy (31).

In the 1930 Federal Census Asher was living at 123 Broad Street in Matawan. He and Myrtle had two children: an adopted daughter Audrey (6) and a son Robert (5). Asher was a brush maker in a factory in this census, so I guess the hardware store didn't make it through the Crash.


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