A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

History: Katherine Boggs, First Female on Keyport Council (1962)

Katherine E Boggs (25 Dec 1907 - 12 Dec 1988) was to become the first female member of the Keyport Borough Council when sworn in on 1 January 1962, according to the 28 Dec 1961 edition of The Matawan Journal. The Republican candidate, she had been elected in November 1961 to fill a one-year unexpired term on the board. She anticipated creating a master plan so Keyport could acquire Federal urban renewal funding and begin to move forward. (Dec 1961 Matawan Journal, Social Security Death Index)


Mrs Boggs was an incumbent Republican candidate in the 1962 election, according to page 3 col 5 of the 18 Apr 1962 edition of the Red Bank Register.  As a councilwoman in 1964, Mrs Boggs presented a parking issue before the Council (RBR 11 Feb 1964 p 2 col 2) and argued for local bars to close at 2 am instead of 3 am (RBR 9 Jun 1964 p 3 col 6). And as a councilwoman in 1965, she was at loggerheads with the Planning Board over the expansion of apartment developments in the borough. She and the school board felt that apartments did not bring in sufficient tax revenues to support all the children they tended to add to the school system. The mayor, a realtor, and the Planning Board were opposed to an apartment ban. Mrs Boggs collected signatures on petitions she presented to the Board and Council (RBR 13 Apr 1965 p 13 col 4).

In August 1969, Mrs Boggs was president of the Keyport Welfare Board. The 26 Aug 1969 edition of the Red Bank Register showed Mrs Boggs arguing with the Borough Council over the control of welfare matters.


Soon after moving to the borough from Milltown in 1946, Mrs Boggs began to attend Keyport Board of Education meetings. She founded and presided over the Keyport High School Mothers Club, an organization that served as a parent-teacher association, athletic booster club, and scholarship fund all in one. About 1948, she joined a group of community members in calling for more and better recreational facilities in Keyport, prompting Rutgers University to conduct a formal survey of available facilities. She ultimately served on the school board from 1950 to 1956, setting her up for her duties on the Council. In all things, she took an active interest and never hesitated to express her opinion.  (Matawan Journal, 1961)

Mrs Boggs graduated from Collingswood High School in southern New Jersey and studied for 2 years at Temple University's business school. She did clerical work at the Will E Cusick firm in Keyport from about 1949 to 1958, when the firm closed. Her family consisted of husband Harrison R Boggs (14 May 1907 - 21 Aug 1989) and children Harrison, Jr; Richard; and Katherine. Mrs Boggs and her husband were living in Jamesburg in the late 1980s when they died. (Matawan Journal, 1961, Social Security Death Index)


The Boggses acquired the Peter Sondergaard house on Beers Street when they relocated from Milltown after the Second World War. (Matawan Journal, 1961)

DANE (Danish Archives North East) at Rootsweb says that Peter Sondergaard of Keyport joined several others in the establishment of a terra cotta factory in Perth Amboy in the spring of 1895. The factory became a major supplier of terra cotta for the construction of building facades across the country.

Peter A Sondergaard (62 Denmark, speaks Danish) lived on Beers Street in the 1930 Federal Census along with his wife Marie (53) and sister Sophia Peterson (70). He had $17,500 worth of property and no occupation.

Peter A Sondergaard (51 Germany, speaks Danish) lived on Beers Street in the 1920 Federal Census along with his wife Marie (43) and sister Sophia Peterson (59). He was retired. (Note: Comparing the 1930 and 1920 censuses, I thought the 1920 census enumerator made a mistake with Peter's birth place, but apparently the 1930 enumeration was the incorrect record. The 1910 Federal Census also said that Peter and his parents were born in Germany but spoke Danish.)

Peter Sondergaard (42 Germany) lived on Washington Street, Keyport, in the 1910 Federal Census along with his wife Marie (33) and a Danish servant named Andrew Johnson (23). Peter worked at a manafactory (sic) of terre cotta. Peter and Marie had been married 15 years and she had had no children.


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