A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, January 23, 2012

History: 85th Anniversary of Trinity Episcopal Church, Matawan (1936)

The 22 Jan 1926 edition of The Matawan Journal heralded the appointment of Reverend John H Schwacke, rector of St Peters Episcopal Church in Freehold, to succeed Reverend A P Mack, of Keyport, as priest at the Matawan Episcopal Mission. The Mission had been at Matawan since 1855.

Ten years later, the 17 Jan 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal celebrated the church's 85th anniversary.

Trinity Episcopal Church Marks Its Eighty-Fifth Year; Read History

Trinity Episcopal, Main Street, Matawan (NJ Churchscape)

The eighty-fifth anniversary of the founding of Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church, Matawan, was observed last nite by the parishioners with a dinner at Buttonwood Manor. The occasion also marked the completion of ten years' service as rector by the Rev. John H. Schwacke, D. D., who is also rector of historic St. Peter's Church, Freehold.

Dr Schwacke served as toastmaster. The Rev Henry R. Fell, rector of St. Mary's Church, brot greetings from Trinity's nearest Eplscopalian neighbor, and the Rev. George Boyd, St. Peter's, Perth Amboy, also responded. Howard S.Holt, fellow of the Royal College of Organists, England, and choirmaster and organist of St. Peter's, Freehold, was in charge of a musical program which comprised numbers by Louis Tovey, baritone soloist of St. Peter's, Freehold, and of the Freehold Men's Chorus, and Leslie Willis, 14, Freehold radio soprano.

At a business session at the parish, Clifford Chapman, Sr.. was re-elected warden; Clifford Chapman, Jr., re-elected secretary; Frank A. Dell, Sr, treasurer; and Mrs Gerard A. Devlin and Amos B. Stultz were appointed a committee to organize a young people's group in the church.

Father Schwacke read a paper on the history of Trinity Church and made a few remarks on the parish's
present stats. His sketch of Trinity thru the years follows:

Parish Of Trinity Church
Trinity Church moved from Main Street to Ryers Lane in 1968.

The parish of Trinity Church, Middletown Point, was organized and incorporated May 11, 1850. It was
admitted into union with the Convention of the Diocese of New Jersey at its annual meeting in the City of Newark the same month and the same year, the day of the annual meeting being the last Wednesday in May.

At the time of its organisation, the Rev Fernando C. Putnam was appointed a missionary to Middletown Point and parts adjacent and was elected rector of the parish. He continued as the missionary and the rector-elect until November, 1852, when he resigned.

The corner-stone of the church edifice was laid by the bishop (Doane) at his visitation, April 24, 1850.

The edifice was completed and consecrated by Bishop Doane, June 19, 1851.

The organisation of this parish and the building of the church was mainly the work of John Travers, Esq, in whose family the missionary lived during his whole incumbency.

From the time of the resignation of the Rev. F. C. Putnam until the Rev. Maxwell Reilly took charge of
the parish, only occasional services took place, the church being for the most part closed. During the ministry of the last mentioned clergyman, in the parish, quite an interest was manifested by the people
in spiritual things, as may be seen by the large number, comparatively speaking, that were admitted to the church fold by the holy rites of Baptism and confirmation. And the zeal of the small band of Christian women connected with the congregation, the writer must say, is worthy of the greatest praise, and if only continued, in the end it will no doubt do much toward obtaining for each of them the blessings of those whom the Lord Jesus shall say hereafter, "Well done, you good and faithful servant, enter thou into the Joy of the Lord."

The connection of the Rev Maxwell Reilly with the Parish began on the tenth of November, 1859, and
ended on the first of May, 1861.

The following is the official list as shown by the register of the rectors of the parish with the dates of service.
  • Rev. P. C. Putnam. May 11, 1860 - November, 1862.
  • Rev. Maxwell Reilly. Nov. 10, 1859 - May l, 1861.
  • Rev. O. Theo. Leibt. Oct., 1864 - May, l866.
  • Rev. James E. Kenny.  June 1, 1867
  • Rev. L Hodgson. Feb. 1, 1868.
  • Rev. R. B. Chetwood, Jr. April 18, 1869 - August 13, 1870.
  • (Rev.) John Braser Draper.- August 18, 1878 - March 4, 1879.
  • No registration, 1879 - 1916.
  • Rev. Benjamin Dagwell. June 18, l916 - November 1, 1919.
  • Rev. Albert P. Mack. February 1, 1925 - Dec. 26, 1925.
  • Rev. J. H. Schwacke, Jan. 1,1926 -
Some Interesting Items

June, 1851. There were fifteen names on the register.

In 1865 the rector's salary was $680. In 1936, the rector's salary was just $800.

Most ministers served about one year—one served two weeks.

All during the early days of the parish, there were gaps from time to time in the service of the rectors. There seems to be a great gap from 1879 to 1914, during which time only occasional services were held, frequently with only lay readers in charge.

1879 seems to be an important year in the history of the parish. About this time a number of memorials
were placed In the church. A marble top retable (sic) in memory of Edward Torey, an alter cross in memory of Dr. J. S. H. Bartlett. The register records that he was for a long time a faithful worker in the
parish and that it was chiefly due to him that the church was "kept alive during a long period of weakness."

A credence table in memory of Mrs. Eliza Whitlock.

A pair of candlesticks in memory of Fredricka Whitlock.

An altar desk in memory of Mrs. Martha Bartlett (mother of Dr. Bartlett). (Replaced by a new altar
desk now in use).

On Advent Sunday, 1879, the parish received an iron cross from friends in Keyport. It was placed on the top of the belfry.

You can read more about Trinity's history at the church's website.


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