A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Clifford S Arms, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Matawan (1828-1832)

Clifford Smith Arms served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan from 1828 to 1832, "a period or relative inactivity in the church," according to Presbyterians Pioneer at Matawan, pg 31, published by the church in 1959. He left Matawan to become pastor at the Presbyterian church at Madison in the autumn of 1832.

The church at Madison provided this biography in 1854.

Rev. Clifford S. Arms was born in Sunderland, Mass., on the banks of the Connecticut river, on the 4th of June, 1796. The principal portion of his early life was spent in Canaan, Columbia county, New York, and there it was that in the year 1817, at the age of twenty-one, he was hopefully converted to God, and made a public profession of religion. His preparatory studies were pursued under the care of Mr. Moses Hallock, father of the Rev. William A. Hallock, of the American Tract Society. In the fall of 1820 he became a member of the Freshman class in William's College, where he remained but one year. He then entered Union College at Schenectady, New York, where, after three years' study, he graduated in the year 1824. In the autumn of the same year, he entered the Theological Seminary at Princeton in this State, and after a three years' course, graduated in the month of September, 1827.

He was licensed to preach the Gospel one year previous to his leaving the seminary, and when he had completed his studies in that institution, he labored four or five months as a missionary in " The Pines" of this State, under the Ladies' Missionary Society of Princeton. In the fall of 1827, he assumed the charge of a small church in Middletown Point, Monmouth county, N. J., and while he was there, he received ordination as an evangelist, from the same Presbytery that gave him license. The relation which he sustained to that church was that of stated supply, and while connected in this way with the church, his labors appear to have been signally blessed to its enlargement and permanent establishment.

After laboring in that field for a period of about five years, he received a call to become the pastor of this church in the autumn of 1832; and in the month of October of that year (1832) he removed his family to this place, and was regularly inducted into the pastoral office here, by the Presbytery of Elizabethtown, the Rev. David Magie, D. D., and others, taking part in the services.

While here, he resided for a short time in the house of the widow Cook, opposite the academy, then in the house now occupied by Mr. Henry Keep; and then in a house belonging to the family of the late Archibald Sayre, in the vicinity of the Catholic church. This last was his principal residence while the pastor of this church.


" May 29. 1851 An application having been placed before the Congregation by Rev C. S. Arms for the appointment of commissioners to unite with him in requesting to be dismissed from the pastoral care of this Church — the following resolutions were unanimously adopted —

1. Resolved That we cherish a high sense of the value and importance of the past services of Mr Arms during his long and successful labors among us in the work of the ministry, and we rejoice to bear testimony to his fidelity and uniform devotion to his work, and to his pastoral care, in his readiness ever to sympathise with the afflicted, cheer the desponding, comfort the sorrowing, relieve the distressed, and point the inquiring soul to the Savior of sinners. And we also bear testimony to his unimpeachable character as a man, as a citizen, always studying the things that make for peace.

2. Resolved That we deeply sympathise with Mr Arms in the failure of his health, and regret the existence of any circumstances which render it necessary in his judgment to seek the dissolution of his pastoral relation.

3. Resolved That while we feel constrained to acquiesce in his request, it gives us pleasure to express our undiminished confidence in him as a man, a christian and a minister of Jesus Christ;and we would follow him with our prayers and best wishes for his future usefulness and comfort wherever the Lord in his Providence shall call him to labor.

4. Remembering the many years that Mr Arms has labored with this people, and in view of the impaired state of his health in which he retires from us, we feel it to be an act of justice to him and a pleasure to ourselves to offer him a substantial token of our esteem."

Source: A History of the Presbyterian Church at Madison, NJ: A discourse delivered on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 23, 1854 (excerpt edited slightly.)

His wife Sarah was the daughter of Major William Gordon Forman and the Major's second wife, Sarah Woodhull. Sarah Forman was baptized 8 October 1808 and died in 1872.
Source: This Old Monmouth of Ours, by William S Hornor, pg 130.

His wife: Sarah Woodhull Forman (1808 - 1872)
His sons: Gilbert Woodhull Arms (1834 - 1834) and Clifford Hastings Arms (1838 - 1842)
Source: Family Tree on Ancestry.com

Other Notes, in chronological order

He and a number of other men from Union, NY were enrolled in the winter session at the theological seminary, presumably a reference to Princeton Theological Seminary.
Source: Minutes of the UPCUSA (1816), pg 284-5.

Clifford S Arms was head of household in Middletown, Monmouth County, NJ in the 1830 Federal Census.

He was installed as an evangelist on 19 September in Columbia County, NY.
Source: The Quarterly Journal of the American Education Society (1834)

He was listed as a Director For Life, in New Jersey, at Bottle Hill.
Source: American Tract Society, Annual Report (1834)
Note: The Village of Bottle Hill was founded in 1715 in what is now Madison, NJ.

He moderated a session meeting at Morristown while a pastor at the Presbyterian church in Madison, NJ in Aug 1836. The church in Morristown was searching for a new pastor at the time.
Source:  History of the First Presbyterian Church of Morristown, NJ

Clifford S Arms was head of household in Chatham, Morris County, NJ in the 1840 Federal Census. There were a total of six persons in the household.

He was a pastor in the Presbytery of Newark in 1840.
Source: Synods of New York and New Jersey (New School), 1840

Clifford S Arms performed a marriage at the Presbyterian church in Madison, NJ in Jun 1844.
Source: Pierson/Hanke Family Ties, Rootsweb.

He also conducted a wedding service in Jan 1846 at the Presbyterian church in Madison.
Source: Riker-L, Rootsweb

Clifford S (53 Mass) and Sarah W Arms (42 NJ) were living in Chatham, Morris County, New Jersey in the 1850 Federal Census. He was listed as a clergyman NSP (New School Presbyterian). Two others lived in the household, including Clarissa Arms (27 NJ).

He was among the list of signatories to an 1850 letter from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church encouraging Joseph Clay Stiles to publish his speech on the slavery question, remarks delivered in Detroit earlier that year in opposition to slave holding and how it was rending the church apart. 

Clifford S (64 Mass) and Sarah W Arms (52 NJ) were living in Wawayanda, Orange County, New York in the 1860 Federal Census. He was listed as a clergyman and had $600 in personal property. They had two domestics in their household, one -  Clarissa Arms (47 NY) - possibly related to Clifford.

He died at age 66 on 24 September 1863 in Ridgeway, NY in the Presbytery of Hudson.Source: The American Presbyterian and Theological Review, by Henry Boynton Smith et al (1864), pg 196

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Glass Plant Haunted?

A paranormal discussion group has an anonymous member who claims to have seen a spirit at the Anchor Glass Plant. He even has a YouTube video of what he saw.

Maybe it's The Ghost of Improvements Past Due?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

James Otis Denniston, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Matawan (1869-1871)

James Otis Denniston
Below are some useful resources on Reverend James Otis Denniston, who served as the minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan for a couple of years after the Civil War. He had served as a lieutenant during the war and was injured at the Battle of Gettysburg. The first item is a wonderful summary published by his alma mater, Yale College, in a compendium of obituaries of their former students.

James Otis Denniston, B.A. 1856, Yale College
Born December 14, 1835, in Washingtonville, N. Y.
Died November 12, 1915, in New York City

James Otis Denniston, one of the eleven children of Robert and Mary (Scott) Denniston, was born December 14, 1835, in Washingtonville, N. Y., which had long been the family home. His father, a graduate of Union College in 1820, was prominent in politics in New York State, and had served in both the Senate and Assembly, and as state comptroller. His mother's parents were William and Mary (Mather) Scott. The son received his preparatory training at his home, and was graduated from Yale in 1856, receiving a Dispute appointment at Commencement.

After leaving college, he studied law in the office of the late Eugene A. Brewster of Newburgh, N. Y., and, being admitted to the bar in 1858, practiced for the next three years in New York City, where for a time he was in the office of Brown, Hall & Vanderpoel. In 1861, he decided to give up the law and study for the ministry, and in the fall of that year entered Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In the summer of 1862, while at home, he assisted in organizing Company G of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth New York Volunteers, and in September accompanied it to the front as first lieutenant. He was wounded at Gettysburg, and a few months later resigned, holding at the time a captain's commission. Upon his return to New York, he resumed his studies at Union Seminary where, with the exception of a few months in 1864 spent in the service of the Sanitary Commission, he continued until his graduation in 1865. During the summer of that year, he supplied a pulpit at Ludlow, Vt., after which he spent a year abroad in study at Berlin, Dresden, and Halle. In the succeeding years, he served as pastor of Presbyterian churches at Fishkill, N. Y., Matawan, N. J., Erie, Pa., Kingston, N. Y., and at Wappinger's Falls, N. Y. Owing to ill health, he spent the two years from 1883 to 1885 at Newburgh without pastoral charge, but in 1885 he was able to accept a call to the Cooperstown (N. Y.) Presbyterian Church, where he preached for eleven years. His next church was at State College, Pa., and he remained there until his retirement from the active ministry in 1906. Since then, Mr. Denniston had spent much of his time in New York City, and his death occurred in that city, November 12, 1915, after an illness of only a few hours resulting from cerebral hemorrhage. His body was taken to Washingtonville for burial.

Mr. Denniston was a life member and a director of the American Bible Society. He was married in Fishkill, N. Y., June 3, 1869, to Margaret C, daughter of Epenetus and Margaret (Walsh) Crosby, who died less than two months before her husband. Their only child, Mary, survives. Two of Mr. Denniston's brothers — William Scott and Henry Martyn — received the degree of B.A. from Yale, being members of the Classes of 1853 and 1862, respectively. The former graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1856, and died six years later, of typhoid fever, contracted as a volunteer surgeon in the Army of the Potomac. The latter entered the pay corps of the United States Army, and was retired with the rank of rear admiral, for war service, on reaching the age of sixty-two; in 1892, Yale gave him an honorary M.A. Mr. Denniston was a cousin, in the fourth generation, of John Denniston, who received the degree of B.A. at Yale in 1807.
Source: Obituary Record of the Graduates of Yale Undergraduate Schools 1869/70 - 1950/51

He was born in Washingtonville, New York on 14 December 1835. He graduated Yale College in 1856, then attended Union Theological Seminary in New York from 1861 to 1862, then again from 1863 to 1865. He served in the US Army 1862 to 1863. He was in Europe in 1866. He was ordained 4 July 1867 in Poughkeepsie (R D Cl?). He was stated supply at Tironda NY (1867-68), pastor at the Presbyterian church in Matswan, NJ (1869-70); pastor at Erie, PA (1871-72); stated supply at Kingston, NY (1873-75); pastor at Wappinger Falls, NY (1877-83); pastor at Newburgh, NY (1884-85); Cooperstown, NY (1885- ); currently pastor at State College, PA.   
Source: Presbyterian Ministerial Directory, Northern (1898) , pg 236

He was in Washingtonville, NY within the Synod of New York. No further details. Source: Minutes of the United Presbyterian Church USA Directory (1915)

He was born in 1835 and died in 1915. He served as a First Lieutenant, Company G, 124th Regiment, New York State Volunteers during the US Civil War. He was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg and was discharged due to disability. He became a Presbyterian minister in 1866. He married Margaret Crosby. He was living in Washingtonville, Orange County, New York at one time before the turn of the century. Source: Descendants of Alexander Denniston, a genealogy posted at Family Treemaker. The genealogy cites Portrait and Biographical Record of Orange County, Vols I-III (1895) for most of these details.

He (as Rev J Deniston) appeared in the Church Directory on page 4 col 1 of the 1 Jan 1870 edition of The Matawan Journal. Services at the Presbyterian Church were held Sundays at 10 1/2 am and 7 pm, with Sunday School at 9 am.

He (as James Dennison) was enumerated in the 1870 Federal Census as a 34 year old Presbyterian minister born in New York state and living in Matawan, along with his wife Margaret, aged 33 years and also born in New York. Living in the household were Elizabeth Crosby, 45 years old born in New York, who had no occupation, and Catharine O'Neal, an Irish domestic servant aged 26 years. The Reverend had $500 in personal property, while the church was listed as being worth $15,000.

The Park Presbyterian Church in Erie, PA called him to their church on 7 December 1870, while he was serving at Matawan. Source: History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, Part III, Chapter IV (Churches), by Samuel P Bates.

He served at the Presbyterian Church in the Town of Wappinger beginning in June 1877. Source: The History of Dutchess County by James H Smith.

He was a minister on the Narrative standing committee of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1878. Source: Minutes of the General Assembly of the PCUSA (1878)

He performed a marriage at the Presbyterian Church in Cooperstown, NY in October 1886. Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle-News, 6 Feb 1886

He was a minister in the Presbytery of Otsego. Sources: Minutes of the Synod of New York (1887); Minutes of the Synod of New York (1891)

From the church records of Sept. 1902, we quote an account of a pleasant gathering.

"Three former pastors of the Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, the Rev. Frederick B. Savage, D.D, late of Newburgh, N. Y., the Rev. James Otis Denniston of State College, Pa., and the Rev. N. W. Wells of Brooklyn, N. Y., being temporarily here, the Ladies of the Congregation gave them and their wives a public reception in the chapel, on Thursday evening, September 4, instant, from 8 to 10 o'clock. The Rev. Charles K. McHarg, D.D., formerly pastor, now resident in the village, with the Rev. Sidney S. Conger, the present incumbent, made in all five clergymen in the chapel who had been installed pastors of this church and congregation. . . ." Source: History of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, New York, by Helen A Ross, an excerpt from Chapter VI, as found in the 4 Apr 1952 edition of The Otsego Farmer, pg 6 col 5.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Question Bridge

The Question Bridge is a creative art project that involves videotaped interviews of black men asking and answering questions. Now through 3 June 2012, the Brooklyn Museum is hosting an installation called The Question Bridge: Black Males, which provides the visitor with a multimedia experience using those interviews. Check out the video trailer below and read the museum's description at bottom.

Question Bridge: Black Males - Project Trailer from Question Bridge on Vimeo.

January 13–June 3, 2012
Mezzanine Gallery, 2nd Floor

Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative video installation created by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. The four collaborators spent several years traveling throughout the United States, speaking with 150 Black men living in 12 American cities and towns, including New York, Chicago, Oakland, Birmingham, and New Orleans. From these interviews they created 1,500 video exchanges in which the subjects, representing a range of geographic, generational, economic, and educational strata, serve as both interviewers and interviewees. Their words were woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness dialogue, through which important themes and issues emerge, including family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, violence, and the past, present, and future of Black men in American society.

The exhibition includes multiple screens playing videos of the interviews, edited so that it appears as if the men are having a conversation. The artists hope that the Question Bridge project will be a catalyst for constructive dialogue that will help deconstruct stereotypes about Black male identity in our collective consciousness. Museum visitors are also invited to visit the user-generated Question Bridge website, accessible on iPads throughout the gallery, which offers a platform to represent and redefine Black male identity in America.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mediterranean Chateau to Replace Charlie Brown's in Matawan

The Asbury Park Press for 22 Feb 2012, page B3, includes an article that says that Charlie Brown's will soon become a Portuguese restaurant called Mediterranean Chateau. It is slated to open in a few weeks. The transfer of Charlie Brown's liquor license and plenary retail consumption license was approved at the Tuesday evening meeting of Matawan Borough Council.

The corporation is owned by Jose Barreiro of Sayreville.  Barreiro co-founded the successful Ria Bar Restaurant and Bar in South River in 1987. Check out the many awards and favorable reviews at the Ria Bar's news and events page.

UPDATE (23 July 2012): Mediterranean Chateau is tentatively set to open in mid-August or early September.

UPDATE (1 August 2012): I drove by yesterday and saw a stucco contractor working on the facade of the place. Definitely moving along but it looks like a few more weeks to go.

UPDATE (7 August 2012): Photo - Still under construction but nearly done.

UPDATE (24 November 2012) The restaurant finally opened on 16 November. There is a Facebook page but no webpage that I can find. See my recent article for link.

African-American Series: Lakewood Preacher Advises His Fellow Negroes to Behave or Risk Lynching (1903)

Morris F Matthews, an African American preacher, born in Virginia and living in Lakewood, submitted the text below to The Matawan Journal. The 25 Jun 1903 edition featured this most shocking broadside on the front page directed to his fellow blacks. His references to a 35th anniversary may represent bad math or a mistaken belief that emancipation took place in 1868.

There was a Morris F Matthews, age 27, who was living in Plainfield as a gardener in the 1900 Federal Census, along with a wife of two years. Ten years later, Morris Matthews, age 34, was living on John Street in Lakewood as a pastor at a church, along with his supposed first and only wife of three years and two sons. I believe both listings are for the same man, the man who wrote this piece.

Reverend M F Matthews to the Negro.


For the benefit of my people please permit space in the columns of your valuable paper for me to warn the negro.

If the negro would study to learn his lesson well he would find, as he advances with the twentieth century, more sympathy from the man of power in this country. When he, the negro, has not enough respect for himself and the well being of his fellow men—after thirty-five years of liberty—to pass along the highways and mind his own affairs without disturbing people of honor who pass that way, such negro does not deserve any sympathy. A negro who will interfere with the white race will do the same with his own people. Thirty-five years is sufficient for him to learn common sense and if there is one who acts unbecomingly in a vicinity he should be looked after. If he cannot see the advantages of behaving himself as intelligent people, he must expect what follows. Negro, they lynch in the North as much as in the South. This is no place of refuge. Be careful.

There is no negro from the Southland who has not had the advantage of schools that he might receive a reasonable degree of knowledge. Matters not how dumb he may appear in public he had the opportunity to prepare himself, and as endeavoring to elevate my people I have but little time and sympathy for some of them. Negro, stay in your place. For what wrong one does, all will suffer.

Rev Morris F. Matthews

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

History: Matawan Man Struck By Train Heading for Atlantic Highlands (1903)

Henry Miller of Matawan was struck by a train and gravely injured while crossing the railroad trestle between Raritan and Matawan on the afternoon of Friday the 13th, according to the 19 Feb 1903 edition of The Matawan Journal. He was dating Maggie Collins, who lived near Farry's brickyard in Raritan. He saw Maggie only once a week. Henry and his brothers John and George were all living with their widowed step-mother, so each of the boys had a job. Henry worked at a hotel in Newark the rest of the time.

It was common to step to the side as the train passed on the trestle, but Henry somehow misjudged the width of the breast bar of the engine and was struck in the side and knocked unconscious. The train man noticed he'd hit someone, stopped the train, and put Henry aboard. The 5:28 pm train had only moments earlier left Matawan for Atlantic Highlands, so the engineer reversed the train back to Matawan, where Henry was taken off the train and escorted home and laid on a couch. Two doctors were summoned, but they determined there was nothing to be done. Henry died around 2 am the next morning.

The funeral was held at St Joseph's on Monday morning. Henry was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery. He left brothers William, Edward, John and George, and a sister Mrs John H Fallon.

The 1900 Federal Census showed Henry b Jul 1879 (age 20); John b Jun 1881 (age 18), and George b Mar 1883 (age 17) living with Lena Miller b Jun 1853 (age 46) in Matawan. Henry was a grocery salesman, John a butcher, and George a printer compositor. The Miller boys were all born in New Jersey to German parents.

The 1900 Federal Census showed Margaret Collins b Jun 1882 (age 17), daughter of James and Bridget Collins. The Collins parents were Irish and had ten children. James was a farmer who had emigrated to the US in 1865.

Monday, February 20, 2012

History: Progressive Euchre and Domino Party Hosted by Mrs John Terhune, Matawan (1902)

A winning euchre hand (Wikimedia)
Mrs John Terhune of Matawan hosted a progressive euchre * and domino party on Tuesday afternoon 18 Feb 1902, according to that week's edition of The Matawan Journal. Winners received prizes purchased in the Catskill Mountains the previous summer "and were very useful and pretty." The article names many of the prominent participants, including Mrs H D Terhune of Hackensack, who was a guest of the party host all week. The winner had to be determined by cutting a deck of cards.

* Check eHow to see how to play progressive euchre. Wikipedia has articles about euchre, euchre game playing variations, and euchre rule and terminology variations.
A full set of dominoes (Wikimedia)

This article is a good example of the poor optical character recognition (OCR) product that came from scanning the microfiche of The Matawan Journal.

Below is a copy of the article (left), paired with an OCR rendering of this article (right). As you can see, the OCR version is virtually unintelligible once you copy and paste the text underlying the image. Perhaps we should resurrect the original newspapers and have them scanned before they deteriorate further? Many images are so poor that they cannot be discerned visually, much less through the OCR version.

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Will Howard Marine Lab Closing Affect MAST? Matawan Regional? Fisheries?

Today's Asbury Park Press features an article about how the James J Howard Marine Laboratory at Sandy Hook is to be closed soon due to budget cuts. The lab is under NOAA, which needs the $3 million to run other programs.

The article says the Jersey Coast Anglers Association is upset at the closing, calling it a disaster. The association says the lab was opened in 1961 to demonstrate federal and state support for local fisheries. State budget cuts have already impacted programs that monitor fisheries sustainability in New Jersey waters, so Federal cuts will put the nail in the coffin. No one will know whether particular breeds are being overfished, for example.

The article doesn't talk about the educational side of the equation. How will the closing of the Howard Lab affect the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in March? How will the closing impact oceanography classes at Matawan Regional High School and other schools in Monmouth County? I doubt we'll be funding field trips to Connecticut, where NOAA is relocating its resources.

Take a look at this 2007 APP article about Liza Baskin, who teaches chemistry at MAST now but previously taught at Matawan. It shows how the programs at Sandy Hook, Rutgers and the county school system are intertwined, providing benefit to all. The closing of the lab could have a negative effect in so many ways.

UPDATE 4 March 2012:  There is now a Facebook page supporting the Howard Marine Laboratory and an online petition you can sign. If you'd like to see the lab stay at Sandy Hook, "like" and "share" the Facebook page and sign the petition.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dr Alexander H Young, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Matawan (1894 - 1907)

Alexander H Young

Rev Alexander H Young (1838 - 1914) became the pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Matawan in January 1894, replacing Dr William C Alexander. He served there until late 1907.

Below is a rendering of my research on the information available online about Rev Young's life and career.

The 1850 Federal Census showed Alexander Young (age 12) living in the Cincinnati, Ohio household of his Scottish parents, Robert and Catharine Young, ages 45 and 35, respectively, along with his siblings Elizabeth (age 14) and Robert H (age 3). The head of household was a teacher. Elizabeth and Alexander were born in Kentucky, while Robert was born in Ohio. (The 9 year gap suggests Robert (aka Harvey) might have been a surprise.)

Alex Young, age 20, was living with his parents Robert (age 55) and Catharine (age 45) in Millcreek, Ohio, in Hamilton County in the 1860 Federal Census, along with older sister Elizabeth (age 22) and younger brother Harvey (age 12). (Note: Harvey is identical with Robert H from the 1850 Census.) Alex was listed as a student. His father, Robert, was a teacher with $25,000 in real property and $500 in personal property.

The 1870 Federal Census showed Alexander H oung and wife Sarah E living in Oxford, Ohio in Butler County. He was 32 years old; his wife was 29. Alexander was a minister of the gospel. Sarah had $40,000 in real property. They had an Irish servant named Anna Connerly, age 22.

As of the 1880 Federal Census, Alex Young and his wife Sarah E were residing on Washington Avenue in Jersey City. Alex was a minister of the gospel. They had sons Alex O and Harvey W, ages 9 and 7, respectively. Young Alex was born in Ohio, while Harvey was born in NJ. The family had a German (Saxony) servant named Amelia Hattenhoof (age 24).

The 11 Apr 1896 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 2) described Dr Young's activities at Easter time at First Presbyterian of Matawan. The sanctuary was decorated with an array of flowers. Dr Young gave his monthly five-minute address to the children for Children's Day, and the choir director, Miss Tuthill, handled the musical offerings. Miss Tully played the organ. Dr Young also participated in a united service with the Methodist and Baptist ministers that week.

Alex H Young appears in the Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church (PCUS and PCUSA) published in 1898. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Miami (Ohio) in 1859. He earned his master of arts from the same university. He received his doctor of divinity from Maryville College (Tennessee). He graduated Lane Theological Seminary in Ohio in 1863 and received his license the same year from the Presbytery of Cincinnati. He was ordained 8 Feb 1864 by the Presbytery of Chillicothe. He was pastor at South Salem, Ohio (1864 - 1868), Oxford, Ohio (1869 - 1871),  Greenville Church, Jersey City, NJ (1872 - 1880), Newton, NJ (1881 - 1891), and Matawan (1894 - ).

Rev Young officiated at a society wedding held at a home in New York City in April 1898, according to the 29 Apr 1898 edition of The the New York Times. The groom was from Scotland.

The Federal Census as of 1 Jun 1900 showed Alexander H Young, born in Feb 1838 (age 62) in Kentucky to parents born in Scotland, living on Main Street in Matawan as a clergyman. His wife Sarah E was born in Sep 1840 (age 60) in Ohio to parents born in Ohio. They had been married 31 years. Two of their three children were still alive but not living with them.

Reverend Young assisted the Moderator of the Synod of New Jersey in worship at the 78th annual session, which was held in Atlantic City on 16 Oct 1900, according to its minutes

The 6 Nov 1901 edition of The Red Bank Register said Dr Young of Matawan would address the 84th annual meeting of the Monmouth County Bible Society, which would be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Matawan the following day.

The 15 Mar 1905 edition of The Red Bank Register said Dr Young had been named executor of his brother-in-law's estate worth $350,000. The late David W Oliver had lived in Jersey City.

The 23 Oct 1907 edition of The Red Bank Register said Dr Young announced his resignation during the Sunday service. His son Robert had accepted a call to ministry in Binghamton, NY, so Dr Young and his wife would leave to join him there. Their other son, Dr Harvey W Young, was living in Red Bank.

The 13 May 1908 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 5) said William V Clark would soon be building a new house in Matawan on a lot he purchased from Dr Young.

The 23 Sep 1908 edition of The Red Bank Register said that Rev Young was retired and living in  Binghamton, NY. (The article documents two memorial fund gifts to the church totaling $10,000 that were still being held in perpetuity by the church's session in the 1990s.)

Given to Matawan Presbyterians by William Terhune's Children.
Last week a gift of $5,000 in West Shore four per cent bonds was presented to the Matawan Presbyterians as a memorial to the. late Margaret L. and William L. Terhune of Matawan. The bonds were given to the church by James L., John, Henry S. and Margaret L. Terhune, children of Margaret and William L. Terhune. The announcement of the gift was made last week by Rev. A. H. Young of Binghamton, N. Y., a former pastor of the church. William V. Simpson, in behalf of the church trustees, accepted the gift.
After Margaret L Terhune died it was found that she had left no will, but on a piece of paper she stated that she desired to make a gift of $1,000 to the Matawan Presbyterian church. Rev. Mr. Young stated that this money had been paid to the church a short time ago and commended Mrs. Terhune for her interest in the welfare of the church.
This is the second donation of $5,000 made to the church. The first was given by the late Henry S. Little as a memorial to his parents, Deborah and William Little. Mr. Little was a brother of Mrs Terhune.

Alexander and Sarah Young were living with their son Robert in Binghamton, NY in Broome County in the 1910 Census. Robert was a clergyman with an active pastorate, while his father was listed as a retired clergyman. Robert was 29 years old and born in New Jersey. His father was 71 and born in Kentucky of Scottish parents. His mother was 69 and born in Ohio to Ohioans. Unlike the 1900 census, Sarah reported that two of 4 children were still alive. Robert was single.

The Associated Press reported as of 10 May 1914 that Dr A H Young, a retired Presbyterian minister, had died in a fire in Newark. The Cornell Daily Sun published the article in its 11 May 1914 edition.


By The Associated Press. NEWARK, N. J., May 10— Four persons were burned to death yesterday in a fire which swept through a large stone appartment house on Broad street. Three of the victims were women servants; the fourth was Dr. A. H. Young, a retired Presbyterian clergyman. A number of others sustained injuries but will recover.

The Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of the Third Congressional District of New Jersey, by Samuel T Wiley, pp 289 - 290, contains this extensive biography of Rev Young.

REV. ALEXANDER H. YOUNG, D.D., pastor of the Presbyterian church of Matawan, Monmouth county, New Jersey, is a son of Rev. Robert and Catharine Young, and was born in Louisville, Kv. He is of Scotch descent, all the members of his ancestral line reaching down to both father and mother having been natives of Scotland. His father, Rev. Robert Young, graduated at the University of Glasgow and was licensed to preach by the Established Church of Scotland. He came to America in 1831, and located in Cincinnati. In addition to preaching he spent a large part of his life as a successful educator of youth in the Ohio Valley. Catharine Young, the mother of Dr. Young, was the daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Harvey, who settled in Cincinnati about 1820. She still lives in Cincinnati, on part of the farm then purchased.

Rev. Alexander H. Young attended the private school of his father, at Louisville, Ky., where he spent his earlier years, and subsequently in those at Cincinnati, O., whither the family had removed. His collegiate education was obtained at Miami University, Oxford, 0., and his theological course he took at Lane University, Walnut Hills, in the same state. He was ordained to the work of the Presbyterian ministry by the Presbytery of Chillicothe. His first pulpit assignment was at South Salem, 0., which he occupied from 1864 to 1869.

During the civil war he was a delegate to the United States Christian Commission for two years, serving at Chattanooga, Tenn., in the winter of 1863, and at City Point, Va., in the spring of 1865. From 1869 to 1872 he was pastor of the Oxford, 0., Presbyterian church, and during his residence in that town he was appointed trustee of Miami University by the governor of Ohio. In 1872 he received a call to the pastorate of the Reformed church of Greenville. New Jersey, which he served as its first pastor until 1881, a term of nine years. In 1882 he assumed charge of the Presbyterian church of Newton, New Jersey. Upon his advent there he found a united and powerful church, strong in numbers and beyond question the wealthiest and most influential in the Presbytery of Newton. Its line of progress was greatly augmented in every feature of church work by Mr. Young's great natural ability as a pulpit orator and his christian diplomacy and pastoral tact. From an
education by the best masters, from cultured associations and extensive travel, he has gathered polish. His wide experience and excellent judgment, combined with his native southern characteristics make up an exceedingly pleasant personality and delineate the character in his countenance. During his ministry of the Newton church a debt of five thousand dollars was liquidated, and a stone chapel, the most beautiful church edifice in northern New Jersey, was erected at an outlay of eleven thousand dollars free of incumbrance. While this was being done the beneficent work of the church constantly increased, and domestic and foreign missions received many thousands of dollars from his congregation, the church becoming known in the Newton Presbytery as the missionary church.

Rev. Mr. Young toward the . . . of his pastorate of the Newton church, in May, 1890, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the College of Maryville, Tenn. After a service of nearly nine years Dr. Young was compelled, by reason of business affairs that demanded his attention, . . . Newton church pastorate, and for about two and a half years he remained without any pastoral charge, although during that time it was a rare occurrence for him not to be occupying a brother minister's pulpit and expounding Bible truths on each successive Lord's Day. On Dec. 17, 1893, Dr. Young was invited to preach in the Presbyterian church in Matawan, and on the following Sunday a congregational meeting was called, at which he was chosen its pastor. This church, widely known for the marked intelligence, culture, and liberality of its members, received Dr. and Mrs. Young with great cordiality, and from the first has co-operated with them most heartily
in all lines of christian activity. Mrs. Young is well known throughout the state as one of the most devoted and  efficient workers in the cause of missions, and is frequently called upon to give Bible readings and to deliver addresses in the interest of home and foreign missions. Dr. Young was united in marriage to this estimable lady, Sarah (Everett) Oliver, youngest daughter of David and Mary Wade Oliver, March ..., 1869. her grandparents, David E. and Mary I. Wade, were among tlie earliest settlers of Cincinnati, O., and migrated there from Connecticut Farms, New Jersey, about 1795. A large number of both Dr. and Mrs. Young's relatives still reside in and around Cincinnati. The issue of this union were three sons : A. Oliver, graduate from Princeton in 1892, deceased near the end of his first year at Harvard Law College; Harvey W., a graduate of Princeton, in the class of 1894, now in his senior year at the Medical department of the University of New York, and Robert S., now attending the Newark Academy.

The History of Chillicothe Presbytery, by Robert Christy Galbraith, pp 255 - 256, provides some additional details of Rev Young's early career.

At South Salem, April 13th and 14th, 1869, H. W. Biggs, and elder John R. Allston, were appointed a committee to organize a church at Massieville, if the way be clear. Alexander H. Young was dismissed to the Presbytery of Hamilton, N. S. (New School), and R. J. Hall to the Presbytery of Oxford. It appears however, that Mr. Young did not present this certificate of dismission, for in Presbytery at Chillicothe, April 5, 1870, he gave by letter reasons for his absence and in the minutes of the meeting at Cincinnati, Oct. 21, 1870, during session of Synod, the following appears: "Rev. A. H. Young, having been received by the Presbytery of Dayton, on a certificate granted by the old Presbytery of Chillicothe, his name was dropped from our roll."

The Rev. Alexander H. Young was born at Louisville, Ky., Feb. 13, 1838, graduated from Miami University, with the class of 1859; from Lane Seminary, in 1863; supplied tlie churches of Monroe and Felicity, during part of 1863; was called to the Salem church in the spring of 1864; ordained by the Presbytery of Chillicothe, and installed in the church at South Salem, Nov. 8, 1864; left South Salem Feb. 28, 1869; preached to the Oxford church, N. S. (New School) from March 21 to Sep., 1869; to the United church, at Oxford, from Nov., 1869, to January, 1872; to the Greenville, New Jersey, Dutch Reformed Church, from 1872 to 1881, and at Newton, New Jersey, to the Presbyterian Church of which he is now pastor, since 1883.

The History of the South Salem Presbyterian Church, Ross County, Ohio, published by the Southern Ohio Genealogical Society, pp 17 - 18, says Rev Young was installed as pastor in May 1864. according to the Descendants of John Hugh Wilson.

Kevin Costner Eulogizes Whitney Houston

Kevin Costner, co-star in The Bodyguard, delivered a surprisingly touching eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral yesterday.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

History: Matawan Journal, A Week of Railroad News (1885)

The 21 Feb 1885 edition of The Matawan Journal contained the following items related in one way or another to the railroad:

1) There was notice of the sale of over 20 acres of land by the heirs of the late Mrs Mary Smith.

A house, barn, and 16 acres of land, also 6 acres of salt meadow, located near Matawan station, will be sold at public sale on Saturday, Feb 18th, by the heirs of the late Mrs Mary Smith. See posters for fuller particulars.
  • The Atlas of Monmouth County, by Beers, Comstock, and Cline, 1873, pg 17, shows Mrs Smith's property located on the east side of Atlantic Avenue just south of the railroad junction.
  • The Atlas of Monmouth County, by Chester Wolverton, 1889, plate 28, shows the property as part of a much larger block of land belonging to J C Conover & Co.
  • The 1850 Federal Census shows Mary Smith age 44 born in NJ as wife of William C Smith age 50. They were living in Raritan. Mary's husband was a farmer with $2,000 in real property. They had daughters Elizabeth, Angeline, and Charlene, ages 15, 13, and 10, respectively. Also living in their household were Elizabeth, James and Hannah Van Cleaf, ages 13, 10, and 7, resp. The relationship of the Van Cleaf children to the Smiths is not stated.
  • The 1860 Federal Census shows Mary Smith age 56 born in NJ. She owned $900 in real property plus $200 in personal property. She was living in Matawan. James, Hannah and Joseph Van Cleaf, ages 19, 17,and 11, respectively, lived in her household. James was listed as a farmer.
  • The 1870 Federal census shows Mary Smith age 65 born in NJ. She owned $1,200 in real property plus $250 in personal property. She kept house. She was still living in Matawan.
  • The 1880 Federal Census shows Mary Smith age 75 born in NJ to NJ parents. She kept house. She was still living in Matawan.

2) There was news of an accident involving one of the stage coaches running between the station and Keyport:

On Monday, during the heavy gale and storm, one of the stages running between Keyport and the Matawan station, was blown over near Brown's Point. Three or four passengers were in the stage, but none were hurt.
  • The Atlas of Monmouth County, by Beers, Comstock, and Cline, 1873, pg 23, showed Brown's Point as that area of Keyport between Luppatcong Creek, Matawan Creek, and Raritan Bay. The point is bisected lengthwise by Broadway. The stage would have been heading down Broadway towards West Front Street and possibly tipped while turning at the intersection of the two.

3) There had been a strong Nor'easter that Monday (16 Feb 1885), causing an unusually high tide in Matawan and undermining the tracks of the Freehold and New York Railway near East Freehold.

One of the highest tides known for years overflowed the meadows on each side of Matawan creek during the north easter last Monday morning. The Morristown road was submerged up to the bank by the lower gateway to Mr Hankinson's farm-house, and also the road loading to the "Henry Stillwell" farm, and away up the ravine. The meadows remained overflowed the entire day.
  • There was a farmer named Henry Stillwell born about 1842 who lived in Holmdel in the 1880 Federal Census. He lived in Raritan in the 1850 Federal Census.
A Narrow Escape

On Tuesday morning, as the 2 PM train from Freehold on the F & NY Railway, was near East Freehold, the engineer noticed some distance ahead a decline in the track and was sure something was wrong. The train was stopped and a serious accident was no doubt averted. By the heavy rain of Monday the culvert beneath the track as an outlet for the water from one field to another had become clogged with --- and a great pond of water four feet deep had accumulated. This worked its way along the side of the embankment until it had forced a way through, under the track. Had the train gone on, the weight would have crushed down the embankment and a serious accident must have occurred. The train waited until the arrival of the 1:33 from Matawan for Freehold, when the passengers were transferred each way, the respective trains returning. The breech was promptly repaired.

4) The Honorable James H Van Cleef of New Brunswick got the better of a Pennsylvania railroad company after being put off a train on his way home for what they claimed was lack of proper fare. When they offered him 82 cents to refund his remaining fare, he took them to court. In lieu of the $5,000 suit he filed against them, VanCleef accepted their apology for rudeness, their payment of his legal fees, and an annual pass to ride anywhere in the Pennsylvania rail system.
  • The 1880 Federal Census lists James Van Clief, age 35, lawyer, living in New Brunswick with wife Ellen (age 34) and son Schuyler (age 5) and a servant named Annie Scudder (age 25). His mother, brother in law, nieces, and an aunt were living with them.

5) The various railroads published their time tables in the newspaper.

The Freehold and New York Railway advertised trains from Matawan for Marlboro and Freehold, etc (7 trains); Matawan for Keyport (4 trains); Keyport for Matawan (6 trains); and Freehold for Matawan (6 trains). Their advertisement mentioned that stages would connect between Matawan station and Keyport, but only for trains between Freehold and Matawan.

The Pennsylvania Railroad New York Division advertised trains departing Rahway, Elizabeth, and Newark for Trenton and Philadelphia.

The New York and Long Branch Railroad advertised trains between New York and Newark and Matawan, as well as Matawan and Long Branch and Point Pleasant. They had stages connecting Red Bank with Oceania and Fair Haven.

Friday, February 17, 2012

History: Clean Literature Ordinance, Keyport (1956)

The Holy Name Society at St Joseph's Church in Keyport tried to get a Clean Literature ordinance passed through the Keyport Council, according to the 9 Feb 1956 edition of The Journal. They hoped to get all the smutty materials off literature racks and from under the counter of stores in town. They issued a White List of smut-free shops and distributed it to parishioners at church so they'd know where to do business.

One shop owner was so offended by the campaign that he bragged he would order more materials for his store, and even special order items that customers requested, just to spite Frank Shea and his Clean Literature Committee. Needless to say, his shop didn't make the White List.

History: Sex Crime Panic, Monmouth County (1947 - 1950)

Uncontrolled Desires: The Response to the Sexual Psychopath (1920-1960), by Estelle B Freedman says that there was a post-World War II media craze over sex crime that had its origins in a 1931 German movie. "Sex Panic and the Punitive State," by Roger N Lancaster, draws from Freedman's work.

The Matawan Journal raised the volume on sex crimes in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Maybe it was in response to J Edgar Hoover's statement in 1947 that "the most rapidly increasing type of crime is that perpetrated by degenerate sex offenders" and his call to respond, "Should wild beasts break out of circus cages, the whole city would be mobilized instantly. But depraved human beings, more savage than beasts, are permitted to rove America at will."?

Monmouth County Prosecutor J Victor Carton reached out to movie theater operators to warn them that a sexual predator was targeting 9 - 14 year old girls, according to the 6 Feb 1947 edition of The Matawan Journal. Half a dozen such incidents had occurred in the previous few weeks, most in movie theaters.

The 1 Jan 1948 edition of The Journal (pg 4 col 2) publicized the rise in sex crimes, often by repeat offenders, in Monmouth County. "Local police in this area know the sex type of offense is on the increase. The public may not be aware of conditions because the circumstances surrounding this type of crime often are not publicized; however, an aroused public opinion in regards to the problem is necessary if conditions are to be improved. This is especially so since a high percentage of such crimes have children as the unfortunate victims."

New Jersey Attorney General Theodore D Parsons (1948 - 1954) announced pioneering legislation to fight sex crimes in the state, according to the 15 Sep 1949 edition of The Journal.

Keyport Chief of Police Leroy Sproul called for public vigilance for sexual predators, especially those seeking to victimize children, according to the 16 Feb 1950 edition of The Journal. His concern was based on rising national statistics in the realm of sex crime, not a local problem, but the trend was troubling and could affect the local area. Chief Sproul urged parents to report anything suspicious.

"The chief pointed out that cases of rape and murder of small children have shocked the nation and have caused many police authorities to wonder if certain types of sex insanity are on the increase. Offenders apprehended range in age from youths in their teens to men in their late sixties, Chief Sproul said. He stressed that increased molestation of girls and women is posing a new police problem, which even the most efficient patrol activity cannot check without aid of the public."

I Believe A Song By Mahalia Is In Order

My father always loved Mahalia Jackson's "I Believe" album, especially the title song. In honor of Whitney's recent death, I'm posting a video of the song from that album.

Neither the album not the song is available at iTunes, even though they have a wide assortment of her other work, including an Essential Mahalia album. She was the queen of gospel.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NJ Transit Trains Delayed at Aberdeen - 15 Feb 2012

The 7:37 am NJ Transit train due at Matawan heading to NY broke down at Red Bank today, leaving hundreds stranded along the line. Then the 8:02 am out of Matawan had to back up to find a switch to get around the stalled train at Red Bank. The 8:15 am to Hoboken arrived at Matawan nearly full and left SRO. The 8:02 has yet to arrive at Matawan. bosses will just have to wait for us.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

History: Brookdale Farm

Brookdale Community College, which opened in Lincroft in 1967, was built on the Brookdale Farm of Colonel and Mrs. Lewis Steenrod Thompson. The Colonel purchased the property from the Withers Estate in 1893, according to the Colonel's obituary in 1936.

So, who is Withers?

Hanover - 1887 Horse of the Year (TVG)

David Dunham Withers (1822 -1892) and partners founded Monmouth Park Racetrack in 1878. A local real estate agent's web page and Wikipedia say that he bought 800 acres of land from Christ Church and several area farms in 1888, establishing a fine horse farm on the property. Withers died in 1892 and the farm was sold. Brooklyn Backstretch has a biography of Withers, but some of the details don't agree with other sources.
The 17 Mar 1888 edition of The Matawan Journal mentions a D D Withers, who owned the Bray property near Holmdel. Mr. D. D. Withers contemplates spending thousands of dollars this summer in putting up extensive buildings on the "Bray" property, near Holmdel. Mr R. Bedle, of Matawan, will superintend the work.

Who is Bray?

There was a Daniel Bray, 46 years old, living in Holmdel in the 1870 Federal Census. He was a farmer with $20,000 in property. He had a wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters. Daniel seems to be the only Bray in Holmdel with significant property. And I didn't see Daniel in the 1880 census.

What do we know about the Brookdale Farm from the Matawan Journal?

Governor A Harry Moore of New Jersey spoke at an event at Brookdale Farm on 26 Sep 1927, according to the 30 Sep 1927 edition of The Journal.

"I congratulate you," said Gov Moore to the audience of between 500 and 600 citizens on the lawn of Mrs. Lewis H, Thompson's residence "on accepting your responsibility. The soul of a county is revealed in the provision that it makes for its unfortunates."

The governor went on to speak of the privilege of the individual and his duly of community to take care of the two classes which are particularly its wards, the children and the old people. "I do not urge you", he said, "what is simply your plain duty!" The difference between cold blooded business and the purpose of the government which must remember the human element and not forget the unfortunates was well brought out by Gov. Moore . . .

Eleanor Roosevelt, then wife of the Governor of New York, accepted Mrs Thompson's invitation to be guest speaker at the annual meeting of MCOSS, according to the 21 Aug 1931 edition of The Journal.

Mrs Thompson was to host the annual meeting of the Monmouth County Organization of Social Services (MCOSS), of which she was president, at Brookdale Farm on 13 Sep 1934, according to the 24 Aug 1934 edition of The Journal.

A pet show was to be held on the Brookdale Farm 1-2 Jun 1935, according to the 31 May 1935 edition of The Journal.

Colonel Thompson died in 1936. See obituary in the 27 Mar 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal.

The first post-war Monmouth County dog show was to be held on the Brookdale Farm on 29 Jun 1946, according to the 2 May 1946 edition of The Matawan Journal.

I still wonder where the name Brookdale came from. Perhaps it is linked to the Brookdale Handicap, a thoroughbred horse race established in 1887 at Gravesend Racetrack in Brooklyn? The racetrack had opened only a year earlier, in 1886, in the same general era when Withers was so well known in thoroughbred racing circles. The race was run at Gravesend until 1910, then from 1914 to 1933 at Aquaduct in Queens.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

History: LaParee Undergarment Company, Matawan (1944-1949)

LaParee Undergarment Company operated at 3-5 Johnson Avenue at the railroad station in Matawan, according to an advertisement that appeared on page 2 of the 12 Feb 1948 edition of The Matawan Journal. They were looking for 50 Girls - Women to learn to do some light sewing. The company would pay 60 cents an hour while the new hires learned to sew. Plus they offered paid vacation. Floor girls were also wanted.

This wartime help wanted ad appeared in the Journal's 16 Nov 1944 edition. the earliest mention I could find of the company in this newspaper. The company was carried as an essential industry and War Manpower Commission (WMC) rules had to be observed.

OPERATORS. EXPERIENCED and LEARNERS on all types of sewing machines. Essential industry. LaParee, 5 Johnson Ave.. Matawan; WMC rules observed; opposite railroad station.
These were the last mentions of the company in the Journal, page 4 of its 13 Oct 1949 edition.

WOMEN—Experienced operators on all types of underwear machines steady or part time work. Charles F.
Fliss • 5 Johnson Ave., Matawan, opposite R.R. station, LaParee Undergarment Co.
GIRLS—Learn to operate all types of underwear and sewing machines. Steady work. LaParee undergarment
Co,, Johnson Ave., Matawan, opp R.R. Station.

The company was among a group of companies with unfortunate French names that received some humorous attention from the author of The Talk of the Town in the 8 Jan 1938 edition of The New Yorker.

Aberdeen Planning Board Meeting Set for 15 Feb 2012

The Aberdeen Township Planning Board meets this Wednesday evening to receive the Coppola & Coppola report on the lands around the train station, according to their agenda. Perhaps there will finally be some movement along that front on the Board? I'm ever hopeful, despite a long history of stasis.

Note that the minutes of the Planning Board for the three months prior to the fall elections are only now being submitted for approval and publication.

Tolls Are Tolls

There's a photo of Matawan's Stephen Boyd in the Charlotte Observer. They approached him at a rest stop along I-95 to find out what he thought about electronic toll collection. "Tolls are tolls," he replied, like any good New Jerseyan would. Watch that rest stop food, Steve.

Lowest Scoring Nursing Homes In and Near Matawan

Below are the worst nursing homes within ten miles of Matawan, according to Medicare's Nursing Home Comparison tool.

1 Star
  • Golden Living Center (Old Bridge)

2 Stars
  • Aristacare at Alameda Center (Perth Amboy)
  • Arnold Walter Nursing Home (Hazlet)
  • Madison Center (Matawan)
  • Summer Hill Nursing Home (Old Bridge)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Film: The Artist

What a creative movie The Artist is. I heartily recommend it. The movie is playing quietly in Red Bank.

History: Jacob Geissenhainer (D-NJ) Incurs Labor's Wrath (1894)

The 3 Nov 1894 edition of The Matawan Journal (page 8, col 3) has this penetrating missive (below) from the Buffalo Central Labor Union to their brethren in the Garden State. The union from Buffalo, NY had enlisted Jacob Augustus Geissenhainer, an incumbent Democrat representing the 3rd US Congressional District (portions of Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset counties) of New Jersey, in the fight against the so-called Tramp Acts. As chair of the Immigration and Naturalization Committee, Geissenhainer was the perfect sponsor for their legislation to protect unemployed immigrants traveling the northeastern US in search of work, at least until he betrayed them.

The Buffalo union leaders wrote an open letter seeking New Jersey labor's help in removing the Congressman from office "using all honorable means." The Journal reprinted the letter, albeit on the last page of the paper. Result? Geissenhainer was out of Congress in four months.

Labor Unions Oppose Geissenhainer

The attention of workingmen is called to the following address, issued by the Buffalo Central Labor Union and published in the Peterson Labor Standard:

We, the undersigned, members of the Legislative Committee of the Buffalo Central Labor Union have been authorized and instructed by the above named body to forward to you the following:

Some time ago the different labor organizations of Buffalo appointed a joint committee, who framed the bill known aa the Lockwood Immigration bill, and it was submitted to tho different labor organizations from the coast of Maine to the southern shores of California, and in every instance was heartily endorsed. The bill was then introduced before Congress and referred to the Committee on Immigration of which Congressman Geissenhainer of your State was chairman. The bill was progressing nicely, and Mr. Geissenhainer was favoring every movement until the last moment, when by some unknown cause to us, he suddenly changed, and working in a capacity for the dilrect interests of the Steamship corporations and lake-faring monopolies, he by his skilled trickery caused the defeat of the bill in committee.

Now in view of the above facts and that the bill had its origin and emanated directly from the laboring forces of Buffalo, had been endorsed by the same throughout the United States, we as the people of the whole have denounced Mr. Geissenhainer and believe him an unfit person to represent the working masses, not only in Congress, but in any way pertaining to the welfare of the people. Accordingly we implore you to use all honorable means in defeating this man By so doing you not only sanction our request but that of every laboring man throughout the United States. This you can do, as we well know, and trust you may leave no stone unturned until you gain the result, as we believe you will do. Resolutions will be forwarded to every labor organization in the State of New Jersey. 

Very truly yours, 

The Legislative Committee of the Buffalo Central Labor Union
E E Russell, Chairman
Joseph Moss
J M O'Malley

When Geissenhainer appeared on the Labor Party ticket in Monmouth County in 1902, the Matawan Journal pointed out his bad reputation with organized labor and their utter surprise at his selection by that party. See pg 4 col 3 of the 23 Oct 1902 edition for details. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 Aberdeen Township Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board

According to Resolution 2012-31, the following persons are being appointed later today by the Township Council to one-year terms (thru 31 Jan 2013) on the Aberdeen Township Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board.

It looks like Robert Berardo is the only new regular member. It is unclear whom he is replacing. A new alternate member and two new students are being named. Here is the roster:

Regular Members
  • Frank Huza
  • Michele Devanny
  • Valerie David
  • Chris Mularadelis
  • Robert Berardo
Alternate Members
  • Alec Smith
Student Members
  • Nairooti Patel
  • Radhika Kumar

I couldn't find last year's appointments resolution, nor that of the year before. As far as I can discern, the Board's makeup was last presented on the Board's web page on 22 Oct 2010. At that time, there were 7 members for 9 slots (5 members, 2 alternates, plus 2 optional non-voting high school students), with only Mr Huza labeled as to his position (Chair). (I note below what I found on that page as it will likely be updated soon.)
  • Frank Huza - Chair
  • Michelle DeVanney
  • Valerie David
  • Chris Mularadelis
  • Brian Murray
  • Paul Rinear
  • Grace Musumeci
I was able to find the appointees for the 2005 Board (Feb Workshop Meeting), 2006 Board (Feb Workshop Meeting), 2007 Board (Resolution 2007-33 and 2007-77) and 2008 Board (Resolution 2008-28 and Nov Workshop Meeting). I found no official resolutions after that.Perhaps someone else can find those resolutions at the Township website and bring them to my attention?

The Board is authorized based on 2-47.3 [Article IX (Boards, Committees and Commissions) Chapter II (Administration)] of the Aberdeen Municipal Code. Here's the wording,as retrieved from ClerkBase:

2-47.3    Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board.

       a.     Creation; Members. There shall be an Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board known as the Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board of the Township of Aberdeen. The Board shall be composed of five (5) persons and two (2) alternates, who shall be appointed by the Township Council for terms ending January 31 of each year, the Chairman of which is to be elected by a majority of the members thereof each year. The Board shall also consist of two (2) non-voting advisory positions, which shall be open to students enrolled in Matawan-Aberdeen Regional High School who shall be appointed by the Township Council to terms ending January 31 of each year.
       b.     Duties and Functions. The Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board's duties and functions shall be as follows:
         1.     Study, review and determine the existing quality of the air and waterways in the Township.
         2.     On behalf of the Township Council, receive and investigate allegations of air or water pollution in the Township; advise the Council of any findings and offer recommendations.
         3.     Study, review and determine the desirability of a Township reclamation-recycling program; advise the Council of its findings and recommendations; administer such a program if the Council so determines.
         4.     Provide comments to the Planning Board regarding the environmental impact of proposed projects and developments within the Township.
         5.     Study ways to improve the quality of the physical environment within the Township; advise the council of its findings and recommendations.
         6.     Perform any other studies or functions as directed by the Township Council.
         7.     The Board shall have the following additional duties and functions;
        (a)        To advise and make recommendations to the Planning Board concerning shade trees.
        (b)        To advise the Township Manager concerning:
            (1)        The regulation, planting and care of shade and ornamental trees, shrubbery now located or which may hereafter be planted in any public highway or parkway, including the planting, trimming and spraying, care and protection thereof.
            (2)        The regulation and control of the use of the ground surrounding the same so far as may be necessary for the proper growth, care and protection.
            (3)        Moving or requiring the removal of any tree or part thereof dangerous to public safety.
            The Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board shall annually file a written report with the Township Council relating the functions and activities of the Environmental and Shade Tree Advisory Board for the previous year.
(1973 Code § 2-21.4; Ord. No. 1-1981; Ord. No. 2-1992)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

History: I Didn't Know the Gun Was Loaded, Keyport (1916)

Hiram and Amelia Walling, of the North Centreville section of Keyport, suffered the loss of a son in a terrible incident on their farm on Sunday 30 January 1916. According to that week's edition of The Matawan Journal, the Wallings' 15-year-old son John left a loaded gun in the barn after returning empty handed from hunting for a chicken hawk on Saturday. The father came across the weapon Sunday morning and put it on some crates in the wagon shed while he fed the livestock. His 13-year old son Alfred found the gun and, playing around, shot his 11-year-old brother Hiram Jr point blank as Hiram came down a ladder from the hayloft. The father came upon the horrible scene, with Alfred crying that he didn't know the gun was loaded. Hiram Jr was lying unconscious in a heap on the ground. Hiram carried his son into the house, where the boy died in his father's arms.

The 1920 Federal Census showed Hiram (64) and Amelia (42) Walling living in Keyport, along with sons John (19), Alfred (17) and Homer (13) and daughter Theresa (10). Hiram and his son Alfred worked the farm while son John was a laborer in a factory.

I couldn't find the family in the 1910 Census.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Monmouth Freeholders Make Way Clear for Bid Rig II

The all-Republican Board of Chosen Freeholders started their new session by rescinding pay-to-play campaign finance restrictions, according to The Asbury Park Press. The tough rules were imposed in 2008 after a baker's dozen of politicians were arrested in Operation Bid Rig. Check out this APP editorial.

1940 US Census Nearly Here!

The 1940 United States Federal Census is being released this year! According to the 72-Year Rule, the National Archives will release the records digitally on 2 April 2012. You'll be able to peruse the 1940 census online. I look forward to finding my parents, both still living at home with their parents on the eve of war. The census enumeration apparently even will tell you where a person was 5 years earlier. How cool is that?

I subscribe to Ancestry.com, a genealogy pay service that provides a huge assortment of valuable records online. If you're at all interested in creating a family tree, or interested in researching local history, I recommend that you consider Ancestry. The added value you will receive from an Ancestry subscription is their incredible index. It's amazing.

Ancestry should begin to post the 1940 census images and index the data as soon as they receive the images from NARA.That's what happened when the 1930 census was released.

History: Planned Parenthood Clinic in Matawan (1970)

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The 18 Jun 1970 edition of The Matawan Journal announced the opening of a Planned Parenthood clinic at the Matawan Health Center at 145 Broad Street in Matawan. The clinic would be open on 19 Jun 1970 and would operate on Friday afternoons for two hours on a weekly basis thereafter. Local patients previously had to travel to Asbury Park or Freehold to receive family planning and birth control assistance. (145 Broad Street was recently torn down. It was listed as the home of the Matawan Health Department's Bureau of Vital Statistics.)

Planned Parenthood clinics were available in Asbury Park, Freehold, Matawan, and Red Bank, according to the 18 Jul 1973 edition of The Independent.

The clinic was granted a sublease of the Broad Street address from the Matawan Department of Health in April 1982, according to a letter to the editor in the 3 Jun 1982 edition of The Independent. Matawan Borough Council approved the sublease at their 7 Jun 1982 meeting, according to a letter to the editor in the 16 Jun 1982 edition of The Independent. It's unclear to me what happened to prompt approval of the lease a dozen years after the clinic located at Broad Street.

There was still a clinic in Matawan in 1994, according to the 8 Sep edition of The Independent. This was the last specific reference I could find.

Planned Parenthood of Central NJ had 6 locations in Monmouth and Middlesex counties in 1996, per the 3 Jul edition of The Independent. Matawan was not mentioned but could have been one of the six.

"We're primarily concerned about providing preventive health care," said Executive Director Phyllis Kinsler, "and we respond to certain crises." Clients receive services from the government-funded agency each year for sliding-scale fees based on income.
All sites provide reproductive health care, mid-life health services, cancer screening, birth control and physical examinations. Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy testing, counseling and education services also are available throughout the counties.

The earliest reference to the Planned Parenthood organization that I could find in the Matawan Journal was in the 19 Jun 1958 edition. Mrs Inge Butman, daughter of Mr and Mrs Ludwig Voss, of Morganville Farms, Matawan, was graduating from Bard College, and the commencement address was being delivered by Mr William Vogt, National Director.

When a Cliffwood woman had her 16th child in 1949, the front page article in the 20 Jan edition of The Matawan Journal was humorously titled Planned Parenthood? (Mom was aiming for 20 kids; Dad wasn't quoted on the matter)

Margaret Sanger established the American Birth Control League in 1921. This became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942.