A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

History: Two Undertakers in Matawan (1893)

The 16 Dec 1893 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 3 col 5) had advertisements for two local undertakers.

1) Arrowsmith Brothers, undertakers and arterial embalmers, at the Old Stand, Matawan, NJ.  Whole outfit new and first class. Prices reasonable. Everything required for funerals, from the plainest to the most elaborate, constantly on hand. Have also a stock of new folding chairs for funeral and other purposes. Prompt attention day or night.

2) J G Conover, successor to J G Conover & Company, furnishing undertakers and professional embalmers, commercial block, Main Street, Matawan, NJ. Residence 2 doors above Presbyterian Church.

The 1900 Federal Census listed Henry Arrowsmith (born Feb 1845 in NJ) as an undertaker living on Main Street in Matawan Borough with wife Mary (born Jun 1854 NJ), daughters Eliza B (born Oct 1878 NJ) and Julia B (born Jan 1884 NJ), and servant Rose Popp (born Nov 1881 Hungary).

Undertaker James G Conover (born in May 1846 NJ) appeared on the next page of the census, along with wife Fannie M (born Oct 1849 NJ) and sister-in-law Mary M Applegate (born Oct 1846 NJ, single).

Note that two doors down from the Presbyterian Church at that time (presently an empty lot next to the Baptist church) is where Bedle Funeral Home is currently located.

On the same page of the census with the Henry Arrowsmith household were Herbert A Bushnell, monuments salesman, and Fredrick Lupton, monuments manufacturer, and their families. Presumably their paths crossed with the undertakers in their normal courses of business.

I happened to notice that the Glenwood Institute is listed on the same page with James Conover. The census lists principal as Caspar A Brewer and his wife Ellen; teachers William M Whyte, John Smith, and Josie Knapp; and two dozen teenaged students [12 from Cuba, 5 from New Jersey, 4 from New York, 2 from Pennsylvania, and 1 from Puerto Rico.] and a servant working as janitor who was born in Michigan.


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