A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Eleanor Van Brakle, Teacher (1869 - 1956)

Public School, Matawan, NJ
I purchased a post card this week of the old Matawan High School on Broad Street. The image is of the building before the 1908 addition, suggesting that the photo was taken between 1895, when the building was built, and 1908. You can see an image of the building in 1909, after the addition was constructed, in Around Matawan and Aberdeen, by Helen Henderson, pg 118.

The post card was addressed to an Eleanor Van Brackle of Keyport. Someone named Mary, perhaps her student or a fellow teacher, thanked Ms Van Brackle for the "postal" (post card or letter) and "the lessons you sent". The card is postmarked October at Keyport, but the precise date and year are illegible.

I found the following about Eleanor in the census and local newspapers:

The 1870 Federal Census showed Ella Van Brackle (2) in the Matawan household of her parents, Thos E (34) and Elizabeth (30) Van Brackle. Thomas was a farmer. Also in the household were Ella's elder brother Frank Van Brackle (4), (her uncle?) George Van Brackle (28), and (her grandmother?) Ann Van Brackle (60).  Note: Thomas and Elizabeth had another son named Frank born about 1863 who died 18 Dec 1864 in Matawan.

The 1880 Federal Census showed Eleanor Van Brackel, age 11, daughter of Thomas (44) and Elizabeth (39) Van Brackel. Thomas listed no occupation. The family was living on Broadway in Raritan. Eleanor's siblings were Franck (14), Mary (8), Fred (7), and Thomas (2). Note: Son Fred was born 22 Sep 1872 in Matawan.

The 1900 Federal Census showed Eleanor Van Brakle born Aug 1869 in New Jersey. She was living with her parents, Thomas (Dec 1835 NJ) and Elizabeth (Nov 1840 NJ) Van Brakle, and sibling Frank Van Brakle (Feb 1868 NJ), in Raritan. Her parents had been married 39 years and her mother had four surviving children from among the six she'd borne.

The 1910 Federal Census showed Eleanor Van Brakle, age 40, born in New Jersey to NJ parents, single, living on Warren Street in Keyport. Her occupation was listed as teacher, high school.

The 1920 Federal Census showed Eleanor Van Brakle, age 51 NJ, as vice principal in a high school. She was living on Holmdel Turnpike in Holmdel and was listed as the sister-in-law of the head of household Charles I Young (50 NJ) and his wife, Mary (48 NJ). Charles owned a farm.

The 1930 Federal Census showed Eleanor Van Brakle, age 61 NJ, as a teacher at a school. She was born in Matawan to parents born in Holmdel. She was still living with Charles and Mary. Note that Mary was also born in Matawan to Holmdel parents and is very likely Eleanor's sister.

The 19 Jun 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 3 col 3) contained a society piece saying that Donald Van Brackle, of Crown Point, NY, was visiting his aunt Eleanor Van Brackle to attend a class reunion at Rutgers University.

The 1940 Federal Census showed Eleanor Van Brakle, age 71 NJ, living at 138 Main Street in Keyport. She was not employed and was not seeking employment.

The 27 Feb 1941 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 23 col 4) said that Eleanor Van Brakle was elected to the board of trustees of the Keyport Free Library in the position of treasurer.

The 3 May 1945 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 20 col 3) said that Eleanor Van Brakle was re-elected secretary of the missionary society at the First Baptist Church in Keyport.

The 18 Sep 1947 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 17 col 4) said Eleanor Van Brakle attended a meeting of the Women's League of the First Baptist Church of Keyport.

Eleanor Van Brakle (2 Aug 1869 - 2 Oct 1956) is buried at Green Grove Cemetery in Keyport, according to Distant Cousin. (Image of her gravestone)

The First Baptist Church of Keyport had an Eleanor Van Brakle Girls' Guild, according to the 19 May 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal.


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