A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

History: Matawan Journal Blurbs (2 Dec 1932)

A few small articles from The Matawan Journal's 2 Dec 1932 edition:


"Ernest Peterson has established a riding academy in the service station back of the show room in the old Washington Market building. Matawan has developed many enthusiasts for riding in recent years which has prompted Mr Peterson to make the sport more convenient for them by having the horses near at home."


"A number of Matawan people partook of the rabbit and roast pork supper served by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Cliffwood Fire Company in the fire house Wednesday night. About seventy-five persons were served."

"FREE to every subscriber who pays his subscription between now and Christmas we will give a box of Chritmas cards which regularly sell for a $1.00."


"Mildred Kunath Roebling, who as a young girl lived in Matawan, filed suit for divorce on Saturday in Reno, Nevada against Siegfried Roebling, grandson of Colonel Washington Roebling, and who is vice president of John A Roebling Sons, famous bridge builders of New York and Trenton. She charged cruelty. Mrs Roebling is a society aviatrix, and while residing in Trenton made it a practice to fly her plane over Matawan very often, it being the home of her mother."

The 1920 Federal Census showed Mildred Kunath, age 14, living with her parents on Cheesequake Road in Madison. The text is difficult to read, so I can't figure out her father's name -- perhaps Anzo or Otto -- but her mother's name, Katherina, appears again in the 1930 Federal Census, also in Madison. The 1930 record said Katherina was still married, but her husband was not enumerated. Perhaps he was out of the country? The family had German roots. The newspaper made reference to Mildred's mother, so perhaps he had indeed died or left her? This is unclear.

New York Passenger Lists show the couple boarded the Majestic at Cherbourg, France on 25 September 1929 and arrived at the Port of New York on 1 October 1929:
  • Siegfried Roebling, born 28 Dec 1890 (age 38) in Morris Plains, NJ
  • Mildred Roebling, born 24 Dec 1905 (age 23) in Newark, NJ
The couple had been married a year and were living at 11 Belmont Circle, Trenton, NJ at the time of the 1930 Federal Census. Their property was worth $30,000. He was vice president of a company that made iron rope, perhaps for suspension bridges. They had a 34 year old English servant named Minnie Goodwin.

A family tree online shows Mildred remarried to a Watson Laurence Stillwaggon, was enumerated in Matawan in the 1940 Federal Census, along with Watson and a 3-year old daughter Margaret, and died in Winter Park, Florida on 28 March 1999. Watson was born  17 Sep 1906 in New Jersey and died 20 Feb 2007 in Eatontown, NJ.


The State of New Jersey passed a law on 2 May 1931 allowing schools to establish safety patrols to assist children negotiate automobile traffic as they make their way back and forth to school. The Matawan School Board discussed the issue. Board member James Van Brakle recommended that the school janitors help out with the traffic congestion outside the school at the end of the day, but Superintendent John S McCurdy wanted to pursue the safety patrol idea.


"Work on the repair of the dirt fill which forms a part of Lake Lefferts dam is under way. In order that the work might be carried on without delay it was necessary to lower the water level three feet. The repairs will consist in raising the road across the dam, known as Ravine Drive, eighteen inches and the placing of drains to carry off the water when it reaches more than its normal level. It is estimated the work will require several days.

The work is being done under the supervision of the borough and the Board of Freeholders."


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