A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

History: Matawan Churches Form Temperance Union (1884)

The 26 Jul 1884 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 4 col 3) announced the formation of a joint temperance committee uniting the local Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists in Matawan.

Matawan Temperance Alliance

A joint meeting was held on Monday evening at the residence of Rev F A Slater, of the Temperance Committees of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist Churches of Matawan. The object of the meeting was to arrange for joint work in furthering the neglected cause of temperance in our midst.

The meeting was organized by electing Rev H G Williams as President of the Joint Committee; Rev F. A, Slater, Vice President; W V Simpson, Esq, Secretary; and David A Bell, Treasurer.

An Executive Committee was chosen,  consisting of the pastor and one layman from each church, whose duty it is to arrange for public meetings. The general necessity for more active temperance work was spoken of by all present.

The Executive Committee met  and organized after the adjournment of the Joint Committee, by electing Rev R J Kent chairman and Prof Jacobus secretary; Mr A H Harris, acting as secretary pro tem. It was agreed to hold a Union Temperance meeting in the Presbyterian Church on the second or third Sunday evening in September, and Rev R J Kent and Rev F A Slater were appointed to secure a speaker.
Rev Henry G Williams, born about 1837 in Pennsylvania, was a Methodist Episcopal preacher who was associated with churches in Lambertville, Long Branch, Toms River, Angelton and Matawan, among others. He preached at Centenary Methodist in Lambertville beginning in 1879 and was there for the 1880 Federal Census, along with wife Susannah, daughter, and a servant. He gets a brief mention in a number of church histories online.

Reverend Franklin A Slater was born about 1823 in New York and served as the pastor of the Matawan Baptist Church from 1856 to 1862. He was widowed and living in Matawan in 1880. His son Frank was operating the Washington Hall Pharmacy in Matawan in 1880. (See A 1904 History of Baptists in Keyport and Matawan and Professionals and Businessmen of Matawan, 1880

William V Simpson, born 1846 in New York, was on the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Church in Matawan in September 1908. (See Dr Alexander Young, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church (1894-1907)) The 1900 Federal Census enumerated him as a lawyer living in Matawan along with wife Emma and two children.

David A Bell was the owner of The Matawan Journal.

Charles Jacobus was principal at the Glenwood Institute.

Alex H Harris, 62 year old, was operating a hardware store in Matawan with his son W Kramer Harris in 1880. Presumably an early iteration of Harris Hardware.

Rev Robert James Kent was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan from 1883 to 1888. He was born 28 Dec 1855 in New York City. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1880 and was ordained by the Presbytery of New Brunswick. He served the Kirkpatrick Memorial Church in Ringoes, NJ from 1880 to 1883, then moved to Matawan. He left the Presbyterian denomination in 1888 and became pastor of a Congregational church in Brooklyn. (See his obituary in an August 1941 edition of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle at Fulton History


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