A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Book About Sloan Products, Matawan Dry Goods

I'm always on the lookout for books about Matawan and Aberdeen. At the Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library I discovered "A Sloan Product: A Memoir of a Lost Boy" by Neil L Selinger, published in 2011. Selinger tells of growing up in a four-generation Jewish family living on a 23-acre farm at 59 Freneau Avenue (Route 79) in Matawan.

The family owned and operated Sloan Products, a wholesale distributor of a variety of dry goods. The enterprise was closed a few years before the book was published. Once farmland in the Freneau section of the borough, the property is now the home of The Preserve at Matawan, with a street called Sloan Court running through the development. Fifteen acres of the land has been "preserved" in the true sense of the word. It is now protected wetlands.

There is a nice tribute to the author and his book in The New York Times. (See Loss of Speech Evokes the Voice of an Author, by Peter Applebome.) Mr Selinger developed Lou Gehrig's Disease shortly after finishing the book.

The 13 Sep 1951 edition of The Matawan Journal had a classified ad: "BOY WANTED as helper on truck."

The 10 Oct 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal had two graphic ads for Sloan Products, one for a rocking horse they distributed called the Blue Ribbon Wonder Horse; the other ad was for Kaiser Foil.

You can find the book under "Selinger" in the library's Biography section, which is upstairs along the back wall.

History: Dr Dutcher, Veterinary Dentist Visits Matawan (1888)

A veterinary dentist named Dr Dutcher visited Matawan twice in 1888 to treat the area's horses and sell his liniment.

The pullers, luggers, lollers, droolers, et al mentioned in the first ad are categories of horse behaviors that resulted from the horses' responses to improper bitting. Those issues could have been caused by or leading to dental disease. But the other ailments and conditions were muscular or skeletal in nature, likely outside the bounds of the typical veterinary dentist's area of expertise. Likely he was hawking a cure all liniment as part of his practice. Ads for mostly ineffective curative liniments for people filled the Matawan Journal in those days, and only ended with federal intervention.

I've not been able to find any additional information online about this Dr Dutcher and would be pleased to hear from my readers about him. (Given the era, I'm assuming the doctor was a male, but I've been wrong before.)

The 4 Aug 1888 and 11 Aug 1888 editions of The Matawan Journal carried the above Dr Dutcher ad, transcribed below:

Veterinary Dentist,
will treat ailments of the horse's mouth
and cure all such
that cannot masticate their food.

All work warranted. Orders by mail 
promptly attended to. Examination free. 

Also, Dr Dutcher's Celebrated Liniment 
and Ointment, for contracted cords, spavin
ringbone, swollen joints, corns and quarter 
cracks. The Doctor will be at the 
Matawan House for 10 Days.

The 20 Oct 1888 and 27 Oct 1888 editions of The Matawan Journal carried the above Dr Dutcher ad, which read:

  Also, Dr Dutcher's Celebrated Liniment
and Ointment, for ringbone, spavin, etc.
          Refers to Dunn, Dunlop & Co,
    May be found at the Matawan House.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

History: New Jersey Bell Operator Job (1957)

The 10 Oct 1957 edition of The Matawan Journal contained this advertisement seeking telephone operator applicants for New Jersey Bell:

30 DAYS: It's Jo Ann Lamberti's (left) first job. She's learning quickly the art of handling calls around the corner or around the world.

30 YEARS: The experience of chief operator Mrs Anne M Merchant (right) is invaluable in helping newcomers like Jo Ann become skilled operators.

Working together to bring people together. Youth and experience, like Jo Anne Lamberti and Mrs Anne M Merchant -- work together to bring you the advantages of modern phone service. Because of them you can be in touch with almost anyone, anywhere, any time.

It's a big job. One that keeps over 29,000 New Jersey men and women busy. And each year the team grows.

Would you like a telephone career? If so -- call your Chief Operator.


Did You Vote in 2011? Likely Not. Very Likely Not.

The Monmouth County Clerk's Election Division posts election results and information online. If you check out Aberdeen Township's 2011 municipal election results, you'll find that less than a quarter (24.6%) of all eligible voters (2,764/11,209) visited their polling place and voted on election day.* The statistics are shameful, with over two-thirds not voting in the best district and nearly 85% not voting in the worst case.
  • District 1 (Cliffwood Fire House) had the worst participation at 16.6% (196/1,183). While that district had 10.6% of all eligible voters, only 7% showed up at the polls that day. In other words, voters in District 1 forfeited more than a third (-34%) of their franchise.
  • District 7 (EMS Building at 260 Church Street) had the best participation at 29.3% (201/685). That district boosted its overall influence in the township by a fifth (+20%) by showing up at the polls.

* The numbers used in this study exclude 163 voters who voted by mail-in ballot and 12 who filed a provisional ballot. These numbers cannot be applied to this discussion because their geographic aspect cannot be discerned from the statistics. Fortunately the numbers are low, at only 1.5% of all eligible voters.

Check out the 2011 participation rankings below.**
  1. District 7 (EMS Building, Lloyd RD at Church ST) 29.3% (201 out of 685)
  2. District 11 (Fire House, Church ST at Lloyd RD) 28.8% (149/518)
  3. District 6 (High School, Atlantic AV) 28.0% (201/718)
  4. District 4 (VFW, Cliffwood AV) 27.1% (329/1215)
  5. District 10 (Fire House, Church ST at Lloyd RD) 26.4% (192/726)
  6. District 13 (High School, Atlantic AV) 26.3% (207/785)
  7. District 2 (Fire House, off Cliffwood AV) 25.7% (308/1198)
  8. District 9 (EMS Building, Lloyd RD at Church ST) 25.1% (210/836)
  9. District 3 (VFW, Cliffwood AV) 24.4% (190/778)
  10. District 5 (Cross of Glory Lutheran, Cambridge DR) 24.1% (131/542)
  11. District 12 (Cross of Glory Lutheran, Cambridge DR)  23.1% (208/901)
  12. District 8 (Municipal Building, Church ST) 21.5% (242/1124)
  13. District 1 (Fire House, off Cliffwood AV) 16.6% (196/1183)

** I've color-coded the regions to show how no region is voting more than any other. Voting or not may have more to do with the average age of residents, home owners vs renters, or some other characteristic. Any thoughts?

Hopefully more folks will vote on 5 November due to the governor race and 3 town council contests being waged this year. You can't vote out your Congressman this year, so maybe you'll decide to stay home. Don't. You should vote. Exercise your right to cast a ballot. Bring up the numbers and show you care.

Charles C Schock, Jr - President of Farmers and Merchants Bank of Matawan (1971)

Charles Christian Schock, Jr (30 Nov 1919 - 15 Jun 1985), President of Farmers & Merchants (F&M) Bank in Matawan, was interviewed on 12 Jan 1971 by two Strathmore Elementary School students -- Andy Barnett and Peter Dickinson -- for their 4th grade class book project: "Matawan Past and Present." 

A native of the borough, the kids asked Charles about the old days in Matawan. He was born in Matawan. When he was young, there were more trees along Main Street, less traffic, and no paved roads. Store fronts were bigger and barny. Local industry included the Hanson Van Winkle Munning Co, the Wickham Piano Plate Co, and some tile companies.

Charles and his friends would swim and play with handmade wooden boats in the local man-made lakes. The kids used to get their bicycle tires at a tire store called Clough's, which was located where the five-and-dime Hostetter's was in 1971. Local bus service ran every half hour or so between downtown Matawan, the rail station and Freneau; it ran about hourly to and from Freehold.

While in college, Charles worked summers at F&M starting in 1938. He became President of the bank on 1 Jan 1964.


As a newborn, Charles was living with his parents in his maternal grandfather's house at 162 Main Street in Matawan, according to the 1920 Federal Census. His father, Charles C Schock, was born about 1881 and was a dry goods merchant. His mother, Helen Louise (Terhune) Schock was born about 1884. Helen's father, James L Terhune, was a 74 year old widow. Young Charles was one month old when the family was enumerated on 9 January 1920.

Ten year old Charles continued to live with his parents in 1930, according to the 1930 Federal Census. His father was a retail merchant. His maternal grandfather was living with them at 160 Main Street.

Charles attended prep school at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, PA. He followed this up with two years of college, presumably at Rutgers College. His obituary mentioned Rutgers Law School in New Brunswick, NJ and the Stonier School of Banking, also at Rutgers, but those would have been after the war; it made no mention of his bachelor's work.

Twenty year old Charles lived with his parents on Edgemere Drive in Matawan, according to the 1940 Federal Census. His father was a proprietor of a general merchandise store. 

Charles enlisted for military service in World War II on 12 Mar 1942, according to his enlistment papers. He had attended two years of college and was an actor at the time of his enlistment. He would be a warrant officer at the rank of private and serve for the duration of the war.

Charles married Edna Wickham on 28 Dec 1942.


In Aug 1971, just over six months after the Strathmore Elementary students' interview, F&M was absorbed by Franklin State Bank, according to the 24 Aug 1972 edition of The Independent. Charles became Vice President of Franklin State upon completion of the merger. The article provides some interesting details about land transactions and remodeling of the bank in the wake of the merger.

His obituary in the 16 Jun 1985 edition of The Red Bank Register provided the following details about his community activities:

"He was on the board of directors of Bayshore Community Hospital, the Monmouth County Board of Health and the YMCA's Camp Arrowhead, Red Bank and Marlboro.

Mr. Schock was a member of the Matawan Rotary Club and the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan. He was also on the board of trustees of the Rosehill Cemetery Association of Matawan. He was a member of the Monmouth County Bar Association.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and had attained the rank of lieutenant."

His obituary provided details about his family:

"Surviving are his wife, the former Edna Wickham; two daughters, Mrs. Eileen Laspa of San Francisco,
Calif., and Mrs. Linda Laramy of Easton, Md., and four grandchildren."

The Independent reported that Charles died of a heart attack at the wheel of his car. The 19 Jun 1985 edition contained an article "Charles Schock Jr Dies in Auto Crash." The article included the following regarding the circumstances of his death:

Schock "died of a heart attack just before his car struck a utility pole on Route 79 at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday. Schock was southbound on Route 79 when his car veered into the northbound lane and hit the utility pole, police said. No other cars were involved in the accident. He was treated at the scene by the Monmouth County mobile intensive care unit and taken to Bayshore Community by the First Aid Squad. He was dead on arrival at 2:05 p.m., police said."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

History: Our Matawan Portfolio (1891)

Page 3 of the 25 Jul 1891 edition of The Matawan Journal had a section called Our Matawan Portfolio, in which some local news items were reported. Below are items from the paper, followed by my research notes.
  1. Charles H Schanck sent six baskets of peaches to New York last Wednesday.
  2. Dr Jackson has a Kensington cart that attracts much attention and is admired by all.
  3. Remember the Oriental lecture and entertainment in the Baptist Church this Friday evening.
  4. Benjamin Cooper, of Freneau, had a stroke of apoplexy on Monday and is lying in a critical condition.
  5. The net receipts of the Fourth of July Picnic under the auspices of the St Joseph's R C Church were over $725.
  6. Almost forty young people from this place attended the harvest home at Old Tennent Church Wednesday evening.
  7. Mrs E Sylvester, of Perth Amboy, has removed to Matawan and is occupying a house on Broad street owned by E I Brown.
  8. Elwood Hopkins gathered three bushels of swamp huckleberries in two days this week. Where he was they were plentiful.
  9. The pile driver is at work on the bridge crossing the creek above the railroad trestle. Henry Holland is the engineer in charge.
  10. The August number of Butterick's Delineator is out. As usual, it contains just what the ladies need in preparing their summer costumes.
  11. J W Cooper and family, of New York, have rented the James Cottrell house in the upper part of the town and are now occupying it.
  12. A new fence has been built around the property of C H Wardell in the rear of Washington Hall. W A Fountain, Jr furnished the labor.
  13. We acknowledge the receipt of a map from Amzi T Dodd, of Long Branch, showing the different points reached by way of the Central R R of New Jersey. Please except (sic) thanks for same.
  14. Dr C Knecht has removed his heater from his house and W A Fountain has contracted to put in a Furman steam heater, which is expected to give much better results than the one just removed.
  15. On Monday night as Garret Hendrickson was leaning back in a chair on the stoop of Conover's restaurant, his weight proved too much for one of the large glass windows and the top of the chair went through it.
  16. The meeting of the Commissioners announced for Saturday evening last was attended by only three members, one less than a quorum. It was decided to have the next meeting on Saturday, July 25, at the usual hour and place.
  17. Mr E H Dominick has a copy of The Lord's Prayer printed in fifty-three different languages. It was compiled by F A Strale of New York in 1811 and has been in the possession of Mr Dominick since that time. It is certainly a curiosity.
  18. The evangelist, Lavinia A Browne, was married on Monday at Little Silver to Mr Joseph Anderson of Atlantic Highlands. Mrs Browne-Anderson will continue her evangelistic work while her husband is in college preparing himself for the ministry.
  19. A number of farmers in this vicinity were noticed going to the seashore on Saturday morning last with empty tubs and rakes. Upon their return in the evening their tubs were filled with hard clams, and in addition to having a day's recreation they were amply remunerated for their long drive.
  20. Rev C I Percy and Mr P V Hyer engaged in a croquet game on Monday evening on Dr Knecht's grounds. Chinese lanterns made light for the occasion and the grounds presented a picturesque appearance. The game was hotly contested and resulted in a draw, after more than an hour's play.
  21. The Midway Shooting Club of this place will meet the Perth Amboy Gun Club on the latter's ground on Saturday and shoot a friendly team match. The contest will begin at 1 pm and will be at live birds. The opposing teams will consist of at least eight and possibly ten men and the Midways hope to carry off the honors.
  22. Potatoes, tomatoes, apples, corn, peppers, cabbage and other early produce have been going to the market in large quantities this week. The first of the week tomatoes brought $3.50 a crate, but on Thursday they were quoted at $1.59@$3. Potatoes range from $1.75@$2, and apples from 75c@$1.50, Nyacks bringing $2.50.
  23. The present week has been a joyous one for the country people. Different localities have made up parties and visited the shores of Raritan Bay for a pleasant time in bathing, boating, etc. On Thursday several load of children from the neighborhood of Ticetown passed through town bent on a day's outing at Cliffwood.
  24. If any of our readers have last week's copy of The Journal at hand and can spare it they will confer a favor by sending it to this office.  We have a call for several copies which are wanted to send to friends of Miss Ida Faye. The demand last week was an unusually large one and our edition was exhausted before all our friends were supplied.
  25. Assessor Bedle has about finished  his visits to taxpayers. Only a few property-owners have not handed in their schedule and in case this is not done soon the assessment will be made and if deductions should afterward be claimed the application will have to be made to the State Board of Assessors, which will probably meet in this county some time next month.
  26. William P Malcolmson, who was said to have been committed to the Reform School July 16 by Judge Conover, is still at liberty. The Judge was not satisfied that the Reform School was the proper place for a boy of his age and the matter was laid over for a week. On Thursday the hearing was again laid over in order that the father of the boy could be present at the proceedings.
  27. Charles Gehlhaus has lost two cows this week. The first one died Sunday morning and the other Tuesday afternoon. It is supposed that there must have been something wrong in the food given them, as both died in the same manner. Both cows were buried near by in Straub's barnyard. Last week Mr Gehlhaus also lost a horse, and his cup of  bad luck seems to be running over.
  28. Mr Antisell has sold his first piano, manufactured in Matawan, to the Baptist Sunday school of this place. The instrument is an upright in style and finished in the best manner known to the trade. Its tone is superior to any we have heard and we have no doubt as soon as its merits become known in the East the demand for the Antisell piano will be greater than the anticipation of the manufacturers.
  29. Nothing of importance was done at the special meeting of the Township Committee on Saturday evening last. After a half hour's talk it was decided to adjourn until Wednesday and go over the new road and what was still required to be done. The plans for the new bridge as prepared by the county will be used by the Township in building its part of the bridge, thus making the entire bridge uniform in material used and mode of construction.
  30. Sebastian Miller, of New York, a man noted as an athlete, wrestler, and heavy lifter, visited the Aberdeen Inn on Tuesday, in company with Mr Wickert, of Keyport. While there he showed his strength by breaking a cobblestone into pieces with his hand doubled up. In appearance he is a rather short man but powerfully built. It is said that he will give an Exhibition in the Armory, Keyport, in about a fortnight, which will be under the auspices of the athletic club of that place.
  31. We are informed that Ruliff Quackenbush will soon put on stages between Keyport and the railroad station in opposition to the horse railroad company. He has been thinking over the project for some time and the one thing in the past that has deterred him from doing it before was that he believed the Matawan patrons of the horse railroad would be very apt to continue with the railroad. He now, however, has reached the conclusion that the people riding from this section will bestow their patronage on him and for that reason is going to give it a trial. 
  32. As J L M Dominick was making a delivery at the piano factory on Wednesday he left his horse standing along the public road. The animal was attracted by some foliage on the bushes and crossed the road to get it. Just at this point there is a five foot ditch and as he was about to step into it he was stopped by Dr Knecht, who was passing at that instant. It was fortunate for Jerry that that the doctor came along as he did, as the horse would have fared badly in another minute, and his loss would have been a severe one.

1. - There was a Charles Schanck, born about 1836, who was enumerated in Matawan in the 1860 Federal Census. He was living with Mary A Cook and her daughter Gertrude, and what appears to have been Charles's mother, Hager Schanck, born about 1801.
   - There was a Charles Schenck, born about 1835, enumerated in Marlboro in 1870 as a farm laborer. He had a wife Elizabeth and a 15 yr old son Charles.
    - There was a Charles Schanck, born about 1840, enumerated in Marlboro in 1880 as a farm laborer in the household of Vanderbilt Whitlock. He had a wife Elizabeth.
    - John V P Schanck was Schanck the Grocer (wholesale and retail), of Matawan, who advertised in The Matawan Journal in the 1880s and early 1890s. He had a son Charles W Schanck born about 1867.
2. - There was a Andrew J Jackson, born Dec 1842 in New York, physician, living on Main Street in Matawan in the 1900 Federal Census. A Kensington cart was likely an electric car manufactured by the Kensington Automobile Company, of Buffalo, NY, which made cars from 1899 to 1904.
3. - Oriental lectures in the Baptist church would likely have been Sunday school classes teaching about the Holy Lands or mission work in the Far East. There was an Oriental Lectures Bureau selling Sunday school materials on West 23rd Street in New York in 1887. And there was an Oriental Lectures Bureau at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, undated.
4. - Benjamin P Cooper, carpenter, was born about 1817 in New Jersey. He lived in Raritan (Keyport)  and then in Matawan until his death.
8. - Elwood Hopkins, born Dec 1851, appeared in the 1900 Federal Census living with his widowed mother, Lucy Hopkins, born Mar 1828. Also in the household was Elwood's sister, Dora Hopkins, born Dec 1855. No one in the household was working in 1900.
9. - Henry Holland, born Nov 1853, stationary engineer, appeared in the 1900 Federal Census in Matawan. He listed himself as married sixteen years, but there was no wife, only a son, Robert.
10 - I found an online copy of the May 1891 edition of Butterick's The Delineator .
11. - There was a farmer named James H Cottrell, born about 1830, with wife Patricia Ann, living in Marlboro in the 1860 and 1880 Federal Censuses.
12. - Charles H Wardell, bank cashier, born about 1838, appeared in the 1880 and 1900 censuses in Matawan along with his wife, Mary. They were living with his mother-in-law, Charlotte Simpson, in 1880.
12. and 14. - William A Fountain, born Apr 1839, ran a hardware store in Matawan.
13. - Amzi Dodd, born about 1867, was the son and namesake of the owner of Dodd's Express, a baggage handling service in the New York City area. He was attending college and living with his father in New York City in the 1880 Federal Census. The 1900 Federal Census showed him living in Ocean, NJ, where he was enumerated as the superintendent of Dodd's Express. There are a number of letters to the editor and even a dedicated article (Express Nuisance) in The New York Times complaining bitterly about the New York Transfer Company, of which Dodd's Express was part. The company would lose or steal from people's baggage. There was an article in The Hartford Weekly Times claiming that one of the company's drivers conspired with thieves to steal from postal bags between the port and the post office. A company cashier committed suicide by taking morphine, again as reported by The NY Times.
14. - Cyrus Knecht was a physician in Matawan in the 1900 Federal Census. He was born in Sep 1851 in Pennsylvania. He was a physician in Easton, PA in the 1880 Federal Census. He was the doctor who treated a knife wound after a pool room fight on Main Street in 1929. He died in 1934 and was buried at Green Grove Cemetery in Keyport. (See 12 above re W A Fountain.)
15. - Garret Hendrickson, born about 1838 in NJ, was son of John S and Eleanor Hendrickson. Garret lived with his father, a farmer in Raritan Township, in the 1850 Federal Census. He was a clerk in a mill living in the household of David Craig, a merchant in Matawan, in the 1860 Federal Census. He was married and back in his father's household, a $26,000 farm in Holmdel that used the Matawan post office, in the 1870 Federal Census. And he was a store clerk living with his father-in-law, Benjamin E Griggs, the tax assessor in Matawan, in the 1880 Federal Census.
15. The 2 Aug 1890 edition of The Matawan Journal announced the Saturday 27 July 1890 opening of W H Conover's restaurant and dining rooms adjoining the Journal's offices. William H Conover, born about 1837 in NJ, was enumerated in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census as a farmer. He had a wife and three daughters living with him at the time.
17. - Edward H Dominick, born about 1811 in New York, was a watch repairman when he was enumerated in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census. Also in his household was his 45 year old housekeeper (Alice Compton) and his 7 month old son (Amsey Dominick).
17. - Frederick A Strale, born about 1795 in Stockholm, Sweden, paper maker, 5' 10" tall, hazel eyes, brown eyes, dark hair, enlisted in the 5th Infantry Regiment (US Army), Company D, on 17 March 1820. He became an artificer in light artillery. (The 5th Infantry notably built a fort at the mouth of the Minnesota River during this time, laying the groundwork for the construction of Minneapolis-St Paul.) He graduated Uppsala University in 1809, and then graduated Andover Theological Seminary, Andover, Massachusetts in 1827. He was ordained an evangelical Presbyterian minister on 16 September 1829 at New Lebanon, NY. (This town was home to the New Lebanon Conference, where Presbyterian leaders challenged the preaching methods of Charles Finney at the peak of the Second Great Awakening.) Strale, late of Chenango, Broome County, NY, had died recently when a public notice to creditors was placed in The Broome Republican at Binghamton, NY on 11 Oct 1832. I suspect the Lord's Prayer was assembled by Rev Strale but not in 1811, which coincidentally was Edward Dominick's approximate year of birth. Strale was likely still in Stockholm in 1811.
20. - Rev C. L. Percy preached at the First Baptist Church in Matawan from January 1890 to October 1894, according to a 1904 history of Baptists in the area. He conducted a wedding in Matawan on 21 Feb 1894, according to the 28 Feb 1894 edition of The Red Bank Register. He accepted a call to a Baptist church in Deposit, NY, starting his new charge on 1 November 1894, according to Christian Work, vol 54, published in 1894.
20. - Peter V Hyer, born about 1839, lived in Holmdel with his wife Julia in the 1860 Federal Census and used the Matawan Post Office. He had a $15,000 farm in Holmdel in the 1870 Federal Census. And he was a farmer in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census.
21. - The Midway Shooting Club's founding was announced in the 2 Oct 1875 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 4). "A company of gentlemen from Matawan and vicinity, who are fond of the sport connected to the gun," rented the hall above the stores in the Rose Building across the street from the Episcopal church on Main Street, Matawan, for their new club.
22. - The Nyack pippin or Champlain apple was an obscure form of Sweet Bough dessert apple grown in New Jersey and Delaware in the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was thought to have originated in Vermont or New York. Reference the Bulletin of the US Bureau of the Plant Industry, 1907; The Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the New Jersey Horticultural Society, 1876; and The Western Fruit Book, by Franklin Reuben Elliott, 1859, reprinted.
24. - Ida Faye, born about 1857, was one of three single adult daughters of the widow Jane Faye, born about 1820. They were all living together in their mother's Matawan household in the 1880 Federal Census. The newspaper she wanted extra copies of, the 18 Jul 1891 edition of The Matawan Journal, included a story on pg 2 col 3 about a farewell reception held at the Baptist church for Ida Faye, MD, who would be departing in August for missionary work in India.
27. - Charles Gehlhaus, born about 1842 in Germany, was a baker enumerated in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census, along with wife Caroline and eight children. His son Otto was boarding in Keansburg as a real estate salesman in the 1930 Federal Census. He reported that his father was born in Hamburg, Germany and his mother in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
28. - The T M Antisell Piano Company of Matawan manufactured the patent steel wrest plank tuning device and high grade pianos recognized with awards in New Orleans and Melbourne, according to an 1891 advertisement in the Music Trade Review. It employed 20 persons in Matawan in 1909, according to the Industrial Directory of New Jersey, 1909. The Red Bank Register, 8 May 1901, reported that Matawan residents had invested $2,000 towards the establishment of a foundry, due to open 1 June 1901, called the Matawan Steel and Iron Company. The foundry would be located in the old Antisell piano factory.
30. -  An article at Muscles of Iron says Sebastian Miller was born in January 1862 and came to the US in 1887.
- Wrestling Observer contains research on events involving Sebastian Miller mentioned in issues of The Brooklyn Eagle between 1888 and 1902.
- The 1910 Federal Census shows Sebastian Miller, born about 1862 in Germany, living at 122 4th Street in Manhattan. Terese Miller, born about 1858 in Germany, was his second wife, this being their second year of marriage. Sebastian was a saloon proprietor. He claimed to have immigrated to the US in 1887 and that he was a naturalized citizen.
- The 1920 Federal Census shows Sebastian Miller, born about 1862 in Germany, living at 3019 North Clark Street in Chicago. His wife Theresa and nephew Joseph Miller were living in the household. Sebastian was a tailor. Sebastian claimed to have immigrated to the US in 1886 and that he was naturalized in 1895.   
- A Sebastian Miller, born about 1862 in Germany, came to America in steerage as a mason in December 1881 aboard the SS Switzerland, which sailed from Antwerp, Belgium to New York City.
- A Sebastian Miller, born about 1862 in Germany, last residence Munich, came to America in 2nd cabin as a machinist in December 1892 destined for New York aboard the S S Spaarndam, which he boarded at Rotterdam to New York City.
31. - Ruliff Quackenbush, born about 1816 in New Jersey, was enumerated in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census. He was a laborer. His wife was Cecelia, also born in 1816 in NJ.
32. - Jared M Dominick, born about 1851 in New York, was enumerated in Matawan in the 1880 Federal Census. He was an expressman. His wife was Sarah and his infant daughter was named Mary.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

History: Strand Theater Owner Arrested (1973)

 The owner of the Strand Theater on West Front Street in Keyport was arrested on Monday 5 March 1973 by members of the Monmouth County prosecutor's office and the Keyport police on obscenity charges related to his plan to show the infamous film Deep Throat that evening.

The movie had become the subject of a national controversy soon after it was released in June 1972. Some called it porno chic, an adult film with higher production values and an actual plot, however contrived, and prominent television and movie stars were admitting having seen it, while others labeled it as worthless smut. The women's movement both applauded and decried the film.

The New York City movie house that was showing the film to large audiences was taken to criminal court in December 1972, raising the visibility of the film still further. The conviction on obscenity charges in New York, including the harsh condemnation of the film by Judge Joel Tyler, propelled the film to must-see status. This is what drew the crowds to Keyport, but also drew the attention of local authorities. The New York conviction prompted Newark authorities to confiscate Deep Throat mid-showing that same Monday evening.

Anthony "Big Tony" Peraino, of the Colombo crime family, funded the making of the film and facilitated its distribution to small movie houses. He and his sons, Butch and Joseph, "are considered pioneers in the American pornography industry, according to the 23 Oct 1993 edition of The Sun Sentinel. Assistant US Attorney Phillip DiRosa said "they are thought to be among the top 20 producers and distributors of pornography in the United States. 'Joseph, Anthony and Louis Peraino all became millionaires as a result of Deep Throat,' a report of the 1986 President's Commission on Pornography says. 'They used profits from the film to build a vast financial empire in the 1970s that included ownership of garment companies in New York and Miami, investment companies, a 65-foot yacht in the Bahamas, 'adults-only' pornographic theaters in Los Angeles and record and music publishing companies on the East and West coasts.'"

Edward Wilson, of Matawan, the owner of the Strand Theater, said he had switched to adult films about 1970 because he couldn't compete against the national chains for the family audience. Unable to tap the large regional audience attending his showings, Wilson predicted that this event signaled the end of having a movie house in Keyport. The theater eventually closed, became a bank, and is now a storefront church.

The headline in the 8 Mar 1973 edition of The Matawan Journal read: Strand Theater Owner Arrested; 'Throat' Is Cut."

Aberdeen Brag Rag

Aberdeen Township's occasional newsletter arrived in the mail today to tout the Council's achievements prior to the November election. Seems like free campaign advertising for the mayor and the other two incumbents. They are well funded, given all the wooden signs they've erected around town promoting their campaign, but I guess they feel free to use taxpayer monies to fund a last minute brag rag.

I was surprised that they featured the project to replace the glass plant, which has been sitting decaying for decades and was still there last I looked. They were wise to omit the train station project.

If you like how smooth your road is, vote for them. I plan to vote against them all this year, hopeful to remove at least one of them and the Democratic lock on power on the Council. Given their incumbency and funding, though, I suspect the Dems are here to stay.

UPDATE: One of the Aberdeen Council candidates posted a detailed comment at the Matawan-Aberdeen Patch regarding the impact of the Glass Works project housing plans on the school district and property taxes.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How Long Liberty?

The Statue of Liberty was still lit at 12:01 am on Tuesday 1 October 2013. Wonder how long that will last after tonight's government shutdown? How long will our liberty last with a Congress like this?