A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

History: Charles M Applegate Moves to Freneau (1901)

The 28 Nov 1901 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Charles M Applegate and his wife would be moving in with their daughter and son in law, Mr and Mrs E Hartenstein, in Freneau. Well known in the region, "Dad" Applegate had been operating a hotel at the mouth of Cheesequake Creek for over forty years. He had held a public sale of their effects at the hotel the previous Thursday.

An Applegate family tree at Ancestry showed Charles M and Mary B (Moore) Applegate had a number of children, including a daughter Lois who married Edward Hartenstein on 5 May 1896 in New York City. The Hartensteins purchased the Mansion House hotel in Montclair and operated it for about five years, according to Edward's obituary. (They were enumerated in Montclair in the 1900 Federal Census.) The Hartensteins sold their hotel for a profit and relocated to Freneau, where they operated another hotel. Edward had a stroke in Oct 1904 and died the following June.

The Applegate family tree showed Charles as the son of William and Matilda (Wood) Applegate. The family tree showed the Applegate line tracing back to Thomas Applegate, who was born about 1664 in Gravesend, New York and died in Perth Amboy about 1744.

The Matawan Journal made much of Charles running a hotel at the mouth of Cheesequake Creek, but his role in running the place seems to have been less than 20 years, not 40 years. The hotel was an Applegate family business, according to Charles' obituary, and had been running for about a century at the time of Charles' death.

The US Census showed Charles' parents running a hotel in South Amboy, presumably in Morgan in the part of the township that in 1876 became Sayreville, where Charles was enumerated in the 1880 Federal Census. The evidence doesn't suggest that Charles had anything to do with the family hotel as late as 1880. After their mother died in 1873, Charles' brother Ernest M Applegate took over the hotel. Ernest (44 NJ) was running the hotel in 1880, according to the census. Charles' brother, Wood W Applegate, aka Wynant Wood Applegate, was running the hotel at the time of Charles' death in 1905.

The 1850 Federal Census showed Charles Applegate (23 NJ), wife Mary (24 NJ) and son Richard L (2/10 NJ) living in South Amboy. Charles was a farmer with $3,000 in property. William Applegate (53 NJ), wife Matilda (46 NJ), and daughters Catharine (22 NJ), Elsie (16 NJ) and Mary (14 NJ) were enumerated in the previous household. William was a tavern keeper with $1,000 in property.

The 1870 Federal Census showed the widow Matilda Applegate (76 NJ) was keeping a hotel in South Amboy. Enumerated nearby was Charles Applegate (41 NJ), wife Mary (38 NJ), and children Lloyd (19 NJ), Stanton (16 NJ), Mary (12 NJ), Lois (10 NJ) and Charles (9 NJ). Charles and son Lloyd were oystermen.

The 1880 Federal Census showed Charles Applegate (54 NJ) as a fisherman in Sayreville. Also in the household was his wife, Mary B Applegate (52 NJ), and sons Richard (28 NJ) and Jacob E S (10 NJ).

Both Charles Applegate and Edward Hartenstein died in 1905, according to the Applegate family tree. Charles' obituary appeared on the front page of the 30 Mar 1905 edition of The Matawan Journal. A transcript of Edward's obituary from the front page of the 22 Jun 1905 edition of The Matawan Journal appears at Find A Grave.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

History: Benjamin Foulois Visits Sandy Hook (1909)

Tests at Sandy Hook on Balloons

"First Lieutenant Benjamin D Foulois, of the signal corps, has been ordered from Washington to duty in connection with the proposed tests of firing field artillery and small arms at captive balloons to be held at Sandy Hook Proving Grounds.

The experiment will be for the purpose of demonstrating the theory that modification in the present type of field artillery is necessary in operations against balloons. The resisting power of the balloon will be observed."

Source: The Matawan Journal, 25 Nov 1909 edition.

Foulois (left) with Orville Wright. (1909)
Benjamin Delahauf Foulois (1889 - 1967) played a major role in evaluating the role of fixed wing air power in American war-making. He arranged the purchase of the first test planes for the military from the Wright brothers in 1908. Within a year he concluded the US military should acquire airplanes and began to recommend moving away from lighter than air vehicles like dirigibles. Those who supported balloons for the military were displeased with his outspoken criticism.

He served as navigator on a record breaking flight (speed, altitude and distance) at the end of July 1909.  Foulois went to College Park, Maryland in October 1909 and took flying lessons from Orville Wright.

It was in this context that Foulois was sent to New Jersey to study the use of artillery against stationary dirigibles instead of learning to fly in suburban DC. Apparently those seeing a bright future for balloons arranged the trip for him.

The Signal Corps had important operations in New Jersey and Maryland at the time, and since the Signal Corps were playing such a major role in studying air power, travel between College Park and Sandy Hook by Foulois seems logical and reasonable. It might also shed some light on the development of Aeromarine at Keyport. It is hard to imagine details of US military weapons testing appearing in the local papers today.

As an aside, the 1900 Federal Census showed Corporal Benjamin D Foulois stationed at Sogod, Cebu, in the Philippines with Company G of the 19th Infantry Division, US Army, in connection with the Philippine Insurrection. In the wake of the US acquisition of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War, an independence movement developed in the Philippines and Foulois ended up there soon after his enlistment.

Foulois would eventually attain the rank of Major General.

Monday, November 25, 2013

History: Main Street, Matawan in 1910 Federal Census (1910)

The 1910 Federal Census recorded the following heads of household and employed members of household with a Main Street address in the Borough of Matawan.

Each person below was reported as white unless indicated otherwise. No building numbers were provided. The numbers below represent the order of enumerator visitations. More than one family can be captured in a single visit, although this is rare.

This listing does not include Lower Main Street addresses.

1) Mary (68 NJ), Gertrude (60 NJ) and Helen (58 NJ) Strong were sisters living in the same household. Helen was an artist who painted.
2) Frank H Slater (54 NJ) was a druggist.
3) Herbert A Bushnell (54 NY) was a travelling salesman for a quarry. His son James Bushnell (20 NJ) was an electrician for the railroad. His step-son Harold Powelson (25 CT) was a paying teller for a bank.
4) Sadie Lupton (45 NJ) had a son Roland W Lupton (16 NJ) who was a messenger for a broker's office. Her step-son Arthur B White (22 NY) was a bookkeeper for Standard Oil Co.
5) Henry Arrowsmith (65 NJ) operated an undertaker business.
6) Benjamin C Lippincott, Jr (43 OR) was a clergyman.
7) George A Fountain (70 NJ) operated a printing and paper cutting company.
8) Alonzo White, Jr (33 NJ) operated a plumbing business.
9) Charles A Geran (65 NJ) operated a retail hardware store. His son Elmer H Geran (34 NJ) was a lawyer. His son-in-law Arris B Henderson (40 NJ) managed a lithography establishment.
10) Adell Bissell (59 NJ) had a son Edsell Bissell (36 NJ) who was a confidential clerk at a bank.
11) Frederick Lupton (70 England) ran a granite and marble company. His son-in-law, Stephen C Thompson (47 NJ), owned sailing vessels.
12) James E Voorhees (28 NJ) was a bookkeeper in a bank. He and his wife had a boarder named Frank M Levett (32 NY) who was a manufacturer of silver polish etc.
13) Clinton C Straughn (37 NJ) was a physician.
14) Benjamin E Griggs (62 NJ) ran a grocery. He and his wife had a housekeeper named Harriet E Brown (62 NJ).
15) William A Arthur (65 VT) was an optician.
16) Almira B Stoddard (49 NJ) ran a retail confectioner business. Her brother, W H Barclay (36 NJ) was a traveling salesman for a paper house.
17) George B Shepherd (47 NJ) managed a grocery.
18) William B Duncan (46 NY) was a retail merchant at a commission (perhaps a commission house). His brother in law, Frederick W Maags (40 NJ), worked with baggage with the railroad.
19) Charles Heyl, (40 Germany) and Frederick Meyer (35 NJ) were partners in running a bakery. A boarder named August Ludwig (18 Germany) worked as a baker.
20) Henry H Longstreet (52 NJ) lived on his own income. Mary Sullivan (43 NJ) was a servant in the household.
21) Samuel Jacobson (30 Russia - Hebrew) was a retail clothing merchant. Boarder Morris Shapiro (22 Russia - Hebrew) was a retail fruit and confections merchant. Boarder Esther Barcan (18 Russia - Hebrew) worked as a clerk in a fruit and confections shop.
22) James Fury (44 NJ) ran a hotel. He had four employees and three boarders.
     Employees: Joseph Litkett (19 Puerto Rico - Black) was a waiter. Jacob H Gruby (35 Dutch West Indies - Black) was the cook. Gruby's wife Eliza (27 DC - Black) was a chambermaid. William Carney (20 NJ) was an attendant.
     Boarders: Robert Burns (26 NJ) was a chauffeur for a private family. Barteness Antisell (36 CA) was a foreman at a buff factory. Edward L Lisk (35 NJ) was a pottery manufacturer.
23) Charles J Matz (35 Austria) ran a tailor shop. A boarder named Antonio A Moran (20 Italy) was a tailor.
24) Robert Armellio (33 Italy) ran a shoe shop.
25) Jarret S Harris (61 NJ) was an agent at the Express Co. His son George M Harris (29 NJ) was a retail hardware merchant.
26) William H Tuthill (43 NJ) was vice president of the bank.
27) Nathan Ervin (47 NJ) was a physician.
28) Mrs Lucy Hopkins (83 NJ) had a son Edward B Hopkins (56 NJ) who was a gardener.
29) Andrew J Cartan (44 NJ) ran a grocery.
30) Theodore H Sickles (37 NJ) was a freight agent for the railroad.
31) Norman S Tice (31 NJ) was a ticket agent for the railroad.
32) Barteness Tice (57 NJ) was a farmer. His son William H Tice (28 NJ) ran a harness shop.
33) Abram P Thompson (55 NJ) was captain of a sailing vessel. His sister-in-law Sarah V Woolley (52 NJ) lived in the household.
34) Catharine Wilson (37 NJ) lived on her own income.
35) Jesse M Coddington (29 NJ) was an agent with the Express Co.
36) Catherine F Foley (42 NJ) was a seamstress.
37) Katherine Baldwin (26 NY) had a sister Jennie Keys (29 NY) who was a forewoman at the canning factory.
41) Joshua T Clowes (48 NJ) ran a confectionary.
42) Mary E Hayward (66 NJ) lived on her own income. Two public school teachers boarded with her: Lula Huntley (27 NY) and Daisy S Knauss (28 PA).
43) Delia Farry (70 NY) lived on her own income.
44) Lawrence Cartan (37 NJ) was a partner in a coal and lumber business. His brother Garrett Cartan (34 NJ) was a clerk in a grocery and dry goods store.
45) George J Linzmayer (44 Austria) ran a meat market.
46) Michael J O'Hara (38 NJ) was an engineer with the railroad. His mother in law, Mary Verbeck, was a nurse for private families.
47) Louis Macholl (43 Germany) was a barber in his own shop.
48) George Keller (31 NY) was a foreman in a foundry. His wife Emma Keller (30 NY) ran a confectionery.
49) Antonio Di Santo (46 Italy) was a shoemaker in his own shop.
50) Edwin Craven (57 NJ) was a house painter. His son James L Craven (27 NJ) was a carpenter. Samuel Thorne (30 NJ) boarded with the Cravens; he was a well digger.
51) Charles E Close (49 NJ) was a brick manufacturer. His daughter Marguerite Close (21 NJ) was a stenographer at the brick yard.
52) Bert R Cartledge (48 NH) ran a hotel. William Graham (30 NJ) was the hotel bartender.
53) William A Close (57 NY) ran a coal and lumber business. His father in law, William A Fountain (70 NJ), was a real estate agent and insurance agent.
54) William A Kennedy (29 NJ) ran a hotel. His mother in law, Eliza Kaufer (67 Switzerland) lived in the household, as did a boarder named Thomas W Watson (42 NJ), who was a brakeman for the railroad. 
55) William Clayton (39 NJ) was a laborer at a coal yard. His son William Clayton (16 NJ) was a laborer at a crate factory.
73) One family included Harry O Walters (25 NJ), who was a painter. A second family included Holmes Hallarin (20 NJ), who was a clerk with the railroad.
74) Samuel Taylor (31 NC - Black) was a laborer at a brick yard. His wife Ella Taylor (27 VA - Black) did housework for a private family. Henry Bush (32 NC - Black) was a boarder in the Taylor household. Bush was also a laborer in a brick yard.
75) Mary Barney (49 NJ) did housework for a private family. Her brother, John Barney (38 NJ) was a laborer for a contractor.
76) Harry B Hulsart (34 NJ) was a contractor. The Beers family boarded with the Hulsarts. Nathan Beers (50 NJ) was a carpenter; Harold Beers (19 NJ) was a laborer at a livery stable; and Cecil Beers (16 NJ) was a laborer at a foundry.
148) Catherine Boice (52 NJ) ran a boarding house.Her son, John D Boice (21 NJ) was a farm laborer. John Kennedy (52 Canada) boarded with the Boices. He was a driver for a pottery business.
149) Anna Cogan (51 OH) had a son, Richard Cogan (28 NJ), who was a clerk at a grocery. Another son, Thomas Cogan (23 NJ), was a car wiper for the railroad. Her son John Cogan (20 NJ) was a farm laborer.
150) Agnes A Emmons (63 NJ) had a daughter, Rose L Emmons (26 NJ), who was a dressmaker. Her daughter Maud E Emmons (22 NJ) did housework for a private family.
151) Deborah Lowe (73 NJ) had a son, Richard F Lowe (42 NJ), who was a blacksmith. She had a daughter, Julia Van Brunt (37 NJ), who was a seamstress.
152) George S Longstreet (47 NJ) was a mate on a sailing vessel. His daughter, May Longstreet (18 NJ), was a buff maker in a factory.
153) Charlotte Smith (50 NJ) had a son, Charles Smith (25 NJ), who was a carpenter.
154) George K Maghan (24 NJ) was a shipping clerk at a buffing factory. His brother in law, Stephen C Warne (), was a bookkeeper at a table water business.
155) Charles S Tunis (28 NJ) was a carpenter.
156) Thomas S Floh (51 NJ) was a painter.
157) Fritz Weber (40 NJ) ran a grocery.
158) Louis Tice (37 NJ) was a driver for a pottery business.
159) William D Bailey (67 NY) and his son in law, William S Lisk (45 NJ), were partners in a sash and blind factory. (Listed as on Lloyd Road)
160) Eliza Carter (34 VA - Black) had three children and a nephew but listed no occupation.
161) Obediah T Geran (67 NJ) and his son Winfield E Geran (40 NJ) were tinsmiths.
162) Harry W Bolte (39 NY) was vice president of a foundry company. His brother in law, Adam A Banke (24 NY), was a bronzing decorator at a foundry.
163) George W Davison (26 NJ) was a clerk at the railroad. His father, Samuel M Davison (61 NJ) was a clerk at a grocery.
164) George M Stevens (41 NJ) was a freight agent at the railroad. His cousin, Emma Greer (57 NJ) was a nurse to private families.
165) William H Ward (54 NJ) was a painter.
166) Walter Thompson (35 NJ) worked at home as a chair caner.
167) Holmes Lambertson (28 NJ) was a farm laborer.
168) Clarkson Boyce (65 NJ) lived on his own income.
169) Mary O'Connor (60 Ireland) was a widow with two very young boarders, May and Richard Stokes (3 NY and 2 NY). Also in her household was her mother in law, Margaret Bungue (80 Ireland) and brother in law, Mark O'Connor (50 Ireland), who was a farm laborer.
176) Mary Kelly (60 NJ) had a daughter Mary G Kelly (26 NJ), who was a buff maker at a buff factory.
177) Christian Heuser (36 NJ) was a merchant at a produce commission.
178) William Walley (50 NY) was a label cutter.
179) Levinia E Conkling (40 NJ) listed no income.
180) Wesley K H Shafto (30 NJ) was a pottery manufacturer.
181) Patience A Cottrell (76 NJ) was a widow with her own income. Her daughter, Laura P Cottrell (43 NJ), was a public school teacher. George O'Connor (31 NJ), his wife Bertha (29 NY) and their daughter Mabel (10 NY) were boarders. George was a salesman at a clothing house.
182) Silas P Tomkins (79 NJ) was a clerk in the post office.
183) Francis C Bedle (62 NJ) was a horse dealer and farmer. His son Theron Bedle (34 NJ) was a bank clerk. His son in law, Alonzo Walling (34 NJ) was the managing clerk at a fountain pen company. George J Martin (51 NY) was employed by Francis as a farm laborer.
185) Irving Cady (65 NY) was a gardener. The Cadys had a boarder, a widow named Lucy Lambert (70 NY).
186) James Van Schoick (51 NJ) was a laborer at a pottery business. His wife Lillian (45 NJ) worked at home as a seamstress.
187) Wilson H Lisk (64 NJ) and his son Emerson J Lisk (26 NJ) were carpenters.
188) George O Maghan (60 NJ) was a wholesale produce merchant.
189) William B Stillwagon (30 NJ) was a brakeman for the railroad. His sister in law, Maud M Woolley (31 NJ),  was a machine operator at a buff factory.
190) Lewis H Boyce (38 NJ) was a railroad engineer. The Boyces had two boarders: Laura K Bergen (50 NJ) and Bessie Stewart (23 NY), a public school teacher.
191) Jacob Mayer (51 Germany) was a laborer in a basket factory.
192) George H Eastman (38 NJ) was a carpenter in a sash and blind factory. The Eastmans had a boarder named William Van Dorn (34 NJ) was a driver for a pottery business.
193) Mary M Black (61 NJ) and her daughter Sarah W Black (30 NJ) listed no occupations or income.
194) John H Walling (50 NJ) was a carpenter. His wife, Sarah E Walling (45 NJ), worked at home as a dressmaker. Their daughter, Ida G Walling (20 NJ), was a stenographer at a buff factory. The Wallings' boarder, Americus Bell (60 NJ), lived on his own income.
195) Oscar Suydam (41 NJ - Black) was a farm laborer. The Suydams' boarder, Leila Bell (18 VA - Black), was a servant who did housework. The Suydams also had an adopted daughter named Nettie Reeves (10 NJ - Black).
220) Isaiah S Lewis (57 NJ) was a carpenter. His mother in law, Cecelia A Quackenbush (95 NJ) and a nurse, Christiana Cottrell (73 NJ), lived in the household.
221) Clifford W Hulsart (48 NJ) was manager and part owner of a sash factory. His wife, Alma Hulsart (47 NJ), worked at home as a seamstress. Their son Myron A Hulsart (22 NJ) was a claim agent with the railroad. Their son Frank W Hulsart (20 NJ) was a brakeman with the railroad.
222) Mary Van Schoick (59 NJ) lived on her own income.
223) Samuel Bower (47 PA) was a clergyman.
224) William V Clark (58 NJ) lived on his own income.
225) The Matawan Military Academy - teachers and students
248) Edwin I Stearns (33 PA) was a clergyman.
249) Sidney B Eggleston (33 CT) was a manufacturer of --- plates (partially illegible). The Egglestons had a servant named Helen G Powers (17 NJ).
250) Charles Carman (56 NY) was a brick manufacturer. The Carmans' daughters, Mary G Carman (30 NJ) and Anna M Carman (22 NJ), were teachers. Thomas N Avery (73 NY), Charles' father in law, lived on his own income.
251) Martin A White (59 NJ) was a retail grocer.
252) Edward Farry (42 NJ) was a broker. His wife Louise Farry (34 NJ) was a public school teacher.
253) Cyrus Knecht (58 PA) was a physician. His brother Frank Knecht (62 PA) was a photographer. The Knechts had a servant named Ellen Higgins (60 NY).
254) Wilburt Cox (45 DE) was an oil company branch manager.
255) Jesse L Hulsart (27 NJ) was a coachman for an undertaker.
256) William E Arrowsmith (58 NJ) was an undertaker.
257) Alexander Gaston (73 NJ) was living on his own income. The Gastons had a servant named Stella Washington (25 NJ - Black).
258) Widow Margaret V Bray (79 NJ) and Harriet W Bray (40 NJ), her daughter, were living on their own income. Gertrude A Beers (25 NJ), a public school teacher, was boarding in the Brays' home.
259) Hong Chu (20 China) ran a laundry. Sam Chu (50 China) was employed as a launderer.
260) A multi-dwelling residence: Charles Heyer (25 NJ) was a butcher. Lawrence Craven (28 NJ) was a painter. And Eliza W Scott (81 NJ) had a son, William H Scott (42 NJ), who was a blacksmith.
261) Henry Hutchinson (53 NJ) was a baker in his own shop.
262) John P Lloyd (37 IL) was a lawyer. His cousin, Howard F Lloyd (33 NJ), was a public school principal. The Lloyds had a servant named Barbara Miller (30 NC - Black).
263) Charlotte B Horner (70 NJ) lived with two grandchildren. A boarder named William A Miller (54 NY) was a public school principal.
264) William H Stillwell (50 NJ)  was a freight agent for the railroad. His daughter, Lucille W Stillwell (21 NY), worked at home as a music teacher. His son Arthur W Stillwell (18 NJ) was an office assistant at a cloth house.
265) Rosa F Schock (57 NY) and her sons, Matthias F Schock (32 NJ) and Charles C Schock (30 NJ), were partners in a retail dry goods merchant.
275) Charles H Wardell (71 NY) was a cashier with a bank.
283) Frederick S Bolte (64 Germany) was a foundry manager. The Boltes had two boarders from the foundry: Joseph Cantry (50 OH), a bronzer, and Herman Walzman (55 Germany), a moulder. 
284) John Whitlock (71 NJ) was a nurseryman. One of the Whitlocks' daughter, Eliza Fields (35 MD) was a public school teacher, and her husband, Dean Fields (35 NJ), was a farmer with no farm at present. Another daughter, Grace N Whitlock (23 NJ), was a bookkeeper for a dentist. The Whitlocks had a boarder named Ana McConaghy (37 NJ), who was a public school teacher.
285) Siblings Jennie Stillwell (56 NJ), Charles W Stillwell (52 NJ), Sarah B Stillwell (50 NJ), and Grace McN Stillwell (47 NJ) were living on their own income.
286) William V Simpson (68 NJ) was a lawyer. The Simpsons' son, Frank F Simpson (22 NJ), was an insurance agent.
291) John H Fallon (50 NJ) was living on his own income.
297) John Terhune (52 NJ) was a banker. Margaret Larkin (19 NY) was the Terhunes' servant.
298) Margaret L Terhune (45 NJ) was living on her own income. She had two Irish servants: Bridgt Kilcommings (64 Ireland) and Ellen Kelly (26 Ireland).
299) Michael Tomcavach (36 Russia - speaks Polish) was a laborer in a foundry. The Tomcavach family had a boarder named Michael Tolkovsky (19 Russia - speaks Polish) who was also a foundry laborer.
300) Harry Tompkins (38 NJ) was a retail merchant.
301) John D Van Brackle (44 NJ) was a cigar maker. His wife Fannie Van Brackle (42 NJ) was a brush maker. Their daughter Willa Van Brackle (18 NJ) was a telephone operator.
302) William E Manley (29 MN) was an iron moulder in a foundry. His brother in law, Stephen B Mayer (17 NY) was a butcher.
303) Patrick J Devlin (45 NJ) was a retail coal merchant. The Devlins had a Polish servant named Anna Shedonik (21 Russia - speaks Polish).
304) Isaac T Rue (67 NJ) was an engineer at the water works.
305) Anna C Johnson (51 NJ) listed no income.
306) Benjamin F S Brown (53 NJ) was a newspaper publisher. His son, Herbert F Brown (20 NY) was a foreman at a printing plant.
307) Lawrence Smock (46 NJ - Black) was a driver at a lumber yard. Amelia B Smock (37 NY - Black) was doing laundry for pay in her home. Lawrence was 5 years into his third marriage; his wife in her second.
308) Joseph Kroc (48 Austria)  was a potter at a pottery factory.
309) Sara E Hankins (48 NJ) listed no income, nor did her son Woodruff S Hankins (20 NJ) or her mother, Sara V Leonard (79 NJ). Sara Hankins had two boarders: John White Jr (21 NJ), who was a plumber, and Martin W Fogh (24 Denmark), who was a foreman at a tile works.
310) Sara E Hankins (58 NJ) had a son Frederick Hankins (22 NJ) who was a bookkeeper at a brick yard. Her daughters Elizabeth Embley (30 NJ) and Lavinia Seabury (36 NJ) were a stenographer and a dressmaker, respectively.
311) Eleanor S Thorne (59 NJ) and her sister Annie E Thorne (58 NJ) were living on their own income.
312) Clarkson B Conk (52 NJ) was a driver for a lumber yard. His son, Joseph T Conk (21 NJ), was a driver for the Express Co.  They had eight children, six of them living at home.
 313) Martha A Lambertson (78 NJ) was living on her own income. Her son, Alvin Lambertson (42 NJ), was a borough marshal.
314) Frank Dowreily (35 Italy) was a laborer for the railroad.
315) Angelo Sarcone (42 Italy) was a laborer for the railroad.
316) Mary E Crine (48 NJ) was a retail merchant with a confectionary. Her young niece Helen T Kilcommins (5 NJ) lived in the household.
317) Katherine Gormley (55 Ireland) was a widow with no occupation, with 8 of 14 children still living, 5 still in the household, some with extended family. Her son John Gormley (19 NJ) was a driver for a livery stable. Her son in law, Bert Arose (27 NJ), was a moulder at a foundry.
318) Charles E Van Brunt (39 NJ) was a moulder at a foundry. His wife, Katherine's daughter Amanda, worked at home at dressmaker.
319) Charles E W Davis (48 NJ) ran a hotel. The Davises had boarders: Albert Phillipe (35 NJ) was a conductor with the railroad; and Joseph Largogi (32 Germany) was a laborer at the hotel.
320) Bert Cartan (29 NJ) was a bookkeeper for a bank. The Cartans had a boarder named Holger A Eigard (28 Denmark), who was a butcher.
321) Mary E Hornor (64 NJ) was a widow.
359) Edward V Cottrell (64 NJ) was a carpenter. His daughter, Eva M Cottrell (36 NJ), was a music teacher at home. His daughter Lydia B Cottrell (28 NJ) was a bookkeeper at a hardware business.
360) Roselda Smith (50 NJ) had a son Harold G Smith (25 NJ), who was a clerk for the railroad.
361) Bennett K Eskesen (39 Denmark) was a tile manufacturer.
362) Abram J Vreeland (50 NJ) was a wholesale produce merchant. His mother in law was Anna A Heuser (72 Germany). His brother in law, George Heuser (41 NJ), was a barber with his own shop.
363) Ferdinand King (23 NJ - Black) was a laborer in a livery stable. The Kings had a boarder, William Knox (24 NJ - Black) who was also a laborer in a livery stable.
364) Isaac Coward (24 NJ) was a hostler in a livery stable. (A Hostler is a person who takes care of horses, particularly at an inn.
373) John M Griswold (62 CT) was an engineer at a factory.
380) James L Terhune (65 NJ) was a widowed banker. Terhune had a servant named Hannah Barrett (40 Ireland).
381) Margaret Merrill (38 NJ) was a widowed janitress at a public school. (A Janitress is a female janitor, an Americanism dating from the 1890s.) Her son, Walter H Bears (17 NJ) was a clerk in a grocery store.
382) John F Lisk (77 NJ) lived on his own income.
383) David Lambertson (36 NJ) and his brother Bartemus Lambertson (38 NJ) were farmers.
384) James Samuels (23 VA - Black) was a mason and his wife, Bessie Samuels (33 NJ - Black) was a laundress. His mother in law was Sarah E Suydam (65 NJ NJ NJ - Black).
385) Christopher Jeffries (27 NJ) was a Japanner at a piano factory. (A Japanner is a person who applies hard, durable black varnishes, originally from Japan, used to coat wood, metal or other surfaces. An index to occupations in the US Census, published in 1915, listed a Japanner under 329 - Painters, glaziers and varnishers at a factory.)
386) Paul Obuschowski (26 Russia - speaks Russian) was a driller at a piano factory. (Paul Obuchowski (36 Russia - speaks Polish) was a butcher in Stamford, CT in the 1920 Federal Census.)
387) Frank M Lambertson (57 NJ) was a widowed painter. His son Lester W Lambertson (17 NJ) was a farm laborer. They had a boarder named Nathaniel Dunn (34 NJ), who was a laborer at a pottery business.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

History: Temperance and The Matawan Journal (1871 - 1889)

The Matawan Journal was a strong voice for the temperance movement throughout the late 19th century. As a consequence it covered the news with a certain bias, editorialized broadly against the evils of alcohol, and  meticulously covered the various manifestations of prohibitionist agitation and organization in the county and state. While it is a great resource, keep in mind that it surely represents the opinions of only a segment of the community and contains a heavy bias. You may have to read between the lines and reverse engineer certain articles and editorials to begin to see what was really happening. 

Below are a few related pieces I found today; you will find others throughout the blog.

The 30 Sep 1871 edition of The Matawan Journal contained this harsh editorial rebuke against political machines using liquor to obtain votes during the party nomination phase of elections. The commentary followed on its coverage of a dysfunctional local party convention at the Farry hotel. When a nomination was challenged, the person running the meeting was an interested party and left the issue unaddressed, so a large group exited the convention and met outside near the hotel's stables to nominate their own committee. It was in that context that the text below followed.

"A word or two now with reference to whiskey. We saw more drunken men in Matawan last Saturday afternoon than we have seen in the six months before. It is a shame and a disgrace that we cannot select men for our public offices without a part of our citizens being turned into rum tubs, into whose mouths whiskey is poured almost like water, in the hope that by this means a nomination may be secured. What low things will be done by men wearing the garb of respectability, that they may attain to a little honor. We would rather hide honor in the grave than climb for it on the temple of ambition, if to obtain it required our wading through the streams of rum that flow every year from political whiskey barrels."

Coverage of the temperance movement included the work of the Prohibition Party, which was expected to hold its NJ state convention in Keyport on 6 Sep 1887, according to the 27 Aug 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal. This conservative third party was founded in 1869 and advocated for the prohibition of alcohol in the US. Its heyday was the years immediately after World War I and the beginning of Prohibition, then again immediately after World War II and before the Korean War. The party still exists but has been relegated to political oddity status according to Wikipedia.

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) had its own column in the Matawan Journal, as seen in its 7 Sep 1889 edition. The column listed upcoming meetings by the Matawan WCTU in the Baptist church's lecture room on 12 Sep 1889 and the Loyal Temperance Legion on 13 Sep 1889 in the Reform Club room.

A significant portion of the WCTU column was dedicated to an editorial pondering the best strategy to make progress on temperance in Matawan. A local WCTU member had recently bemoaned the state of affairs in Matawan as being worse than when she started agitating for change 30 years earlier. The editorial proposed a legal prohibition of alcohol as worth a try.

"In this temperance work there is the yet untried remedy of legal suppression, and there are temperance voters enough in the old parties to give it a trial. Would matters be in any worse state, if it simply proved that prohibition simply didn't prohibit?" (Well, there's that whole issue of how rum running prompted the creation of organized crime in America.)

Prominently displayed on page 2 col 1 of the 7 Sep 1889 paper were announcements of the Democratic Party and the Monmouth County Prohibition conventions. The Prohibitionists of Monmouth County would be electing their county executive committee at their meeting on 7 Sep 1889 at the Reform Club room in Freehold.

History: Old Hotel Building, Matawan (1875 - 1919)

The "Old Hotel Building" at 127 Main Street in Matawan had multiple spaces for commercial tenants. The current building at this address (above) may be the original; it remains a multiple tenant building.

Below is a sampling of the Old Hotel Building's tenants from the archives of The Matawan Journal between 1875 and 1919. Each item referred to the Old Hotel Building connection. More research is warranted.

Mealio & Sickels Co, Grocers (Source: 8 Jan 1876 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Sidney Walling has begun the work of making ready to remove his harness business to the store once occupied by Mealio & Sickels in the old hotel building. He has painted the front and is making other changes.  (Source: 21 Feb 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Joseph Radl, harness business, replaced George Pfeifer and his barber shop. (Source: 5 May 1883 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Frank A Miller, harness shop (Source: 19 Sep 1891 edition of The Matawan Journal)

The Edward Farry Supply Company (Source: 19 Jan 1899 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Charles J Matz, custom tailor (Ads appeared between 14 Mar 1901 - 29 Jan 1903)

White & Bennett (Alonzo White, Jr & Ashley K Bennett), plumbing and heating (19 Mar 1903 -  3 Dec 1903)

Alonzo White Jr was in business alone, offering sanitary plumbing and heating services (Ads appeared from 1 Dec 1904 - 5 Apr 1906)

"Jacob Garber has taken the store and rooms in the old Hotel Building lately occupied by Charles J Matz and will continue his shoe repairing business there." (Source: 6 May 1909 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 5 col 1)

W A Fountain, real estate agent and insurance broker (Source: 16 Sep 1909)

"Edward Healey opened a grocery store in the old Hotel Building on Main Street last Saturday. Harold Conover is clerking for Mr Healey out of school hours." (Source: 8 Mar 1917 edition of The Matawan Journal)

"The store formerly occupied by Alonzo White in the old hotel building is being renovated for Alexander Jacobs of Keyport, who expects to open a fruit and vegetable market there the first of August." (Source: 24 Jul 1919 edition of The Matawan Journal) Alexander Jacobs's father, Abram Jacobs, was in the wholesale and retail fruit and vegetable markets in Keyport and Matawan. Alexander was in charge of his father's Matawan business. (Source: 18 Sep 1919 edition of The Matawan Journal. This article announced Alexander's marriage at City Hall in New York earlier in the month.)

History: United Cigar Manufacturing Company Factory, Matawan (1903)

The United Cigar Manufacturing Company rented the old canning factory near the Matawan train station to become one of its branches, according to the 14 Oct 1903 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 6 col 1). The company planned to make improvements to the factory and would need about 300 employees to run the place. Most of those hired would be young women hired to roll cigars. These "girls" would be paid $3/week while training. A skilled cigar factory worker could expect to make about $10/week.

According to the 21 Feb 1907 edition of The Boston Evening Transcript (pg 2 col 3), United Cigar Manufacturers Company was formed in the 1902 consolidation of Kerbs, Wertheim & Schiffer; Hirschhorn, Mack & Company; and Stratton & Storm Company. It was subsequently incorporated in New York under the same name in 1906. As of 1907, the company owned and operated 19 factories in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and manufactured 400 million cigars annually for the wholesale market.

History: Monmouth County and the Hudson Tubes (1903)

The 24 Dec 1903 edition of The Matawan Journal carried the following piece, attributed to The Freehold Transcript, predicting how ongoing construction of Hudson River tunnels would ease travel between Jersey City and New York City. These light rail tunnels, known as the Uptown Hudson Tubes, would benefit Monmouth County in many ways.

The first pair of tunnels were completed in 1906 and are part of today's PATH train system.

Bright Prospects Ahead

"The marvelous engineering enterprise now in progress in and about New York City may excite nothing more than a  passing interest in Monmouth County, but the Red Bank Register is quite right when, in looking ahead a bit it argued that one of them at least -- the tunnels connecting Jersey City and New York -- will prove a direct benefit to this county.  When it is realized that within the next three years any one may go from any one of the larger towns in the county to the heart of the city of New York practically without change of cars in perhaps less than an hour, it requires no imagination to understand just how much of an asset it will be in attracting outsiders to permanently locate here. Although it may be a harping upon the same old string, it is none the less true that there is no county in the State so fortunately situated so far as the future is concerned as Monmouth."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

History: Crosswalks in Matawan Borough (1911 - 1917)

The Borough of Matawan had stone crosswalks on Main Street and Broad Street before the First World War. They were managed by the Streets Committee of the borough council. Besides the crosswalks, these articles include references to an ongoing project to extend Broad Street, as well as such things as the building of sidewalks, the addition of electric street lighting and the placement of trash cans along the road.

An excerpt from the editorial page in support of the poll tax mentions crosswalks:

"The poll tax is not a tax for the privilege of voting, as our Asbury Park contemporary would have its readers believe, and the tax is collectible by law whether the man votes or not.

There is no question but that the enforcement of the collection of the poll tax is unpopular. But the poll tax delinquent should be the last one to refuse to pay the $1 tax. This is the only direct tax that in most cases he is called upon to pay for the education of his children, the protection of the fire and police departments, the street lighting and public water services and the use of the streets and crosswalks."
(Source: 23 Nov 1911 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the council's meeting circa 8 Jul 1913:

"The Street Committee was asked to secure estimates for laying crosswalks on Main Street."
(Source: 17 Jul 1913 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the council's 12 Aug 1913 meeting:

"Mr Thompson for the Street Committee stated that he had not been able to get a bid for laying crosswalks, and Mayor Bedle said that E S Lupton offered to do the work, charging for the labor and stone at cost with 15 per cent added on the latter for his profit. The number of crosswalks had not been determined and Mr Thompson suggested that the number be ascertained and Mr Lloyd offered a motion that the bids be obtained after the number is determined. This was adopted."
(Source: 14 Aug 1913 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the council's 10 Nov 1914 meeting:

"The Street Committee, through Chairman F R Thompson, reported crosswalks on Broad Street as having been fixed."
(Source: 12 Nov 1914 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the council's 24 Nov 1915 meeting:

"Councilman S. C. Thompson for the Street Committee reported that Grigg's Street had been graded and graveled and the crosswalks repaired."
(Source: 25 Nov 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the council's 28 Mar 1916 meeting:

"The question of additional crosswalks on Main Street and new crosswalks was up for discussion. It was the opinion of all that something should be done and a motion prevailed that a conference with the Board of Freeholders regarding Main Street be arranged.

It was agreed that the present crossings are too low. An additional crossing was asked for the vicinity of Sanford's drug store. A motion was carried that the Street Committee go over the side streets and place crossings where they were deemed necessary."
(Source: 30 Mar 1916 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the borough's 1916 annual report:

The Street Department paid E S Lupton $44.50 on 13 Oct 1916 for work related to crosswalks.
(Source: 5 Apr 1917 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the council's 14 Aug 1917 meeting:

"For the Street Committee Chairman Woolley reported that the stone crosswalks had been removed from Main Street to Van Brunt & Son's property for storage and will later be used for crossing on Broad and other streets. Other work desired to have done was held in abeyance because of inability to get needed men." (Source:  16 Aug 1917 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Reporting from the council's 13 Nov 1917 meeting:

"Mr Woolley, for the Street Committee, reported that the crosswalks had been placed where ordered, so that those who have occasion to use them can do so in inclement weather with less discomfort."
Source: 15 Nov 1917 edition of The Matawan Journal)

Friday, November 15, 2013

History: Monmouth County Hangings (1691 - 1906)

The 5 Jul 1906 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 6 col 2) reported the grisly details of the hanging in Freehold of Edward W Brown, a 38 year old black man from Virginia, for the 11 Jun 1904 murder of Rebecca Treynum in Long Branch.

See also Chapter 3 - The Brown Execution (pp 25 - 34) in George Joynson's "Murders in Monmouth: Capital Crimes from the Jersey Shore's Past" for a detailed rendering of the murder, pursuit, trial and execution. (Available to view at Google Books)

The article also contained this list of hangings in the county, but I can't vouch for its accuracy. See if you detect a theme.
  • Sep 1691 - Cesar, black, for the murder of Mary Wright, also black, at Middletown. Tried, convicted and hung at Shrewsbury.
  • Mar 1696 - Jeremy, black, for the murder of his master at Middletown, where he was hung.
  • 1699 -  Tom, black, for the rape of a white woman at Middletown, where he was hung.
  • 1700 - Mingo, black, for the murder of Ned, also black; he was hung at Middletown.
  • 13 May 1803 - Peter Stout, presumed white, for the murder of a neighbor's son at Upper Freehold; he was hung at Freehold.
  • Fall 1826 - Tony, black, for murder of Elijah Bedle near Keyport; he was hung just south of Freehold.
  • 11 Apr 1851 - John Cline, presumed white, for the murder of a man at Red Valley.
  • 8 Jan 1858 - James P Donnelly, presumed white, for the 1 Aug 1857 murder of Albert E Moses at Navesink.
  • 27 Nov 1863 - Peter E Slocum, presumed white, for the murder of his wife at West Long Branch.
  • 7 Jan 1869 - William N Woolley, presumed white, for the murder of Hartshorne Fleming at Bennett's Tavern near Shark River.
  • 18 Jul 1888 - Richard Kearney, black, for the murder of Mrs Margaret Purcell at Elberon.
  • 13 Apr 1892 - Louis J Harriott, presumed white, for the murder of Mrs Charles T Leonard at Atlantic Highlands.
  •  29 Jun 1906 - Edward W Brown, black, for the 11 Jun 1904 murder of his mistress in Long Branch; hung at Freehold.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

History: Equipment for Home Laundering (1921)

The 28 Apr 1921 edition of The Matawan Journal provided advice to women on the proper placement, use and care of the latest laundry equipment. Most women were coping with poorly placed machines that required them to stoop awkwardly into the tub to reach their clothes, leading to fatigue. Wooden tubs were difficult to care for: kept dry and they would crack and fall apart; kept moist and they would become slimy and develop a disagreeable odor. Galvanized steel tubs were preferable for the modern woman.  

The story included drawings of a folding ironing board, a rack for holding an ironing board, a cold mangle, and multiple types of washing machines (rotary or cylinder type, washboard type, pressure and suction type, and dolly type).

History: Elmer H Geran, US Congressman and NJ Assemblyman (1875 - 1954)

Elmer Hendrickson Geran (24 Oct 1875 - 12 Jan 1954) was born in Matawan, the son of Charles A and Lydia (Hendrickson) Geran. He attended public school and the Glenwood Academy in Matawan, then graduated the Peddie School in Hightstown in 1895 and Princeton University in 1899.

Geran was living with his parents as a law student at their residence on Broad Street in Matawan in the 1900 Federal Census. His father sold merchandise, hardware and tools. Elmer's older brother Henry was a manager at the gas company. Elmer's grandfather, Cornelius Hendrickson, born Apr 1814, lived in the household.

Geran graduated the New York Law School in 1901. He passed the New Jersey bar the same year and joined the law firm of Collins and Corbin in Jersey City. He then established his own law firm in Jersey City in 1903.

A Democrat, Geran served in the state assembly (1911-1912), where he sponsored the state's direct primary law, ending party conventions for determination of candidates for office.

He served on the New Jersey State Water Supply Commission (1912 - 1915). In that capacity, he was among those appointed by Trenton Mayor Frederick W Donnelly, President of the New Jersey Rivers and Harbors Congress, as a delegate to the Atlantic Deeper Waters Association convention in Jacksonville, Florida 18 to 21 Nov 1913, according to the 15 Nov 1913 edition of The South Amboy Citizen.

He was assistant prosecutor in the Monmouth County Court of Common Pleas (1915-1917), then Monmouth County sheriff (1917-1920). In that job, Geran was living with his parents at 185 Main Street in Matawan in the 1920 Federal Census. His father was a real estate agent.

He was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson as US District Attorney for New Jersey (1920 - 1922). (Wilson's debilitating stroke occurred in 1919, so his appointment may actually have been made by Wilson's wife.) Geran resigned and formed a law firm in Asbury Park with Isaiah Matlack.

In 1922, Geran ran for the 3rd NJ Congressional District seat of T Frank Appleby, the Republican from Old Bridge. Geran won and served in the 68th session of the US House of Representatives (1923 - 1925), according to his Congressional biography.

T Frank Appleby defeated Geran in his re-election bid in 1924, but died before taking office. There was an eight-month vacancy before Appleby's son, Stewart Appleby, was elected to fill the unexpired term.

After his Congressional term of office ended in March 1925, Geran rejoined his law firm in Asbury Park. The firm was joined by Solomon Lautman.

The 1930 Federal Census showed him as a lawyer residing in the Union Hill section of Marlboro.

The 1931 Asbury Park city directory showed Geran's residence as on Woolleytown Road in Morganville. His obituary showed his residence to be a farm called Glen Geran. His wife was a dairy farmer in the 1930 Federal Census.

Geran & Matlack, then Geran, Matlack & Lautman were located at 504-509 Asbury Park Trust Company Building and 601 Mattison Avenue in Asbury Park, according to R L Polk Co city directories for 1922 (pg 556), 1924 (pg 642), 1926-27 (pg 784), 1928-29 (pg 764) and 1931 (pg 252).

The 1940 Federal Census showed him as manager of a sand and gravel plant and residing on Hodgner Road in Marlboro. His Wikipedia article says he worked for New Jersey Gravel and Sand in Farmingdale from 1927 until his death in 1954.

Geran was a member of the First Baptist Church of Matawan. He was a Mason, an Elk, and a member of several other civic organizations.

Geran's obituary appeared in the 14 Jan 1954 edition of The Matawan Journal, pp 1, 2. He is buried at Old Tennent graveyard in Tennent, NJ. His son, Charles Ackerman Geran, took over his father's farm, where prized Guernsey cows were raised.

A photo of Geran anyone?

Monday, November 11, 2013

History: Main Street, Matawan (c 1905)

 What can we see in this post card image of Main Street, Matawan, New Jersey published as A6545 by the American News Company?

The turn in the road in the distance suggests that we are looking north from near Ravine Drive. Here's a roughly equivalent view in today's Matawan.

The chimney on the right in both images might lock the perspective of the old image.

The three story building on the right in the far distance is likely the Matawan House, which was located at the bend in the road at that point. It was torn down in 1930. See "Around Matawan and Aberdeen," page 102, to see an image of the Matawan House. The two-story A-frame building to the north of the Matawan House is large and distinctive but I cannot immediately identify it. Can you?

The Methodist Church steeple might be visible within the tree immediately to the right of the carriage on the right side of the street.

The presence of one or more horse-drawn carriages suggests this image is dated before 1908, when vehicles started to share local roads in earnest and cause some issues with horse-drawn vehicles.

Utility poles were installed in 1899, when Main Street received electric street lights, so the image could be after that date. Then again, no wires are visible, so the poles could be for kerosene lamps setting the date for the image prior to 1900. Thoughts?

I'd welcome any building identifications or thoughts on the date of the image.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

History: Founding of Cliffwood First Aid Squad (1954) and Matawan First Aid Squad (1934)

The Cliffwood First Aid Squad was organized at the Cliffwood firehouse in Cliffwood, New Jersey on 4 Mar 1954, according to the 11 Mar 1954 edition of The Matawan Journal. The unit would temporarily be housed at the firehouse, but a property at the corner of Amboy Road and Prospect Avenue was being eyed for a permanent headquarters. The squad received a favorable price on an ambulance from Hopelawn First Aid Squad, which got its ambulance from the Woodbridge squad. Fundraising for a permanent site would begin in the fall, but the squad would begin operations circa May 1954.

The officers named to lead the new unit were:
  • Roy Matthews, President
  • John B Kenner, Vice President
  • Edward P Cooper, Secretary
  • James Frost, Treasurer
  • Peter C Vena, Karl Schneck, Charles Maurer, Robert Savage, John Kucharek, Charles Eiflander, and George Morgan, Trustees
Matawan and Aberdeen: Of Town and Field, by Helen Henderson, pp 122-23, said this unit started with $150 and a 1931 LaSalle ambulance. The station house on Prospect was dedicated in June 1966 and is still in use. 

The Matawan First Aid Squad was established at an organizational meeting at the Washington Engine House on 8 Jan 1934, according to the 12 Jan 1934 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Its founding officers:
  • Andrew Hulsart, President
  • Andrew Boice, Vice President
  • John Tourino, Recording Secretary and Treasurer
  • E S Hallack, Chief Advisor
  • Robert Colot, Assistant Chief Advisor
  • Clarence Stultz, Second Assistant Advisor
The Matawan First Aid Squad was housed for twelve years at the Washington Engine House on Little Street. A new Matawan First Aid Headquarters was established on Main Street in early 1946, according to multiple references in the 7 Feb 1946 edition of The Matawan Journal. Herbert Sprague provided the overhead costs; the Democratic Club voted to start meeting in the new building. The Ladies Auxiliary provided the drapes.

Photograph of the new Matawan First Aid Headquarters and the Cliffwood First Aid Squad ambulance can be found in "Around Matawan and Aberdeen," by Helen Henderson, pg 74.

The Matawan Borough website's history page -- what appears to be a verbatim rendering of an article in the 21 Dec 2000 edition of The Asbury Park Press -- erroneously claims the date and details of the Cliffwood unit's 4 Mar 1954 founding as its own. The Matawan First Aid Squad was founded twenty years earlier than Cliffwood's squad. C'mon folks: The borough should compose its own history page.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

History: Frelinghuyser Amendment to the Automobile Act of 1906 (1908)

The 13 Feb 1908 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 7) remarked that several NJ senators spoke ill of the prospects for the Ackerman Civil Service Act, being discussed in Trenton on 11 Feb 1908. (The bill passed the Senate as New Jersey's first civil service law, according to Scannell's New Jersey's First Citizens and State Guide (1917 - 1918), pg 1. Ernest R Ackerman (1863 - 1931) went on to serve in the US House of Representatives serving the NJ 5th District from 1919 until his death.)

The Journal (same article, pg 7) was much more interested in the NJ Senate's discussion of a proposed revision to fees associated with automobile inspection and registration and the licensing of drivers. (So that's when it started, eh?) Joseph S Frelinghuysen (1869 - 1948) proposed to amend the Automobile Act of 1906 to establish eight vehicle classes for vehicle registration and the licensing of drivers.
  • First Class (1-10 horsepower) - $3.00 registration; $1.00 license
  • Second Class (11-20 horsepower) - $5.00 registration; $2.00 license
  • Third Class (21-25 horsepower) - $10.00 registration; $3.00 license
  • Fourth Class (26-35 horsepower) - $15.00 registration; $4.00 license
  • Fifth Class (36-50 horsepower) - $20.00 registration; $5.00 license
  • Sixth Class (51-70 horsepower) - $25.00 registration; $10.00 license
  • Seventh Class (71-90 horsepower) - $35.00 registration; $15.00 license
  • Eighth Class (91-120 + horsepower) - $100.00 registration; $25.00 license
Cab companies could receive a blanket license if they served a ferry landing and they didn't travel more than a mile from the docks into the State.

The licensing of manufacturers would be eliminated because there was so much abuse of the law anyway. (What's the point if they won't adhere to the law? lol)

Motorcycles would have a $2.00 licensing fee.

Tourists would have to register their vehicles and pay for a license at 50 cents for each increment of six days they plan to visit, not to exceed thirty days in a year. (Can you imagine having to register your vehicle in every state you travel through? Now we just have tolls.)

The 9 Apr 1908 edition of The Matawan Journal praised Ackerman's honesty and his efforts to pass his Civil Service bill and condemned the evil machinations of bosses and their obstructionists inside the NJ Senate. Below is an excerpt from the Journal's editorial.

Ackerman'a Righteous Wrath

Senator Ackerman, of Union, an organization Republican but a clean man, is discouraged, disgusted, indignant and full of righteous wrath, because of the audacity, the insolent assumptions and the power of the bosses in matters of legislation. He declares that as things now stand at Trenton the Legislature might as well be abolished, for a commission of the political bosses could do the work just as well as the present body of lawmakers. In point of fact the bosses are legislating and the legislators are going through the motions like puppets, as the bosses pull the strings.

Senator Ackerman's indignation has been aroused primarily because of the treatment given his civil service bill. He spent much time and care in perfecting it, calling to his aid the best and most experienced counsel that could be obtained. No man sincerely desirous of abolishing tho iniquitous spoils system and establishing civil service in this State, as it has been established for many years in the United States Government, could find any fault with the Ackerman civil service bill. It was as nearly perfect as such a measure could be made; it was in direct fulfilment of the Republican platform p1edge, and the Senate passed it by an overwhelming vote.

But when it went to the House, "Davy" Baird and "Dory" Strong and the other Republican bosses began their iniquitous work. As Senator Ackerman says, it was impossible to find out just where they stood. They would say that if a certain provision was changed they would not oppose the bill, but when the suggested change was made they found other grounds for opposition, kept up an endless fight against the civil service policy, and finally defeated it.

History: Advice to Kickers (1908)

The 13 Feb 1908 edition of The Matawan Journal included this witty piece directed at malcontents who find fault in and complain about everything that locals are trying to do to improve the town.

Advice to Kickers

If you are a kicker and see the shadow of failure in everything that is proposed to help the town, for heaven's sake go into some secluded canyon and kick your own shadow on the clay bank and thus give men who are working to build up a town a chance. One long faced, hollow-eyed, whining kicker can do more to keep away business and capital from a town than all droughts, short crops, cinch bugs, cyclones and blizzards combined.

Friday, November 8, 2013

History: William C Horley, Perth Amboy (1901 - 1980)

Edna Emmons, born 10 Feb 1898, the spinster daughter of Josiah M and Almira Emmons, lived with her parents in Matawan in 1930, according to the Federal Census, and she worked as a bank teller at Perth Amboy Trust Company in nearby Perth Amboy.

That's where she met William Charles Horley, also a teller. William was born on 28 Oct 1901 in Warwick, England to George and June Horley. His parents emigrated to the US when William was an infant and settled in Pennsylvania. William and Edna announced their engagement in the 22 Feb 1931 edition of The Sunday Times Advertiser of Trenton.

The Horleys settled in Perth Amboy and had three children. William moved up in the banking industry, eventually becoming Vice President of the First Bank and Trust Company of Perth Amboy. He served as an officer at St Peter's Episcopal Church and handled its trust fund. He served as President of the local chapter of American Institute of Banking, chairman of the local Community Chest, director of a Red Cross chapter, and headed fundraising for a Boy Scout campaign.

This sounds like information you'd find in an obituary, except for the odd focus on William's handling of money outside the work place. But the article on the front page of the 6 May 1952 edition of The Trenton Evening Times and circulated by the Associated Press across the country was not about his death. Unfortunately not. Instead, William had made some very unwise loans and bad investments with over $400,000 in bank funds, prompting the Middlesex County Prosecutor to pursue embezzlement charges against him

This was shocking to locals, who thought William a sympathetic figure and who worried for the former Emmons' girl and her children. Readers found a lengthy front page article providing a detailed background, including something of an explanation for William's actions, in the 8 May 1952 edition of The Matawan Journal.
After the closing arguments and ruling, the judge prayerfully considered an appropriate sentence. The 19 Aug 1952 edition of The Reading Eagle reported that William would face 10 to 14 years in state prison. The judge refused to consider leniency, saying that William had brought the unfortunate situation upon himself.

Edna Horley died in Perth Amboy in Nov 1979. William was living in Cranford when he died in May 1980. His last Social Security benefits went to an address in Perth Amboy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

History: Monmouth County Has Highest Maternal Death Rate in US (1931)

The 18 Sep 1931 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1, pg 2 col 3) reported on the annual meeting of the Matawan Public Health Association. This was the association's 7th year of service to the community. A report was delivered, telling of accomplishments and goals. The report noted the need for additional work with pregnant mothers, as statistics revealed that Monmouth County had the highest maternal death rate of any county in the United States at the time.


"During the past year visits to pre-natal patients were increased 28 per cent. We realize that this is one of the weakest points in our generalized nursing program, and that there is great need for increased service since, according to statistics, Monmouth County has the highest maternal death rate of any county in the United States. We hope, therefore, to be able to develop the service to a much greater extent during the next year."


This high death rate may have prompted local and/or county health authorities to open the Maternal Health Clinic in Asbury Park in 1935.

History: First Birth Control Clinic in Monmouth County Opens (1935)

The 4 Oct 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 7 col 4) reported on the establishment of the first birth control clinic in Monmouth County in Asbury Park.


A birth control clinic for Monmouth County opened at 913 Sewall Avenue, Asbury Park, Wednesday, according to Mrs. Robert G Haley, Rumson, and will be known as the Monmouth County Maternal Health Center.

The clinic, the first of its kind in the county, each Wednesday will give contraceptive advice to overburdened mothers and those in poor health. A small sum will be charged those capable of paying, but poor mothers will be given advice free of charge.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

History: Dr Carl Gesswein, Matawan Physician (1881 - 1956)

Charles Albert "Carl" Gesswein was a prominent medical doctor with an office at the corner of Church and Main Streets and a home at 205 Main Street in Matawan for many years. He born on 30 May 1881, in Canton, Ohio, married Bessie Morrow about 1906, and died on 19 Mar 1956 at Riverview Hospital in Red Bank after a long illness.

In the 1881 Canton City Directory, Carl's father Gustave L Gesswein was foreman at the Diebold Safe and Lock Co and lived at 148 South Cherry Street in Canton. In a separate section of the directory, G Gesswein was listed as the 4th Ward's member of the school board. His term of office was due to expire in 1890.

Gustave appeared in the 1888-1889, 1889-1890, and 1891-1892 Canton City Directories.

Carl was a student living with his parents, Gustave J and Mary Gesswein, at 506 Bucher, Canton, OH, in the 1896 Canton City Directory. Carl's sister Laura was in the same household; she was working as a bookkeeper at the co-op grocery. His sister Rose was also there, listed as a stenographer.

Carl was a student living with his parents, Gustave and Marie Gesswein, in Hamilton, OH in the 1900 Federal Census. His father, who was born in Sep 1850 in Germany and came to the US five years later, was superintendent of a safe manufacturer in Hamilton, OH. Home to three major safe companies, Hamilton was considered the Safe Capital of the World at the time. Carl's mother was born in Feb 1856 in the portion of Virginia that would become West Virginia; her father was born in Germany and mother in Switzerland. Gustav and Marie were married about 1877 and had four children, one of which had died by 1900.

The 1900 Hamilton City Directory showed Gustave as Superintendent of the Mosler Safe Company, Grand Boulevard, East Hamilton. Their residence was at 229 North 7th Street in Hamilton. Carl was a clerk at Mosler. Gustave's wife was Mary A Gesswein. Carl's sisters Laura and Rose were in the household but listed no occupations.

Carl was a student in the 1902 Hamilton City Directory. Laura was a stenographer, while the other details above remained the same.

Carl was a medical student in the 1904 Hamilton City Directory. The other details above remained the same.

Carl finished undergraduate work at the University of Cincinnati, then medical school at the University of Illinois, Urbana, according to his obituary. He opened a medical office in Plainfield, NJ in 1904.

Carl married Bessie Morrow about 1906. Bessie and her fraternal twin, Jesse Morrow, were born in Oct 1879, children of John and Ada Morrow, according to the 1900 Federal Census. The family lived in Hamilton, OH, where John was a salesman. The twins were born in Seven Mile, OH, according to Bessie's obituary, which showed her name as Bessie Hudson Morrow. Her burial record and Carl's obituary both showed her maiden name as Hudson, but the Hudson connection was not obvious. John and Ada had been married 29 years in the 1900 Census and the children showed Pennsylvania parental birth places, matching John and Ada.

Carl and Bessie were enumerated at 102 Central Avenue in Plainfield, NJ in the 1910 Federal Census. He was a doctor with his own office. He and Bessie had been married for four years at the time.

Carl appeared with a business listing in the 1912 Plainfield City Directory. He was a physician with hours 8 - 10 am, 1 - 3 pm, and 7 - 8 pm. His residence was at 102 Central Avenue in Plainfield, NJ. His phone was 730-J. His father Gustave was listed in the household; he was working as a superintendent in Philadelphia. The women were not listed.

Carl was listed with physicians in the 1914, 1915 and 1916 Plainfield City Directories. Each showed his 102 Central Avenue address.

Carl and Bessie moved to Matawan in 1916, according to his obituary. The 14 Dec 1916 edition of The Matawan Journal contained this report:

"Dr. George G. Reynolds has sold his house on Main Street to Dr. Carl A. Gesswein of Plainfield, who, with his wife, moves here to-day. Dr. Gesswein is a graduate of The Chicago College of Physicians and Surgeons, with twelve years' experience of practicing medicine and has had experience as operating surgeon in the Plainfield Hospital."

An advertisement for Dr C A Gesswein appeared in the 1 Nov 1917 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 6, col 5). His office was at the corner of Main and Church Sts, telephone 214, was open early in the morning (7:30 - 9 am), afternoon (1 - 3 pm), and evening (7 - 8:30 pm).

By the time Carl registered for the WWI draft in Sep 1918, he and Bessie were living at 205 Main Street in Matawan. He was of medium height and build with brown hair and grey eyes and was keeping a medical office at 30 Church Street, according to that record.

Carl's parents and two unmarried sisters were living in his 205 Main Street household in the 1920 Federal Census. His father was no longer working. (This record, in contrast to the 1900 record above, says that Gustave emigrated to the US in 1870 and was naturalized in 1875. And Marie's parents were both born in Switzerland in this record.) Carl's sister Laura was a secretary at the Episcopal church.

Carl and Bessie's household at 205 Main Street in the 1930 Federal Census included his parents, his sister Laura, and Bessie's sister's daughter Lillian Kenny. Lillian was a nurse in an office, presumably Carl's medical office.

Carl's parents went to Germany and spent several weeks there in the early fall of 1930, according to an Oct 1930 article reprised in the 1 Oct 1970 edition of The Matawan Journal. The article revealed that Gustav held the title of Justice of the Peace.

The doctor hit the news in 1930 when he recommended testing the water in Lake Matawan for toxins.

In Jun 1931, Carl took Bessie and their niece Lillian Kenny to Philadelphia, where he attended the convention of the American Medical Association, according to a history article in the 17 Jun 1971 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Bessie hosted the Matawan Women's Club at her home to hear the Mayor Edward Currie speak on municipal management, according to the 25 Nov 1932 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1, col 3). (Her  attendance in the early 1950s at a Former Presidents of the New Jersey Federation of Women's Clubs suggests that she served as president of the Matawan Women's Club at some point.)

Bessie hosted the Wednesday Afternoon Bridge Club at her home, according to the 25 Jul 1935 edition of The Red Bank Register.

Carl maintained a flower garden on the lot where Daniel B Strong had a store for many years, according to the 16 Aug 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal. (You can also see the text of the 1935 article at History of Singer Sewing Machines in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties in his blog.)

The 1940 Federal Census showed Carl and Bessie hosting his unwed sister Laura and an adult niece named Lillian Kenny at their 205 Main Street residence. Lillian was a technician, office assistant.

Carl served on the committee for the annual dance benefit for Riverview hospital, according to the 18 Jul 1940 edition of The Red Bank Register.

Carl's medical office was at 35 Church Street in 1942, according to his WWII draft registration papers.  He and Bessie were at 205 Main Street and their phone number was 214. He was 5'8" tall and 200 lbs with grey hair and had a tattoo on his arm.

During WWII, Carl was chief of emergency medical services of the Matawan Borough Defense Council.

Carl worked on the staff at Monmouth Medical, Riverview and South Amboy hospitals. He served as the school physician for the Matawan Township school district. He also worked in Holmdel Township. He was a former member of the Monmouth County Medical Society.

Carl served on the Board of Directors of Matawan Bank and attained the presidency of the bank, according to his obituary. The 12 Jul 1951 edition of The Matawan Journal had a public notice of the accounts of this bank, showing Carl as president.

Carl was a member of Matawan Lodge #192 F & AM {Free and Accepted Masons}, according to his obituary.

Bessie was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, according to her obituary. She served as President of the Glenwood Mission Band until 1950, according to the 19 Jan 1950 edition of The Matawan Journal. She was also a circle member, among other activities of the church. She was also active in the Matawan branch of the American Red Cross. She is mentioned in this context in the 13 Apr 1950 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Bessie died of a heart attack on 11 Nov 1952 at their home in Matawan, according to the 13 Nov 1952 edition of The Matawan Journal. Her funeral was to be conducted by Rev Chester Galloway of the First Presbyterian Church on 14 Nov 1952, with burial to follow at Old Tennent Cemetery.

Carl resigned as Matawan Township schools physician in Feb 1955 due to illness, according to the 24 Feb 1955 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1, cols 4-5). He also resigned as schools physician in Holmdel, according to the 14 Jul 1955 edition of The Red Bank Register.

Carl's obituary appeared in the 22 Mar 1956 edition of The Matawan Journal, (pp 1, 4). His funeral was conducted by Chester Galloway of the First Presbyterian Church. Burial was on 22 Mar 1956 at Old Tennent Churchyard in Tennent, NJ, according to Find-a-Grave.

Carl left $45,000 and the balance of his estate, minus $30,000 in directed bequests, to Lillian Kenny, his niece, according to the 12 Apr 1956 edition of The Matawan Journal. The bequests went to cousins and nieces as well as his late wife's twin brother.