Township of Teaneck

    Teaneck Township--This township embraces a portion of the territory which was taken for the formation of Englewood township when that township was set off from the old township of Hackensack by legislative enactment in 187.  The act separating Teaneck from Englewood and Ridgefield townships, and forming it into a new township was passed by the State Legislature on February 19, 1895.  The new township contained about 3,500 acres, and it was bounded on the north by Bergenfield borough, east by Englewood city and Leonia borough, south by Bogota borough, and west by Bogota borough and Hackensack river.  The population in 1895 as 1,895; in 1910 it was 2,082, and in 1920 it was 4,192.

    Teaneck was the home of one of Bergen county's most distinguished citizens, William Walter Phelps, who had a vast estate here, known as the Teaneck Grange.  Mr. Phelps was elected to Congress in 1872, representing the Fifth Congressional District of New Jersey.  He was defeated for reelection in 1874 by seven votes by his Democratic opponent, August W. Cutler, father of Judge Willard W. Cutler, who now presides in the Bergen County Circuit Court at Hackensack.  Mr. Phelps was appointed by President Harrison in 1889 as Minister to Germany, which mission he filled with marked ability.  Before leaving Berlin in 1893 Mr. Phelps received an appointment from Governor Werts to be a judge of the Court of Errors and Appeals of New Jersey.  Mr. Phelps accepted the honor, and he was also appointed by Governor Werts as a member of the commission to revise the State Constitution, as provided for in a resolution passed by the State Legislature.  Failing health prevented Mr. Phelps from participating in the work of revision, and he died on June 17, 1894, about two weeks before the commission was to hold its first meeting.  His son, John J. Phelps, is a well-known citizen of Teaneck at the present time, his villa on the River road being called "Red Towers."  The handsome residence of Congressman Phelps, which was situated on the Teaneck road, all engaging in farming pursuits, the soil being well adapted to raising general crops.

    Te progenitor of the Bartholfs was Guillamme Bartholf, who came from Holland, in the capacity of catechizer, voorleser, and schoolmaster, and discharged his duties so acceptably that the people among whom he had established himself desired that he should prepare himself for the gospel ministry and become their pastor.  He went to Holland in 1693 at the expense of the congregations of Hackensack and Acquackanonk, and on September 16, 1693, he was licensed by the classis held at Middlebury to preach for those churches.  He returned safely to America in 1694 and entered upon the discharge of his pastoral duties.  He was the first regularly installed pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church in New Jersey, filling the pastorate of the "Old Church on the Green" at Hackensack from 1694 until his death in 1724.  He also had the control of all the surrounding churches, preaching at Tappan, Tarrytown, Staten Island, Raritan, Pompton, Belleville, and The Ponds.  All his children remained in Bergen county, over which their descendants are thickly scattered. 

    The family of Ackerman dates back to the early settlement of Bergen county, and the branch that settled on the Hackensack in Teaneck engaged in farming, and later conducted a stock farm where many blooded horses were raised.  Peter I. Ackerman was judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1872-1877, and his two nephews, Jacob and Peter, have been collector and assessor, respectively, of the township.  The ancient stone homestead, about 150 years old, has now been sold by the Ackermans to Joseph Kinzley, Jr., the present sheriff of Bergen county, who has had the interior of the building remodeled and occupied the premises after the expiration of his term of office in November, 1922.

    The progentiro of the Terhune family in Bergen county was John Terhune, who emigrated from Holland while a young man and settled on Teaneck ridge in Old Hackensack township (now Teaneck township).  He married the widow of Ralph Vandalinda, who owned  large tract of land, extending from English Creek to the Hackensack river, and by this marriage obtained possession of some twenty acres, which with its additions was the Terhune homestead for a period of about one hundred seventy years.  His son Albert succeeded to the possession of the property.  Albert lived on the homestead most of his life, dying in 1808, aged eighty years.  Of his children Cornelius was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and although a shoemaker by trade, spent most of his active business life as a farmer on the old homestead, residing there from 1795 until death in 1853, in his ninety-third year.  Jacob C. Terhune, the only son of Cornelius, was born in Hackensack, January 8, 1791, and removed with his parents to the homestead in 1795, where he continued to reside, was married to Elizabeth Van Voorhis in 1810, and followed farming.  In 1836 Jacob C. Terhune was elected sheriff of Bergen county and served three years, and he was an Assemblyman in 1845-46.  John V. H. Terhune, a son of Jacob C., was born at the old homestead in July, 1811, and, like his father before him, he also was elected sheriff of the county, in 1850, holding the office for three years. During his incumbency of that office, duty obliged him to hang the murderer William Kating.  A grandson of John V. H. Terhune, Peter Christie Terhune, has been a resident of Hackensack for a number of years.  His father was Jacob Terhune, who lived on the River road, along the Hackensack river, just north of Bogota line.

    While Teaneck was originally a farming section, that is the principal pursuit now engaged in, although not so extensively as in olden times.  It is now more of a residential section for people engaged in business elsewhere.  Teaneck is on the West Shore railroad, is supplied with water by the Hackensack Water Co., and fire protection is provided by a volunteer department.  Banking town, Hackensack or Englewood, which places also provide mail service by R. F. D.  The township has three public schools, the Roosevelt Military Academy, which was established here about two years ago on former Freeholder Wendell Andreas' property, formerly the property of Judge Peter Ackerman, and three churches--Catholic, Presbyterian, and a "Union Chapel."  Cedar Lane road, running east and west, and Teaneck road, running north and south, are the two main thoroughfares in the township, and they are well patronized by automobilists, especially on Sundays.

    Only one manufactory is located in Teaneck, and that is the Raymond Concrete Pile Company.  There is also located here "The Teaneck Laundry."


Westervelt, Frances Augusta Johnson, History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1630-1923
New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1923, 1229 pgs., Chapter XXIX, pg. 302-305.
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