Description - Early
Settlers - The Tomlinsons, Albertsons, Bates, Cathcarts, Heilmans, Howells,
Thornes and others - Civil Organizations -Villages of Kirkwood, Lindenwold,
Clementon, Watsontown, Brownstown, Davistown, Spring Mills, "the lost town
of Upton" and Chews Landing - The Chew Family - Blackwood - The Wards
and Blackwoods - Old Hotels - Stage Lines - Churches - Societies -
TOPOGRAPHY. - Gloucester is in
the southern tier of townships of Camden County, and is bounded on the north by
Waterford, from which it is separated, in part, by the south branch of Coopers
Creek, on the southeast by Winslow, on the south and west by Gloucester County,
the Great Timber Creek forming the boundary line, and on the northwest by Centre
township. Nearly all its territory lies in the valley of the Delaware and
partakes of the characteristics of that belt of land. Along the division line
the soil is sandy and less fertile than in the central and northern parts, where
it partakes more of the nature of a friable loam. Its natural richness has been
greatly increased by the use of green sand-marl which underlies it in most
localities, and which appears at the surface along the water-courses. The
principal streams which furnish a plentiful irrigation are the north branch of
Timber Creek and its affluents, the largest one being Otter Branch. The main
stream is subject to tidal influences, the head of the flow being above Chews
Landing. The limit was marked in the early history of the township by tide-water
gates, erected at that point. On this stream, consequently, the mill-sites are
found on the head-waters only. Here the country presents a broken surface,
several hills of striking attitude appearing. The highest of these is Signal
Hill, near Clementon, which was used by the United States government authorities
in making a coast survey of New Jersey. It is covered with a pine forest and the
soil is not adapted to farming. Hickory Hill, in the northwestern part, has a
lower altitude and its surface is susceptible of cultivation. Along the streams
were large forest-trees, from which circumstance the creeks took their names.
The removal of this timber was a laborious process and an impediment to the
rapid settlement of the country, but to those living near the streams it was a
source of income, when other products were not in demand.
Owing to the distance from market, the
upper part of the township was not developed until within the past fifty years,
and much of the country is still in a primeval condition. Its soil is adapted to
fruit-culture and a number of small farms have recently been there opened, which
are devoted to that industry. The township was early traversed by roads from the
Delaware River to the sea-coast, which have been improved as turnpikes, their
courses being modified for this purpose. The turnpikes are the Camden and White
Horse, in the northwestern part; Camden and Blackwood, in the southwestern part,
the latter connecting at Blackwood with the Williamstown turnpike, to extend
this roadway up the creek, leading out of the township at Turnersville.
EARLY SETTLERS AND THEIR
DESCENDANTS. - The earliest prominent settler in the middle part of the
township was Joseph Tomlinson, sheriff of Gloucester County, in 1695, and King’s
attorney the following year. He arrived in America prior to 1686, and became an
apprentice to Thomas Sharp, of Newton, to learn the business of wool-comber and
dyer. He was also something of a carpenter, as, in the year last named, he made
an agreement with his master to build him a house for a specified sum, and to
furnish all the material for the same, except the nails. His relations with his
master do not appear to have been of the most pleasant nature; nevertheless, his
associations with him contributed to his education and, no doubt, aided him to
secure the public positions which he afterwards filled, as Thomas Sharp was
unquestionably an able preceptor.
In 1690, Joseph Tomlinson located one
hundred and seventeen acres of land on the east side of Gravelly Run, in
Gloucester, adjoining a tract which he had previously purchased of Joseph Wood,
and on which he first lived, after leaving the employ of Thomas Sharp. His wife,
Elizabeth, was a worthy consort, and nobly shared with him the privations
incident to a home so remote from other settlers, as was theirs at that early
period. Thus isolated, he turned his attention to reading and studying the laws
of the community of which he deemed himself a part, and in which he was soon to
fill conspicuous and responsible positions.
He served as prosecutor of the pleas,
or attorney for the King, in Gloucester County until 1710, when he was appointed
one of the judges of the several courts of Gloucester County, a position for
which he was well fitted by his previous experience. He died in 1719, leaving
his wife and a large family to survive him.
One of the daughters, Elizabeth,
married Bartholomew Wyatt, of Salem County, an active member of the Society of
Friends, and, in 1732, his wife appeared as a Public Friend, whose preaching was
acceptable. Ephraim, the eldest son of Joseph Tomlinson, settled on a tract of
land which his father deeded him, adjoining the homestead on the east, and
extending towards the north branch of Timber Creek. In 1732 he enlarged his
possessions by purchasing, of the executors of Abraham Porter six hundred and
nineteen acres lying on both sides of the last-named stream, reaching almost to
the south branch of Coopers Creek. He was also an esteemed preacher among the
Friends. He was born in 1695, and died in 1780, leaving his second wife,
Catharine Ridgway, a son, Ephraim, and daughters, - Elizabeth, married to Aaron
Lippincott, and Mary, who married James Gardiner.
Joseph Tomlinson, a brother of Ephraim,
first had the homestead property devised to him, but increased the original two
hundred acres by purchase, so that he owned considerable real estate. He died in
1758, leaving two sons, named Joseph and Samuel. He also had three daughters.
Higher up Gravelly Run, John Tomlinson, another brother of Ephraim, had three
hundred acres of land willed to him by his father, upon which he settled and
continued to live until his death, in 1755. His son Isaac and daughters, Hannah
and Eleanor, survived him, the latter marrying Josiah Albertson. Of the other
sons of Joseph Tomlinson, William died in Waterford in 1737, and Othniel in
Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1756. Descendants of the Tomlinsons remain in
the township, being now, as well as a hundred years ago, among its leading
By the will of his father, dated
December 17, 1709, recorded in Pennsylvania, Josiah Albertson came in possession
of a tract of land in Gloucester township, bounded on the south side by Otter
Branch, and thereon he settled and cleared a farm. In 1727 he married Ann, a
daughter of Francis Austin, of Evesham, Burlington County, N.J., who was one of
the first settlers at that place. The first habitation of Josiah and Ann
Albertson was built on the land given him by his father, a short distance south
of the old Salem road, where he plied his calling as a shoemaker, and at the
same time removed the timber from the soil. He increased his possessions until
his farm was double the number of acres left him by his father. In 1743 he built
a large and substantial brick house, part of which was occupied in 1876 by his
lineal descendant, Chalkley Albertson, who owned much of the original estate.
Of the nine children of Josiah and Ann
Albertson, eight were daughters of attractive appearance and superior qualities.
None of those that arrived at suitable age were left as "single
sisters." They were Hannah, married to Jacob Clement; Cassandra, married to
Jacob Ellis and Jacob Burrough; Patience, married to Isaac Ballinger; Sarah,
married to Samuel Webster; Keturah, married to Isaac Townsend; and Ann, who
married Ebenezer Hopkins and Jacob Jennings. Mary and Elizabeth died unmarried.
Josiah, the son, was married to Eleanor Tomlinson, for his first wife, and
Judith Boggs, for his second.
CHALKLEY ALBERTSON, son of John
and Ann Albertson, was born First Month 9, A.D. 1816, on the paternal estate,
where his ancestors had lived for more than a century. His father was in direct
line of descent from the emigrant who came to New Amsterdam with the Hollanders
and settled thereabouts before the English visited New Jersey. They adopted the
religious views of George Fox and were leading members of the Society of Friends
in Gloucester County. Chalkley Albertson’s mother was a daughter of John and
Rachel Borrough Pine, of Gloucester County. The Albertson homestead, where
Chalkley Albertson lived, was located by Wm. Albertson in 1698, and came into
possession of his son Josiah by will in 1709. In 1742 Josiah built the house
which representatives of this branch of the Albertson family have occupied to
the present time.
After the death of his father Chalkley
Albertson, by purchase, became the owner of a large part of his father’s real
estate, and soon showed himself to be a progressive and successful farmer. He
regarded the use of machinery as labor-saving and beneficial and was never
behind his neighbors in its appliance. He thoroughly understood the advantage of
fertilizers and was liberal in their, use upon his land.
He married Annie, daughter of Charles
and Tacy Jarrett Stokes, of Rancocas, Burlington County, N.J., Twelfth Month 19,
In early manhood he expressed his
sympathy with Democratic principles and allied himself with that party. He took
much interest in township affairs and became conspicuous in the county in its
separation from Old Gloucester and the location of the public buildings. In
1863, ‘64, ‘67 and ‘73 he was elected to the State Assembly when public
opinion was set against his party and with popular candidates opposed to him. As
a representative he was always open to conviction, but was decided in his
opinions. The public good was his purpose and he commanded the respect of his
political opponents for his sincerity, intelligence and integrity. He was
interested in public improvements and was one of the incorporators of the White
Horse Turnpike Company. He introduced in the State Assembly the bill, which
became a law, incorporating the Camden and Philadelphia Bridge Company.
While a member of the State Assembly he
advocated the cause of the glass-blowers and voted for the law abolishing the
money-order system. He always favored the extension of the railroad system of
the State, but opposed monopolies. He did much to forward the construction of
the Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railroad and saw the advantage a competing
road would be to Atlantic City and to the unimproved country between that place
and Philadelphia. He was one of the State Commissioners to make arrangements for
the Centennial Exhibition. In 1873 he was appointed a member of the board of
directors of the New Jersey Agricultural College, which position he held to the
time of his death, and always took a hearty interest in the scientific School
and its object. He advocated the establishment of the Agricultural Experimental
Station. As executor, trustee or commissioner, he had the confidence of those
interested and discharged his duties acceptably.
He was a neighbor in the true meaning
of the word, and by his kind and genial manners won the esteem of all who knew
him. His devotion to his fellow-men impelled him to take an active interest in
temperance reform; when a young man he was an energetic member of the Washington
Total Abstinence Society, which was among the first of such organizations
established, and throughout his life he was true to his temperance convictions.
In his religious views he followed the
footsteps of his ancestors and was an active and useful member of the Society of
Friends. He died Fourth Month 21, 1880. He left a widow and six children.
THE RULONS. - Tradition asserts
that during the persecution of the Huguenots, one of that sect by the name of
Rulon emigrated to this country. To further his escape, he was secretly inclosed
in a hogshead and put on a vessel bound for the United States, and after getting
well at sea was set at liberty. It is not positively known at what place he
landed, but the name is found as early as 1704 in Monmouth County, N.J., where
the refugee evidently settled and owned land and raised a family. He had the
reputation of being a firm and fearless man, as well as energetic, and preferred
exile to the relinquishment of his faith.
The eldest son of the refugee was
David, who was born about 1704. He married Exercise Allen, by whom he had
thirteen children. He died the 15th of March, 1778, aged seventy-four years.
Henry Rulon, the oldest son and fourth child of David, was born June 5, 1732,
and married Theodosia Robbins, by whom he had ten children, of whom Moses was
the fifth son, and was born October 14, 1767. He married Susan Hartley, and had
thirteen children, of whom Moses, the father of Elwood Rulon, now of Gloucester
township, was the sixth child. He married Eleanor Albertson, by whom he had ten
children, of whom Elwood was the seventh child. His mother is still living, at
the advanced age of eighty-four. She retains all of her mental faculties, and is
very active, and possesses those Albertson traits for which the women of that
family were noted. The brothers and sisters of Elwood were as follows: Hannah
Ann, Clayton, Keturah, Chalkley, John, Hartley, Abel, Ellen and Ehiza. Of this
family, with Elwood, but two survive, - Hannah Ann Haines, of Haddonfield, and
Chalkley Albertson Rulon, of Swedesboro.
Elwood lives upon the homestead, and on
the 23d of February, 1865, married Mary R. Palmer, of Chester County, Pa. The
Palmers are among the oldest settlers of Pennsylvania, and are related to the
Sharplesses, Trimbles, Pennells and Gibbons. The genealogy of Lewis and Mary
Palmer, issued in 1875, shows Mary R., daughter of Abraham M., born 1808, son of
Benjamin, born 1770, son of John, born 1745, son of Moses, horn 1721, son of
John, born 1690, son of John, who received a patent, 1688, in Concord, Chester
County, Pa. (now Delaware County), where the family are numerous, and some of
whom still reside on the patent. On the maternal side of Mary R., they were
Peters, who built the old mill and brick dwelling on Crum Creek about 1690, the
materials of which were brought from England. Both families claim an old
ancestry and were members of the Friends Society.
The children of Elwood Rulon and wife
were the following: Norris Peters, William Merrihew, Charles Jenks, Stephen
Edwin and Frank Albertson. Norris Peters and Frank Albertson are deceased.
Elwood Rulon has always resided on the
homestead. He and his wife are members of the Society of Friends. In politics he
is a Republican; was once a member of the Board of Freeholders of the county. He
has been a practical and successful farmer, and in integrity has shown the
sterling worth that always characterized his ancestors.
Near the head-waters of the south
branch of Coopers Creek, and on the south side of that stream, Mordecai Howell
was the owner of a tract of land, which he sold to Joseph Thorne in 1706. The
same year the latter sold to Joseph Bates, who soon after settled upon the land.
Being so remote from other settlements, it is quite probable that his first home
was in a cave in the hillside and that his children were born there. This rude
habitation was on the Indian trail leading to Long-a-Coming, and the property
adjoined that of John Hillman, including the land’s where are now the farms in
the White Horse Tavern neighborhood. In 1786 Joseph Bates (2d) made a resurvey
of the lands. A part of the property in this locality passed to John Cathcart,
in 1794, who built a brick mansion thereon.
Joseph Bates was married to Mary, a
daughter of James and Jane Clement, natives of England, who had first settled on
Long Island. No direct descendants of this branch of the Bates family remain.
John Cathcart, above mentioned, was
possessed of a considerable fortune. He not only built the fine mansion, but for
a number of years maintained a Deer Park. His home was frequently visited by his
friends, whom he entertained with unstinted hospitality. The park was simply a
large tract of native woods, inclosed with a high rail fence, so firmly made,
that the timid animal once within its bounds was securely held. The property on
which was the brick house became known, in later years, as the Warner place.
In the vicinity of Chews Landing
Francis Collins had a tract of four hundred acres of land, which he conveyed to
Thomas Briant, his son-in-law, in 1704, but it does not appear that Briant made
any improvements at that period.
In the same locality John Eastlack had
one hundred and seventy-five acres of land, which he transferred to Thomas
Smallwood in 1719. Descendants of the latter family may yet be found in the
Above Chews Landing, on the
Long-a-Coming road, lived John Hider. He was an intimate friend of Aaron Chew,
and served in the Revolution with him. The Hiders, of Gloucester, descended from
this family. Samuel Wetherell also located a large tract of land, on which a
part of Chews Landing now stands.
In 1745 John Hillman, son of John
Hillman, of Centre township, who was married to Abigail Bates, a daughter of
Joseph Bates, of Gloucester, purchased about five hundred acres of land from
Thomas Atkinson. This tract lay near the White Horse Tavern, and extended from
the south branch of Coopers Creek to the north branch of Timber Creek. To this
tract he removed and erected the house which became known later as the
Hinchman-Lippincott property. In 1751 he bought at sheriff’s sale one hundred
acres adjoining, known as the Mien-Southwick property. On the original purchase
was a saw-mill, on Timber Creek, which was operated as the property of Southwick
by Thomas Webster and Thomas Atkinson. It is supposed that it stood on the site
of Ephraim Tomlinson’s grist-mill.
John Hillman lived on his tract of land
many years, converting the timber that stood thereon into lumber and cordwood,
hauling the same to Chews Landing, whence it was taken to Philadelphia. His sons
likewise devoted themselves to clearing up farms out of the primitive forest.
These were Joab, Josiah, Daniel, James and John. He died in 1764, his wife
The John Hillman lands were originally
owned by Abraham Porter from 1714 to 1716, who had his house near the south side
of Coopers Creek, on Josiah Jenkins’ farm. He appears to have been an
unmarried man, and most likely not a Friend, as he served as a captain in the
military department of the province in 1722. Afterwards he was promoted to the
rank of major. It is quite probable that in this capacity he, and the company he
commanded, acted as the escort of the Governor when he visited the county to
hold the assizes of the crown. These visits were eventful to those holding their
commissions by appointment from the crown, and often occasions of considerable
display in the eyes of the plain people of that period. From the fact that
Captain Porter was promoted it is evident that he discharged his duties to the
satisfaction of those in authority. He owned large tracts of land, in all about
twelve hundred acres, and when he died, in 1729, his benefactions were extended
to all the neighboring churches, showing that he had a proper regard for the
advancement of religion and morality in his adopted country. Though long since
dead, and leaving no posterity to perpetuate his memory, he should not be
forgotten, and his generous traits may well be imitated.
In 1706 William Thorne, who had but
lately come from Long Island, purchased several tracts of land from Mordecai
Howell, on the head-waters of the south branch of Coopers Creek and the north
branch of Timber Creek. On a tributary of the latter stream he built a saw-mill,
which has been removed, but the site may still be seen. From this circumstance
the stream is called Thorne’s Mill Branch. It is believed that Thorne lived in
this locality and reared his family here, but since none of that name have been
here for many years, no authenticated statement to that effect can be made.
Dr. John H. Stevenson, of Haddonfield,
is of the opinion that William was the father of Joseph Thorne, who commanded a
company in the Second Battalion of Gloucester County Volunteers in the army of
the Revolution. The family Bible in the doctor’s possession shows that Captain
Thorne was born about 1733, and that he was married to Isabella Cheeseman, whose
family, lived on a tract of land adjacent to Thorne’s, on the north branch of
Timber Creek. In 1789, Richard Cheeseman had a landing at that place. After the
Revolution, and as recently as 1800, Captain Thorne lived at Haddonfield, but
spent his last days at the home of his son-in-law, Thomas Stevenson, at
Stevenson’s mill. There he died at the age of ninety years, and was buried in
the Newton Cemetery. His children were Mary, born 1757; John, born 1758; Keziah,
born 1760; Joseph, born 1762; Samuel, born 1764; and Rebecca, born 1768. As
stated above, the members bearing the name of Thorne in this vicinity died many
years ago, the only posterity remaining being descendants of the daughter. These
were married - Keziah to John Kay; Rebecca to Thomas Stevenson, grandfather of
Dr. John R. Stevenson; and Mary to James Clement. The latter family had one son
and two daughters, Elizabeth and Ann. The former married Nathan Bunker, a native
of New England, who was a merchant in Philadelphia. Their daughter became the
wife of James W. Paul, one of whose sons married the daughter of A.J. Drexel,
and a daughter became the wife of the Hon. Wm. B. Astor, of New York. The names
of other early settlers appear in connection with the church histories of the
CIVIL ORGANIZATION. - The
original township of Gloucester was erected, June 1, 1695, by the grand jury of
Gloucester County, with bounds as follows: "From ye said Newton Creek
branch to ye lowermost branch of ye Gloucester River shall be another
constablewick or township." In the same report the title of this new
township is given as Gloucester, and Elias Hugg named as the constable.
Extending thus southeastward indefinitely, its limits, not named above, were
undefined until 1765, when Samuel Clement surveyed all the headlines of the
township in the county. For more than half a century the township extended from
the Delaware River to the Atlantic Ocean, and for a like period from the river
to the extreme end of what is now Winslow township. The latter township was
formed out of the territory of Gloucester, by legislative enactment, March 8,
1845. But the western boundary of the township had already been moved eastward;
in November, 1831, by the erection of Union township, which subsequently, in
1855, became the present Centre township. Thus reduced, the area of Gloucester
was thirty-five and sixty-six one-hundredths square miles; but in 1859 a few
square miles were taken off in the neighborhood of Berlin, and annexed to
Waterford township, leaving Gloucester in its present condition. These frequent
changes have caused the records to be mislaid, which prevents the compilation of
a complete civil list. Since 1862 the following have been the principal
1863. Hurff Woodrow.
1871. Joshua B. Sickler.
1864. Amos C. Stevenson.
1873 -74. Samuel W. Lamb.
1865. Amos C. Stevenson.
1875 -76. Joshua G. Edwards.
1866. C.W. Taylor.
1877 -78. Joseph T. Wood.
1867. Benjamin K. Sharp.
1879. Samuel Shaffer.
1868 -69. Theo. F. Walker.
1880. Joseph T. Wood.
1870. Theo. F. Walker.
1881 -86. Edward M. Murphy.
1863 -64. Robert Henderson.
1875 -79. Joshua B. Sickler.
1865 -74. John North, Sr.
1880 -86. Edward J. Coles.
Collectors. - In
this period the township collectors have been Samuel P. Chew, Van Buren Giffin
and Joseph T. Wood.
SETTLERS IN THE TERRITORY OF OLD GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP.
Mahlon Medcalfe. A
first settler. Sheriff of old Gloucester County. Died 1718 leaving one son,
Joseph Tomlison. A
first settler. Lawyer and King’s attorney. Died 1719. Had sons Ephraim,
Joseph, Ebenezer, Richard, John, Othniel and William.
Joseph Tomlinson. Son
of Joseph, the emigrant. Died 1758, leaving sons Joseph and Samuel.
John Shiners. A
first settler. Died 1716. Had sons Samuel, John and Josiah.
John Glover. Came
from Long Island. Married Mary Thorne, and had sons Thomas, John T., Samuel,
Isaac, Joseph and Jacob.
John Hugg. A
first settler, and the owner of large tracts of land. Died 1706. Had sons John,
Elias, Joseph and Charles.
John Hugg, Junr. Eldest
son of John, the emigrant. Died 1730. Had sons Joseph, Gabriel, John, Elias and
Jacob Hugg. Youngest
son of John, Jr., the son of John, the emigrant.
Thomas Thackara. One
of the first Newton settlers. Died in 1702, and left sons Benjamin and Thomas.
Jacob Clement. Son
of Jacob the first settler. He was a practical surveyor of Haddonfield.
Justices of the Peace. - The
justices of the peace in the same length of time were, -
Joshua B. Sickler.
Wm. B. Bettle.
John North, Sr.
Theodore F. Walker.
Jacob I. Sayers.
Jonathan W. Cheeseman.
Jacob C. Lippincott.
Edward M. Murphy.
John H. Magee.
The only accounts obtainable, from any
of the records which have been preserved, pertain to the division of the
township into road districts, in 1829. James D. Dotterer, Samuel M. Thorn and
William Monroe were the township committee that year, and the following were the
overseers: William Peacock, Josiah Ware, Josiah Albertson, Jesse King, Isaac
Hugg, Jonathan Powell, Richard Bettle, David Albertson and Jacob Ware.
In the northwestern part of the
township, on the turn pike of the same name, is the old hamlet of White Horse,
so called from the old tavern whose sign was adorned with the figure of a white
horse. Previous to the building of the railroad it was a popular stopping-place
for travelers from Philadelphia to Egg Harbor, but for many years has had a
limited local patronage only. Among those best remembered as keepers have been
Ephraim Hillman, Joseph Wolohon, Minor Rogers, John Sharp, William Carson and
the present Erastus Davis. Half a dozen houses and shops were built in this
locality, the latter being yet carried on. Soon after the building of the Camden
and Atlantic Railroad a station was located near this place, which also bore the
name of White Horse; and for a time there was a post-office, with the same name.
After its discontinuance, another office was established, with the name of Marl
City, whose use was prostituted by unscrupulous Philadelphia parties, when the
department discontinued it. About fifteen years ago a new post-office was
established with the name of
KIRKWOOD, in compliment to Joel
P. Kirkbride, an influential farmer living in Waterford, near the station, which
also received this name. Theodore B. Bibbs was appointed postmaster and was
succeeded by the present incumbent, Ephraim Tomlinson. The latter opened the
first regular store in the place in 1870, building a new store in 1886. Here
are, also, the extensive ice-houses of the Wilson Coal and Ice Company and the
fine flouring-mill of J.P. Kirkbride, the latter being in Waterford township.
Coopers Creek was here first improved to operate a saw-mill, but in 1838 a small
grist-mill was built, which passed into the hands of the present owner in 1850,
and was by him improved to its present condition. The millpond is a large and
attractive sheet of water, bordered on the Gloucester side by a beautiful grove.
This became the property of the railroad company a few years ago, and was
Lakeside Park. - These
popular pleasure-grounds embrace about seventy acres of land, well inclosed and
provided with the means to secure rest and enjoyment. In the grove are many
native pines, whose odors add to the sense of enjoyment. The lake has been well
supplied with small boats, and in the park are many devices to amuse and
recreate the wearied mind and body. The company has provided abundant
transportation facilities, which has secured a liberal patronage for the park
Kirkwood Marl and Fertilizing
Company was organized in
January, 1879, with John Lucas, president; Joel P. Kirkbride, secretary and
treasurer; George M. Rogers, superintendent; John F. Bodine, Peter L. Voorhees
and Harvey Quicksall, directors. The company work the marl-beds near Kirkwood,
first developed, to a considerable extent, by Minor Rogers, and later worked by
George M. Rogers, until the present management took charge of them. The marl
here found is of superior quality, lying about three feet below the surface of
the ground, and the bed has a depth of fifteen feet. Easy means of shipment are
provided by track from the railroad, which runs through the beds. For the
manufacture of fertilizers suitable buildings and machinery have been provided.
About twelve men are employed.
The discovery and use of these
fertilizing agents, added to the natural richness of the soil in this locality,
has made splendid farm improvements possible. Among the finest may be named the
farm-buildings of Alexander Cooper, E.W. Coffin, Ephraim Tomlinson, J.P.
Kirkbride and Esaias E. Hunt.
LINDENWOLD is a projected
suburban town on the Camden and Atlantic Railroad, one-half a mile south of
Kirkwood. It was founded in the fall of 1885, and consists of two tracts of
land, No. 1 bordering on Lakeside Park, and lying on both sides of the railroad.
It contains ninety acres of land, and was the property of John A. Ellsler. Tract
No 2 adjoins the above-described, and extends southward to the White Horse
turnpike, having an area of one hundred and forty acres, which has been surveyed
into lots and placed upon the market by the Penn Guarantee Trust Association, of
which Winer Bedford is the secretary. The latter erected the first building in
the new town, which had, in May, 1886, a number of residences in process of
construction, indicating a prosperous future for the village.
The first business place was the office
of the South Jersey Advertiser, published here since February, 1886. The
paper was established at Camden, January 1, 1880, by C.E. Linch, as a
seven-column folio, devoted to general news. Its publication in that city was
continued until November 15, 1885, when the paper became the property of Frank
T. Coe, who removed it to Clementon, where it was published until its transfer
by Coe to Lindenwold. It is now issued as a six-column quarto, independent in
politics and devoted to local and county news.
CLEMENTON. - Clementon is a
small village on the Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railroad, five miles east of
Chews Landing. The first improvements were on the north branch of Timber Creek,
which here affords a good water-power, and consisted of small saw-mills and
grist-mills. They were gotten in operation about one hundred and fifty years ago
by Andrew Newman, and one of the early owners was William Lawrence, who built
part of the house which now forms the Gibbs mansion. Lawrence had in his service
a German redemptionist, named Christopher Kneiser, who succeeded to the
ownership of the property, removing after a few years to Philadelphia. After his
death Samuel Clement and some business associates became the owners of the
property, operating the mills and also built a glass-factory some time before
1825, which they successfully carried on several years. It stood on a hill in
what is now a pear-orchard, opposite the residence of Cyrus Watson, and had an
eight-pot furnace. Both hollow and flat-ware were manufactured, and as this was
one of the first factories in this part of the country, it was visited by a
large number of sightseers, many sleighing-parties of young people going there
from long distances. These found entertainment in the large gambrel-roofed house
on an adjoining lot, which was, at that time; kept as an inn.
A number of dwellings for the use of
the operatives had been built on the hill about the time the glass-works were
located, some of which were removed many years ago. The glass-works were
discontinued before 1830, and, as the employees moved to Gloucester County, the
village (which had been called Clementon, in compliment to Samuel Clement) was
left with nothing but its milling interests. After being owned by Thomas Risdon,
Jonathan Riley became the owner of this property, and in the course of years
sold it to Isaac Tomlinson, from whose heirs T.B. Gibbs and L.W. Snyder bought
the mills in 1872 and continued to operate them.
O.n the same stream, some distance
above, is the lumber-mill of Seth C. Bishop, and the Laurel Mills, owned by
Ephraim Tomlinson, both doing good service.
EPHRAIM TOMLINSON is a lineal
descendant of Joseph Tomlinson, who came to New Jersey from London, England, in
1686, and in his native land was a member of Horseleydown Friends’ Meeting.
When Joseph Tomlinson arrived in this country he was apprenticed to Thomas Sharp
to learn the trade of dyeing. When he attained his majority he entered eagerly
into the political affairs of his adopted country. He is said to have built the
first Friends’ Meeting-house at Newton. He was married in 1690, and located
one hundred and seventeen acres in Gloucester township, adjoining lands of
Joseph Wood. In 1695 he was chosen sheriff of Gloucester County, and in 1696 was
appointed King’s attorney, which position he held for many years, and by his
ability and integrity retained the confidence of his associates to his death, in
1719. His children were Ephraim, Joseph, Ebenezer, Richard, John, Othniel,
William, Elizabeth, Mary and Ann. Elizabeth married Bartholomew Wyatt; Ephraim
settled near the old homestead; Joseph occupied the home property; John located
three hundred acres near Gravelly Run; William moved to Waterford township;
Othniel removed to Salem County, and in 1753 took up his residence in Chester
County, Pennsylvania, near Concord Meeting-house; Ephraim, son of Ephraim,
succeeded to the homestead. It next became the property of Benjamin, from whom
it passed to James, brother of Ephraim Tomlinson, the subject of this sketch.
The old Harding mill, owned by the present Ephraim, is now called Laurel Mills,
and adjoins the old homestead, situated on the north branch of Great Timber
Creek. Ephraim Tomlinson, and Sarah, his wife, had three children, - Ephraim,
Mary and Elizabeth. He was a minister in meeting, and walked from Timber Creek
farm to Newton Meeting, the country being mostly timber land, through which he
passed to meeting.
Ephraim, who was born August 28, 1742,
settled on Timber Creek, and was married to Ann Olden, November 11, 1767. Their
children were Sarah, married to David Bassett[?]; Lydia, who died young;
Elizabeth, who married John Inskeep; Catherine, who was the wife of Robert
Stiles; James, who died in infancy; Joseph, who married Mary Cooper; Benjamin,
who married Frances Haines; Sarah and Ephraim, who died young. Benjamin
Tomlinson, by his marriage with Frances Haines, had but one child, Ephraim
Tomlinson, who has been long identified with the business interests of
Gloucester township. He was but a few days old when his mother died, January
He married Sarah T. Inskeep, daughter
of John and Elizabeth Inskeep, of Evesham, and had the following children:
Elizabeth I., Frances H., Ann, died young; William I., Edwin, Martha H., Ephraim
and B. Albert.
Ephraim Tomlinson cultivated three
large farms, grazed from forty to one hundred head of cattle yearly, erected and
conducted three stores, a sawmill and flour-mill, the mills being remodeled by
him later. One of the tracts he cleared of timber and made of it a good farm. He
erected comfortable and substantial mansions and outbuildings on all of them. He
has been always anxious to improve his neighborhood, and to lend a helping-hand
to his fellow-man, and is conscientious to be just and upright in all his
dealings. In 1886, while in his eightieth year, he had cleared a large tract of
land which was entirely covered with timber and brush; it is fast developing
into another good farm.
Ephraim Tomlinson, in 1873, retired
from his mill property in Gloucester township, and has since resided in
Waterford township. In 1861 he was elected a director in the State Bank of
Camden, and was one of the directors when the charter, in 1865, was changed, and
the institution became a national bank. He held the position as director in
1886, when he resigned, and his son-in-law, John Gill, was elected to fill the
Like his ancestors, he attends the
Society of Friends, and, at the age of eighty years, wonderfully preserves his
mental and physical vigor.
In the old tavern building, long since
used as a private dwelling, Matthew Mountainy opened the first store in the
place, being succeeded by Jeremiah Seeds. The latter afterwards established a
store on the ridge east from this place, where he continues in trade.
Additions to Clementon have been
platted by George A. Baghurst and others, and a number of houses have recently
been built for suburban homes by business men of Philadelphia. In the new
additions are fine building sites which will be improved so as to make this a
very attractive place. The first public building was the Town Hall, erected in
the summer of 1886 by the Clementon Hall Association, which was incorporated
with a capital stock of two thousand dollars, June 3, 1886. The members of the
association were Theodore B. Gibbs, George A. Baghurst, George H. Higgins,
Charles Bendler, Thomas Grist, John R. Rowand, Joseph Lippincott, R.W. Jaggard,
George Summerfield, Abel Battoms, Nicholas Bryan, George Cullum and James S.
Gibbs. It is a two-story frame structure, with sittings for three hundred
persons. In June, 1886, Clementon had twenty-five residences, two small stores
and a post-office.
WATSONTOWN is the name applied
to a scattered hamlet on the Berlin and White Horse turnpike, a mile from
Clementon. The only business interest is a small store kept by Aaron C. Watson.
Near this place, on a branch of Timber Creek, is a mill for refining and
pulverizing charcoal, operated by water-power, owned by John Rowand; and a mile
distant is a similar mill, operated by steam-power, which is the property of
BROWNSTOWN, a hamlet on a branch
of the North branch of Timber Creek, is a little more than a mile from
Clementon. It took its name from William Brown, who had a saw-mill and carried
on a lumber business at that place on an extensive scale. After the
discontinuance of the mill Brownstown became ordinary farm property.
DAVISTOWN is a hamlet of colored
people, having no business interests, and is located a little east of the centre
of the township. It derived its name from Solomon Davis, a venerable negro, who
lived at this point many years. Through his efforts, assisted by the whites in
that locality, a Methodist meeting-house for the use of the colored people was
there built about 1850, and has since been kept up. It is a very plain building
and the congregation has no regular preacher.
SPRING MILLS is the name of a
manufacturing hamlet on Great Timber Creek, one and a half miles above
Blackwood. The location is highly picturesque and the water-power at this point
is not excelled in this county. It is utilized to the extent of one hundred
horse-power, while the volume unemployed is fully as great. As early as 1810
this was the site of the Bates & Wilkins sawmills, which later became the
property of Jacob Glover. The improvements were very meagre and as late as 1836
a dense growth of tanglewood covered all but a small clearing around the mill.
At that time the Indian name, Tetamekon, was frequently applied to the locality.
About this period the advantages of this site for manufacturing purposes were
recognized, and, in 1836, Carr & Lunt, of Philadelphia, purchased the
property and established what have since become widely known as the Spring Mills
Agricultural Works. In a few years William H. Carr became the sole owner,
carrying on the works, with Stephen Bateman as his manager. He was a practical
machinist, from Naugatuck, Conn., and his labors here were characterized by the
energy peculiar to the natives of that State. His first operations were confined
to the manufacture of forks and shovels, those articles being here made
complete. The lumber used was brought in scows to Good Intent, which at that
time had tide-water communication, and was there worked into handles. The
finished goods were carted to Philadelphia, where their superior quality secured
them a ready sale, and notwithstanding the disadvantages of location, the
business prospered so that twenty men were employed. The first building was at
the lower power, but soon after another set of buildings were put up, on the
opposite side of the stream, for foundry purposes, which were carried on under
the superintendence of Thomas Loring, of Troy, N.Y. Here butt-hinges were also
made. In 1852 this building was destroyed by fire and a part of the building now
on that site was erected it its stead. In October, 1860, Stephen Bateman became
the owner of the property, and on the breaking out of the war engaged in the
manufacture of agricultural implements and wagons.
Soon after Loring established his
foundry below these works, improving a small power for that purpose, where he
continued some years, when the place was abandoned. In October, 1863, E.S. &
F. Bateman assumed the business of their father, and continued to produce the
same line of goods. Six years later the manufacture of wagons was discontinued,
and from that time cultivators were made a specialty.
In 1866 the Patent Metallic Company, of
Philadelphia, bought a part of the power and put up buildings for the
manufacture of metallic roofing, continuing operations until 1876, when the
factory was transferred to Philadelphia. These buildings, and others more
recently erected, are all occupied by the present firm of E.S. & F. Bateman.
E.L. Wilson became a partner in the firm in 1883, and since 1884 they have been
the sole owners of the entire property. The plant embraces twenty-seven acres of
land, several mansions and half a dozen tenements, in addition to the factory
These are arranged in three groups,
each having its separate power, No. 1 being devoted to steel-forging and
wood-working machinery, No. 2 to polishing work and No. 3 to iron-forging and
general work. There are also spacious storage rooms and offices. With the aid of
improved machinery the capacity of the works has been greatly augmented, without
increasing the number of workmen. In May, 1886, the employees numbered fifty,
who manufactured eighteen thousand "Iron Age Cultivators" per year.
On the turnpike, near the works, is the
spacious mercantile house of J.C. Bradshaw, erected in 1885, which is, in its
appointments, complete beyond the ordinary stores in small villages. Here is
kept the Spring Mills post-office, of which J.C. Bradshaw has been the
postmaster since its establishment, in 1876.
THE LOST TOWN OF UPTON. - Upton
was the name given to an embryo town, founded in the latter part of the
seventeenth century by some of the first settlers of old Gloucester County. It
is supposed that most of them had located there temporarily only after their
arrival in this country, in order to secure the protection against Indian
attacks which such a settlement would afford, or until they could look about and
select permanent homes. The Indians proving peaceable and the town-site
possessing no advantages to make it a commercial point, it was abandoned more
than a hundred and fifty years ago, and for a long time its very location was
involved in doubt; hence Upton is a lost town.
It was situated on the north side of
the south branch of Timber Creek, near the head of tide navigation, about one
and a half miles below Blackwood, and derived its name from Upton, in Berkshire,
England, where resided Thomas Staunton, the proprietor of the land. In 1687 he
sold it to Richard Ever, and in 1688 the latter disposed of his interests to
John Ladd. The same year James Whitall bought a part of this tract of land and
built the first house at Upton. He made a number of improvements and very likely
opened the first public-house. In 1695 John Hedger, Thomas Stephens and John Too
purchased lots, and real estate was also bought in 1697 by William and Israel
Ward, in 1698 by Thomas Bull and Edward Williams, in 1699 by Richard Chew, in
1700 by John Brown, and by Arthur Powell in 1701.
In 1697 occurred the first wedding of
the town, of which any record has been preserved, and the document is so unique
that it is here produced in its quaint form, -
sixteenth of November, Anno 1697. This may certify whom it may concern that I,
George Ward, of ye Towne of Upton and County of Gloucester, and Hannah
Waynwright, of Woodberry Creek, have been Published according to Law, and
nothing appearing contrary in any wise to hinder them, they have proceeded at a
public place appointed for that purpose as followeth ye said George standing up
and taking ye said Hannah by ye hand, saith as followeth: I, George Ward, in ye
presence of God and this Assembly, Take Hannah Waynwright to my Wife, promising
to be a loving Husband untill Death sepperate; and she, ye s’d Hannah in like
manner saith - I, Hannah Waynwright, in ye presence of God and this Assembly,
take George Ward to be my husband, promising to be a loueing Ffaithfull Wife
till Death Sepperate.
"HANNAH X WAYNWRIGHT."
"GEORGE X WARD.
The persons present were, -
"December ye first Anno 1697, The
within certificate was ordered to be recorded by "THO. GARDNER, Justice.
"December 8, 1697, Entr. Exam. and
Recorded pr me, "JOHN READING, Rec.
"Testes. John Reading."
It is likely that this George Ward was
either a brother or son of one of the Wards named above, and subsequently he
became a land-owner himself, at what is now Blackwood.
Richard Chew bought the Whitall
property, which was better improved than the rest, as his buildings appear to
have withstood the ravages of time longer than the others erected at this place,
which, being disused, soon went to decay. In 1723 he conveyed the Whitall
property to his son Thomas, who, in 1740, had a re-survey of the land made, by
means of which the location of the obliterated town was made possible. The most
of the buildings ceased to serve their purposes soon after 1700, the tavern
building, which was also a farm-house, being one of the last left standing. But
even this was abandoned after more direct lines of travel were established,
becoming a deserted inn, in a deserted village, not unlike the one so faithfully
portrayed by Goldsmith, -
"Near yonder thorn, that lifts its
head on high,
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,
Where gray-beard mirth and smiling toil retired;
Where village statesmen talked with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round."
The houses these villagers occupied
when living have all passed away, but the resting-place of their dead remains.
They established a grave-yard on the hill, near by, which has been kept up to
the present time and is reasonably well preserved. It was formerly called Wallan’s
grave-yard, but is now better known as Powell’s. The descendants of the Arthur
Powell mentioned heretofore enlarged the ground and put the yard in good
condition. Interments are yet occasionally made by families whose ancestors had
once resided at Upton.
CHEWS LANDING is on the north
branch of Timber Creek, now the head of tide-water navigation on that stream. By
direct turnpike from Camden it is distant nine miles. Though antedating the
Revolution, and being at one time a place of considerable importance as a
shipping point, the place has never grown beyond the proportions of a straggling
village. There are two churches, several stores and about thirty dwellings. The
name of the place was derived from Jeremiah Chew, who was a descendant of the
Thomas Chew living at Upton. He made some of the first improvements, including a
wharf, or landing, for the flat-boats plying between this point and
Philadelphia, and opened the first tavern. A part of this house is still
standing on the hill, which is also one of the original buildings. Before the
Revolution, Aaron Chew, the only son of Jeremiah, became the owner of the former
building. It was kept as a tavern, in 1780, by John Hedger, and John Lewis had
charge of the landing.
An incident of the Revolution. -
A few years before this it was
the scene of a stirring incident. Aaron Chew and a number of his neighbors had
espoused the patriot cause, and, being in the neighborhood of their homes, made
a visit to their friends. Their presence was reported to the British who
dispatched a party of dragoons to capture them. They surrounded the tavern,
where Aaron Chew and some of his companions were, firing a number of bullets
into the building, some of which are yet imbedded in the cedar logs, of which
its walls are constructed. The inmates took refuge in the cellar of the house,
and, thinking they had a favorable opportunity to escape, Aaron Chew and Josiah
Albertson attempted to run across a small field into the woods, but were seized
as they were passing over the fence. The latter eluded his captors, but Chew was
taken to New York and was confined as a prisoner on Long Island. In 1780 he was
at New Lott, on parole, but being a high-spirited man and chafing under the
restraint those in charge placed upon him, resented some of the indignities to
which he was subjected. This caused him to be reported to the commandant, who
wrote him the following letter:
"NEW YORK, August
"Complaint is brought against you
from your Landlord, that you have abused him and his wife. I hope you will be
careful to conduct yourself in such a manner as becomes a prisoner, and that you
will not give your Landlord any further cause of calling at this office to
remonstrate against you, which will prevent any further trouble.
"I am, sir, your humble
"JOHN WINSLOW, D.
"Lieut. Aaron Chew, Prisoner on
parole at New Lott: Long Island.
Not long after, Chew was allowed to
return home, in good health, and survived the war a number of years. But he was
always outspoken in his hostility towards the British and rejoiced that he could
live to see his country independent and prosperous. He died in 1805 at the age
of fifty-four years and is interred in St. John’s burial-ground.
His son Aaron was the father of Samuel
P. Chew, who was born in this village August 19, 1816. He was carefully
educated, studied law, but adopted surveying as his profession. On account of
his poor health his work was confined principally to his own neighborhood, where
it gave good satisfaction, as he was careful and methodical. His delicate
constitution predisposed him to consumption, which ended his life October 13,
1875. As he had no sons, he was the last male member of the Chew family in this
part of the county.
Hannah, a daughter of Lieutenant Aaron
Chew, the Revolutionary soldier, was married to George Hand, of Wilmington,
Del., but becoming a widow, had for her second husband John Clement, of
The elder Chews were in business at
Chews Landing, and had, as early neighbors and business contemporaries,
Christopher Sickler and family. He lived at the upper bridge, where his son
Christopher was born in 1774. After attaining manhood the latter built the house
now at that place and also conducted a store there for some time. Of his sons,
John R., born September 20, 1800, became a physician and later the editor of a
Camden paper. Jazer and Joshua, his brothers, engaged in business at Chews
Landing. The latter began merchandising near the centre of the village in 1839,
selling out to Jazer Sickler and began hotel-keeping near by. This public-house
is still continued, but the old Chew tavern was converted into a residence about
forty years ago.
In 1855, Joshua Sickler opened another
store and was appointed postmaster, continuing in business until 1882, when his
son, Edward P., succeeded him, being the present postmaster.
Near the old Chew tavern the North
family has been engaged in merchandising the past fifty years, John North, Sr.,
being the postmaster from 1872 until his death in 1885.
Chews Landing lost its importance as a
shipping point after the country was cleared up and there was no longer any wood
or lumber for market, but an occasional barge still lands here, loaded with coal
or manure from Philadelphia. The filling up of the stream has lessened the flow
of the tide, which is now no more than four feet at the highest. Before the
building of the Camden and Atlantic Railroad all the eastern section of the
township and much of Waterford shipped their heavy produce from the Landing.
Several wharves were maintained, and in addition to this shipping interest,
boat-building was carried on, principally by John North, Joseph Wolohon and
Edmund Brewer. The latter built a boat of about three hundred tons capacity for
Samuel Merrill, all the work being done here except the rigging, which was
fitted up at Philadelphia. Usually the capacity was from fifty to sixty tons and
there was but one small mast. No boats have lately been built, and when this
interest was discontinued many inhabitants removed and Chews Landing thenceforth
became an ordinary country trading point.
THE VILLAGE OF BLACKWOOD, the
oldest and largest village in the township, is delightfully situated on the main
branch of Timber Creek, eleven miles southeast from Camden and six miles
northeast from Woodbury, being connected with both places by good turnpikes. It
contains half a dozen business places, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist
Churches, a good graded school and a number of neat residences. The village
proper has about three hundred inhabitants. Including the hamlets of
Mechanicsville and Good Intent, which are in the immediate locality, the
population is considerably increased.
EARLY SETTLERS. - At the latter
place, which is partly in Gloucester County, the first improvements of a
business nature were made. In 1701 George Ward, of the town of Upton, bought a
tract of two hundred and fifty acres of land of Thomas Bull, of the same place,
and soon after improved the water-power, which was on this land, by erecting
small mills at what is now Good Intent, the buildings being just below the
present bridge. On the 16th of July, 1705, George Ward conveyed to John Royton
two acres of the above tract, "together with one-half of the grist-mill and
the fulling-mill; also one-half of the stream and bank-race belonging to said
mills, and the houses, buildings, press, coppers and the other utensils proper
and necessary to be used for carrying on the said works of grinding, fulling,
dyeing and pressing." On the 18th of April, 1741, George Ward sold
ninety-five acres of the aforesaid tract of land to John Blackwood, and on the
24th of the same month, in 1752, Blackwood bought one hundred acres more, which
included what is now the site of the village, which was known many years as
Blackwoodtown. It is probable that Blackwood settled here about the date of the
first purchase, for in 1750 he was the chief supporter of and contributor to the
building of the Presbyterian Church on part of his lands.
Meantime, Charles Read had become the
owner of the old Ward mills, having purchased the same at sheriff’s sale. In
1759 he conveyed them to John Blackwood, and some years afterward his son James
became the owner of at least part of the property. Thomas Wharton subsequently
owned the mills and other changes of ownership took place. In 1800 they were
called Kay’s Mills, and before 1820 the fulling-mill had been abandoned, the
only improvements being a small saw and grist-mill.
INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS. -
About this time Garrett Newkirk, of Philadelphia, became the owner of the
property, and in 1829 erected the first Good Intent cloth-mill, which was gotten
in operation the following year. Jonas Livermore was placed in charge of the
weaving department and also started the first circular-saw mill a year or so
later. The factory building was three stories high, forty by sixty feet, and the
mill was operated upon satinets. Some time before 1840 it was destroyed by fire,
but was at once rebuilt in much the same form as at first. About eight years
later it was again burned down, when, after a brief period, it was erected in
the form that it now appears. The main building is sixty by one hundred and
twenty feet, one story high, and is a stone structure. The finishing-house is
thirty by one hundred feet and two stories high.
The plant also embraces a flouring mill
and twenty-two tenements. The property is owned by a company in which Jonas
Livermore has a one fourth interest, his associates living outside of the
Since the war of 1861 -65 the works
have been operated, under leases, by a number of parties, in the manufacture of
woolen goods, oil-cloths and last upon horse-blankets. All but the grist-mill
have been inoperative the past few years, and, in consequence, many of the
former employees have removed, and the place has lost its busy aspect.
OLD HOTELS: - At the centre of
the village of Blackwood, opposite the grave-yard, is the oldest building in the
place, which has, since its erection, before the Revolution, been used as a
public-house. In 1790, Samuel Blackwood sold it to Samuel Cheeseman; and nine
years after, the latter conveyed it to Robert Chew. At this time John Sharp,
Richard Cheeseman, Samuel Strong and John Morgan appear to have been the owners
of the contiguous property, embracing, in the main, the village as it then was.
Richard Tice, David Eldridge, John Jones, John Wilkins and David Morgan were
successive landlords before 1831, when Edward Middleton took charge of the
place. His son-in-law, Uriah Norcross, then established a line of daily stages
to Camden, since which period the village has had a slow and uneventful growth,
but each year making a little advancement.
NORCROSS STAGE LINES.- The stage
lines established by Norcross were not confined to the county. He had a line
from Philadelphia to Cape May, and interests in lines to the south, the east and
the west. Having his headquarters at Blackwood, it was, in consequence a busy
place, as he had large stables of horses, numbering at times more than thirty.
In the course of years an opposition line was established, from the
"village to Camden," which the old driver regarded as an encroachment
upon his rights, and determined to resent at any cost. The fare was reduced to a
merely nominal sum, runners were employed to solicit patronage and the stages
once started, reckless driving was indulged in. It was no unusual thing for
Norcross to fasten a large brush, formed out of the branches of cedar trees, to
the rear of one of his vehicles, and then dash ahead of his rival, giving him
the full benefit of all the dust, and often enabling the indomitable Jehu to
come in first at the finish. Collisions were frequent, and, in consequence, many
cases of litigation ensued, which caused some diversion in the courts of that
A well-equipped line of stages to
Camden is still maintained, and a daily line is also run to Woodbury. Some of
the Middletons returned to Philadelphia, where Edward P. Middleton amassed great
wealth. He died, April 1, 1869, and was buried at Blackwood, where a very
elegant and costly monument was erected to his memory, and a marble tomb placed
over his grave.
In 1845 George Cheeseman built a brick
house, in the southern part of the village, which was kept some years by him and
Charles Sharp as a temperance hotel. In 1852 it was converted into a boarding
school, which was successfully carried on by Professors Hinds, Stratton, Bugbee
and Hamilton, each having the principalship several years. The attendance was
usually good and embraced among the students several young men from Cuba. In
1872 a public school was kept there a short time, when the house was remodeled,
and is now the residence of Richard Stevenson.
STORES. - Opposite the old
tavern is an old store standing, where a number of persons have been engaged in
trade, including Arthur Brown, Edward Turner, Richard and Joseph Williams and
Joseph and Josiah Wood. David Lamb opened another store which was destroyed by
fire. A third store was opened by Arthur Brown, near the present Samuel Hagerman
stand. The latter is a large, new store, well appointed and fully stocked. A
fourth store was opened by Thomas Ashburner, in the building which had been
erected as a hall by the Sons of Temperance, where Edgar J. Coles is at present
A complete list of the physicians who
practiced at Chews Landing and Blackwood may be found in the general medical
chapter. At Blackwood, Doctor Henry E. Branin has been a physician of successful
and extensive practice since 1858, having as his contemporary, at this time,
Doctor Joseph E. Huoff.
MECHANICSVILLE is on the Camden
turnpike, a mile from Blackwood, and contains fifteen houses. There were
formerly several small stores, and a few mechanic shops are yet maintained, from
which circumstance the hamlet took its name. Its situation between Blackwood and
Chews Landing is unfavorable to its becoming a business point.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AT BLACKWOOD.* -
The early history of the Presbyterian congregation of this village is somewhat
obscure, but judging from a minute in the records of the Presbytery of New
Brunswick, at its session held in Philadelphia, November 7, 1750, it must have
been in existence at that date, as a call was then extended to Benjamin Chestnut
to become the pastor, in connection with the congregations at Penn’s Neck and
Woodbury. He had been received by the Presbytery the preceding year and was the
first minister whose pastoral connection with these churches is recorded. But
there are no means to determine who composed the Congregation at the head of
Timber Creek, nor is it known where the first meetings were held. On the 22d of
May, 1751, Mr. Chestnut formally accepted the call which had been extended to
him, and, on the 3d of July, the same year, was ordained to the ministry.
In the mean time the people of this
place felt the necessity of having a house of worship and "proposed to use
their joint endeavors to erect a house or Presbyterian Church for public worship
in some convenient place," and accordingly obtained from John Blackwood,
October 18, 1751, one month after Mr. Chestnut’s ordination, one acre of land,
upon which to build the house, this acre being a part of the present
burial-ground. Mr. Blackwood being a Scotchman and a stanch Presbyterian, was
foremost in this good work. He gave the people the lot for a merely nominal
consideration, two shillings and sixpence, and undertook the work of building
the church. The trustees were Michael Fisher, Esq., Joseph Hedger, Peter
Cheesman, John McColloch, Lazarus Pine and Henry Thorne. The people subscribed
toward the enterprise, but some were slow to pay their subscriptions (a fault
not confined to those early days), as we learn from the records of Presbytery
that "Mr. John Blackwood, of the congregation of Timber Creek, represented
to the Presbytery," May 12, 1756, nearly five years afterward, "that
being employed by the said congregation to carry on the work of building their
meeting-house, he has suffered much in his worldly interest by the refusal of
many persons to pay their subscriptions for that purpose, and having no way to
be relieved in that case, requested the assistance of the Presbytery. Presbytery
therefore recommended to the congregation of Timber Creek to consider Mr.
Blackwood’s case, and by their subscriptions, or otherwise, to help make up
his loss according to their ability, and especially as said meeting-house is for
the public use of the society, and erected at their desire; and the Presbytery
does appoint Mr. Lawrence to preach there on Thursday next and endeavor to
inculcate the same."
This action of the Presbytery, in
appointing Mr. Lawrence to preach, was made necessary on account of Mr. Chestnut’s
leaving the congregation, in 1753. Soon after he began his ministry here trouble
arose between him and some of the members, which caused the Presbytery to
dismiss him, at his request, May 17, 1753. He continued to supply the
congregation a few months after this, but, in November 1753, removed to New
Providence, where he remained a period of fourteen years.
During this time the congregations were
supplied with preaching a few Sabbaths each year by Messrs. Greenman, Lawrence,
Hunter, Marten, Ramsey, Beatty, Williams and John Brainerd. In October, 1766, an
unsuccessful effort was made to secure the latter as pastor, and the following
year Benjamin Chestnut moved to Blackwood and began supplying the pulpits of
that church and those of Long-a-Coming and Woodbury. A few years later a
difficulty arose with the congregation at Woodbury on account of the
congregations not having separate church organizations, which became a matter of
consideration for the Presbytery, November 7, 1769, on the petition of the
following thirty-three members of the congregation at Timber Creek: Lazarus
Pine, Peter Cheesman, Samuel Perce, Randal Morgan, Isaac Flaningam, David
Morgan, Richard Cheesman, Richard Cheesman, Jr., John Walling, Uriah Cheesman,
Christopher Sickler, John Hedger, Jonathan Wilkins, Peter String, Richard
Chessman, younger, Richard Smallwood, Israel Williams, John Williams, Robert
Maffat, William Jolly, Randal Marshall, Thomas Nightingale, Patrick Flaningam,
Isaac Dilkes, George Morgan, Abraham Morgan, Benjamin Brown, John Rodgers, James
Perce, William Perce, Jacob Burch,
Samuel Wild and William Kidd.
In answer to which, Presbytery could
only say that as there were no commissioners from Woodbury, and the minutes of
the committee appointed to settle the matter were not present, they would defer
it to their next meeting. The whole difference was afterwards amicably adjusted
by the two congregations on the following basis:
That the congregations at the head of Timber Creek and Woodbury be considered as
separate congregations under the pastoral care of one minister.
That Timber Creek and Woodbury, though separate congregations, have but one
That each congregation choose their own officers and keep separate
subscriptions, and have equal service of the ministerial labors of their
That the parsonage entirely belong to the congregation at the head of Timber
Creek, and what money Woodbury people have given or may give towards the
parsonage land or building a house thereon, shall be repaid by the Timber Creek
people again when Woodbury people shall purchase a parsonage or build a
This was in November, 1770.
The parsonage property was sold by
David Morgan to Michael Fisher, Esq., David Roe, Lazarus Pine, Peter Cheesman,
Randal W. Morgan, Samuel Blackwood and Abraham Roe, October 18, 1765, for the
sum of one hundred and sixty-five pounds proclamation money, "under this
trust and confidence, that these men shall and will from time to time, and at
all times hereafter, permit and suffer the Ministers and Elders of the
Presbyterian Church of Timber Creek, to receive and take the rents, issues and
profits of the said estate, to and for the use, support and maintenance of such
minister, who shall be duly approved of and appointed by the First Presbytery of
Philadelphia; and also to sell and convey the same."
Mr. Chestnut lived in the parsonage
until his death, July 21, 1775, when he was interred in the grave-yard connected
with the church. In 1851 the congregation at Blackwood erected a plain
tomb-stone over his grave, which has since marked his resting-place. His later
labors were more successful than the first, and it is said that the whole region
was under Presbyterian influence.
After Mr. Chestnut’s death, dark days
of adversity overtook the church. Most of the male members left their homes to
engage in the patriotic struggle of the Revolution, and no doubt many of them
laid down their lives in defense of the glorious principles of liberty for which
the people fought.
Dr. Everitt writes: "In 1776 John
Brainerd preached on the text: ‘Blessed be the Lord, my strength, which
teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight!’ He appealed to the people
to enlist and fight for their country. His congregation was deeply impressed.
Tears flowed freely. Stout hearts and strong wills that day resolved to join the
American army. Randal Morgan and his two sons, Lazarus Pine and his sons, John
Hedger, David Morgan, Richard Cheeseman and his son all served in the war, and
others no doubt enlisted."
The ministers who occasionally supplied
the church from 1775 to 1786 were Messrs. Grier, Eakin, Hunter, Greenman,
Duffield and Dr. Sproat, giving the people two or three services on Sabbaths
between the semi-annual sessions of Presbytery; and this was all that could be
furnished to keep alive the congregation in this place.
"By the end of the war there was a
sad decline in the church. Lazarus Pine, of all the leading men, was alone left
to look after its interests. No new members had been received and the church
building had become dilapidated. The old church was without windows and doors
and served as a playhouse for boys by day and a stable for sheep at night. The
tavern on the opposite corner furnished, at times, a drunken rabble that held
fiendish orgies about the holy ground, and the burial-place of our fathers was
rooted over by swine and pastured over by drovers’ herds. The community had
sunken to a very low depth of degradation, and drunkenness, rioting, profanity
and debasing sports abounded. As an instance of the state of the morals at that
time, it is said that a sleighing party was holding a midnight dance at a tavern
in the neighborhood, when one of their number fell down dead. His comrades
stopped their revels only long enough to remove the corpse to the side of the
room and cover it up with a blanket, and then went on with their
Mr. Hunter, who also served as a
chaplain in the Continental army, preached at Blackwood more frequently than any
other supply, continuing until 1797, when he removed from this part of the
State. In the spring of 1799, Thomas Picton was called by the foregoing
congregations, and was ordained to the ministry June 13th of that year. On the
4th of June, 1801, a meeting of the session of elders was held at Blackwoodtown
(the records for the first time calling the church by that name), and church
work was again practically begun. Charles Ogden was present as the ruling Elder,
having been ordained to that office November 20, 1799. He served in that
capacity until his death, in 1824. On the 12th of September, that year, Henry
Roe and William Tatum were ordained elders, the former only serving any length
Mr. Picton labored in this field until
1804, when, on account of inadequate support, he requested the Presbytery to
release him from his charge. The congregation was cited to show cause why this
should not be done, and on November 12th, at an adjourned meeting, the
commissioners of the united congregations declared that they were not able to
give Mr. Picton the support he deserved, and so were obliged to acquiesce,
though with regret, to the dissolution; whereupon the relation was dissolved.
When Mr. Picton came among this people
the old church was in a dilapidated condition. The floor was nearly all gone,
the door off its hinges and most of the windows out. The seats were slabs placed
upon blocks of wood. At recess the children of the school collected in the
rickety building to play. In 1801 a new church was built a little in the rear of
the present one, which stood until 1848 - a very commodious little church,
where much good service was done for the cause of religion.
For four years the church was dependent
on supplies, Rev. Nathaniel Todd becoming the next pastor, in 1808, continuing
until 1815. For several years there was no preaching, and in 1821 the only
communicants appear to have been Samuel Pierce, John Goddard and Margaret
Goddard, besides Elder Ogden. In this period the pulpit was supplied by William
Rafferty, Ira Ingraham and Joseph H. Jones. The latter had a successful
ministry, increasing the members to nine by the end of 1824. The following year
Rev. Sylvester Scovel took charge of the church and remained a little more than
three years. He was not installed pastor, but acted as stated supply. During his
ministry twelve were added to the church. In 1828, May 3d, Major Peter Cheesman
was ordained elder over this church, thus giving it a separate organization from
Woodbury, and better preparing it for its great work. Two members died during
Mr. Scovel’s ministry, one was dismissed to a sister church and one was
suspended from the communion. It may be interesting to know the names of the
members of the church received before and during Mr. Scovel’s ministry. They
were Samuel Pierce, John Goddard, Margaret Goddard, Martha Pierce, Elizabeth
Dotterer, Rebecca Chew, Sarah Pierce, Eleanor Morgan, Rebecca Pierce, Peter
Cheesman, Sarah Cheesman, Sarah Ann Cheesman, Margaret Pierce, Amy Jaggard,
Beulah Elkinton Wilkins, Sophia Charles, Elizabeth Morgan, Matilda Ashton
Jaggard, Hannah Zane, Cynthia Ann Jaggard, Sarah Ann Marshall.
Mr. Scovel left September 1, 1828, and
for a little more than a year the pulpit was supplied, when Charles Williamson
began a pastorate which continued seven years, when it was terminated on account
of inadequate support.
Mr. Randal W. Morgan was elected and
ordained elder August 10, 1834, and served the church fourteen years, when he
passed to his reward.
June 18, 1837, Rev. S.D. Blythe
received a call from the united churches at a salary of eight hundred dollars, -
five hundred dollars from Woodbury and three hundred from Blackwoodtown. He
commenced his labors July 4th of that year. Besides preaching regularly on the
Sabbath, he taught school during the week, until he failed in health, and was
obliged to give up teaching. In 1842, July 6th, he requested his congregation to
unite with him in seeking a dissolution of the pastoral relation, but they were
unwilling to part with him, and he remained until his death, June 23, 1843. His
labors were greatly blessed, and were the means of establishing firmly the
church in this community. Thirty-four members were received by him, fifteen of
whom are still with the church. The first year of his ministry Samuel Coles and
Jonas Livermore were elected and ordained elders, October, 1837. Mr. Coles
served the church nearly sixteen years, up to the time of his death.
In September, 1839, the total
membership of the church was fifty-three. As the membership increased in
numbers, they began to think of the propriety of having a minister who should
give all his time to this field. The interests of the congregation seemed to
them to require it; and although not strong in numbers, or in pecuniary ability,
they finally determined to undertake the work of supporting a minister who
should devote himself to this particular field. In the spring of 1843 they
secured the services of Rev. John Burtt, who continued as their minister until
the spring of 1859, - sixteen years, - when, on account of failing health, he
requested the consent of session to his resignation of his relation as stated
supply. His resignation was accepted. During his ministry there were received
into the membership of the church seventy persons, of whom twenty-eight are
still members. The others, with the exception of one, have died or been
dismissed to other churches. Mr. Burtt did good work for the cause here, by his
clear, forcible and solid preaching. He gave strength and permanency to the work
that had already been begun, and when he left it, it was in a fit condition for
the rapid growth and prosperity that took place under his youthful and zealous
successor, Rev. B.S. Everitt. In 1848 Mr. Burtt signified to the session his
desire to leave, but after due consideration it was thought best that, provided
the church should proceed to the erection of a new edifice for public worship,
he should continue his labors, and so he agreed to postpone the subject. The
work was soon commenced, and the church now in use was erected.
The people built for his use the
present commodious parsonage.
William Stevenson was elected and
ordained elder June 18, 1848; Samuel Eckel and Charles Stevenson, March 27,
1852. Mr. Eckel died after a short service of two years. Randal E. Morgan was
ordained March 26, 1854.
Rev. B.S. Everitt became pastor of this
church in June, 1859, and remained until May, 1864, five years. His ministry was
very successful indeed, one hundred and four members having been added to the
church, of whom fifty four are still members. The church building became too
small for the worshippers, and it was determined either to enlarge or build a
new house of worship. It was finally resolved to enlarge, and about fourteen
feet were added to the building, making it its present size. This was done in
In 1861 D.E. Marshall and C.E. Pierson
were elected ruling elders.
After Mr. Everitt’s departure, Rev.
Charles Wood was called, August 16, 1864. During his ministry twenty-two were
received, of whom sixteen still remain. Mr. Wood labored very earnestly and
zealously. During his and Mr. Everitt’s and Mr. Burtt’s pastorates the
Sunday-school was in a very flourishing condition.
In February, 1867, Mr. Wood’s
pastorate was closed, and in March, the same year, the present pastor, the Rev.
F.R. Brace, began a successful ministry, which has been continuous to this
period. In 1876 Richard B. Stevenson and Samuel N. Chase were added to the
session of ruling elders. In 1880 a lecture-room, twenty-four by forty-eight
feet, was built in the rear of the chapel, and, in 1885, the church was
renovated at an expense of one thousand dollars. In 1886 there were one hundred
and sixty-five members, and the moneys raised for all purposes amounted to about
one thousand six hundred dollars per year. The church property was in good
condition and was in charge of Trustees Jonas Livermore, Richard B. Stephenson,
Samuel N. Chase, Joseph M. Coles, Ellison Turner, Wm. P. Wilcox and Frank
In the grave-yard the interment of the
following aged persons was noted:
Lazarus Pine, died 1796, aged eighty
Jonathan Pine, died 1876, aged
James Pine, died 1863, aged eighty-two
Ann Pine, died 1872, aged eighty-six
Jonathan Williams, died 1848, aged
Gerhard Wood, died 1879, aged
Mary Leek, died 1866, aged eighty
Joseph Smallwood, died 1870, aged
Diademia Smallwood, aged 1872, aged
Isaac S. Collins, died 1840, aged
Robert Jaggard, died 1844, aged
Charles Wilkins died 1836, aged
ST. JOHN’S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL
CHURCH,** at Chews Landing, ~was founded in 1789. Prior to the organization
of the parish, that year, the baptism of several children, by Episcopal
clergymen, is recorded, indicating that meetings may have been held in this
locality some time previous to the formation of the church. On the 6th of
September, 1789, Rev, Levi Heath commenced to hold services regularly, and
gathered together the adherents of the Episcopal faith, who organized themselves
as a parish of the Protestant Episcopal Church on the 14th day of November,
1789. There being no church building in which to worship, measures were taken at
this meeting to secure funds to build a church, and a subscription list was
circulated, which was headed by Aaron Chew and Joseph Hall Fleming. After these
names many others followed, some of the surnames being still borne in the
southern part of the county.
After matters had somewhat progressed,
and a deficiency of means to complete the church had been discovered, another
list was prepared, which Aaron Chew took to Philadelphia, October 1, 1791, where
he received material encouragement from many of the citizens, which enabled the
parish to complete its church.
The determination to build this church
was made at a meeting held December 12, 1789, when it was resolved to build
"on the one acre of land that was given by Isaac Jones, of the city of
Philadelphia, executor to the estate of Samuel Wetherill, late of the city of
Burlington, deceased, bounded by the lands of Aaron Chew, the said Isaac Jones
and the Landing road from Long-a-Coming to Chews Landing." Another minute
in the records follows, -
"Gloucester township, August 12,
1790. The Protestant Episcopal Church, formerly known by the name of the Church
of England, was raised this day, near the head of Timber Creek, in said
township, and was named by some of the contributors present Saint John’s
Church, after our Lord’s beloved disciple, Saint John."
The church was a frame building, having
the general appearance of a two-story dwelling-house, and stood in the
burial-ground which was opened on the aforesaid acre of land. It was small and
plain, but compared favorably with the other buildings in the neighborhood.
On the same day the church was raised
the first trustees were elected, whose names were John Hider, Richard Cheeseman,
John Thorn, Joseph Hall Fleming, John Marshall, Sr., Ephraim Cheeseman and Jacob
Phifier. But it was determined, May 1, 1791, to discontinue this board of
trustees, and elect in their stead two wardens and twelve vestrymen. Accordingly
were chosen Joseph Hall Fleming and Ephraim Cheeseman as wardens; John Hider,
Joseph Hugg, Richard Cheeseman, John Marshall, Jacob Phifier, Adam Batt, John
Sanders, John Thorn, Samuel Harrison, Jr., Jacob Sickler, George Ott and Jacob
Griffith as vestrymen.
The number of the vestrymen, exclusive
of the wardens, was reduced to seven the following year, and, in 1795, no
election seems to have taken place at all, Aaron Chew "being appointed to
keep the records." In the fall of 1799 two wardens and seven vestrymen were
again chosen, whose election appears to have been the last until March 31, 1826,
when a vestry of five members was chosen. Now occurred elections at irregular
intervals, and, on the 28th of June, 1847, Rev. Hiram R. Harrold, at that time
the minister of the parish, writes, - "The minutes of several annual
meetings not having been recorded at the time, they were mislaid and cannot be
found; this accounts for the interruption of the records."
The latest of these elections, held
April 27, 1856, was, it seems, the last one the parish had. Those chosen
on this occasion were Josiah B. Sickler and Jacob S. Bendler as wardens; and
Joseph J. Smallwood, Joshua Sickler, Edmond Brewer, Samuel P. Chew and Joseph
Powell as vestrymen. For a long period, dating back from the present time
(1886), the parish has practically had no vestry.
The first minister of the church was
Rev. Levi Heath, who served from September 6, 1789, to June 29, 1794. The parish
appears to have been without a rector until April, 1825, when Rev. Robert Hall
ministered here for one year.
After an interval of six years Rev.
Simon Wilmer began his labors in this parish, working in a zealous manner for
the promotion of the cause of Christ, continuing until September 22, 1834. From
January, 1835, to February 22, 1836, Rev. John Jones served the parish.
On the 28th of February, 1836, Rev.
Hiram R. Harrold became the rector, and continued that relation until 1850.
After this no stated services were held for a period of ten years, the church
being seldom occupied, except for funerals, and the parish was almost wholly
In 1861 a Sabbath-school was organized
in the church, which soon numbered a hundred members, and was attended by a deep
interest in religious matters. Soon after, Rev. Joseph F, Garrison, rector of
St. Paul’s Church, Camden, began to hold services, every four weeks, after the
close of the Sabbath-school, and continued these meetings ten years, when his
poor health admonished him to relinquish this extra work. His labors are still
remembered with gratitude, as they were the means of reviving the parish.
After this ministry Rev. Gustavus M.
Murray, rector of the church at Haddonfield, took up the work, also in
connection with his other parish labor. His ministry commenced September 1,
1872, and continued ten years. It was characterized by an increased interest in
church matters, which led to the erection of the present fine building, in 1881.
It was built on a lot situated between the old church and the Blackwood
turnpike, which was conveyed for this purpose by the heirs of Samuel P. Chew.
The corner-stone was laid by Bishop John Scarborough, D.D., assisted by Rector
Murray and others, on Sunday, Nov. 14, 1880.
In a little less than a year the church
was ready for consecration, that service being performed Wednesday, November 9,
1881, also by Bishop Scarborough, assisted by Rev. Joseph F. Garrison and other
ministers. The church is built of handsome stone, in the Gothic style of
architecture, having dimensions of about thirty by sixty feet. The roof is of
slate, and is relieved by a bell gable. The interior is finely finished, the
windows being of stained glass. The entire cost was about five thousand dollars,
which includes the value of the stone, donated by Edmond Brewer, whose
liberality made the erection of such a fine building at this place possible. The
stones were procured at Ridley Creek, Pa., and were delivered by Mr. Brewer on
the ground, having been brought up the creek, to a point near the old landing,
on his scows.
After the ministry of Mr. Murray
closed, in 1882, the church had no regular service for a period, but, in 1883,
Rev. R.G. Moses became the minister, serving only a few months. Then his son,
John Moses (now an ordained minister), held lay services several months longer.
On the 1st of November, 1883, Rev.
William Matthias became the rector and the first resident clergyman of the
parish. He has since regularly held two services each Sabbath, and also held
week-day meetings on special occasions. Soon after, he took charge of the parish
he urged the building of a rectory, and began soliciting subscriptions to
accomplish such a purpose. Richard N. Herring, of Chews Landing, deeded a lot,
opposite the church, as a site on which to build the rectory, and work on it was
begun in the spring of 1885. It was completed in October, the same year, and is
truly a fine residence. Its cost, with the perpetual insurance on it, was
twenty-two hundred dollars. This amount having been fully met, an effort is now
being made by the parish to secure means to purchase a pipe-organ for the
In the cemetery connected with St. John’s
Church the following interments have been noted:
Joshua Sickler, died 1883, aged
John Hider, died 1847, aged sixty-four
Sarah Tomlinson, died 1849, aged
Samuel B. Hunter, died 1845, aged
Abbie Marshall, died 1838, aged
Christopher Sickler, died 1843, aged
Sarah R. Sickler, died 1857, aged
Aaron Chew, died 1805, aged fifty-four
Aaron Chew, Jr., died 1822, aged
Rebecca Chew, died 1849, aged
Robert Brewer, died 1878, aged
John Parker, died 1796, aged
James Tillier Smith, died 1798.
Adam Bendler, died 1857, aged
John C. Lippincott, died 1882, aged
George Miller, died 1863, aged
Sarah Miller, died 1879, aged
Ruth Happer, died 1829, aged seventy
Sarah Howey, died 1847, aged
Jacob Sickler, died 1823, aged
Esther Sickler, died 1825, aged
Josiah R. Sickler, died 1876, aged
Joseph Hall Fleming, died 1831, aged
Susannah Fleming, died 1828, aged
Isaac Hider, died 1824, aged fifty
Amy Hider, died 1839, aged sixty-one
Hannah Ellis, died 1829, aged
A large number of graves are unmarked
by headstones, while many others have simple stone slabs to indicate the spot
where repose some of the first pioneers df this section.
THE BLACKWOOD METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH. - AS early as 1800 the voice of the Methodist missionary was heard
in this locality. Following the customs of those times, meetings were held in
the open air or at the houses of those friendly to the new faith, and no
ordinary obstacle prevented them from disseminating the truths of their
religion. In some places the people heard them gladly, but at others a vigorous
opposition was encountered, which had the effect of intensifying their zeal.
Among those who thus labored were the following:
Among the early Methodist members were
persons belonging to the Brown, Kaighn, Hagerman, Woodrow, Turner, Pilling,
Pratt and North families, all of whom have left the church militant to join the
church triumphant. A small plain meeting-house of wood was built at Blackwood,
which was in use until the present spacious edifice was erected, in 1856, when
the old building was removed to become a residence, which is at present the home
of Mrs. Pratt. The new structure is a two-story frame building, having three
rooms in the basement and a large, fine auditorium, costing, to complete, seven
thousand dollars. At the time it was built the board of stewards was composed of
William Kaighn, Thomas Pilling, Cornelius Hagerman, David Wood, John Pratt,
James D. Turner and Joseph Van Dexter. The minister at that time was the Rev.
Joseph Atwood, who superintended the building. The charge had about one hundred
members, and had just taken rank in the Conference as a station, sustaining that
relation ever since. The pastors of the church, since its erection as a separate
charge, have been the following:
1856. Joseph Atwood.
1870 -71. J.H. Stockton.
1857 -58. James White.
1872 -73. Joseph Ashbrook.
1859. Benjamin F. Woolston.
1874. John Fort.***
1860 -61. Samuel Parker.
1875 -77. G.H. Tullis.
1862 -63. J.H. Stockton.
1878 -80. J.B. Westcott.
1864. A. Owen.
1881 -82. M.C. Stokes.
1865. G.R. Snyder.
1883 -85. J.W. Morris.
1866 -67. Albert Matthews.
1886. D. W. C. McIntire.
1868 -69. John S. Phelps.
During the pastorate of Rev. Phelps the
church was cleared of the debt which had been weighing it down ever since it was
built, and from that time the congregation has flourished. In 1886 there are one
hundred and eighty-six members, of whom the following were trustees: James
Gardner, Samuel Graybury, Richard Morgan, J.W. Rapp, J.T. Wood, James Powell,
Aaron Van Dexter, E.T. Brown and James Jones. A Sunday-school, of one hundred
and fifty members, has Theodore Hider as its superintendent.
THE CHEWS LANDING METHODIST
EPISCOPAL CHURCH. - This church was founded in 1812, when a small
meeting-house was built at this place for the accommodation of different
denominations who might choose to occupy it. After the lapse of a few years the
Methodists were the only ones to continue their meetings, and they only at long
intervals, being finally altogether discontinued on account of the removal of
members and the death of some who formed the original class. The building became
dilapidated and fell into such a state of decay that it became a common
sheep-pen and the habitation of birds and bats. In this neglected condition it
remained until about sixty years ago, when it was repaired and was again devoted
to its original use and purpose. The membership, though small, increased, and a
permanent congregation was organized, which erected a better house of worship a
few years later, and which was used until the present church took its place. It
is a plain but not unattractive frame building, upon which work was commenced
August 24, 1878, and which was consecrated November 28th, the same year. The
church cost, to complete, about fifteen hundred dollars, and is now in good
repair. The lot upon which it stands is favorably located, and also comprises a
The church has been connected with a
number of charges, belonging at present to Hedding Circuit, which was formed in
March, 1878, and is one of three appointments on that charge. The pastors have
1878 -79. J.B. Thompson.
1883. D.D. Fisler.
1880 -81. John P. Connoley.
1885. T.D. Sleeper.
1882. H.J. Zelley.
1886. J.B. Dare.
The church at Chews Landing has a
membership of sixty-five, and has, in 1886, the following trustees: William
Toommy, James Stetser, Moses Batton, William D. Redrow, Franklin Price, Geo. W.
Barrett and James McCulley.
A Sunday-school of one hundred and ten
members has Mrs. Emily Warthman as its superintendent.
METHODIST PROTESTANT CHURCH. -
On the Berlin turnpike, one and a half miles from Kirkwood, is a house of
worship belonging to the above denomination. It is an unpretentious, small frame
building, erected in 1859, on a lot donated for this purpose by human Rowand.
The society occupying it has a small membership, confined principally to the
Watson and Rowand families. The Rev. Timothy Heiss, was the first preacher, and
the Rev. William Bunch is the present. A well-attended Sunday-school is
maintained in the church, which is connected with the church in Winslow in
forming a pastoral charge.
BLACKWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH.(4*) -
The Baptist Church at Blackwood was constituted February 23, 1848. No written
records have been kept of the influences at work prior to the organization of
the church and leading to it, of the securing of a place for meetings or for
From men still living were gleaned the
following facts: During the year 1847 Rev. Henry Westcott, a Baptist minister,
visited Blackwood, inquiring for members of Baptist Churches, and seeking for an
opportunity to preach to them. With the assistance of Joseph V. Edwards, a
member of the Haddonfield Baptist Church, he obtained permission to preach in
the Methodist Church, and several services were held there during the year.
These meetings tended to stimulate the Baptists scattered about the community,
and led them to rally around Mr. Westcott as a leader. Later he obtained
permission to preach in what was then known as the Good Intent Church.(5*) These
meetings were held more or less regularly until the close of the year 1847. By
this time a sufficient number of Baptists had been gathered together to justify
them in uniting to form a church. To further this conviction of duty, articles
of faith and a church covenant were adopted, and it was deemed advisable to call
a council of neighboring Baptist Churches to consider the propriety of
organizing a regular Baptist Church at Blackwood.
In response to the above call, the
council met, and, growing out of that meeting, we have the following minute:
February 23, 1848.
"The friends of Zion met in the
meeting-ouse at Good Intent for the purpose of constituting a regular Baptist
Church, the following-named persons, who have obtained letters of dismission
from their respective churches:
"Joseph V. Edwards.
Thomas T. Firth.
John W. Peterson.
Sarah A. Morgan.
Catharine A. Taylor.
Julia P. Parham.
Emily H. Wilkins.
The following-named brethren, bearing
credentials from their respective churches, composed the council of recognition:
From Haddonfield, Rev. Wm. H. Brisbane, Deacons Thomas Ellis, Thomas Marshal,
D.H. Gault, Isaac Armstrong and A. McKinzie; from Marlton, Rev. J.M. Challiss,
Deacons Charles Kain, Benjamin Kain and William Edwards; Woodstown, Rev. John
Perry Hall; Mullica Hill, Rev. Charles Kain; Newton, Rev. Charles Sexton.
The council recommended the above-named
brethren and sisters to proceed in the usual way to organize themselves into a
church, whereupon it was moved by Thomas T. Firth, and seconded by William
Taylor, "that we constitute ourselves a regular Baptist Church, to be known
and recognized in law as the regular Baptist Church of Blackwoodtown."
Ten days’ notice having been given,
the church met, March 4th, for the transaction of business, when the following
officers were elected: Deacons, Joseph V. Edwards, William Taylor; Trustees,
Hiram Morgan, Joseph V. Edwards, Jonas Cattell, Henry Stremme, Thomas
The congregation thus formed did not
possess a church-home, and, from lack of means, was unable to build one. The
difficulty was met, however, by friends in the community, who gave them the
chapel in which they were worshipping, and a building lot in Blackwoodtown, to
which it could be moved. From a deed bearing date of March 10, 1848, were
obtained the names of those who gave the building lot and house, viz., Jonas
Livermore and wife, Lewis Livermore and wife, John Cooper and wife, John Stokes
and wife. Early in the year 1848 the building was moved to its present site.
At the meeting held on the 4th of March
Rev. Henry Westcott was called to the pastorate of the church, which position he
filled until March 26, 1857. During his labor of nine years the church increased
by letter and experience twenty, and by baptism one hundred and one. During this
period, in 1854, the building was enlarged twelve feet and other necessary
repairs made. In the same year the church entertained the West New Jersey
Baptist Association in its annual meeting.
While the increase in numbers during
this period was encouraging, the decrease was none the less discouraging, for by
letters of dismission and by exclusion the number was reduced to eighty-three.
There have been other seasons of rapid growth and as rapid decline, of light and
shadow, of hope and fear, the membership never long remaining above its present
number, seventy-nine. Although the church has never been numerically or
financially strong, yet its influence for good has been felt throughout a large
region of country, leading to a more faithful observance of the New Testament
ordinances, and to a recognition of the authority of the Scriptures as once
delivered to the saints.
The following ministers have served as
pastors of the church:
Henry Westcott, from March 12, 1848, to
March 26, 1857.
Homer Sears, from July 5, 1857, to
September 30, 1859.
Charles Cox, January 5, 1860, to
September 27, 1860.
H.J. Thompson, from May, 1861, to
August 30, 1862.
Asher Cook, from January 1, 1864, to
October 1, 1866.
Samuel Godshall, from January 12, 1868,
to July 25, 1869.
E.M. Barker, from January 1, 1871, to
April 25, 1872.
John D. Flansburgh, from March, 1873,
to September 26, 1879.
The present pastor, James Fielding,
began his labors with the church January 25, 1880.
The membership has been as follows:
Constituent, 28; by baptism, 199; by letter and experience, 73; total, 300;
present membership, 79.
The officers at present are: Pastor,
James Fielding; Deacons, Joseph V. Edwards (who served from the beginning),
Isaac Brown, Isaac Cramer, Reuben L. Edwards; Trustees, Ralph Hider, Edward
Scott, Isaac Brown, Isaac Cramer, Reuben L. Edwards, Selah O. Prickitt Joshua
Scott; Clerk, Charles R. Bee; Treasurer, Joshua Scott.
INDEPENDENT LODGE, No. 64, I.O.O.F.,
is the oldest of the secret orders now maintained at Blackwood. It was
instituted August 5, 1847, and had as its first principal officers Samuel G.
Richards, N.G.; Justice Hedger, V.G.; Martin S. Synnott, Sec.; James R. Driver,
The first meetings were held in the
Temperance Hall, but in 1852 Odd-Fellows’ Hall was erected, at a cost of
nearly three thousand dollars. It is a three-story frame building, the lower
stories forming living rooms. The hall is neatly furnished, and is also used for
lodge purposes by the other orders of the village. This lodge had, in 1886,
eighty members, and the following officers: Frank P. Williams, N.G.; George W.
Barrett, V.G.; William B. Bettle, Rec. Sec.; Joseph E. Hurff, Fin. Sec.; Thomas
J. Wentz, Treas.; Edward P. Brown, Thomas G. Zane, John H. Magee, Edgar J. Coles,
Thomas J. Wentz, Trustees.
MINERVA LODGE, No. 25, K. OF P. -
This body was instituted July 19, 1869, with the following named charter
members: Charles H. Le Fevre, Thomas Andrews, John Houseman, Thomas Knight,
Samuel W. Lamb, Henry Beckley, William Mills, Charles Barrett and Samuel Jaygard.
The lodge has sixty members, and its officers are J.S.
North, C.C.; F.P. Williams, V.C.; Charles Alexander, K. of R. and S.; Benjamin
Rudderow, M. of F.
BLACKWOOD GRANGE, No. 9, P. OF H.,
held its first meeting under a dispensation of the Grand Grange, March 25, 1875.
It was soon after fully chartered, and has continued its meetings with varying
interest ever since, being at present in a flourishing condition. There are
fifty members and the following principal officers: John M. Steser, Master;
Theodore Hider, Sec.; Samuel Batten, Treas.; John H. Magee, E.J. Coles, I.W.
MONIN CASTLE, No. 6, K. OF M.C., was
the most recently organized of the lodges at Blackwood, being instituted
September 26, 1883. Its membership from the beginning was large, fifty-five
persons sustaining the relation of charter members. The roll has been swelled
until nearly one hundred belong at present. The principal officers were:
Trustees, E.T. Brown, J.E. Hurff, Samuel C. Bettle; S.K.P.C., Henry Cummings;
S.K.O., Joseph S. Stewart; S.K.V. C., Samuel C. Bettle; Recording Secretary,
Samuel Pine; Financial Secretary, William Williams; Treasurer, Benjamin
Some time about 1845 a vigorous
division of the Sons of Temperance had an existence in the village, holding its
meetings in the second story of the Temperance Hotel. In 1852 the order built a
hall of its own and occupied it about two years, when a waning interest caused
the organization to disband. This hall is now part of the E.J. Cole’s
store-stand. Since that time other temperance organizations have been
established, and a well-supported lodge of Good Templars is at present
maintained. These organizations have been promotive of much good in creating a
healthy sentiment in favor of the principles of temperance.
One of the most liberal patrons of
popular education was Joseph Sloan. In the last century he bequeathed one
hundred pounds to the township of Gloucester, "to be put in the care of
such trustees as may from time to time, by plurality of voices, be chosen at the
annual town-meeting, to have the care of the same; the interest of which the
said trustees shall yearly lay out on books treating on religious morality,
arithmetic or the mathematics, to be bestowed at their discretion on youths
likely to improve thereby; and if any overplus be, to lay the same out in
schooling poor children without distinction. And at the expiration of five
hundred years, said township may, by plurality of voices, appropriate said one
hundred pounds any way for the use of the poor."
This fund had in some way become
impaired, but was lately restored to its original amount by the township
authorities, and the yearly income of the four hundred dollars invested is
devoted to the purchase of school-books for needy children.
* Compiled from sketches by Rev. F.R.
Brace and Dr. Everitt.
** From data collected by the Rev.
*** Died while on this charge.
(4*) By Rev. James Fielding.
(5*) Good Intent meeting-house had been
erected about 1836 on the hill, near the factory, in Gloucester County, by
Garrett Newkirk, for the accommodation of his workmen.
SOURCE: Page(s) 672-693, History of Camden County, New Jersey,
by George R. Prowell, L.J. Richards & Co. 1886
Published 2010 by the Camden County Genealogy Project