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The History of Monroe Township, Gloucester County, NJ

SOURCE: History of the counties of Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland, New Jersey: with Biographical Sketches of Their Prominent Citizens
By: Cushing & Sheperd, 1883.
Transcribed by: Kim Mohler


Geographical and Descriptive - this is the northeast corner township of Gloucester County, and was formed in 1859, when it was part of Camden county, and was annexed to Gloucester County in 1871 with Washing township, which see. This was, and is yet, known as one of the pine townships. However, a large share of the pine timber has disappeared, and in its place are the cleared fields of the husbandman, whose thorough cultivation of the light sandy soil brings forth adequate returns for his labor. The township is drained on the east by Great Egg Harbor River and Squankum Branch, south by White Oak Branch, centrally by White Hall and Hospitality Branches, and northward by Scotland Run.

Monroe is bounded northeast and east by Camden County, southeast by Atlantic County, on the southwest by Franklin and Clayton townships, and on the north and northwest by Washington township.

Early Settlers and Pioneer Incidents - The pioneers of what is now Monroe Township settled in and around what is now the village of Williamstown, then know by the name of Squankum. Hon. John F. Bodine wrote for and had published in the minutes of the "Surveyors' Association of West Jersey," also in The Constitution of Woodbury of July 24, 1878, a full and complete pioneer "History of Squankum, " which we are permitted to reproduce in this work, feeling satisfied that no one but Mr. Bodine could do half as well, as he is a practical surveyor, and knows whereof he speaks:

"The first location or survey I find on record that was made in the vicinity of Williamstown, or as it was first called, Squankum, is one made by Henry Roe, Oct. 13, 1726, recorded in the surveyor-general's office at Burlington, in Book M, page 76, for 121 acres. This was upon Cedar Swamp, and covered what used to be considered the most valuable to farmers living in the neighborhood of water-courses, I suppose, by information gathered, that this man Roe lived near or at Woodbury.
"The next location was made by Charles Brockden, May 10, 1737, recorded at Burlington, in Book M, Part II, page 207, for 1200 acres. The description f the location thereof will give the residents of Williamstown a name I suppose they are not familiar with. It commences as follows: 'Situate in the county of Gloucester, at a place called "Hospitality Ponds."' This tract is the location of what is known as Egypt place, the Levering and Whitehead, Babcock, both the Sykes places, the place that Jacob Ivohoff lives on, and a part of the William Stellman place. I will give more details of this location further on.

"The next location I find was made by John Alford, May 13, 1737, recorded in Book M, page 339, in surveyor-general's office at Burlington, for 1442 acres, and covered the land of Peter Scott, Graham Hankin, the old Stellman place, Gottlieb Pfeiffer, William B. Ireland, and several other settlements. When John Alford made this location he no doubt lived in Gloucester County, near the river, for I find his father's name connected with lands lying in the river townships; but after locating this tract Alford removed to Boston, and there became a merchant, and there died. I have one of the best-preserved parchment deeds for this land that was made by his heirs to Savil Wilson, a prominent citizen of Deptford township, near Woodbury, dated Aug. 30, 1774, in the fourteenth year of his Majesty's reign. The deed has the large seal of the province of Massachusetts Bay, and on it the name of Thomas Gage, Governor. The second course of said deed reads as follows: "Thence north thirty-two degrees, westerly one hundred and sixty-five chains by Squankum settlement.' This is evidence of there being somebody living in this county at that time, which I hope to show by evidence further on.

"The next location I find is one made by John Thomas, and Richard Penn, June 1 and 2, 1742, recorded in Book A, at Burlington, page 230, for one thousand acres, and took in the head of Squankum Branch, and is popularly known as the Williams survey, because Williams bought it, and sold it out in subdivisions.

"The next location is by the same parties, recorded in the same book, A, page 234, dated April 8, 1743, for eleven hundred and thirty-six acres. Rabb's place, the 'County Timber,' Samuel Bateman's place, R. Miller, and considerable of woodland west of the Tuckahoe road was in this survey.
"The next location I find is one made by Samuel McCollick, March 1749, recorded in Book E, Burlington, page 221. This survey is known as the Baynes, or Church property.

"The next location, as to date, is the Richard Allen survey, made Nov. 26, 1751, recorded in Book s, No. 6, page 12, at Burlington, for four hundred and twenty-six acres. This survey reads as follows: 'Beginning at a pine standing on the southwest side of White Hall Branch, near the swamp side.' This shows it was the tract White Hall Mill was built on.

"The next location I find near this place, according to date, is one made by Richard Cheesman, Nov. 11, 1758, recorded in Book L, page 59, which commences as follows: 'Beginning at a W. oak marked 4 blazes, also R. C., near the road that leads to White Hall Mill.' This shows that at this early date there was a mill at White Hall. This road runs on the northeast side of the Thomas Crover (formerly Daniel Crover) farm, and thence out somewhere through by where Thomas s. Bateman's farm is, and so on out by what is called the Hoffsey place, or Hospitality Settlement, and so on out to the old Cape road, which was a beaten track from Cape May or the ocean to the Delaware River at Camden and Gloucester.

"The next survey for this neighborhood found upon record at Burlington is one made by Joseph Hollingshead, Feb. 9, 1759, recorded in Book H, page 429. This is only of special use to us in this paper, as we find one hundred acres thereof were sold July 9, 1783, to Thomas Stiles, and this was settled and known as Stiles' field down to Squankum Branch, on the north side thereof, about four miles below this place, in Squankum Neck. There is evidence of the old settlement thereupon, as an old road leading thereto. I find several surveys located around about this place, as follows: s. Powell, 1739; Rodman, 1740; John Owen, two surveys in 1740 and 1742. These four surveys were afterwards resurveyed by Philip Freeze. In 1829 the Penns, in addition to the two foregoing mentioned surveys, located nine hundred and forty, two hundred, nineteen hundred, and one thousand acres respectively, and one to Richard Arrel, 1748, for three hundred and sixty acres; two surveys to Isaac Kay, in 1755, for about three hundred and thirty-three acres.

"I find a survey made by John McCarty, Dec. 8, 1757, for one hundred and ninety acres, and one made to Joseph Harrison, May 6, 1760, called twenty-four acres; these two tracts are what Coles; saw-mill was established upon, but I have not been able to fix the time definitely when Coles; saw-mill was built. I find a survey located by Thomas Coles, March 16, 1787, that adjoins the McCarty tract. I also find that the description locating the beginning corner says, 'Standing twenty-eight links northerly of the road from Canada to Coles' mill.' This would show that there was mill at this date.

"I find a deed recorded in which reference is made to a survey made to Joseph Harrison on the south side of Four-Mile Branch; also one made by John Bispham, which I should think was located previous to 1775, although this I cannot say, as they have lately come to my knowledge by searching the deed books. I do not find records of any locations from 1775 until the Solomon Haines location, made April 19, 1781, recorded in Book R, page 144, surveyor general's office, Burlington. This began on the northeast side of Williamstown, and will be referred to hereafter.

"The next is a resurvey, made by Thomas Tabor, May 27, 1782, recorded at Burlington, in Book R, page 225. This was made upon a David Roe survey, because the Roe interferes with Brockden's survey.

"The next survey of importance was one made to Isaac Parker, April 15, 1786, recorded in Book U, page 40, at Burlington, and is at the upper end of Williamstown. I find a survey made to Williams Smith, March 23, 1787, for one hundred and sixty-seven and one-quarter acres lying near this place; also one made to John Williams, June 2, 1787; one to Daniel Ellis, made July 7, 1792, for nine hundred acres; this survey lies near this place, to the east, and takes in where James Elison and Henry Smith live. There were some smaller surveys made after this date, -- one to Jonathan Collins, one to John Tice, -- but the last century appears to have closed up the larger surveys about here. It shows that the active times of the Revolution were fully occupied without making survey of lands, at least in this place."

In, Out, and In Gloucester County. - "When Squankum was first settled it was in Deptford township, and remained so till 1836, when Washington township was formed, and up to the session of the State Legislature of 1844 remained in old Gloucester County. That winter, however, application was made by the residents of Camden City to set of Camden, Waterford, Newton, Union, Delaware, and Gloucester townships into a new county to be called Camden. At that time one of the members of the Legislature lived in Williamstown, and strenuously opposed the movement until the bill included Washington Township, when his vote was changed and the bill passed. In the struggle which ensued for the location of the court-house and other county buildings Camden was again victorious. While the people of Williamstown and New Brooklyn remained in Washington township, the voters were obliged to go to Cross Keys to attend elections and town-meetings, and when the voting population had increased to four hundred and fifty it was thought that there were too few offices to be divided among so many voters, so it was decided to divide the township' accordingly application was made to the Legislature in 1859, when the township of Monroe was created, and Williamstown designated as the place for holding elections and town meetings. Monroe township remained in Camden County till 1871, when it was found that Gloucester County would lose one member of the Legislature, and Hudson County gain one. Upon investigating the subject it was found that to take the two townships of Washington and Monroe from Camden and annex them to Gloucester would save her the member and not injure Camden County. A bill was accordingly passed and approved making the necessary transfer, whereat the people of the townships of Washington and Monroe rejoiced to find themselves again in old Gloucester County."

Settlement of Squankum (Williamstown). -- "I now come to the settlement of this place, which was first called Squankum, as will be recollected is mentioned in the deed of Alford's heirs to Savil Wilson. The first evidence of settlement near Squankum was the Richard Cheesman location, made 1758, giving the beginning corner near the road leading to White Hall Mill. This, I think, clearly evidences a settlement. This corner is just out the settled part of the village. The second location, being the Brockden, made in 1737, as I said before, was the first one I find of what was properly Squankum,, and appears to bear an important part, for it is upon this tract that I find the first settlement.

"As will be surmised by the name, Brockden must have been a German.

"I find, by referring to the first deeds upon record at Woodbury for any part of this land, the citation of title which used to be quite common in the body of deeds giving the previous transfers. I find as follows: Charles Brockden conveyed the twelve hundred acres as located to his daughter, Mary Patterson, and her husband, Thomas Patterson, by two deeds, dated 24th and 25th of February, 1769. Said Mary and Thomas mortgaged the name to John Reynolds, March, 1771; this mortgage is recorded in our office at Woodbury, in Book A of mortgages. In the copy of the mortgages, fourth course says, 'Then by lands of Johannes Hoffsey,' etc. I could not find the deed from Brockden to Patterson, recorded in Trenton, but I find in Book A, G, page 57, a deed from Thomas and Mary Patterson to the said Johannes Hoffsey, dated Dec. 14, 1773, for one hundred acres, more or less. I think there is no doubt of the said Hoffsey being located there previous to 1771, for the mortgage gives the boundaries of the Brockden tract, independent of the piece afterwards sold to the said Hoffsey (now called Huffsey) in 1774. Patterson mortgaged the name to one Ellis, and in the description in that mortgage it says that Thomas and Mary Patterson, of Hospitality, Gloucester Co., which would indicate that they lived on this tract at that date. In fact, when the writer first came to Squankum, thirty-nine years ago, there was an old cedar-log house standing upon what is known as the Sykes place, from being owned for nearly as many years as I have lived here by a father and son named Sykes. This house in its earlier days must have been quite a palatial residence; it was built of cedar logs, hewn square, and dovetailed together at the corners, and was two stories high; it was wainscoted inside with planed cedar boards, one edge beaded; in it was a wide, open entry, about eight feet wide, with an open stairway. This no doubt was the residence of the 'Patroon,' as the old German landowners were called, for by the old records I find that Charles Brockden, to whom it was located, was quoted as of the city of Philadelphia, and after he go too old to live out there, I think his daughter and her husband and family occupied the house. I find the same house was occupied by an old German family named Craver, some of whose descendants live in our place, and form part of our best citizens. In fact, I find one of the sons of this original Craver that, I am told by one of the descendants, was born in that old house, and now lies buried in the village graveyard; from the tombstone I find he was born in 1777. Another evidence of the early settlement of this tract I think is that to this day, near where the old log house stood, there is a beaver dam, and it is well known that beavers will not stay where people live, and when settlers came the beavers left, and that the dams go down and the lands become more dry.

" there afore-mentioned Hoffsey appears to have been a man of some note and perseverance, as I find he made two surveys in 1789, one for eighty-six acres, and the other for thirty and three-quarter acres. The eighty-six acre tract was a narrow strip between the Brockden survey and the eleven hundred and thirty-six acres Penn survey, and was nearly two miles long and quite narrow. The thirty and three-quarter acres tract was a triangular piece that lay between the Brockden, Penn's one thousand acres, and the Taber survey, one line being a trifle over a mile long. It happened that I bought a portion of this tract, and mapped that I bought a portion of this tract, and mapped the whole tract, as it was divided mutually between John and Samuel Hoffsey, sons of the said old Johannes Hoffsey. It made the most singular-looking map I ever saw, and until I got these surveys and placed them so the map of the original deed to Hoffsey, I had often wondered how he ever got such a shaped piece of land.

"I find in connection with the subdivision of the tract into plantations or smaller lots the names of Hazlett, Hart, Vandegrift, Van Sciver, Butler, and Young, one of the settlers on the Penn location of eleven hundred and thirty-six acres that nearly joined this tract, and the name of George Semnor, which by the names would indicate a German settlement. This location lies to the south and west of what is called the Penn's or Williams' Settlement. This Hoffsey place was where the first Methodist preaching was held in this vicinity. (See history of Methodist Episcopal Church of Williamstown.)

"This Brockden tract seems to have been divided as follows: First, Patterson to Hoffsey; then Mary Howell, who was a Patterson, deeded the land to John Hart in 1786, for eleven hundred acres, and Hart to Timothy Young, by the sheriff, two hundred and eight-three and three-quarter acres, now known as the Whitehead, Levering, Taggart, and the place where C. Pfuhl lives; then Hart deeded the balance of the eleven hundred acres to Samuel Hazlett, who sold one hundred and twenty-three and one-quarter acres to Vandergrift (this is now in the Babcock place), fifty acres to Butler (this is also part of Mr. Babcock's), four hundred and forty-seven and one-half acres to Jesse Van Sciver (this covers the Sykes, Imhoff, part of William Steelman, and others). He also sold lots to parties named Sharp. At this point it is proper to name a very prominent man, William Nicholson, who bought the Vandergrift and Butler tracts in September, 1793. He bought these two tracts and settled here, and for upwards of forty years was a prominent man here, and became and extensive landowner. His numerous family of sons and daughters settled in the surrounding country, where there are at present several generations descended from the pioneer Nicholson. He was also connected with the pioneer glassworks of this section.

"The eleven and thirty-six acres Penn tract appears to be next in order, as from this tract are found some of the earliest sales of subdivisions. One feature in this location is the seventh course, which says, 'To a black oak standing by the old Cape road.' This would show there was a main road leading through the neighborhood at that time (1743), and the mention of a road leading to White Hall Mill has led some of the older inhabitants to recollect the old road leading by the old cedar-log house and by the old Hoffsey place and the Sennor place to the old Cape road. The first sale of this tract was from Penn to Richard Cheesman the elder, June, 1772. Cheesman deeded a piece to George Sennor in 1777; then, April 25, 1782, Cheesman deed to his daughter, Maria Jackson, four hundred acres, and she, in 1804, deeded one hundred and four acres to Timothy Young; April, 1808, she deeded three hundred and twenty-eight acres - the balance of the four hundred acres - to Jacob Jennings. It afterwards passed through the hands of several owners, until now it is owned and occupied by James Robb. The piece of Young's in connection with George Sennor, was deeded to the county of Gloucester, June e6, 1812, and it is now partly owned by the county of Camden, for the use of wood for her county house. A large part of the farms of Carvin, David C. Tweed, Samuel Bateman, and Robert Miller are a part of this tract.

"The next in order is the Solomon Haines, Joseph Harrison, and Bispham surveys; they lay to the north and east of Williamstown. Andrew Pearce bought fifty-one and three-quarter acres of the Harrison location, June 7, 1790, and three and one-half acres of Solomon Haines, and eighty-one and one-fourth acres of John Marshall. These pieces make up what is known as the Ayres place, Obadiah Eldridge, the grandfather of our respected citizens, Joshua, Job, and Obadiah Eldridge, moved upon the place where Washington A. Sickler now lives in 1776; the Joshua, the father of the present Joshua and brothers, was ten years old. Obadiah the elder bought eighty and three-quarter acres of Solomon Haines, June 6, 1792, and he sold the same to his son Joshua the next year. Josiah Albertson, the grandfather of Thomas C., Ann, Gideon, and David Albertson, who are now living, middle-aged men, lived just beyond the Four-Mile Branch, at what is known as the Bobby lot, now lying on the railroad. While living there, in April, 1779, Thomas, the father of the above-mentioned men, was born; how long before that the father had lived there is not known. This gives us settlements to the north and east as well as the south and west of Williamstown for over one hundred years.

"Next in order is the Thomas Taber survey, that lies southeast, which was deeded to Jacob Brick, May 10, 1784. Brick, no doubt, lived upon the land, and the settlement was near where Levi Prickitt now lives. Brick having died about 1800, the tract was divided into four shares and allotted to his daughters. The farm owned by Thomas Crover was one share; one share is still woodland; William H. Bodine and Savil Porch own some of the tract, and a family by the name of Sharp owne4d and lived upon one of the shares, and was quite prominent in the neighborhood.

"We now come to the Alford tract, covering the farms where Gottlieb Pheiffer and William B. Ireland now live, and where Edward Wilson, grandfather of Jacob Wilson and Savil Wilson, lived, the tract having been bought by Samuel Wilson, Sr., in 1774, and his sons, as mentioned, settling thereon, had much to do with the settlement in its early history. Jonathan Collins lived near the Wilsons. He made two locations early in this century, and in March, 1820, sold out and went west. In the same neighborhood lived Joel Westcott and Job Eldridge that formed a settlement of five families within half a mile of each other. It is believed that none of the immediate descendants of these families are living here at present."

Civil Organization - Under the date of "Williamstown, Monroe township, Camden Co., March 9, 1859," we find the following minutes of the first town-meeting:
"In pursuance of an act of the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, passed the - day of --, 1859, to make a new township, to be called the township of Monroe, from a part of the township of Washington, in the county of Camden, and State of New Jersey, the taxable inhabitants of said township of Monroe convened at the house of Charles w. Husted, in Williamstown, for the purpose of electing officers for the said township of Monroe, and other business for said township.
"The reading of said act was performed by John f. Bodine, when Abijah Hewitt was chosen moderator of said meeting, and the meeting was duly organized by appointing George W. Allen, secretary; and each one being sworn into office, the preliminary business of the township was performed, such as reports of former officers of the township of Washington, when the meeting proceeded to the election of officers for the ensuing year, which resulted as follows:
"Town Clerk, Josiah Ireland; Assessor, Joshua Eldridge; Collector, Samuel Ramzeel; Chosen Freeholders, Clayton B. Tice, Edward S. Ireland; Commissioners of Appeal, Obediah Eldridge, Abijab S. Hewitt, H. Husted; Constable, Joshua Eldridge; Overseers of the Poor, Thomas D. Sparks, Thomas W. Stanger; Judge of Election, Joshua Nicholson; surveyor of Highways, Andrew W. Ireland; Township Committee, Abijah S. Hewitt, Thomas W. Stanger, Elias Campbell, Richard Stevenson, Peter Scott; Town Superintendent, George W. Allen."

The following is a list of town clerks, assessors, collectors, chosen freeholders, constables, and township committee, from 1860 to 1883, inclusive:

Town Clerks  
1860-61 Charles W. Sadler 1872-77 Garrett Tilton, Jr.
1862-65 Thomas W. Stanger 1878-79 Edgar C. Green
1866 Joel A. Bodine 1880-81 Joseph N. Tomblemon
1867-69 Imlay Gifford 1882-83 William F. Tweed
1870-71 R. C. Tice  
1860-61 Joshua Eldridge 1874-77 John R. Tice
1862-63, 1865 Thomas C. Willetts 1878-80 Imlay Gifford
1864, 1866-67 M. S. Simmerman 1881 Daniel Dawson
1868-69 Abijab S. Hewitt 1882-83 John W. McClure
1870-73 Matthias M. Chew  
1860-61 Simon Rummel 1867 J. Alfred Bodine
1862-63 Daniel Steelman 1868-83 Elmer Hurff
1864-66 Joshua Eldridge  
Chosen Freeholders  
1860-61, 1870 Clayton R. Tice 1879 Paul L. Richmond
1862-65 Charles Wilson M. M. Chew
1866-69 William H. Bodine 1880 Abijah S. Hewitt
1871-72 C. B. Tice M. M. Chew
Samuel Tomblemon 1881 M. M. Chew
1873-75 C. B. Tice William Trout
J. A. Bodine 1882-83 M. M. Chew
1876-78 Paul L. Richmond Joseph C. Nicholson
C. B. Tice  
1860-61 Joshua Eldridge 1880 J. Bittle
1862-63 T. C. Willette G. B. Gaunt
1864-67 Matthias S. Simmerman 1881 G. B. Gaunt
1868-69, 1879, 1882-83 G. B. Gaunt  
1870-78 Joshua Bittle  

Township Committee
1860-63 Abijab T. Hewitt, Thomas W. Stanger, Elias Campbell, Charles W. Husted, Peter Scott
1862 Clayton B. Tice, Daniel Ireland, Samuel Tomblemon, Jr., Samuel D. Sparks, Peter Scott
1863 T. W. Stanger, C. W. Husted, P. Scott, S. Tomblemon, Jr., S. D. Sparks
1864 Peter Scott, Thomas W. Stanger, Daniel Ireland, Charles W. Husted, S. Tumblemon, Jr.
1865 Daniel Ireland, Obadiah Eldridge, John W. Middleton, John R. Tice, Charles Wilson
1866 O. Eldridge, Clayton B. Tice, John R. Tice, J. W. Middleton, Daniel Ireland
1867 Thomas K. Craver, John R. Tice, James Carve, John W. Middleton, O. Eldridge
1868 O. Eldridge, William Corkney, Charles K. Lewis, James Carvin, Richard F. Tice
1869 Benjamin Simmerman, John R. Tice, Clayton B. Tice, O. Eldridge, Thomas A. Chew
1870-71 Henry T. Morgan, Richard F. Tice, O. Eldridge, Gottlieb Pfieffer, B. Simmerman
1872 R. F. Tice, O. Eldridge, G. Pfieffer, B. Simmerman, James Carvin
1873 B. Simmerman, James D. Souders, R. F. Tice, James Carvin, G. Pfieffer
1874-75 Richard F. Tice, B. Simmerman, James Carvin, James D. Souder, Samuel P. Dehart
1877 S. P. Dehart, James Carvin, John McClure, G. Pfieffer, Joseph D. Ayres
1878 G. Pfieffer, J. J. Ayres, J. McClure, James Carvin, Charles S. Clark
1879 Charles S. Clark, J. W. McClure, Samuel Garwood
1880 C. S. Clark, S. Garwood, John M. Taggart
1881-82 Samuel Garwood, John M. Taggart, James D. Souders
1883 Samuel Garwood, C. B. Tice, J. B. Sickler

Villages and Hamlets

Williamstown - "I have gone over what would properly be called the outside locations and settlements, and will now come to the Penn location of one thousand acres, or, as it is usually called, 'Williams' Survey.' This is the tract upon which the village of Squankum is built. This tract was one hundred and twenty chains long from north to south, and ninety chains from east to west, and lies about equally on both sides of the Squankum Branch, the head of the Branch being non the northern end of the tract. The north end crosses the turnpike where the division line between Jacob, Joseph, and James Leigh's places run, and crossing the pike, runs through the fields to the Huffsey line, and crosses the road on the southern end between Thomas Hewitt and John Dehart's places, and follows the Huffsey and Tabor line on the west and the Ayres line on the east, and follows to near the sand-hole.

"The Penns deeded the tract to Israel Williams, but in what year is not definitely known, but supposed to be 1772, as other tracts were deeded by the Pens in that year, and Israel Williams deeded to his son, John Williams, in 1783. After that date the tract was divided up into lots and farms; and through neglect to record deeds difficulty has been found in naming parties whom Williams sold to, yet the lots and parties to whom sold have been ascertained, except in one case. The first lot was five and a half acres, sold to Jeremiah Dilks in July, 1789; the next was eleven acres, sold April 1, 1793, to William Strong. The original church lot was from this piece. The nest was ninety-eight acres, sold to Joseph Smallwood, Dec. 12, 1799. This takes the lot upon which John Hutchinson is, and where Henry Tice and wife lived for many years, and where they died. The next was seventy-one acres, sold to Isaac Hooper, April 9, 1796, and covers the Paul Sears farm, and where Joseph Leigh lives. The next was a deed to John Swope for one hundred and fifty acres, made April 9, 1796. This covers part of what is known as the Swope farm, and part of it is now owned by James D. Souders, with the old mansion of Mr. Swope. Mark Brown, B. Simmerman, The Eames house, Mrs. S. Cordery's store, J. V. Sharp, and the Rickey place, and the Methodist Episcopal "Church, with those houses up the Porch Mill road are upon this tract. The next sale was to Thomas English, April 6, 1797, for one hundred and fifty-four acres at the southeastern end, on the south side of the Branch, and now occupied by Samuel P. Dehart, Thomas B. Hewitt, Simeon Rammel, Thomas Hays, and part of Samuel C. Dehart's heirs. The next was a deed to John Spencer, made July 3, 1797, for fifty-four acres, and known as the Thomas Bateman farm. The next was sixty acres, deeded to Timothy Young, June 20, 1798, and afterwards sold to Maj. John Tice.

"Isaac Parker sold one hundred acres to David Evans, Dec. 25, 1791. This adjoined the Penns or Williams tract. Evans afterwards sold to William Peas in 1801, and Peas sold to Stephen Rhoads and Cornelius Tice, and in 1812 or 1815 this one hundred acres was sold to Jacob Swope, and it is now partly owned by Jacob, Joseph, and Levi Prickitt, James D. Souders, Timothy Reed, and those tenant-houses of R. Wilson's. July 23, 1795, Parker deeded to George Stiles one hundred and twenty and a half acres. Stiles sold to Jacob Spencer, and he to Thomas Whitecar; thence through several parties till it reached the Bodine family in 1845. Since then fifty acres has been sold to Job D. Eldridge, and twenty-five acres to R. Wilson and Mr. Bugbee. The balance of the Parker tract is owned by Joshua and Job D. Eldridge, where they live, and the places where John C. Atkinson and John M. Lutze live. The residence of Isaac Parker was up what is known as Eldridge's Lane, nearly half-way between the turnpike and the Glassboro road. Here Mr. Parker died, and left six sons, among whom his property was divided in 1811.'

Pioneer Tavern -- Maj. John Tice filled quite an important position in the early settlement of what is now Williamstown. He moved here from Tansboro in 1798 or 1799, and built the pioneer two-story frame house in Squankum. It stood just where the railroad crosses the main road or street. The old house, having served its time and purpose as the pioneer hostelry, has been removed to another location, and converted into a barn. In this building, when new, in 1800, Franklin Davenport was born. This house was kept as a tavern for many years, and was the place where the old pioneers did most congregate and relate their many hairbreadth escapes, and picture to others the many hunting scenes in which they had been engaged, the hundreds and thousands of bears and wolves they had killed, and occasionally how they had missed a nice buck; and how much each had done, politically, either as Federal or Democrat, towards saving the country; and how much more my land was worth than any other; and how much larger load one man's team could haul then another. Then sometimes followed the wrestling-match, they scrub-race between the best colts or old horses, then the quoit-pitching, and other innocent amusements. Truly, the old pioneer tavern did gain some notoriety before its conversion to more useful purposes.

Pioneer Roads - "The Tuckahoe road was laid out the 23d and 24th days of February, 1784; partly on the old beaten road.
"The road from May's Landing to Woodbury was laid April 20, 1793, and to and from this road many of the original pieces of land were described and bounded.
"In 1849 a charter was obtained for a turnpike road to Camden, but this was too long a road for one company, and was not built in 1852. A charter was obtained for a road from Williamstown to Good Intent, and the road was built and opened in 1853, that gave us connection with the Woodbury and Good Intent and Red Bank road, a good road to Philadelphia. This road satisfied the people till railroads came into South Jersey, when we again became restless, and obtained a charter in 1861 for the Williamstown Railroad Company, which road was not built till the fall of 1872."

Pioneer Post-Office and Naming the Town - "Previous to 1842, Squankum had no post-office. The mail matter of the citizens, small though it was, came tri-weekly by way of Cross-Keys. In this year it was thought best by the people to make application for an office but, as there was a place in Monmouth County called Squankum, another name necessarily had to be adopted for this place. Accordingly a public meeting of the citizens of Squankum was called, and organized by the appointment of Paul Sears chairman. Mr. Sears proposed the name of Williamstown, in honor of Mr. Williams, who owned the thousand acres upon which the town was situated, and who, it is believed by all or nearly all the inhabitants, was the first settler. The name of Williamstown was adopted by a unanimous vote, and under the name the office was established."

Williamstown (Squankum) in 1883 - Besides the large glass-manufactory, there were, in 1883, in the village of Williamstown, two canning-factories, two lime-kilns, two churches (Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian), the glassworks store, with George W. Ireland as superintendent, the stores of W. H. Bodine & Co., Josiah Ireland, and James S. Cordery, one drug-store, by Dr. Halsey, one school-house, with three schools, three physicians, A. J. McKelway, L. M. Halsey, and J. Gaunt Edwards, one hotel, Washington House, by E. Elliott, library and free reading-room, built in 1878, and the new town hall, located on Main Street. This is an imposing frame structure, built in 1882, at a cost of four thousand five hundred dollars. The building committee, appointed by town-meeting to confer and consult with the township committee in relation to the hall, were as follows; Brooklyn, Abijah S. Hewitt, Charles K. Lewis; Cole's Mill, Robert Chew; Williamstown, William H. Bodine. The hall is one of the best in the county, and is well adapted for all purposes for which such buildings are used. The lower story is well arranged for township business and election purposes.

The present postmaster is Samuel Garwood, with George W. Ireland as deputy, and the office is kept in the glass-works' store.
Cross-Keys - This hamlet is located in the north corner of the township, and a part of it situate on the northwest side of the road, in Washington township. The place was thus named from the fact of the roads crossing each other at an angle of nearly or quite forty-five degrees, and from the fact that six roads center at this point.
There has been a tavern kept at what is now Cross-Keys for nearly or quite one hundred years. Among the genial old landlords who dispensed "Provender and Jersey Lightning" at this old hostelry may be mention the names of - Whitney, William Nicholson, William Lashley, Joseph Nicholson, -- Kirby, and lastly Eli Gauntt, who closed up the business at this place in 1876.

The pioneer store at Cross-Keys was opened for the transaction of business by Thomas Parks, in 1840, in the building now occupied by Hiram Hurff. In 1860, John Jones commenced the mercantile business in the store now occupied by Joseph C. Nicholson.

The business of the hamlet is now conducted by J. C. Nicholson and Hiram Hurff, merchants; Charles K. Lewis, blacksmith; Jacob Burrows, wheelwright; Nathaniel Foster, tinsmith. A steam sawmill was built in 1870 by Samuel Tombleson, and it is now owned by Charles Simmerman.

Brooklyn is a small hamlet on the northeast border of the township, where were once the glassworks of Thomas W. Stanger, and at one time it promised to be a place of considerable importance. The first store at this place was opened by Mr. Stanger, in 1850, where he has continued in the mercantile business for one-third of a century There is also at this place a sawmill, schoolhouse, small Methodist Church, blacksmith shop, and ten or twelve dwellings, The town lying as it does, two miles from the line of railroad, will probably never be any larger than at present.


Methodism in Squankum -- The old Hoffsey place, spoken of in the early history of the township, has further claim to notice as being the birthplace and cradle in which Methodism in Williamstown was rocked. It was here that the pioneer Methodist meetings were held in this vicinity. The Hoffsey house, or an old house standing on the Hoffsey tract, was one of the preaching places in the old Gloucester Circuit, and the history of that aggressive denomination in this vicinity runs back to 1796 or 1797. Hutchinson, Cawn, Turk, and others of the pioneer preachers are among the names of the old veterans of the cross who dispensed the word of God in the then wilderness of old Gloucester.

John Williams, the owner of the tract upon which Williamstown is situated, set apart two and seven-eighths acres of land, just where the present tavern and barnyard are located, for school and meeting-house purposes, but he never deeded it as such, consequently when he deeded the residue of the one thousand acres as unsold by his deed of 1805 it took the said lot with that deed. In connection with this lot we quote from the church records: "They did not however, continue to hold their meetings here (Hoffsey house), but in 1800 transferred the preaching to Squankum, and the first society organized, consisting of about twelve members, who were formed into a class, with Joseph B. Smallwood leader. Thomas Everhardt was the preacher at the time." The house used for holding the meetings was a log schoolhouse, that was built upon the lot above referred to on the two and seven-eighths acres. The small and young society was not long left to peaceable worship in this humble place; they encountered the opposition of the owner or would-be owner of the log building, who was not of the same household of faith. Through this opposition they were compelled to change their quarters, and again occupied a part of a building that has since been occupied as a hotel, which was the one known as the "Sears" tavern. Here they were not long left in peace and quietness, but, as were many others in the early days of Methodism call to suffer, so were they called to endure opposition and persecution. They were beset by a mob, though happily no force was used, and reproached with being false prophets and preaching the false Christ. This drove them to buy a lot and build a church. The lot was bought from William Strong, by deed dated Sept. 25, 1804, and contained one acre of land. The first trustees were John Sickler, Joseph B. Smallwood, Joel Westcott, Henry Crover, and Israel Lashley. They soon after built a meeting-house, which was considered very large for that time. In this meeting-house quarterly meetings were held for Gloucester Circuit, which took in a large territory. In fact, the family of John Swope say that they entertained in the old-fashioned hospitable way visitors and attendants upon these meetings in such numbers that the whole floors of the house would be filled with "shake-downs," as they were called, who came long distances to attend these meetings. This old church was the one in use in 1839. It had a gallery around three sides, and the high pulpit, the old style movable seats, with one and two bars across the backs and everything as clean and neat as soap and water could make it, but no paint had been applied to the inside of the building. This building was occupied as a church till 1844, when the congregation decided to build a more commodious structure. The old church building was moved from the lot, loaned to the public for school purposes, and occupied as such for five years, when a new and commodious schoolhouse was built.
The second Methodist Church was dedicated in the fall of 1844, and occupied for church purposes till 1860, when the congregation had outgrown this building also, when the trustees decided to build a new church, provided they could raise five thousand dollars. Two of the trustees were walking through a piece of woods, looking at some timber, when the conversation turned upon the new church project; taking pencil and paper from their pockets, they wrote the names of the members of the congregation, and marked at the end of each name the sum they thought each should give to make the amount required. When they go through they found their figures amounted to nearly the required sum. They has some blanks printed, and one of the trustees took upon himself the task of calling upon each individual, and received notes for three, six, nine, and twelve months for the sum fixed, all of which, except one, were paid as agreed, and the present Methodist Episcopal Church was built, and in the tower of it was placed the town clock.

The old church, built in 1844, was sold to the township for a town hall, and used for that purpose until 1882, when the present beautiful and commodious two-story hall was built.

Methodist Episcopal Church, Cross-Keys - The Methodist Society at what is now Cross-Keys is the outgrowth or result of a small class formed at Chestnut Ridge, in Washington township, in 1780, as near as can be ascertained. The place of meeting was in the old cedar-log school-house built by the Friends, which was occupied both as school and meeting-house. This log school-house served the double purpose till 1835, when a frame building was erected on the site of the old log building, and this served as sanctuary and school-room till 1875, when they present neat and commodious frame meeting-house was built in the village of Cross-Keys, at a cost of three thousand six hundred dollars. The new church edifice was dedicated in 1875 by the late Bishop Scott, assisted by Revs. - Hartranft and Jesse Thompson, then preacher in charge.

The pioneer class-leader at Chestnut Ridge school-house was John Pease, with the following-named persons as members of his class: Richard Gauntt, Margaret Gauntt, Anna Pease, Hannah Young, John Pease, Abijah Collins, Patience Collins, Martha Collins, William Corkrey, Ellen Corkrey, George W. Williams, Patience Williams, Marian Nicholson, Rev. William V. Darrow, David Hutchinson, Pricilla Hutchinson, Isaac Champion, Ann Champion, Mrs. George Bakely, Moses Pease, Pricilla Pease.

In 1835, Cornelius Pease was the class-leader, and another of the pioneer class-leaders for a long term was Richard Gauntt.
The following are among the many preachers who have served this people for the last century; Revs. David Duffield, R. V. Lawrence, James White, Thomas Wilson, Joseph Atwood, Abraham Isaac Jacob Truatt, William Margerum, -- Andrews, Jesse Thompson, John P. Connolly, Gilden Alvine, John Oakes, and John Seacrist, present pastor.

The present membership of the society is fifty, and the value of church property four thousand dollars.
The present stewards are Moses Pease, Abijah Collins, Richard Evans, and J. C. Nicholson; Trustees, John Pease, Moses Pease, Charles Stewart, David Bates, Joseph N. Tombleson, Samuel Gaskill, and Joseph c. Nicholson.

The Sunday-school connected with this church was organized in 1850, with Joseph Nicholson as superintendent. The present superintendent is Richard Evans, with an average attendance of seventy pupils.

The Williamstown Presbyterian Church - The Williamstown Presbyterian Church was organized Sept. 9, 1840. Previous to 1840 there had been no Presbyterian preaching in the place, but about that time several Presbyterian families having moved into the neighborhood, a request for the organization of a church was sent to the Presbytery of West Jersey, and a committee was sent from that body to organize the church. The use of the Methodist Episcopal Church having been kindly granted for the time to the Presbyterians, several services were held there, which resulted in the organization of a church of five members. The original members were John McClure, Mrs. John McClure, William Tweed, James Twee, and Benjamin Harding. Benjamin Harding and John McClure were the first ruling elders.
The church struggled forward through many discouragements, being for months at a time without preaching. Rev. Messrs. Peck and Smythe served the church for a few Sabbaths each at different times but it was nearly three years before a settled pastor was secured. Meanwhile, however, good progress had been made. The corner-stone of a church building was laid in July, 1841, and the church was dedicated in May of the following year. The cost of this church with its lot was two thousand four hundred dollars, of which sum one thousand dollars was raised at the time of dedication. Thomas B. Wood, Abel Babcock, Richard H. Tice, James McClure, Thomas Black and Thomas Marshall were the trustees under who care the church was built.

In April, 1843, the first pastor of the church, Rev. Charles E. Ford, assumed charge and served for twenty-five years. Under his earnest efforts the church entered on a career of steady growth. The debt of fourteen hundred dollars was cleared within a few years, and year after year new members were gathered into the church. Through this constant increase the original building became too small for the congregations, and in 1859 the church was enlarged by an outlay of three thousand dollars to its present size. Throughout all of his pastorate Mr. Ford preached the gospel in outlying stations around Williamstown, reaching in all ten different points, so that the influence of the church has been felt over a wide region round about. Three Presbyterian Churches, at Berlin, Waterford, and Clayton, were once preaching stations of this church. After twenty-five years of untiring service Mr. Ford resigned the pastorate in 1868, having received two hundred and fifteen persons into the church during that time, and leaving ninety-three members in place of the handful that he found when he came.

Rev. Chester Bridgman succeeded Mr. Ford as pastor, and had charge of the church from Oct. 18, 1869, until July 11, 1871, when the pastoral relation was dissolved by the Presbytery of West Jersey, under whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction the church, as well as the Rev. Mr. Bridgman, was placed.

On Sept. 6, 1871, a unanimous call was extended to the Rev. George H. Stuart Campbell, of Philadelphia, Pa., to take charge of the church as pastor. Mr. Campbell accepted the call at the fall meeting of the Presbytery of West Jersey, which met at the Presbyterian Church, Salem, N. J., and on the 7th of November, 1871, he was regularly ordained and installed pastor of the church. The Rev. Caspar R. Gregory, D. D., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Bridgeton, N. J., presided as moderator, and proposed the constitutional questions; the Rev. Alexander Proudfit, pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Clayton, N. J., preached the sermon; the Rev. T. W. J. Wylie, D. D., pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pa., delivered the charge to the pastor; and the Rev. Charles E. Ford (being invited) delivered the charge to the people. The pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Campbell extended to Dec. 4, 1876. During that time fifty-one persons were added to the church. A debt of sixteen hundred dollars on the parsonage of the church was entirely liquidated, largely through the efforts of the pastor. Rev. Mr. Campbell preached from Jan. 1, 1872, until Oct. 1, 1872, at the Presbyterian Church of Bunker Hill, seven miles distant from Williamstown, N. J., on every Sabbath afternoon, and he officiated at the Presbyterian Church, Williamstown, N. J., every morning and evening. After October, 1872, until December, 1876, Rev. Mr. Campbell preached at the Presbyterian Chapel at Franklinville, N. J., on alternate Sabbath afternoons. A debt of four hundred dollars on the Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church was also canceled through Mr. Campbell's exertions. During the year Mr. Campbell preached at Franklinville, N. J., he had the chapel entirely remodeled both inside and out, at a cost of one hundred and fifty dollars. The number of the active membership of the Williamstown Presbyterian Church (including the chapel at Franklinville, which has never been a regularly organized church, but for some years under the charge of the Presbyterian Church at Williamstown) was one hundred and ten. The condition of the church, both spiritually and temporally, was excellent. About that time (1876) Rev. Mr. Campbell received and accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church, Phoenixville, Pa., which he accepted. Accompanied by the good wishes of the people of his charge, he went there. After Mr. Campbell's departure the church was vacant until October, 1877, when a call was presented to Rev. Alexander Scotland, of Yonkers, N.Y., which he accepted. Mr. Scotland continued the pastor of the church for nearly two years, and then went to labor in the West. Rev. H, L. Mayers, formerly pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Millville, N. J., supplied the pulpit for nearly a year, and then accepted a call to Kittanning, Pa.

The present membership of the church numbers eighty-eight. This less than the number several years ago, but the church has lost heavily by removals and deaths, overbalancing the gain by new members. The field has also been narrowed by the organization of neighboring Presbyterian Churches. But through all its years the church has held to what it believed to be sound gospel truth, and the seed sown has not been lost. The present pastor is Re. H. L. Janeway, who has been in charge since September, 1881. The church holds property valued at about eight thousand dollars.


There are in Williamstown village three cemeteries, -- the old Methodist, on Main Street, and the Williamstown Cemetery, in rear of the Methodist Church, containing five acres of land, beautifully platted in driveways, walks, and burial lots. These are both owned by the Methodist Episcopal Society of Williamstown. The Presbyterian burial ground lies in rear of the Presbyterian Church, on Main Street. In the two former may be found the follow, among the many inscriptions, on tombstones therein contained.

In the old cemetery:

Hugh Ayars, born, died 1877
Randel Nicholson, died March 7, 1879, aged 80 years
Druellia Nicholson, died July 11, 1871, aged 61 years
John Young, died Aug. 21, 1873, aged 67 years
Hannah Young, died Nov. 26, 1868, aged 76 years
John Strang, born Aug. 19, 1788, died Oct., 10, 1865
Millicent Strang, born April 4, 1792, died Jan. 14, 1871
Hannah Albertson, died April 9, 1876, aged 77 years
Thomas Ware, died June 20, 1868, 47 years
John Ware, died Nov. 16, 1810, aged 41 years
George Ware, died Sept. 6, 1828, aged 57 years
William Ireland, died April 18, 1868, aged 75 years
Sarah Ireland, died Oct. 1, 1856, aged 61 years
Rachel Whitecar, died Sept. 16, 1849, aged 63 years
Paul Sears, died April 18, 1848, aged 78 years
Patience Sears, died July 2, 1843, aged 68 years
Josiah Sears, born 1800, died 1879
John Swope, died May 1, 1855, aged 86 years
Rosanna Swope, Died Sept. 25, 1845, aged 66 years
Martha Bodine, died Aug. 25, 1850, aged 37 years
William Steelman, died Oct. 18, 1865, aged 82 years
Elizabeth Steelman, died Dec. 4, 1875, aged 73 years
Joseph A. Stellman, Co. C. 5th Pa. Cav., died at Annapolis, Md., Dec. 13, 1864, aged 26 years
Thomas Whitecar, died Feb. 7, 1848, aged 63 years
Margaret Eldridge, died Nov. 1, 1863, aged 47 years
Cornelius Pease, died Sept. 18, 1850, aged 58 years
David H. Halcomb, died Feb. 28, 1855, aged 47 years
P------ Flowers, died Nov. 16, 1876, aged 79 years
Isaac Albertson, died March 9, 1873, aged 60 years
Esther Campbell, died May 4, 1837, aged 62 years
Henry Graver, Co. D, 25th N.J. Vols, died at Falsmouth , Va., June 22, 1863, aged 34 years
George H. Collett, died April 4, 1851, aged 42 years
Alexander Scott, died Feb. 14, 1849, aged 75 years
Alice Scott, died March 25, 1866, aged 86 years
William Nicholson, born April 8, 1769, died May 20, 1839
Sarah Nicholson, died Oct. 1, 1837, 65 years
Joseph Nicholson, died Jan. 26, 1873, aged 78 years
Miriam Nicholson, died Jan. 18, 1879, aged 79 years
Jacob Dehart, died August 25, 1863, aged 87 years
Cor----- Dehart, died Jan. 13, 1867, aged 79 years
Edith Dehart, died Jan. 19, 1876, aged 86 years
Joseph Sykes, died March 13, 1868, aged 76 years
Sarah Sykes, died April 18, 1874, aged 80 years
Edward Barber ("illegible")
Samuel G. Dehart, died Dec. 29, 1860, aged 37 years
Charles Wilson, died May 30, 1878, aged 68 years
Levi P. Wilson, Co. A. 10th N.J. Vols., died at Washington, D.C., May 21, 1862, aged 17 years
Daniel Graver, died Feb. 26, 1872, aged 47 years ("illegible")
Thomas E. Graver, born April 4, 1838, died Sept. 24, 1876
William Kirby, died Dec. 21, 1862, aged 68 years, Here lies an honest man
In the Williamstown Cemetery:
Joseph Tidmarsh, died March 13, 1873, aged 69 years
Jacob Leigh, died Nov. 19, 1881, aged 68 years
Rebecca Doughty, died Oct. 25, 1879, aged 56 years
Hannah Simmerman, died Oct. 17, 1881, aged 85 years
John G. Adkinson, born Nov. 20, 1820, died Oct. 31, 1877
Phillip Bouce, died Jan. 6, 1874, aged 60 years
John W. Ireland, born April 25, 1816, died Aug. 28, 1862
Amelia Smith, died Oct. 19, 1881, aged 40 years
Joel Bodine, born in Burlington County, N.J., Dec. 4, 1794; died in Camden, N.J., May 19, 1879
Leah, wife of Joel Bodine, born in Burlington County, N.J., Feb. 21, 1809; died in Camden, N.J., May 2, 1879
Phoebe, wife of Joel Bodine, died Sept. 11, 1854, aged 55 years
Horatio W. Simmerman; born Sept. 16, 1806, died Nov. 4, 1872
Jacob ------, died Aug. 20, 1863, aged 58 years
Ann Eldridge, born Jan. 26, 1815; died Sept. 6, 1876
Henry Tice, born Aug. 26, 1790; died Aug. 7, 1860
Elizabeth H. Tice, born Dec. 25, 1803; died Aug. 25, 1876
John Lutz, born Feb. 28, 1806; died June 21, 1881
George C. Hunter, died Aug. 31. 1882, aged 66 years
Christiana Hunter, died April 27, 1852, aged 66 years
Amy Ireland, born Oct. 8, 1838; died Oct. 4, 1866
In the Presbyterian Cemetery:
Robert Sterling, died March 23, 1869, aged 49
Susanna Lutz, born Dec. 29, ---; died Sept. 12, 1872
John Carvin, Jr., died Jan. 9, 1874, aged 39
L----- Melrose, died May 19, 1871, aged 80
John Crist, died April 26, 1851, aged 41
Ruth D. Sheppard, died Dec. 1, 1878, aged 56
Eliza J. Mahr, died Aug. --, 1879, aged 36
Elizabeth Wilson, died Sept. 17, 1872, aged 51
Robert Wilson, died Sept 12, 18--, aged 72
Abel Babcock, born June 12, 1789; died June 24, 1879
Hannah Robb, died Jan. 12, 1878, aged 73
William S. Elwell, born May 1, 1821; died Oct. 28, 1879 (a soldier of Co. E. 130th, Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers)
Jane Gaston, born June 9, 1792; died Nov. 5, 1804
Samuel Bateman, born April 1, 1819; died Jan. 14, 1879
Delsey Scott Bateman, born Jan. 16, 1819; died Jan. 26, 1873
Richard H. Tice, died Oct. 3, 1868, aged 65
Hannah Tice, died May 15, 1875, aged 71
Mary W. Buck, died Jan. 23, 1880, aged 26
James McClure, died Oct. 28, 1865, aged 59
Ellen McClure, died July 24, 1854, aged 36
James McClure, died March 4, 1833, aged 45
Mary McClure, died Aug. 11, 1846, aged 29
Martha Richardson, died March 8, 1850, aged 30
Sarah Ann Tice, died Sept. 19, 1848, aged 43
Isaac K. Tice, died Dec. 12, 1874, aged 67
Thomas Black, died Nov. 2, 1834, aged 41
Ann Maria Black, died Nov. 25, 1840, aged 32
June Tweed, died Nov. 19, 1857, aged 51
William Tweed, died Nov. 8, 1830, aged 43
Rachel Tweed Wilson, died Oct. 25, 1848, aged 24
John Richards, died April 24, 1874, aged 55
John Mallett, born June 11, 1830, died April 26, 1870
Ann C. Mallett, died June 30, 1872, aged 45
James McQuigg, died March 17, 1870, aged 56
Martha McQuigg, died Jan. 23, 1875, aged 30
Margaret Hemphill, died July 10, 1865, aged 53
Catherine Wentman, died June 19, 1864, aged 57
Rachel McHenry, died Jan. 7, 1867, aged 58
James McLaughlin, died May 10, 1859, aged 68
Elizabeth Rodgers McLaughlin, died July 25, 1871, aged 63
Jane Findley, died July 9, 1872
-- --- Armstrong, died Oct. 1, 1862, aged 38
Andrew Todd, died Nov. 11, 1870, aged 80
Ann Charles, died Feb. 17, 1850, aged 69
Thomas Charles, died May 3, 1850, aged 76
J. McKeighas, died Jan. 17, 1863, aged 49
Thomas R----, born March 6, 1777, died, June 30, 1858
James Whiteband, born Dec. 18, 1800, died Nov. 23, 1854
Moore Tweed, born Aug. 7, 1823, died June 28, 1863
Mary Ann Pfeiffer, died Oct. 12, 1874, aged 43
George Pfeiffer, Sr., died Sept. 1, 1866, aged 79
Rosina Pfeiffer, died Dec. 17, 1867, aged 78
James Moore Blair, died July 7, 1853, aged 23
Thomas Gl---------, born May 3, 1813, died May 23, 1863


Williamstown Lodge, No. 27, A. O. U. W. - This lodge was instituted at Williamstown, N. J., Aug. 23, 1883, by Deputy Grand Master Workman, C. H. Wilson, of Atco, assisted by a deputation from Reliance Lodge, No. 20, of Atco.

The following officers were installed: P. M. W., L. M. Halsey; M. W., George W. Ireland; F., James Trout; O., Elmer Hurff; G., E. S. Ireland, Jr.; Recorder, Eli Marsh; Fin., George W. Janvier; Receiver, William Trout; I. W., William F. Tweed; O. W., George W. McIlvane; M. E., L. M. Halsey, M.D.; Trustees, J. H. Sickler, Lewis Westcott, and J. Mossbrook. The institution and installation exercises took place in Twilight Hall, the place of meeting of the Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows. The new lodge is mainly due to the exertions of the Deputy Grand Master of the district, Mr. C. H. Wilson, who was also one of the most active projectors of Reliance Lodge.

The charter members of this lodge were Wlmer Hurf, Jacob Wilson, W. F. Tweed, George W. Ireland, Eli Marsh, James Trout, William Trout, George W. Janvier, Joshua B. Sickler, Dr. L. M. Halsey, C. Rouse, L. Wescott, M. Huntsinger, George McIlvaine, J. Mossbrooks, M. S. Tice, J. Hilyard, C. H. N. Bodine, Ed. Brown, Dr. L. T. Halsey, E. S. Ireland, Jr., T. B. Hewitt.

The regular meetings of the lodge are held on the first and third Friday evenings of each month.


The Williamstown Glass-Works - Williamstown is located on the Squankum Branch of Great Egg Harbor River, and was for a number of years known by the name Squankum. In 1800 there were but four houses in the village and they wildly separated. The town progressed slowly until the glass-works were established and the railroad constructed, since which it has advanced rapidly in population and importance, until now it contains about eleven hundred inhabitants. A railroad nine miles in length, built in 1872, connects Williamstown with Atco, on the Camden and Atlantic Railroad.

In the year 1835, Israel Ewing, Richard H. Tice, and J. De Hart selected the locality of Squankum for a glass-works, and in that year erected one furnace. Benjamin Smith, Jr., of Philadelphia, and Woodward Warrick, now of Glassboro, subsequently became associated with William Nicholson in the ownership of the works, the firm being Nicholson, Warrick & Co. About this time Williamstown was substituted for that of Squankum as the name of the village. In 1839, Mr. Joel Bodine purchased the interest of Mr. Smith, and associated with him Gabriel Iszard, the two gentlemen assuming the interests of all previous owners. After one or two intermediate changes, Mr. William Coffin, Jr., then of Winslow, purchased an interest in the concern, and the business was conducted for a year or two under the firm style of William Coffin, Jr., & Co., when Mr. Joel Bodine became possessed of Mr. Coffin's interest, and from 1842 to 1846, Mr. Bodine was the sole owner of the works. In the latter year Mr. Bodine admitted his three sons, John F., William H., and Joel A. Bodine, to an interest in the business, and the firm style became Joel Bodine & Sons. In 1855, Mr. Joel Bodine withdrew, and the sons continued the business as Bodine Brothers. In 1866 and 1867, Joel A. and William H. Bodine withdrew, and the firm of Bodine, Thomas & Co. was organized, under which the business is carried on at the present time.
The Williamstown Glass Works cover six acres, comprising three large furnaces, -- the second of which was erected by Mr. Joel Bodine in 1848, -- batch house, lear buildings, a large pot-house, twenty by eighty feet, two stories high, with wing twenty by forty feet; packing-house, five large sheds for storage purposes, steam saw-mill and grist-mill combined, blacksmith and machine shops, large general store and offices and fifty dwelling houses. In addition to these, thirty of the employees of the works own their own dwelling houses and farms. A railroad switch runs through the glass works proper, delivering supplies at every part of the yards directly from the cars.

The works turn out bottles ranging from half-ounce in size to two gallons, comprising the usual varieties of druggists' glassware, paten medicine bottles, fruit jars, pickle bottles, and various styles in German flint, such as mustards, ketchups, etc. About three hundred and seventy-five hands are employed, men and boys, as blowers, shearers, packers, engineers and machinists, day men, farm hands, and tending boys. It is estimated that fully one thousand persons are dependent on the works for support.

There are consumed and used at the works five thousand tons of coal, two thousand eight hundred tons of sand, one thousand tons of soda-ash, eight hundred sacks of ground salt, four thousand cords of wood, twenty-three thousand bushels of lime, and one million five hundred thousand feet of box-boards per year. The payroll calls for ten thousand dollars per month. The annual business from all sources reaches in the aggregate three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The value of the glass produced yearly is two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The glassware manufactured by this firm is shipped to all points in the United States and Canada, but principally to New York Pennsylvania, and the New England and Southern States. Shipments of considerable value are also made to California and other parts of the far West. The firm hold farm interests in three hundred acres, also own timber tracts, and do a large country trade in building materials, farm implements, fertilizers, etc. The office is connected by telegraph with the Western Union Telegraph office at Philadelphia, Pa., and telephone wires also run from the office to all parts of the works.

The J. V. Sharp Canning Company was organized in 1880, and incorporated the same year, and in 1882 large and commodious buildings were erected a short distance west from the village of Williamstown for the canning of all kinds of fruit. Mr. Sharp had been previously engaged in the business on a small scale for some fifteen years. The capacity of the works is about twenty-five thousand cans of all kinds daily, and employment is given to from one hundred and fifty to one hundred and seventy-five persons during the canning season.

The same company are also engaged in the manufacture of lime from oyster shells. They have two patent kilns near the canning works, in which the lime is manufactured. The track of the Atco and Williamstown Railroad extends past the village to the kilns and canning works.
The officers and directors of the company are as follows: President, Samuel Garwood; Treasurer, J. A. Bodine; Secretary, George W. Ireland; Directors, S. Garwod, J. A. Bodine, John F. Bodine, Isaiah Aldrich, and W. H. Bodine.

John D. Sharp has also a small canning establishment, operated by himself, where he carries on quite an extensive business.

Biographical Sketches

Hon. John F. Bodine

The earliest representatives of the Bodine family were among the band Huguenots who fled to America to escape religious persecution and located at New Rochelle, in Westchester County, N.Y. From thence they emigrated to Staten Island, and later to New Jersey. John Bodine, the grandfather of this subject of this biography, was born in Cranberry, Middlesex County, N. J., about the year 1750, from which place he removed when a youth to Burlington County, and engaged in the active pursuits of life. He married and had children, -- John, Stacy, Francis, Charles, Joel, Wilson, Jesse, Daniel, Samuel, Budd S., Susan (Mrs. Wright), Mary (Mrs. Moncrief), Abigail (Mrs. Hudson), Sarah (Mrs. Allen), and Lucy (Mrs. Fisher). These children were all born in the Wading River tavern, a popular resort, of which Mr. Bodine was for a period of forty years the respected landlord, and where his death occurred in 1820 or 1821. His son Joel was born in 1795, and twice married, first to Miss Sarah Gale, to whom was born a son, Samuel; and second to Miss Phebe Forman, who children were John F., William H., Isaac E., Charles J., Alfred, Henry C., and one who died in infancy. Three of this number still survive. Mr. Bodine, in 1824, made Philadelphia his residence, and in 1826 removed to Millville, Cumberland Co., N. J. In 1834 he repaired to Winslow, Camden Co., N. J., which place was for five years his home, when he chose Williamstown as a more permanent abode. His death occurred in Camden, in his eighty-fourth year. John F., his son, was born Oct. 27, 1821, in Tuckerton, Burlington Co., and spent his youth in active employment when not enjoying the limited advantages of education there afforded. After two and a half years of service in the shop of a blacksmith, he entered a glass manufacturing establishment, and at the age of seventeen was for three years an apprentice to the art of glass blowing. He then removed to Williamstown, and became assistant to his father, receiving, after attaining his majority, a salary for his services. At the age of twenty-five he had by industry and thrift accumulated the sum of six hundred dollars, with which a partnership was formed with his father and brother. This sum formed the nucleus around which centered a large and successful business, that of hollow ware glass manufacturing, with which a general store was connected and continued until his retirement in 1882. Mr. Bodine was married in 1844 to Miss Martha, daughter of John Swope, of Williamstown, and had children, Emma (Mrs. Atkins) and Phebe (Mrs. Duffel). He was a second time married, to Miss Gertrude, daughter of Peter Boucher, of Columbia County, N. Y. Their children are Joanna (Mrs. Garwood) and Alice. In politics Mr. Bodine is a strong Republican, and has been actively identified with the political interests of the district and county. He filled the offices of superintendent of schools and freeholder each for three years, and was in 1864 elected member of the State Legislature, where he served on the committees on Railroads and Corporations, having been chairman of the latter. He was in 1873 appointed one of the county judges and officiated for five years, after which he was elected to the State Senate for a period of three years, and chairman of the State Prison and Public Grounds Committees, also a member of the committees on Railroads and Canals, Lunatic Asylums, and Industrial School for Girls. Mr. Bodine is actively interested in the advancement of the religious interests of the village, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Williamstown. He is president of the Williamstown Railroad, which he was largely interested in building, and director of the First National Bank of Camden. He is also identified with the Masonic order, and member of Brearley Lodge, No. 2, of that order.

Matthias M. Chew

The Chew family are of English origin, though New Jersey claims its early representatives as citizens.

Robert, the grandfather of Matthias M., was resident of Franklin township, in Gloucester County, where he was both a farmer and a lumber merchant. By his wife, Tamzen, he had thirteen children, as follows: Jane, Sarah Ann, Thomas E., Lafayette, Levi, Charles, Margaret, Elizabeth, Esther Ann, Beulah, Samuel D., Phebe, and one who died in early youth. Thomas E. the father of Matthias M., was born in Franklin township in 1818, and having acquired a knowledge of farming pursuits, made it his calling, to which was added that of brick-making. He married Miss Elizabeth Miller , and had children, -- William, Matthias M., Susanna (married Maskell Bates), Sidney (deceased), Isabella (deceased), Robert, Thomas, Sarah, Elizabeth (deceased), Mary Ella (deceased), and Rose Ella (deceased). In the fall of 1865 he bought of Hugh Gelston, of Baltimore, Md., the Coles Mill property, intending to make of it a cranberry bog, as well as to use it for mill and farming purposes. He devoted seventeen acres of the pond to cranberries, and in 1847 erected a saw mill on the site of the old one, which had been burned. Mr. Chew's death resulted from an accident while engaged in sawing shingle bolts. He was buried at "The Lake," and a fine monument erected to his memory by his children. The property remained in the hands of Mrs. Chew, as administrator of the estate, until 1870, when she obtained from the court permission to sell the same at public sale.

Matthias M. Chew, second child of Thomas E., was born at "The Lake," in Franklin township, on the 22nd day of February, 1842. Here he spent his early boyhood, remaining a member of his father's family until twenty-one years of age, and living successively in Glassboro, Clayton, Evansville, Cape May, and Bethel. At the latter place he obtained until eighteen years of age such education as could be acquired by three months' yearly attendance at the district school. With his father's consent he, in the fall 1862, enlisted (as did his brother William) in Company d, Twenty-fourth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged in August, 1863, by reason of expiration of term of service, having participated in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. On the 22nd day of December, 1864, he was married to Miss Marry Etts, daughter of Thomas A. and Abigail Ann (Leonard) Chew, who was of the same family and distantly related. After his marriage Mr. Chew cultivated the farm of his father-in-law on shares for one year, and later rented a farm of Mr. Jessup for a year, the removed to Cole's Mill, and began the cultivation of cranberries, taking from his father two acres of bog, which he set out to vines, his share being an undivided one-half interest. The sudden death of the latter having prevented the consummation of their bargain, he removed to Williamstown and engaged in surveying and conveyance, to the study of which he had been devoting his leisure hours for several years. Mr. Chew had meanwhile given the cultivation of cranberries much thought and attention, and becoming thoroughly convinced that it could be made a remunerative business, he in 1870 bought, in company with his brother Robert, at the sale above mentioned, the entire property. At this time there was about twenty acres out to vines, though not as yet productive. The following summer he divided the farm with his brother, Matthias receiving one hundred and seventy-five acres. The next year Matthias M. had two hundred and eighty bushels of berries, since which time he has planted fifteen acres more to vines, making thirty-five acres in all, from which he has realized five thousand bushels of berries in one year. In October, 1881, Mr. Chew bought of William Corkrey two hundred acres of land, known as the Hospitality Mill property, situated in Monroe township, of which fifty acres are set to vines, and yielded eleven hundred bushels of berries this present season. Mr. Chew is the acknowledged pioneer cranberry grower of this part of New Jersey, his success being an evidence of what can be achieved by perseverance and thorough knowledge of the business in which he is engaged. It has inspired others and made the cultivation and raising of cranberries and extensive business, bringing to the operators yearly many thousands of dollars, and giving employment during the picking season to hundreds of people. He now has all the buildings and appliances necessary to the storage and shipping of his berries, the raising and handling of which he has made a science. Mr. and Mrs. Chew have five children, -- Thomas J., born Jan. 8, 1867; died Aug. 4, 1867; Mary Abigail, born May 21, 1868; Elizabeth, born March 8, 1871; Edward D., born Sept. 11, 1872; and Samuel M., born June 18, 1874.

In politics Mr. Chew is a Republican. He has served two terms of five years each as justice of the peace for Monroe township, has been for four years a member of the board of freeholders, and for the same period assessor of the township. He is at present officiating as freeholder and commissioner of deeds, the latter office having been held for three terms. In religion, he is a supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Williamstown, and one of its trustees.

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