Henry H. Fisher, Esq.

Part one of this story was published last year in March 2015 (The Sergeantsville Inn). It was written too quickly, and now has been revised. In its original form, the article covered the time period from the original proprietary deed to the end of the 19th century. I’ve revised that first article with more information about the last of the Thatcher family to own the property, bringing us up to 1830.

The Sergeantsville Inn, formerly Shepherd's Store, c. 1900
The Sergeantsville Inn, formerly Shepherd’s Store, c. 1900

After 1830 it becomes a whole new story, thanks to a tip from Dennis Bertland. Originally, I wrote that Henry H. Fisher owned the old store lot that became the Inn from 1830 to 1865. That was not true at all. The reality is a lot more interesting. This chapter is focused on Henry H. Fisher’s ownership from 1830 to 1838.

James P. Snell1 wrote that “Henry H. Fisher, Esq. procured the appointment of Jonas Thatcher” as postmaster of Sergeantsville in 1827. But is that really true? To have that kind of influence, one must be prominent in some way, usually as a large landowner, or perhaps from a prominent family in the town. Fisher did not meet those requirements in 1827, although he certainly did just a few years later.

First of all, Fisher’s land purchases in the area did not begin until 1830, and that first purchase was for the Sergeantsville store lot (now the Inn). Fisher bought a half interest in the lot from Jonas & Anna Thatcher for $250.2 Perhaps this is why people thought that Fisher helped Thatcher get his appointment. But this was three years after the fact. Jonas Thatcher got his appointment on his own.

Secondly, in 1827, Fisher was only 26 years old, a little young to be wielding much influence.

And finally, Henry H. Fisher was born and grew up in Tewksbury—he was an interloper, and was probably not even present in Sergeantsville in 1827.

Fisher’s Early Life

Henry Hearl Fisher was born in Tewksbury Township on February 1, 1801. He was the sixth of nine children born to Rev. George Fisher and wife Hannah Hiler.3 According to Snell’s history of Tewksbury Township,4 “George or John Fisher came from Germany about 1790, and settled in Changewater. His son, Rev. George Fisher, came to Tewksbury in 1797 or 1798, and about 1815 bought 50 acres.” Rev. Fisher settled at Fairmount. He became a Methodist minister in 1806, and was licensed as a preacher in 1810, according to his gravestone. He contributed ground for the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery of Fairmont in 1837.

About the time that Rev. Fisher became a pastor, Hannah Fisher died, possibly as a consequence of giving birth to twins in 1808. The exact date of her death is not known, and her gravesite has not been found. (She died well before the Methodist Cemetery at Fairmont was established.) On May 30, 1815, Rev. Fisher married his second wife, Sarah C. Cooper, born 1797; the ceremony was performed by Methodist minister Rev. Manning Force.5 I do not know who her parents were. They had eight children, in addition to Fisher’s previous nine, bringing the family up to seventeen children. Sarah C. Cooper survived Rev. Fisher and died on Nov. 24, 1868.6

Rev. George Fisher of Tewksbury died on May 14, 1846. The inscription on his gravestone in the Fairmount Cemetery reads: “As a preacher he was eminent for zeal and usefulness and still more distinguished as a Christian for sanctity of manner and deep and affected piety.”

The administrators of Rev. George Fisher’s estate were William Bishop Fisher, son of Hannah Fisher, and Manning Force Fisher, son of Sarah C. Fisher (clearly named after the minister who married George and Sarah). Both of these men were living in Tewksbury at the time, but by 1860, both had moved to Jersey City. Rev. Fisher had other sons by wife Hannah who might have served as administrators—John G. Fisher, Christian Fisher and Henry H. Fisher. Actually, by 1847, John G. Fisher was added as an administrator.7 I cannot explain why Christian and Henry Fisher did not take part.

Henry H. Fisher and the Methodist Church in Sergeantsville

I have a that that explains what attracted Henry H. Fisher to the tiny village of Sergeantsville. In the late 1820s and early 1830s, the Second Great Awakening was taking place, and in Sergeantsville it took the form of “woods meetings” held by local Methodists. These were religious revival events that were held outdoors, usually under a tent. The Methodists in this vicinity did not yet have a church building of their own.

Since Henry H. Fisher’s father was a Methodist preacher, perhaps Rev. Fisher was proselytizing in Sergeantsville and brought his son Henry along. There is no proof of this. Rev. Fisher was in his 60s by this time, but it seems a likely explanation for how Henry H. Fisher became aware of the village.

One of the early proponents of Methodism in Sergeantsville was Andrew Hoagland, Esq. (1780-1843). His brother Amos (1787-1847) was one of the first trustees (along with Jonathan Rake, Amos Merseilles and Philip Rockafellow). It was in the early 1830s that Andrew Hoagland’s son Amos Hoagland (1809-1876) married Susan Fisher, daughter of Rev. George Fisher and sister of Henry H. Fisher. Another reason to think that the Fisher family did visit Sergeantsville.8 The Hoagland family lived on a farm south of the village. Henry H. Fisher would in 1831 become a partner with Amos Hoagland operating the old Thatcher store and again in the 1840s. In 1832, the Sergeantsville Methodists were given a lot on which to build their first church building, plus $100 in cash. According to Snell (p. 380), this was done by Henry H. Fisher. Once again, I have my doubts. The church is located on the north side of Route 604 (the Sergeantsville-Rosemont Road) and recorded deeds show Fisher did not own property there until later in the 1830s.

Fisher’s Early Partnerships

On March 16, 1831, a notice was published in the Hunterdon Gazette indicating that Henry H. Fisher was actively pursuing a merchant’s career:

LOOK OUT! The firm of West & Fisher is this day dissolved by mutual consent. After returning their sincere thanks to a generous public, they beg leave to invite those having unsettled accounts with them to come forward and make settlement previous to the 1st day of April next. [signed] Thomas West, Henry H. Fisher. Sergeantsville, 14th March, 1831.

P.S. The business will be commenced anew by the subscribers, who are now opening a regular assortment of seasonable GOODS, but feel a timidity in speaking big words, when little ones will do as well. They invite their friends and former customers to call and judge for themselves. [signed] Henry H. Fisher, Amos Hogeland. March 16, 1831.

This is interesting first of all because Fisher’s partner was Thomas West, not Jonas Thatcher. The Gazette often published notices of partnerships that were being dissolved, but rarely did they take notice of when partnerships were created, so I cannot say when Fisher & West began doing business. It might have been as early as 1830 when Henry H. Fisher got his half-interest in the store lot from Jonas Thatcher.

Also, it was difficult to be sure of who this Thomas West was. It could have been Thomas (1765-1835) or Thomas (1789-1855). The first seems most promising because he married Rachel Hoagland, daughter of William and Rachel Hoagland, and had a daughter Letitia who married Sergeant Lake of Sergeantsville.9 He wrote his will on June 1, 1833, so it seems most likely the dissolution of the partnership with Fisher was due to ill health.

The second note of interest in this advertisement is that Henry H. Fisher was now partnered with Amos Hogeland (the alternate spelling of Hoagland). Which Amos was this? Once again, I have too many options. At first I thought that this was the brother of Andrew Hoagland, the Amos who was one of the first trustees of the Methodist Church. He was born in 1787 and died in 1847. But later information has convinced me that it must have been Amos the son of Andrew Hoagland, the one who married Henry H. Fisher’s sister Susan. It was this Amos who later, jointly with Henry H. Fisher, purchased the old Thatcher farm and store property mentioned above.

In my previous article, I described how Henry H. Fisher gradually acquired the property of Jonas Thatcher, starting with his purchase of a half-interest in a lot carved out of the Thatcher property on the southwest corner of the village in 1830, and built his storehouse that year. The datestone in the east gable states that it was built in 1830.

I thought that going into partnership with Henry H. Fisher was part of Thatcher’s plan to expand the business, with Fisher building the storehouse to accommodate inventory for Thatcher’s store in the building across from the tavern (now the township hall). In fact, this was Jonas Thatcher making a transition from Sergeantsville storekeeper to Alexandria Township farmer. This is partly indicated by the fact that on February 24, 1831, Henry H. Fisher replaced Jonas Thatcher as postmaster of Sergeantsville.

Soon afterwards, on April 21, 1831, Fisher bought out Jonas Thatcher’s half interest in the store lot for $400.10 And a year later, on May 1, 1832, the Thatchers conveyed their remaining 62.34 acres plus two lots of 3.33 and 2 acres to Henry H. Fisher and Amos Hoagland for $3,000.11 The price was high because the property included the store and post office that had been run by Jonas Thatcher. Fisher and Hoagland were tenants in common in this deed, which meant that neither of them could sell the property without the other’s consent, but they could separately sell their half interest to another party.

H. H. Fisher, Big Man in Sergeantsville

In 1833, the partnership of Henry H. Fisher and Amos Hoagland was dissolved, as reported in the Hunterdon Gazette on May 8, 1833:

Notice to all concerned. The partnership heretofore existing between Fisher & Hogeland, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. All those having unsettled accounts will please call on either of these subscribers on the 10th or 11th days of May, at which time they will attend to all that call. Henry H. Fisher & Amos Hogeland. April 30, 1833. P. S. – FOR SALE, about from 1000 to 1500 well seasoned MILL COGS, of different sizes, consisting of choice timber.

This was followed by an interesting notice:

The subscriber begs leave to inform the public, that he has taken the store house formerly occupied by Fisher & Hogeland, and has opened a general assortment of Dry Goods, Groceries, Cedarware, Earthen & Stone Ware, All of which he will sell at reasonable prices for cash or country produce. Patronage is respectfully solicited. A. H. Cook. Sergeantsville, May 1, 1833.

Which building was the “store house” referred to in the announcement—the old Thatcher store or the new storehouse that Fisher built. Probably the new building. “Cedarware” was any of an assortment of wooden boxes, bowls, and stands, very common at the time, and fairly rare now. And “earthen ware” and stoneware referred to the bowls, crocks and jugs so often found at antiques sales. On July 3rd, this notice appeared:

Last Notice ! The books and accounts of the late firm of Fisher & Hogeland, will remain in the hands of the subscriber until the first day of August next, at which time they will be removed, as the subscriber intends going to the West. – All concerned will please call previous to the above day. H. H. Fisher. Dated July 1st, 1833. P. S. For sale, from 1000 to 1500 first rate seasoned MILL COGS.

It appears that Fisher and Hoagland invested in far too many mill cogs.

Judging from this notice, it was not so much ill-feeling to account for the dissolution as it was Fisher’s plan to go West. Why did he go West and where exactly? This is the only mention of it I have found. He may have been looking out for better opportunities in the expanding west, or maybe he was looking for new suppliers.

We know that Henry H. Fisher was gone for August and September because on October 9, 1833 his name was on the list of uncollected letters at the Flemington Post Office. He did not sell his store property before leaving however. As seen in the notice quoted above, he rented it to A. H. Cook. This was Aaron H. Cook (1814-1850), son of Daniel Cook and Keziah Smith of Pennington, and husband of Mary Reading (1817-1848), daughter of Asher Reading and Margaret Wolverton. They married on April 30, 1834, not too long after Cook took over operation of the store. I cannot say how long Cook remained in Sergeantsville. He may have continued operation of the store after Henry H. Fisher returned to Sergeantsville. Fisher was there by November 20, 1833 when he bought a lot of 38 perches from the executors of Charles Sergeant dec’d. The lot was previously owned by John Sergeant, and located in the northwest quadrant of Sergeantsville.12

On April 13, 1833, Charles Sergeant, the man for whom Sergeantsville was named, died at the age of 73. He had written his will on February 2, 1833, naming his sons-in-law, Joseph Wood, James Wolverton and James Larason, his executors, along with his daughter Elizabeth, widow of William Reading, but she appears to have renounced the position. They were charged with selling his real estate for the benefit of his wife and children.

On March 20, 1834, Henry H. Fisher bought the store house belonging to Charles Sergeant, along with two other lots, from Sergeant’s executors. The store lot appears as a small cut-out in the deed of Jonas Thatcher to Henry H. Fisher in 1830,13 when Fisher and Hoagland bought the remainder of the Amos Thatcher plantation. The lot was only 16 perches, but Fisher paid $200 for it.14 It bordered Neal Hart (the old tavern lot), Amos Hoagland (formerly Jonas Thatcher), and the east side of Route 523. The deed mentioned that there was a two-story stone house on the lot. Eventually the old store on this lot was torn down and a new building put up by Henry H. Fisher’s son George Fisher, and became known as Fisher’s Harness Shop even as late as 1910. In the Hunterdon Gazette (Sept. 25, 1833), this lot was described by Sergeant’s executors as:

that white two-story STONE HOUSE and LOT, situated in the pleasant village of Sergeantsville, being the south-west corner [sic] of the roads leading from Ringoes, Centre Bridge and Flemington, about 1-3/4 miles from [lot] No. 1. This is an eligible situation for a store, mechanic, or most any kind of public business.

This had me fooled until I examined the metes & bounds of the deed and found that it was really the southeast corner, not the southwest.

Sergeantsville in the 18th and early 19th century
Sergeantsville in the 18th and early 19th century

Think about it. This purchase gave Henry H. Fisher ownership of all the stores in Sergeantsville: the old Thatcher store, the Sergeant store and the new (1830) storehouse Fisher built on the southwest corner. In only three years he had become the most important man in Sergeantsville. This was one very cagey businessman. How the son of a Methodist preacher learned so quickly how to run such an apparently successful business is a wonder.

One explanation for his success is that Fisher did not wait long to collect from his debtors. A deed of 1834 (March 22) shows to what lengths Fisher was willing to go to get them to pay up. When Thomas Godown could not pay Fisher & Hoagland the $300 he owed them, Fisher went to court and got the Sheriff to levy on Godown’s 18+ acres just north of the old tavern lot. It was sold at public vendue at which time Fisher bid $125 for it.15 He also bought Godown’s 4.6-acre woodlot south of Sergeantsville for $80.16 The day before this sale, Fisher sold a small lot at the south end of his 3.92-acre store lot to Samuel Case, who we will hear from later.17

Six months before this, on Nov. 18, 1833, Fisher sold his half interest in the old Thatcher farm that he shared with Amos Hoagland to Amos’ father Andrew Hoagland for $1700.18 One would think that Amos Hoagland would have bought Fisher out, but he probably did not have the cash, as later events would show.

Another indication that Henry H. Fisher had achieved some success in life was that by November 1833 he began to be identified in deeds as Henry H. Fisher, Esquire. But a search of the Gazette gave no explanation for how he might have earned that title. He certainly was no lawyer, and as far as I can tell did not hold any public office. But from this time on, it was always the full title: Henry H. Fisher, Esq.

Another sign of success was that on May 14, 1834, the Gazette announced that he would be one of the delegates to the Democratic Convention to be held in Trenton. This convention was for the party of Andrew Jackson. However, eventually, Fisher became a Republican, but that was not until 1861.

Fisher’s Speculations, 1830-1838

There were no other deeds for H. H. Fisher in 1834. But he seems to have begun to think more about real estate investments than keeping store. On November 24, 1834, Fisher handed over the job of postmaster to Samuel Case (who had bought a lot from Fisher in March 1834).19 Case must have been operating the store as an employee of Fisher’s. He was a man with some storekeeping experience. In April 1825, he advertised in the Gazette that he was prepared to purchase “10,000 wt OF GOOD CLEAN FLAX, And will pay 8 1/2 cents in cash, or 9 cents in exchange.” That is the only advertisement from Case as a storekeeper prior to 1834.

Henry H. Fisher made four land purchases in 1835: on March 13th, a woodlot of 5.15 acres from John Bacon, north of Sergeantsville;20 on May 14th, another woodlot of 2.1 acres adjoining the one from John Hunt;21, and on Dec. 9th, all the right & title of Ezekiel and Rachel Everitt in the estate of Rachel’s father William Kerr of Kingwood.22 This last was a farm in Kingwood, the rights to which Fisher sold to Abel Kerr in 1837.

The purchase from Benjamin Lewis on May 5th was for the rights to a lot of 19.32 acres and another one of 38 perches.23 Both were originally part of the real estate of John Lewis dec’d, who owned most of the northwest quadrant of Sergeantsville in the 18th century. These two lots fronted on the west side of Route 523, but neither of them was the Methodist Church lot.

In 1836 Fisher bought three properties: on Jan. 23 from Isaac Scarborough a lot of 30.76 acres on the west side of Rte 523 north of Sergeantsville;24 on March 19th from Jacob Knight a woodlot of 3.16 acres to the east of Sergeantsville;25 and on April 20th from John Curtis four lots amounting to 118+ acres in Kingwood and Alexandria Townships.26

This was just the beginning for Henry H. Fisher as real estate investor. The list of his deeds in the index at the county clerk’s office runs pages and pages long.

From May 1834, when Fisher was named as a delegate to the Democratic State convention in Trenton, to November 2, 1836, there was nothing about Fisher in the Hunterdon Gazette. But on that date, he advertised his willingness to pay 50 cents per cord of wood, cut, corded and delivered to his store in Sergeantsville. He also had white oak posts for sale, cheap. These bulky items were no doubt stored in the storehouse that is now the Sergeantsville Inn. ‘Cheap’ seems to have been a word with positive connotations in the 1830 and 40s. It is bandied about by nearly every storekeeper advertising in those years.

Another interesting ad appeared on December 7, 1836:

THE SUBSCRIBER FOR some weeks past being unable, on account of ill health, to attend to settling his accounts, would inform those interested that his Books are ready for settlement. Those indebted to him on judgments and long standing accounts will please settle the same without further notice. The subscriber would further give notice, that he has just received a fresh supply of Dry GOODS and GROCERIES, and invites his friends and the public to give him a call. Henry H. Fisher. Sergeantville.[sic]

The Panic of 1837

This major financial event in American history seems to have caused Henry H. Fisher to try storekeeping in a better location. Sergeantsville must not have been such a bustling place once the D&R Canal went through in 1834, pulling all new enterprises toward the river towns like Lambertville and Center Bridge (Stockton). But the Panic of 1837 must have really brought commerce to a halt. Perhaps this is why Fisher sold some lots in 1837 and 38.

Another indication of a lack of business in Sergeantsville was this notice in the Hunterdon Gazette of Dec. 20, 1837 from Fisher’s old partner, Amos Hoagland:

FOR RENT, CONVENIENT Dwelling House and Shop, suitable for a Tailor or Shoemaker, situate in the village of Sergeantville [sic]. For terms apply to AMOS HOGELAND. Dec. 20, 1837. FOR SALE, A quantity of seasoned Whiteoak Mill Cogs. Apply as above.

A week later (Dec. 2, 1837), Fisher advertised the sale of 1500 Chestnut Rails, and 1000 Whiteoak Posts. He also “WANTED, 100 Green Beef Hides, for which 4 cts. per lb. will be paid in cash, or 4-1/2 in goods. Also a man who understands burning coal. Apply at my Store. H. H. FISHER.” The ad was repeated on January 24, 1838.

Even though times were hard, Fisher could not help buying and selling real estate. In 1837 he bought a woodlot of 5 acres from John Ent, and two lots amounting to 40 acres in Alexandria Twp. from Elijah Rittenhouse. In 1838 he bought another 4-acre woodlot in Delaware from John S. Wilson, and 15.95 acres in Delaware from Jonathan & Adaline Rake. 27

Another interesting purchase in 1838 was on February 22 when Fisher bought a lot from Joseph and Permelia Wood.28 This was the rare deed when Wood was not acting as executor for his father-in-law, Charles Sergeant, dec’d. I suspect this property had been the home of Joseph Wood during the time he lived in Delaware Township; it was 39.44 acres bordering Green Sergeant, Cornelius Lake, and Garret Wilson not far west of the Methodist Church in Sergeantsville. Fisher paid $900 for the lot. At that time, Joseph and wife Permelia were living in Trenton. A month later, on March 22, Fisher sold most of that lot (31.93 acres) to Green Sergeant for $624.25.29

The other interesting purchase Fisher made in 1838 was dated July 31, 1838. It was the lot of 0.67 acres that Fisher had sold to Samuel Case back in 1834. Fisher paid $557 for the lot.30 Why he wished to purchase it after having sold the adjacent store lot is a mystery to me; perhaps he was doing Case a favor. I do not know what happened to Samuel Case and wife Euphemia after this date.

Fisher Moves to Trenton

And now we come to the point where revisions to my first article on the Sergeantsville Inn are most necessary. I had written that Henry H. Fisher owned the storehouse for 33 years (until 1865). Wrong. On March 2, 1838, Henry H. Fisher (still residing in Delaware Twp.) sold his store lot of 3.26 acres in Sergeantsville to Joseph Wood for $3,000.31 It looks as if Fisher had made some significant improvements to the property. The deed recital stated that what was being conveyed was the “same lot of land that [Henry H. Fisher] purchased from Jonas Thatcher and wife” in 1831, excepting a lot of 0.67 acres that had been sold off to Samuel Case and the water privilege that flows from John Gordon’s spring in a ditch through the store lot and over to the Thatcher property on the east side of the road.

Joseph Wood, the purchaser, was one of the sons-in-law of Charles Sergeant, mentioned above. By this time, however, he was living in Trenton and making a success of himself. We will learn more about him in the next chapter.

As mentioned before, the financial climate was discouraging, thanks to the Panic of 1837, and Fisher found someone who could handle the property for him while he made his exit from Delaware Township. Too bad—he missed some excitement. Beginning in February of 1838, work had begun on a bill to create a new county, named Mercer, out of Hunterdon County. And in April, residents of Amwell Township discovered that while they were at it, the legislature divided up old Amwell into three new townships, one of them being Delaware Township, where the Fisher store was located. Many people were involved in protesting this high-handed action, but not Henry H. Fisher. If he were committed to remaining in Sergeantsville, he most certainly would have been involved. But he was on his way out.

Another reason Fisher sold the Sergeantsville store was that he had gone into partnership with David M. Irwin to open a new store in Trenton. Fisher had left for Trenton before April 4, 1838, for on that date he published this notice in the Gazette:

NOTICE. For the convenience of all interested, I will attend at my late residence [emphasis added], at Sergeantville, on Friday and Saturday the 13th and 14th of the present month, for the purpose of making final settlements with such as will attend. H. H. Fisher.

On April 11, 1838, Fisher and Irwin advertised their new store in the Gazette:

“NEW STORE. TRENTON, NJ. The subscribers have entered into partnership, under the name and style of FISHER & IRWIN, in the city of Trenton, N. J. for the purpose of doing a DRY GOODS & GROCERY Business. They have taken the Store in Market-street, next door to Messrs. J. R. S. & W. S. Barnes – late John R. Smith’s – opposite the New Market, and nearly opposite Charles Green’s Hotel, where they will be pleased to see their country friends and all others. It is their intention to keep a good and extensive assortment of all kinds of Goods usually kept in a store short of Philadelphia. They are now opening a splendid assortment of fashionable Dry Goods, which they will sell very, very cheap indeed. Their GROCERIES are all fresh, in good order, and will be sold at New York prices, in large or small quantities, as purchasers may wish. The very highest market prices will be offered for all kinds of PRODUCE. Please call at our Store previous to purchasing elsewhere, and our goods shall be offered at prices very much reduced. Henry H. Fisher, David M. Irwin. Trenton, April 25, 1838. N. B. A few tons of merchantable Flax are wanted, for which Cash will be paid.

There were two other ads for the store, published in the Gazette on May 16th and June 20th. Also on June 20th, Henry H. Fisher placed this notice:

“NOTICE. I HAVE placed my Notes, Bonds and Books in the hands of Elijah Wilson, Esq. for collection. All persons interested will please attend to the settlement of the same without delay. Henry H. Fisher.”

He seems to have been in need of cash. I have looked in the Trenton papers for advertisements that might tell me how the store was doing, but found no ads at all, which seems odd. I also found no notices for David M. Irwin.

One of the few notices in Trenton papers for Henry H. Fisher was for his marriage. He did not marry until July 22, 1838 when he was 37 years old—quite a long time to wait in those days, and not until after he had moved to Trenton. His wife was Ann or Anna Johnson (1815-1878), daughter of William Johnson and Urania Sergeant, making her a granddaughter of Loman Sergeant, brother of Charles Sergeant. Fisher and wife Anna were married by Peter O. Studdiford, a Presbyterian minister from Lambertville. Anna Johnson had grown up on her parents’ farm near Rosemont, so Henry and Anna probably went to Lambertville to get married. The marriage announcement in the Gazette identified the groom as Henry H. Fisher, Esq. Once an Esq. always an Esquire.

Sometime around 1840 or a little later, Henry and Ann Fisher returned to Sergeantsville. The Fisher-Irwin partnership must have failed, probably due to the difficult financial times. In 1844 Fisher went into partnership with Elijah Wilson to run the old Thatcher store across from the tavern. He did not regain ownership of the storehouse (now the Sergeantsville Inn) until around 1849.

So much for a short history of the Sergeantsville Inn. I’ve only gotten up to 1838, but there is more than enough for a few more chapters.

Postscript:

A conundrum concerning the wives of Rev. George Fisher:
The Hunterdon Co. Democrat published an obituary on April 8, 1840 that read: “Died, at Hudson, NY, on the evening of March 30, Mrs. Catharine Van Deursen, wife of the Rev. George H. Fisher, in the 37th year of her age.” I suspect that Mrs. V. D. Fisher was married to a different Rev. Fisher. He might have been George Fisher, Jr., but that George was married to Anna Sutton from 1819 to 1880. Why would the Democrat be interested in the wife of a Rev. George Fisher if he hadn’t lived in the county? Perhaps because Catharine Van Deursen was the former county resident instead. I had trouble finding anything about Catharine in Ancestry.com other than this obituary, but I did locate the death record for this other Rev. George. He died on Nov. 23, 1872, age 69, a widowed clergyman living in Hackensack, NJ.

Footnotes:

  1. Or whoever wrote the chapter on Delaware Township in Snell’s History of Hunterdon County, p. 376.
  2. H. C. Deed 48-619.
  3. James P. Snell, History of Hunterdon County, 1881, p. 475. I cannot say where the name Hearl came from. Presumably it is a family name.
  4. Snell, p. 476.
  5. This is the only marriage listed for George Fisher in Marriage Records of Hunterdon County, 1795-1875.
  6. Find-a-Grave states that she died in 1865, but her estate was recorded in 1869. I was unable to find her in the 1860 census, even though she was probably living somewhere in Tewksbury Twp. until her death.
  7. As reported in a notice in the Hunterdon Gazette, Aug. 18, 1847. Sureties were Fisher’s son-in-law William Welsh and Samuel W. Salter (NJA 4907J). Welsh and Salter were both neighbors of Rev. Fisher’s homestead farm.
  8. The biography of Rev. George Fisher in Snell (p. 475) states that Fisher’s daughter Sarah married Amos Hoagland. It’s true that Hoagland was married to a Sarah (according to her obit), but I have not found a record of when Amos Hoagland married. Or when Sarah Fisher (1808-1869) married. But they were close in age. Census records don’t help much. Wives were not named in the 1830 and 1840 censuses. In 1850, after Hoagland went bankrupt, he was living in Trenton’s west ward, with Mary (born 1809) and Susan age 13 (1839). This family was living in Newark in 1860, but their birthplaces were identified as New York, not New Jersey. The census for 1860 had Amos Hogland age 50, salesman, Susan 52, and Mary 22; also there was Manny Hogland, 20, black. There is evidence of slave ownership in the Hoagland family, although by 1860, Manny was not a slave. Under “Record of Births of Negro Children”(Ms. Collection, HCHS), is listed on p. 285, “Nance, daughter of Hannah,” born July 10, 1805 and owned by Amos Hoagland, farmer of Amwell. This was Amos, the brother of Andrew Hoagland. The obituary for Susan Hoagland, published in the H. C. Democrat on Dec. 15, 1869, stated that Mrs. Susan Hoagland, aged about 61 years and wife of Amos Hoagland, formerly Postmaster at Sergeantsville, died on Dec. 2, 1869. If that was the case, then the family living in Newark in 1860 is probably not hers.
  9. This Thomas was the grandfather of Lavina West Macauley, the wife of Rev. John Woodward of Locktown (“Copperheadism in Locktown.
  10. H. C. Deed 50-190.
  11. H. C. Deed 52-436.
  12. H. C. Deed 056-315.
  13. H. C. Deed 52-436.
  14. H. C. Deed 57-017.
  15. H. C. Deed 56-501.
  16. H. C. Deed 56-503. I should have taken the time to examine Fisher’s appearances in the Court of Common Pleas; no doubt there were many.
  17. H. C. Deed 56-512.
  18. H. C. Deed Book 56 p. 242.
  19. From Hunterdon County Postal History by Jim Walker, 2008, p. 268. Note that on p. 186, Walker misidentifies the location of Thatcher’s store. It was not on the northwest corner. The photograph on that page is the earliest one known of Henry H. Fisher’s store house, now the Sergeantsville Inn. Walker notes that the post office has been in continuous use since its founding, but he does not mention that it was not always in the same building. It appears to have rotated after the Civil War, from corner to corner.
  20. H. C. Deed 59-422.
  21. H. C. Deed 62-048.
  22. H. C. Deed 62-127.
  23. H.C. Deed 60-521.
  24. H. C. Deed 62-210.
  25. H. C. Deed 62-369.
  26. H. C. Deed 63-493.
  27. H. C. Deeds 66-170, 67-012, 68-333, and 68-488.
  28. H. C. Deed 069-023.
  29. H. C. Deed 069-374.
  30. H. C. Deed 070-079.
  31. H. C. Deed 69-191.