Recently there has been much discussion on the Facebook page “Historical Kingwood Township” about the history of Baptistown. So, it seems appropriate now to publish this article by Egbert T. Bush with his memories of the ancient village.

Note the spelling of the town’s name: In the headline it’s Baptistown, the way it is spelled today. But throughout Mr. Bush’s article, the spelling is in the old style: Baptisttown. In fact, the earliest spelling was always “Baptist Town.” You can see how the name got shortened for convenience.

Mr. Bush names a lot of people in connection with the early history of the town—more people than I can provide information about. I have picked just a few to highlight, but here is still so much to add, I have put my comments at the end of this article.

Baptistown One of Hunterdon’s Oldest Villages

But Time Has Dealt More Kindly With It Than With Others
Never Boasted of a Mill

By Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N. J.,
Published in the Hunterdon Co. Democrat, February 26, 1931,
and republished March 12, 1931 with corrections

This is one of the oldest villages in the County, but when the first people came here cannot be positively stated. It is known that several families were here by or soon after 1720. The earliest reliable history seems to cluster around the “Old School Baptist Church,” as now known; then the “Baptist Church of Kingwood,” and thus officially known after the schismatical sundering of its membership into two factions. Among the early Baptists gathered around the old church are found the Rittenhouses, the Robersons, the Taylors, the Rislers and many more.

It is said that a small church was built here in 1741 by people of this particular faith, previous to which services had been held in the affiliated homes for twenty years.1

In 1745 the church organization was regularly formed, and in 1750 a new house was built near the old one, which had become insufficient for the accommodation of the many Baptist families of the community. This new church was built, we are told, on an acre of ground given by George Burkett. But just where either stood is now largely a matter of conjecture. People who trust to memory insist that it was on or near the site of the most recent church of that denomination here. The writer finds reason to suspect that the first site was nearly opposite the present Baptist Church in the village, but his surmises are scouted by those probably better informed.2

The house which we old people remember so well, stood on a lot below the road to Frenchtown [present-day Route 12], on land conveyed by John Taylor in 1847. This lot contained only about 1-10th of an acre, with the house facing the “King’s Highway through Baptistown,” about 100 feet below the comer. Here services were held for many years from as long ago as almost anybody can remember. Hence possibly the impression that it was the original site. The house is still used as a dwelling.

The old church had met a serious loss in membership in 1819, when the church was built at Locktown, taking off many of its leading members. But perhaps its serious losses arose from a manifest division of sentiment or opinion.3

A New House of Worship

June 13, 1830, John Metler and wife and Samuel Slater and wife conveyed to the Trustees of the “Missionary Particular Baptist Church of Kingwood” a lot, “Beginning at a stone in the great road in the village of Baptist Town,” and running thence east one chain and 78 links to Francis Tomlinson’s land, thence south one chain and 60 links, thence west one chain and 68 links, thence north one chain and 60 links to the place of beginning. This board of trustees was composed of the following well-known men of the day: James Pyatt, Joseph West, Mordecai Roberts, William Lair, Daniel Pearson, Daniel Sebold and Edward Mason.

While the new house was under construction, services were held at the home of Moses Burd. The house was completed and dedicated in the autumn of the same year. The first pastor was Elder James Wigg; Joseph West and Mordecai Roberts were the first deacons. This still flourishing church has seen the older institution die out of the village, though doubtless much of its stern spirit still prevails.4

Only One Tavern

There are records of only one tavern in this village, and these records are neither full nor satisfactory. We find that the town meeting of Kingwood Township was held at the house of Jonas Thatcher, “inn-keeper at Baptistown,” April 12, 1816, but do not find reference to the tavern earlier, nor do we find that Jonas was the owner of the property.5

The solid old stone house is still standing and is promising to stand for another century. Among the subsequent keepers of the tavern, some as owners and others as renters, are found the following: Amos Sine, Frederick Berdine, Peter Skillman, Daniel Snyder, Larison Stryker, Jonathan Britton, John V. Thatcher, Samuel Slater, John W. Metler, Joseph Moore, John Menaugh, Anderson Horner, William Eick, Godfrey Hawk, Peter Taylor, Jacob C. Hawk, Charles Echlin, George M. Schomp, Jacob P. D. Abbott, Anson M. Baldwin, Stewart Kitchen and William Holjes.

No Booze for the Poor

Kitchen was among the later keepers. It is said of him that he conspicuously displayed the following notice: “If your family needs the money for bread, don’t spend it here.” Strangely altruistic, did you say? Possibly so; but, in his wish not to take money from the needy, Kitchen was not alone among keepers of the old days. Old people remember other keepers who equally scrupulous, though not manifesting the quality in this spectacular and memorable manner.

The ownership of the old tavern may be imperfectly traced back from Anson W. Baldwin, whose brother John W. conveyed it to him in 1869. Thatcher Trimmer, Jr. conveyed it to John W. Baldwin in 1868, it having been conveyed to Trimmer by Jacob C. Hawk in 1865. In 1856 Anderson Horner conveyed it to Godfrey Hawk, whose administrator, Francis Tomlinson, conveyed it to Horner in 1847. Prior to that, the ownership seems to be tangled by breaks in the records.6

We find, however, that during the occupancy (and evident ownership) of Samuel Slater, the “Kingwood Vigilant Society” was organized at his house January 17, 1835. This society functioned as a protection against horse-thieves, for 36 years, with an average membership of about 50. The members, then feeling that it had outlived its usefulness, divided the funds among themselves and disbanded, as they had a perfect right to do, though several similar organizations in the county are still holding together, not so much for protection against thieves, as for keeping up the old-time fellowship and the old spirit of unselfish service to the community.

Baptisttown Cavalry

July 23, 1859, the “Baptisttown Cavalry” was organized here, with William Eick as Captain. He was later the owner of the showy “Captain Eick” farm, later owned by Dr. Harris, one mile west of Croton. Moses K. Everitt was Orderly Sergeant of the Company. He was State Senator from 1889 to 1891, and later Warden at Morris Plains to the time of his death.

After the death of Anson W. Baldwin in 1894, John C. Arnwine, his executor, conveyed the old tavern to John P. Batt, who conveyed it to Adelbert Lee in 1898. Lee conveyed it during the same year to Sarah A. Jones, and she to Anthony Hurschel in 1899. Hurschel conveyed it to Edward Kiley in 1901, and Kiley soon after conveyed it to John C. Arnwine, who used it as a dwelling until his death in 1930.

Detail from the 1851 Cornell Map

Merchants of Baptisttown

We find Wilson Bray, son of Gen. Daniel Bray, among the early merchants here. He was evidently not among the earliest, but these seem to have been lost in the mists of time. Bray was postmaster during the tenure of President Jackson (1829 to 1837) and Sheriff in 1831-2. It appears that his was the corner stone, conveyed by Andrew Roberson to Abel Webster in 1858; by Webster to Opdyke Arnwine in 1866; and by Opdyke Arnwine to his son, John C. Arnwine in 1873. Here John C. continued to do business during the remainder of his life. He was post-master here, but resigned to enter the Assembly of New Jersey in 1885, where he served for three years. In the early 90’s [1890s] the old building burned down, and was immediately replaced by a much more commodious storehouse, now owned by William Arnwine, the only child of John C. Arnwine, who had beaten all the records by doing business there for 57 years.

Among several other keepers of this old stand are found the names of William Rittenhouse, Anderson Horner, once owner of the tavern, and George W. Mason, later a merchant in Stockton. George Opdyke began his career as clerk in a store here. He soon outgrew the store and the town, became a prosperous merchant in New York, amassed a snug fortune, served as Mayor of the city during the trying days of the Civil War, and died in that city, leaving behind him an enviable record of business integrity and civic duties fearlessly performed.

David Pittenger was a merchant here in the median days. Just when he first opened the store is unknown. We find him mentioned as in possession of a store here in 1847. In 1854 Samuel Slater conveyed to David Pittenger for $1,050, a lot “Being in Baptisttown and Beginning at a stone corner in the great road between the two churches; thence south eighty-nine degrees west eleven chains and forty links to a corner of Andrew Roberson in John Taylor’s line; thence . . . . to a stone in the great road opposite the new church, Excepting the ground lying in the grave yard.” This locating of a “corner in the road between the two churches,” strengthens the supposition that the really old church was located here, near the grave yard, instead of on the site of the last old School Church. March 12, 1851, Samuel H. Britton conveyed to Pittenger a lot here which had been conveyed to Britton by Jacob Moore in 1843. This, or more likely the one above mentioned, was evidently the later Pittenger store lot, which lay above the old grave yard. Here in an old shackly building, he kept his store for many years.

After him in the same house came Stacy and Jonathan Sutton, brothers, who did business there until the house burned down over 40 years ago. This same firm later kept a store in a new house built by Paul C. Larue on the corner between the road to Frenchtown and the Old School Baptist Church lot. This store building was soon made into a dwelling, and was occupied by the builder during the rest of his life, which ended in 1926. The Sutton Brothers also kept a store down the road to Kingwood, where Frank L. Trout is now located.

Wheelwright and Blacksmith

James P. Gary, whose wife [Elizabeth] was a sister to the late Elias L. Dalrymple, bought of William Heath, April 2, 1858, a tract of land here “Beginning at a corner in the road leading through Baptisttown; thence with the line of Godfrey Hawk’s tavern lot and along the south end of the Tavern house, containing 50 and ½ acres, . . . . Being the same tract that was conveyed to William Heath by William Lair., Nov. 13, 1847.”

Here James P. Gary carried on wheelwrighting together with farming for about 50 years, his death occurring in 1912. His shop was a short distance below the tavern. A blacksmith shop, occupied by John Butler, stood nearby. Butler went into the Civil War, and Andrew Sutton, brother to the merchants, carried on the blacksmithing in Butler’s place. Later smiths there were Nathan Dalrymple and Augustus Green. Strange to say, there is now a newly-opened blacksmith shop farther down the King’s Highway, below the old creamery building.

Paul C. Larue was a prosperous farmer elsewhere in Kingwood before coming to Baptistown. Memory says he was a son of Gordon Larue, who lived near the Franklin school, and brother to Elisha, the blacksmith, and Uriah, the surveyor. April 2, 1888, Mathias C. Apgar conveyed to Paul C. Larue the old John Taylor farm containing 88.92 acres, including the corner on which Larue erected the storehouse soon after. The deed describes the eighth course as ending at a corner in the King’s Highway opposite the Frenchtown road, and the ninth as running down the Highway one chain and ninety links “to a corner of the Old School Baptist Meeting House lot,” and tells of touching lands of Dr. Leavitt and the “school house lot.”

Physician of Baptistown

It does not appear that any physician settled here in the early days. Dr. Leavitt came here in 1855, and remained during the remainder of his life. Other doctors remembered as stationed here are Dr. M. K. Reading, Dr. Leidy and Dr. Grim.

During the days of creamery excitement in this county, there was a creamery established in an old dwelling on the south corner at the junction, of the one at “Oak Summit,” near the Stone Church a mile northward.

Having no water power, Baptisttown had no old mill turned by some great, splashing wheel; and fortunately, the citizens were never lured into building the later kind, to absorb capital and be now standing as a painful reminder of past prosperity. Changing conditions seem to have dealt more kindly with good old Baptisttown than with most other villages. The surrounding country is still prosperous, and the village, in spite of many changes, appears more attractive than ever before.

My Comments

The Churches

I will not add anything more to Mr. Bush’s history of the Baptist churches in this village, having provided links above to my articles about the sister church in Locktown.

Mr. Bush’s next subject was the history of the Baptistown tavern or hotel, which I found very interesting.

The Tavern

The earliest record that Mr. Bush had of a tavernkeeper in Baptistown was in 1816, with Jonas Thatcher. It seems likely that this was Jonas Thatcher, Jr. (1791-1852), son of Jonas Thatcher, Sr. & Sarah Lake, who married Nancy Lake (1792-1835) in 1811. Nancy was the daughter of Cornelius Lake and Mary Sergeant of Sergeantsville. It surprised me a little to realize that this Jonas Thatcher, who inherited part of his father’s estate in Amwell in 1808, would take up tavern keeping in Kingwood.

According to Hiram Deats, Thatcher was “an Everittstown mechanic and in 1816, Innkeeper at Baptisttown.” I do not know where Mr. Deats got that information. Thatcher was both a farmer and a storekeeper in Delaware Township (before it separated from Amwell). He was also postmaster at Sergeantsville, the first one there, in 1827.

Jonas and Nancy Thatcher moved from Amwell/Delaware Township to Alexandria Township by 1832, perhaps returning to a place Thatcher had previously lived in. Nancy died in February 1835, and Jonas married second Elizabeth Fox (1807-1851), in November 1835.  (I have not identified her parents, but she was probably related to Isaac Fox (c.1792-1843) of Sand Brook who took up residence in Alexandria Twp. not long before 1830.

Tavern Licenses

Licensing taverns was a practice that started in the 18th century. Once Hunterdon County took over record keeping from Trenton, its Common Pleas Court took over the job of licensing tavern and hotels. One reason for licensing them was concern about promoting drunken behavior. Counties wanted to limit the number of taverns to the appropriate number required for travelers, who always needed stops along the way. This continued up through 1830, as this item from the Hunterdon Gazette of April 7, 1830 shows:

“INNS AND TAVERNS. As the term of our Court is near at hand, at which most of the Tavern Licenses in the county will be renewed, we deem it proper to call public attention to the subject. Much of the intemperance to be found in Hunterdon county, is attributable to the needless multiplication of Taverns in every part of the county, where they are not required for the accommodation of travelers, nor for the convenience of transacting public business.”

Some years ago, I was exploring the interesting records hiding in the minutes of the Court of Common Pleas, to be found at the Search Room in the County Clerk’s Office. That was the court that granted hotel and tavern licenses, so I spent some time jotting down the names of the earliest tavern keepers, starting with 1794.

Johnson’s Tavern was the earliest known taverns in Kingwood Township, originating in a log house a few miles south of Baptistown and Barbertown, on Route 519.

Johnson’s Tavern on Route 519

According to Egbert T. Bush’s article, “Kingwood Tavern, Substantial Relic of a Bygone Day,”7 Johnson bought the property in 1793 from Joseph Hart et ux . . . , it being originally part of a tract of land owned by Daniel Howell, bought from Christopher Cornelius, and then sold in 1754 to Francis Tomlinson. It had been owned by John Johnson’s father-in-law, William Hart, who operated the tavern during the Revolution. Tradition says that Martha Washington stopped by, presumably sometime during the 1770s, for a breakfast and a break from her travels at this ancient establishment. It was probably the biggest competitor to the tavern in Baptistown. John Johnson got a tavern license in 1796 and every year thereafter up through 1811.

According to the license application, the other Kingwood Township tavern keepers from 1794 through 1811 were:  Daniel Abbott, William Abbott, James Anderson, Philip C. Anderson, Wm Britton, Philip Case, Jesse Chamberlin, John Cowdrick, Archibald Davison, Neal Hart, Gabriel Hoff, Mary Hoff, Gershom Hull, Wm Large, David McPherson, Christopher Probasco, Evan Ryan, Peter Stryker, Aaron Thatcher.

That is as far as I got, because I decided to skip ahead to the year 1840. That year the tavernkeeper in Baptistown was John W. Mettler, while John Romine ran the Kingwood/Johnson tavern. Edard Hunt was in Mount Pleasant, Asher Johnson was at Centre Bridge (Stockton), Larason Stryker at Pittstown, and Henry W. Johnson and Charles Voorhis were in Milford.

Chain of Title for Baptistown Tavern

Of all the early tavern owners, the one who interested me the most was William Brittain. He was listed as getting a license for a tavern in Kingwood as early as 1810. I was able to verify that Britton’s tavern was in Baptistown by a deed of 1814, in which Joseph and Hannah Parke of “Baptist Town” sold a house lot of 1.17 acres in the village bordered by “William Britton’s Tavern House.”

Can we go back any earlier? Yes we can. William Britton of Alexandria, recorded the deed in which he bought the tavern lot from William & Elizabeth Halliday of Kingwood Township on January 13, 1809, for £450. What he purchased was “all that certain Messuage, tenement, lott or parcel of land” of 2.5 acres in Kingwood, bordering land formerly Aaron Vansyckle and land formerly Henry Snyder.8 The recital in this deed stated that it was the same lot that Halliday bought from Jonathan and Jean Davis of Kingwood Township on March 4, 1802.

Thankfully, that deed was also recorded, and it is this deed that got me all the back to the first European landowner, William Biddle. I will now go back to 1711 and move forwards in time to the Hallidays.

Detail from Hammond Map D of the Biddle tract of 1350 acres

William Biddle, one of the early proprietors of the Province of West New Jersey, had several very large tracts of land surveyed for him, based on the shares he bought in the Province. One of them was a tract of 1350 acres in the Lotting Purchase. This makes sense, since he, along with John Reading and John Wills, negotiated the purchase with the local Lenape in 1703.9

On Dec. 21, 1734, Biddle sold that property to James Whitehead; August 22, 1735, Whitehead sold it to Samuel Johnson; Dec. 30, 1751, Johnson sold it to Joseph Tilton. These four early owners were all absentees, who invested in land in this mostly uninhabited Province, and profited from its sale. Unfortunately, the deed recital did not state what they each paid for it.

On Feb. 26, 1753, Tilton sold some or all of the 1350 acres to Aaron Vanseyoar, or a name that looks vaguely like that. (The clerk’s handwriting was not all that clear.)  In any case, on Sep. 10, 1762, Vanseyor divided out a lot of 2.5 acres, which he sold to John Taylor, Sr. Taylor, on March 15, 1779, sold that lot to Nathaniel Thatcher of Kingwood, and finally, on Dec. 27, 1786, Thatcher sold the same lot to Jonathan Davis for $220.

All this was described in the recital given in the deed of March 4, 1802, in which Jonathan Davis and wife Jane sold that 2.5-acre lot to William Halliday.10 Once again, the lot was bordered by Aaron Vanseyoars [sic] and Henry Snyder.

Over the years, that description of the property was continually repeated from this deed of 1802 all the way up to 1894, with one modification. Instead of Vanseyor, in 1809 the named morphed into Vansyckle. When I first saw that name in a much later deed I was puzzled, knowing that Aaron Vansyckle, who was a partner with Charles Bartles of Flemington, was not known as a Baptistown landowner. I suppose that the original name was hard to read and people assumed it was a name they were more familiar with.

As for that wonderful recital in the deed of 1802, I think this was added because deeds had only recently (1798 ?) begun to be recorded in Flemington instead of in Trenton. The new deed books in Hunterdon County start fresh and do not include any earlier deeds recorded in Trenton, so some people felt it was important to recite the property’s history. I only wish more had done so.

There is much more to say about the owners of the Baptistown Tavern lot—too much for this article. Part Two will be published soon. But for now, let’s review Mr. Bush’s comments on the “Baptisttown Cavalry,” organized in 1857 by William Eick and Moses K. Everitt, and then the Baptistown merchants and physicians.

William Eick (1811-1880), son of Taylor Eicke & Anna Horner, married 1836, Lavinia Thatcher (1818-1864), daughter of John V. Thatcher & Charlotte Thatcher of Kingwood. Anna Horner Eicke was the sister of Anderson Horner, who bought the tavern lot in 1847, and of Delilah Horner who married Samuel Slater, another owner of the Baptistown hotel. Her mother, Mary Britton Horner, was the daughter of the earlier tavern owner, William Britton.

Eick appeared in two other articles by Egbert T. Bush. In “Croton & Vicinity,” (published July 22, 1896 in the Hunterdon Republican), he wrote that “After Geo. W. Shordy moved from Croton to Pennsylvania, William Eick ran the old tavern [in Croton] as a temperance saloon for a year, followed by Hart Johnson and Israel Allegar.” In “Point Breeze, The Newest Tavern in Hunterdon” (July 23, 1931), Bush wrote that

“A half-mile east of Point Breeze near the road to Pittstown “lies the once showy farm known all through my early boyhood as the Capt. Eick Farm. William Eick was there through the middle years of the past century, a flourishing farmer on what looked like a flourishing farm.”

William Eicke died intestate in 1855 and was buried in the Cemetery next to the Baptist Church in Baptistown.

Moses K. Everitt (1836-1909) was elected to the State Senate in 1889 as a Democrat. Prior to that he had served as Town Clerk of Kingwood, postmaster at Baptistown, and County Clerk from 1869 through 1873. Starting in the mid 1860s, Everitt got himself onto the board of directors for nearly every bank operating in Flemington. Everitt was living in Kingwood Township from the time of his marriage in 1859 until about the time he was elected County Clerk, when he and his wife moved to Flemington. Thus, Everitt’s term as “Orderly” for the Baptisttown Cavalry was brief. He married Martha Rittenhouse (1839-1915), daughter of John Bray Rittenhouse and Ann Barcroft, in 1859, but they had no children. Despite dying in Morris Plains, NJ, the couple were buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Flemington. I regret to say I could not identify who Moses K. Everitt’s parents were.


Mr. Bush gave us a long list of Baptistown storekeepers. He listed Wilson Bray, Andrew Roberson, Abel Webster, Opdyke Arnwine, John C. Arnwine, William Rittenhouse, Anderson Horner, once owner of the tavern, George W. Mason, George Opdyke, David Pittenger, Stacy and Jonathan Sutton, and Paul C. Larue. I will highlight just a few.

Wilson Bray

Wilson Bray (1793-1850), son of Daniel Bray & Mary Wolverton, married in 1816 Mary West (c.1798-1876), daughter of Thomas West and Rachel Hoagland. They had an impressive 16 children, not all of whom reached adulthood. When a post office was established in Baptistown in 1822, Wilson Bray was the first postmaster. No doubt the post office was located in Bray’s store. He must have been highly regarded in his town because in 1823 he was elected Freeholder from Kingwood Township. I should refer to him as “Hon. Wilson Bray,” because he was elected Hunterdon County Sheriff for 1831 and 1832, and elected to the NJ Assembly for the 1835-36 term. His death at the age of 56 was sudden and so disturbing that a moving obituary was written for him in the Hunterdon Democrat.

George W. Mason

George Washington Mason (1816-1908), son of Edward Mason and Nancy Heath of Kingwood and Franklin Townships, married 1837 Mary Reading (c.1812-1890), daughter of Pierson Reading and Mary Opdycke of Amwell twp. and Burlington County. Mason sold his property to Mahlon Rittenhouse in 1866, and moved to Stockton. In 1884, the Hunterdon Republican reported that “George W. Mason, who has been engaged in the mercantile business at Stockton for the past 15 years, has retired and will be succeeded by two of his grandsons.”

George W. Mason is interesting because his brother, Jacob B. Mason, had a daughter Rebecca Ann who married Baptistown hotelkeeper Anson W. Baldwin in 1860. Baldwin ran the tavern for many many years, but his portrait must wait for Part Two.

David Pittenger

David Pittenger (1810-1886) was born in New Jersey, but I have not identified his parents. Sometime before 1832 he settled in the vicinity of Sand Brook because that year he married Livera Godown (c.1812-bef 1853), daughter of Richard S. Godown & Mary Rittenhouse. After Livera died, sometime before 1853, Pittenger married her sister Sarah Godown (1811-1894). David and Livera had five children, including twins William and Israel Pittenger.

As Mr. Bush wrote, Pittenger bought his lot from Samuel Slater in 1854, right in the heart of the village, next to the new church and the graveyard. It appears he had been living there prior to the land purchase because he was identified there in the 1851 Cornell Map (see Cornell Map, above). He was counted in the 1880 Kingwood census as a 69-year-old storekeeper and farmer. He probably gave up storekeeping not long after this.

Postmasters of Baptistown

A list of Baptistown postmasters was published in the Hunterdon Republican newspaper on January 7, 1894, taken from a list published in the Frenchtown Independent. It stated that the post office in Baptistown was established on May 1, 1822. The postmasters from then to 1885 were:  1822 Wilson Bray; 1824 John Wesley Snyder; 1834 John D. Scott; 1838 William Heath; 1841 Ellis Hulsizer; 1842 Andrew B. Rittenhouse; 1845 Albert K. Wagner; 1846 Uriah Larue; 1849 William Slater; 1854 Abel Webster; 1859 Moses K. Everitt; 1860 Abel Webster; 1861 Jacob C. Hawk; 1864 John B. Mason; 1867 William Rittenhouse; 1869 James P. Gary; 1872 John A. Arnwine; and 1885 Augustus G. Vanderbelt.

Physician of Baptistown

Physicians named by Mr. Bush were Dr. Leavett, followed by M. K. Reading, Dr. Leidy and Dr. Grim. Dr. M. K. Reading was Miller Kline Reading (1840-?), son of Francis Reading & Anne Bowne, who married in 1865, at the end of the Civil War, Mary Hannah Young (1846-1924), daughter of John J. Young and Eliza Thatcher. Miller K. Reading was a Civil War veteran who began his medical practice in Baptistown after the war ended. By 1900 he and his family had moved to Prince William County in Virginia, where they remained.

Dr. Leidy was Edwin D. Leidy (1858 – ?), son of Enos Leidy and Isabella M. Saunders of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He married in 1885 Sarah C. Rittenhouse (1860-?), daughter of Edward Rittenhouse & Sarah Letitia Cooper Fisher.

Detail of the Kingwood Township page in the Beers Atlas

I have no information about Dr. Grim—not even his first name! Much more can be said about Dr. John Tilton Leavitt who appears on the Beers Atlas at Baptistown. He was born in 1818 in New Hampshire, married about 1850 Aterah Smith of New Jersey and had a daughter, Mary Jenners Leavitt (1854-aft 1930), who married Ampleus B. Chamberlin of Flemington and Baptistown. They had a son, John Leavett Chamberlin (1877-1934) who married Mae B. Lennard in the early 1900s, and set up his own medical practice in Sergeantsville.

That’s all for now. As you can see, Baptistown has a rich history.


  1. The Baptist Church in Hopewell was organized as early as 1715 and was used by Amwell and Kingwood Baptists for a time.
  2. Stephen Zdepski has argued that this church built in 1750 was the first Baptist church built in what later became known as the village of Locktown.
  3. See Mr. Bush’s earlier article “Locktown Got Its Name As Result of a Church Quarrel.”
  4. I have written about Elder Wigg in “Baptists Divided” and “A Scandal in Baptistown.”
  5. I wish Mr. Bush had shared with us where he found this early town record. Since he used quotes, we must assume he was citing an original document.
  6. A minor correction:  Anderson & Sarah Horner of Alexandria Twp. conveyed the lot to Godfrey Hawk of Kingwood in 1856. Hawk wrote his will in 1862 and died the next year. He and wife Charity Sidders were buried in the Milford Christian Church Cemetery. On April 1, 1864, his executors conveyed the lot to Hawk’s son Jacob C. Hawk.
  7. Published in the Hunterdon Democrat, April 23, 1831. I hope to publish it here soon.
  8. H.C. Deed Book 17 p. 401.
  9. See “John Reading and the Creation of Hunterdon County, part one and part two.
  10. H. C. Deed Book 6 p. 170.