My previous articlediscussed the evolution of political parties in the early 1850s, both nationally and in Hunterdon County. The Democratic party was still going strong, while the Whig party was fading away and two new parties had come on the scene: the Republican party and the American party, better known as the Know Nothings.
FLEMINGTON has been the county seat of Hunterdon County since 1780. With the county court house there, it has been home to some fascinating characters like Samuel G. Opdycke and Nathaniel Saxton, and other attorneys like Samuel Southard. The town has a rich history which I hope to mine.
Hunterdon County Politics in the 1850s
I am going to step away briefly from the life of John C. Hopewell to shed some light on a political movement that Hopewell and many other Flemington notables got caught up in.
Downtown Flemington, part two
John C. Hopewell
From about 1855 until his death in 1888, a one-time hatter’s apprentice brought the village of Flemington into the modern era by providing an improved public water system, street lighting with gas instead of candles, a functioning fire company, improved streets and sidewalks, and more.
One never knows when an article by Egbert T. Bush might come in handy. In this case, it turns out to be very handy for the research I am doing on Flemington in the 19th century.
After existing for 166 years, through the thick and thins of the American economy, the Hunterdon County National Bank that once was a mainstay on Flemington’s Main Street was taken over by a much bigger national bank in 1983. The HCNB had occupied its beautiful building for nearly that long, about 157 years.
part 15, and last chapter, of The Route Not Taken
This is the last of my series on the route planned for the Delaware Flemington Railroad Company, a rail line that was never built. In the survey, the train is finally approaching the station. But to get there it must traverse the properties of John C. Hopewell and William Hill, two prominent gentlemen who probably were not supporters of the railroad company.
Hunterdon County, like all the other counties in New Jersey, had a state militia system in place since before the Revolution. Gen. Washington relied on these volunteers as he fought the British in New Jersey, and they did their part during the War of 1812. But after that, there was little need for them—not until the mid 1850s, when they began to reorganize.
Observers of Hunterdon history on Facebook have called our attention to the anniversary of the fire that destroyed the Hunterdon County Courthouse on February 13, 1828. This inspired me to look at the Hunterdon Gazette for 1828 to see how people reacted to this disaster.
The brutal murder of Mrs. Catharine Beakes in September 1827 became a sensation in Hunterdon County, not only because murders were rare at the time, but because this murder was quite brutal and her alleged killer was a 12-year-old black boy. Following a coroner’s inquest, he was arrested and brought to the Flemington jail (‘gaol’ in those days).