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.
Except for articles relating to early West New Jersey, nearly all my posts concern the people who lived in Hunterdon County, which was created in March 1714.
Disturbing news of late, somehow reminiscent of the lead-up to America’s first Civil War. Whilst scrolling through the Hunterdon Gazette recently, I came across an item that caught my attention, published on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1859:
Party Politics in 1803
Recently, my son, Ben Zimmer, sent me a clipping that a friend of his had found in the Trenton True American for March 7, 1803. This friend, Barry Popik, was researching the expression “Uncle Sam,” (see “New Light on “Uncle Sam”), and had found an instance of its use in this letter to the editor:
This article by Egbert T. Bush caught my attention because it is reminiscent of PennEast’s attempt to dig a pipeline across Delaware Township and other parts of Hunterdon and Mercer Counties. The big difference here is that many landowners along the proposed route of this railroad supported it because they expected real benefits, whereas PennEast’s pipeline is likely to do more harm than good.
In my previous post (A Shrinking Township, part one), I wrote about a petition in 1896 to take a large chunk out of Delaware Township and give it to East Amwell Township. That petition was signed by two East Amwell residents, William H. Manners and Simpson Sked Stout. This post will describe these two, as well as the journey the bill took through the legislature, and the property owners who were affected by it.
On November 18, 1896, two gentlemen from East Amwell Township announced in the Hunterdon Republican newspaper that they would petition the state legislature to change the boundary between East Amwell and Delaware Townships. It was a fairly radical change they were proposing, in which Delaware Township yielded to East Amwell a large chunk from its eastern border and Delaware got nothing in return. On April 17, 1897, the State Legislature followed through and passed a bill to make that happen.
This post returns to an article by Egbert T. Bush titled “Old Farms in Old Hunterdon,” published in 1931. I published large parts of this article before, in “The Moore Family,” in 2016. As the introduction to that article mentioned, two families were discussed in Bush’s article, the Moores and the Haines. Having discussed the Moore family at length, it is time to focus on the Haines family and their farm on the east side of Haines Road in East Amwell. This will conclude my study of some (but not all) of the farms located in the original proprietary tract of John Dennis.
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.
Last Sunday, I gave a talk to the Lambertville Historical Society about how to research one’s property in Hunterdon County, with a special focus on Lambertville. It was a great group of people, and I got a chance to appreciate how awesome old photos look when projected on an enormous screen. It was also nice to show many more pictures than I can reasonably do on this blog.
After November’s big snowstorm, when so many people trying to drive home found themselves in crashes or stuck in a ditch, I began to wonder what sort of trouble people got into back in the last half of the 19th century. Luckily for me, I had Bill Hartman’s abstract of the Hunterdon Republican, 1856-1900, to turn to. With his abstracts collected into one pdf file, it was easy to search on a word like “accidents.” I found quite a few of them.