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FaWt.n.H.X Trtsbj-ttTian ton^re^atU^ at F^'irjieli 



SEPTEMBER 29, 1880. 




48 Commerce Street. 



V 0^ 


The congregation proper of the Old Stone Church, now 
worshipping at Fairton, together with the First and Second 
Presbyterian Churches at Cedarville, the offspring of the 
Mother Church, and many inhabitants of Fairfield, as al§o, 
descendants of those long ago connected with the Stone 
Church, now residing in remote parts of the country, united 
in an effort to hold a plain, modest, bi-centennial celebration, 
commemorative of their ancestry, who, through trial and by 
persevering labor and earnest piety, founded the first Presby- 
terian Church in Fairfield, over two hundred years ago. 

The venerable L. Q. C. Elmer, now in his 88th year, was 
invited to preside at the meeting. 

The different pastors connected with the Mother Church, 
and her two growing daughters, were requested to prepare 
short histories of each. 

Tlio Rev. Eplier Whitaker, D. D., of Southold, Long Island, 
was invited to present a more comprehensive historical 
address of general interest, commemorating the piety and 
virtues of the plain, honest and devoted men and women 
who had been connected with the Old Stone Church, and had 
zealously served their Master, in this portion of the Lord's 

The labor of effecting the purpose of these ceremonies was 
cast upon the Rev. Samuel R. Anderson. He willingly 


accepted the burthen, and with great care and diligence per- 
formed the duty, making the occasion a success. 

On the day fixed, September 29th, 1880, although the 7th 
of September ended the century of the completion of the 
building, the Old Church welcomed a large gathering of 
friends, from the varied sources above named, within its 
antiquated walls, to participate in appropriate exercises. 
Around the building canvas was spread, under which, during 
the mid-day recess, the company partook of a generous 

Clergymen of different denominations were present and 
manifested great interest in the proceedings. 

The Rev. George W. Johnson, of the Episcopal Church, 
read the scriptures, the 651st hymn of the Hymnal was 
sung, and prayer offered by the Rev. Ephraim Ogden. 

During the day the reading of the several papers herein 
published followed. 

A letter was read, from the Rev. David McKee, now in his 
75th year, who was for two years co-pastor with Rev. 
Ethan Osborn, regretting his inability to be present, and 
praying that prosperity might ever follow the Church. Also, 
a letter from the Rev. Hiram E. Johnson, who, for a short 
time, was a stated supply. 

Rev. David C. Meeker, (since deceased), and the Rev. James 
Boggs, former pastors, made extemporaneous addresses, giv- 
ing interesting reminiscences of their ministry here. 

Before closing the exercises, C. E. Elmer, Dr. J. Barron 
Potter, Thomas U. Harris, James H. Trenchard, Dr. B. Rush 
Bateman and the Hon. George S. Whiticar, were appointed 
a committee of publication. To this committee, on request, 
the contributors cheerfully forwarded the papers by them 
respectively prepared. 

This publication may appear to be more of a private, than 
public character, since it must be of greater interest to those 
related directly, or by ancestral connections to the Old 
Church, than to others. 


The committee, in behalf of the gentlemen who so kindly- 
prepared the articles, as for themselves, ask indulgent criti- 
cism, on the many errors of omission and commission, 
necessarily occurring in writing and printing a brief history 
of this kind. 

With all of its imperfections, it is now submitted, trusting 
that it will not be altogether devoid of interest. 



Relations and Fkiends : So many of us now assembled 
at this interesting Memorial Service are descendants of the 
Rev. Daniel Elmer, pastor of the congregation from 1727 
until his death in 1755, that I feel as if I were in the midst of 
a family gathering. He did not live to occupy this building, 
but most of his children and grand-children did. His son, 
Theophilus, was the leading manager in its erection, during 
the privations and trials of the Revolution, in which he was 
an influential actor, as a member of the Legislature and 
Committee of Safety. The Township was organized by an 
act of the Legislature of West .Jersey, passed at Burlington, 
May 12th, 1697, which reads as follows : 

"An Act for Fairfield erected into a Township. 
Whereas, the peopling of the Province does increase the 

value thereof, and some encouragement to new settlers is 

a means to effect the same, 

Be it enacted by the Governor, with the advice of tlie 
Council and Representatives,, in this present Assembly met 
and assembled, and by the authority of the same. That the 
Tract of Land in Cohansey, purchased by several People, 
lately Inhabitants of Fairfield in New England, be from and 
after the Date hereof, erected into a Township, and be called 
Fairfield, which is hereby impowered to the same Privileges 
as any other Townships in this Province are or have been, 
that are not Towns incorporate." 


It is much to be regretted, that no records of the proceed- 
ings of the Township authorities, before the early part of 
the present century, are extant. The people thus incorpo- 
rated were remote from the seat of government of the State, 
and from Salem, the county seat, with which they had no 
means of intercourse except by long horseback rides through 
the wilderness, or by water in open boats ; and, no doubt, 
for many years governed themselves after the manner of 
their forefathers in New England, by a union of Church and 

Ordinances were passed at town meetings which had the 
force of laws, as late as 1756. When William Ramsay was 
called to the pastorate, the people joined in a written con- 
tract that his salary of "80 Pounds Proclamation ($213) 
should be levied on all their Estates, both real and personal, 
which are subject to rate in the Provincial Tax." For many 
years, especially during the conflict with Greenwich in 1748- 
50, about the county-seat of Cumberland, the people on this 
side of the Cohansey were called "South-siders," and those on 
the other side " North-siders." Some of the settlers removed 
at an early date over to Greenwich, others to Hopewell and 
Deerfield, and became the founders of two other Presbyterian 
Churches. The influence of these Puritan forefathers was 
long felt in the county, to the great benefit of the community, 
and still exists. 

The task of now commemorating the founders of this 
congregation and their descendants, has been committed to 
the Rev. Dr. Epher Whitaker, who, himself descended from 
one of the early settlers, and educated in this community, 
cannot fail greatly to instruct and interest us. I trust that 
those who are living at the Bi-Centenary of the founding of 
the Township will feel bound to remember their origin and 
progress by appropriate proceedings. After prayer by the 
Rev. Ephraim Ogden, also a descendant of one of the old 
settlers, we will listen to Rev. Dr. Whitaker. 


The following address was prepared amid the unceasing 
duties of responsible and laborious pastoral work. There was 
no attempt to give it the charm of elegance. The disadvan- 
tage of the utmost compression was necessary, to the exclusion 
of much that would have given diversity of color and pic- 
torial beauty. Accuracy has been the aim, though the purpose 
has doubtless failed of full accomplishment. All the means 
within reach have been used to make the statements trust- 
worthy. The chief authorities consulted are Hodge's " Con- 
stitutional History of the Presbyterian Church," Gillett's 
" History of the Presbyterian Church," Webster's " History of 
the Presbyterian Church," Sprague's " Annals of the Amer- 
ican Pulpit," Shourds' "History and Genealogy of Fenwick's 
Colony," especially Elmer's " History of the Early Settlement 
and Progress of Cumberland County," "The Pastor of the 
Old Stone Church," by Hotchkin, Elmer and Burt, " The Old 
Man Beloved," by Boggs, Bateman's " History of the Medical 
Men and of the District Medical Society of the County of 
Cumberland," Brown's " Outline History of the Presbyterian 
Church in West or South Jersey," Barber and Howe's " His- 
torical Collections of the State of New Jersey," Bacon's " His- 
torical Discourses," Stearns' " First Church of Newark," Hat- 
field's " History of Elizabeth," Trumbull's " History of Con- 
necticut," Howell's "Early History of Southampton, L. I.," 
Thompson's " History of Long Island," Prime's " History of 
Long Island," Corwin's"The Corwin Genealogy," Alexander's 


" Log College," Hall's " History of the Presbyterian Church 
in Trenton," Catalogues of various Colleges and Seminaries, 
Minutes of various Presbyteries, Synods and General Assem- 
blies, Wilson's " Presbyterian Historical Almanac," volumes 
I to X, and many pamphlet and periodical Publications. 

Efficient and generous aid has been rendered by Charles 
E. Elmer, Esq., Dr. J. Barron Potter, Mr. Thomas U. Harris, 
Dr. B. Rush Bateman, Hon. George S. Whiticar and Mr. 
James H. Trenchard, to whom most cordial thanks are due, 
as well as to many other kind and intelligent friends, for 
their indispensable assistance. 

Some lines, and even paragraphs, have been retained that 
were in the delivery omitted for want of time. 

There is hope that the publication of the address may 
afford a little help to some competent hand in writing with 
thoroughness and order the noble history of this old and 
fruitful Church of Fairfield, New Jersey. 

E. W. 

SouTHOLD, L. I., Dec. IG, 18S0. 


The character of this celebration is such, that an address 
on the History of the First Church of Fairfield should not 
greatly exceed an hour and a half; and this length of time 
will not suffice to give the contents of the volume. What 
may now be offered must rather have the appearance of an 
index. The volume is great and precious, and the index may, 
perhaps, prove useful to some few individuals ; but there is 
no hope that it can be interesting to many persons. 

Let me tlierefore, first of all, bespeak your kindness and 
your patience ; and in the next place, say a word of most 
grateful acknowledgment to those generous friends whose 
beneficence and courtesy have been severely taxed and found 
equal to anything in supplying the rich treasures of this 
History. They will doubtless be mindful, that the ample 
materials for a weighty volume cannot be presented within 
the compass of this address. 

A few good trees from one place and another were trans- 
planted here in the early years of our colonial period, and 
their fruits have produced wide-spread and luxuriant 
gardens, and orchards, and even vast forests. The statement 
is ventured, that only a person who has given himself eagerly 
for months or years to the investigation and study of the life 
and fruitfulness of this congregation, can understand how 
wide and fair a record, how worthy and honorable a histor}', 
it has made within this township and beyond it. 


The oldest churches now in the Presbj'^terian Church of the 
United States of America had a spontaneous and biblical origin. 
They were not constituted by the authority and official 
action of any Presbytery. They were formed in connection 
with those political organizations which are called towns in 
New England and New York, and townships in some other 
parts of the United States. The oldest of these churches is the 
First Church of Southold, Long Island, which was gathered 
on the twenty-first of October, 1G40. The Southampton 
Church was formed the next month. 

These oldest churches were made the basis of the towns; for 
at first it was only the adult male communicants of the 
churches that could vote at the town-meetings. No other 
person had any voice or authority in the civil, judicial, or 
military administrations, though the right of protection in 
person, property and good name belonged to all the inhabi- 
tants. The first churches of Easthampton, Setauket and 
Hempstead, Long Island, and those of Newark and Elizabeth, 
New Jersey, as well as others of the old Presbyterian Churches 
of Long Island and New Jersey, were formed originally, like 
Southold and Southampton, as town churches, the town-meet- 
ing calling the minister and the town officers assessing and 
collecting a tax on all ratable property for his salary. The 
church was the highest public school and the minister was 
the teacher; and his support by an assessment on all the 
property of the people was perfectly orderly and appropriate. 

The people who came here from the towns and churches of 
Connecticut, Long Island and ICast Jersey knew their religious 
wants, and they proceeded to supply them, according to their 
ability and their understanding of the word of God, by organ- 
izing this church about 1690. They desired a worthy man 
to minister the word and sacraments, and they obtained the 
Rev. Thomas Bridge, a graduate of Harvard College. He 
was a man of wealth, piety, learning, ability and manifold 
experience. He was born at Hackney, England, in 1657, be- 
longed to a family of property and consideration, came to 


America in his youth, was graduated at Harvard in KMb, be- 
came a merchant, went on business to Europe, became a min- 
ister in England, returned to Boston in 1682 with testimonials 
from the Rev. Dr. John Owen and others. He sailed from 
Bo.ston to the West Indies, and preached successively in 
Jamaica, New Providence and Bermuda. He obtained, in 
1692, from the West Jersey Society of England, the right to a 
thousand acres of their land wherever he should please to 
take up the same. He selected mainly what is now the 
northeastern part of the city of Bridgeton, including East 
Lake and the Indian Fields beyond it. This was surveyed 
for him in 1097, the same year that the West Jersey Assem- 
bly authorized the organization of Fairfield township without 
territorial boundaries. He had also another survey bounded 
by the Cohansey and Rocap's run. The Dares, Rileys, Lum- 
mises, Fosters and others bought and settled on parts of his 
Indian Fields. He probably continued here not more than 
ten or fifteen years. He returned to Boston and was there 
installed one of the pastors of the P'irst Church, May 10, 
1705. He published several sermons. He was eminent for 
integrity, diligence, modesty and moderation. He died while 
pastor of the First Church of Boston, September 2G, 1715, 
aged 58 years. 

His ministry here was in the log-cabin period. The meet- 
ing house was built of logs. Most of the dwellings were 
doubtless of the same kind. There were few fields and 
fences. Fish and game were essential parts of the food of the 
people. There were no mills to grind grain ; no bridges. 
The only roads were rivers and streams. Many of the people 
were living on lands for which they had no legal title — leases 
only. Few horses and cattle were here — probabl}' not a cart 
— certainl}^ not a wagon. One generation must grow up in 
hardship and privations, with scanty opportunities for learn- 
ing and religious improvement. The heads and hands of the 
people are given to the physical necessities of their condition 
— to building houses, digging up trees' roots, opening roads, 


making bridges, erecting dams and mills, raising horses, 
cattle and other stock ; and the hearts of the best are torn and 
bleeding to see the education of their children neglected ; in- 
telligence, morals, religion decline. 

The next minister, the Rev. Joseph Smith, came from good 
Connecticut and Massachusetts stock, and his wife, Esther 
Parsons, from Massachusetts, belonged to one of the best fam- 
ilies of the commonwealth. He was born at Hadlej^, in 1G74, 
graduated at Harvard in 1G95 ; one of his classmates being 
Jedediah Andrews who became in 179S the first pastor of the 
First Church of Philadelphia. Mr. Smith was ordained and 
installed here May 10, 1709. He continued here not more 
than two or three years. He left because the people failed to 
pay him enough salary for his support. His subsequent 
history is well known and honorable. 

He was folloAved by a comparatively worthless minister, 
who never became a pastor of this church. 

How this Pev. Samuel Exell came to be here is unknown. 
The Presbytery vainly invited him to attend their meeting, 
and wrote to the church sharply against him. He soon 
moved to Chestertown, Maryland, where he formed a congre- 
gation of his own. 

The congregation sent John Ogden as their messenger to 
the Presbytery, with a petition, in 1712. The next year 
Ephraim Sayre, in their behalf, asked the Presbytery for 
advice respecting the choice of a minister. In the same year 
Howell ap Howell, a Welshman, applied for admission to mem- 
bership) in the Presbytery. The Presbytery permitted him 
to preach, but not to become a pastor, in any of their churches, 
and desired him, within a year, to obtain additional testimo- 
nials from some eminent ministers in England known to them. 
He came and preached here acceptably. In 1714 he attended 
the Presbytery, with Joseph Seeley, a representative of this 
church. He had in vain sought the desired testimonials; but 
the Presbytery believed him to be fit for a pastor, and gave 
him the unanimous call of this congregation. He accepted 


it. The Presbytery installed him October 14, 1715. The 
Rev. Mr. Andrews preached the sermon. Mr. Powell died 
here less than two years thereafter. It is believed that while 
he was the pastor, the log meeting house gave place to a frame 
one, built in the New England style, shingled on the sides and 
ends as well as the roof. It stood near the site of the old one 
in the southeast corner of the old burying-ground. The 
worshippers, having no pews, sat on benches ; but the new 
edifice was doubtless a source of much thankfulness, and a 
great addition to the comfort of the people. The worthy 
descendants of Mr. Powell have perpetuated his good name 
and influence in this place for a hundred and sixty years. 
Before his death, a road was opened from the meeting house 
to the ferr}'^, at Greenwich ; and another, which crossed the 
streams above Fairton, and running a mile east of Bridgeton, 
passed through the Indian Fields, and so north until it joined 
a road from Salem, near Clarksborough, and thence through 
Woodbury and Haddonfield to Burlington, the capital of West 
Jersey. No wheels passed over these roads until another gen- 
eration grew up here. 

Mr. Powell's successor was the Rev. Henry Plook, an Irish- 
man, who was admitted to the membership of the Synod in 
17J8; but seems to have never been installed here. 

Before this time Presbyterian meetings began to be held in 
Greenwich. Several families of Scotch and Scotch-Irish set- 
tled there, and trustees in 1717 received a deed for land on 
which to build a church-edifice. A church was organized as 
early as 1728. Mr. Hook preached in both Fairfield and 
Greenwich. The two congregations were not harmonious, 
and at Mr. Hook's request the Rev. Mr. Andrews came from 
Philadelphia to heal some differences. This was done. Then 
such charges were made against Mr. Hook that he was com- 
pelled to cease his ministry here, and by the order of the 
Synod he was publicly rebuked in the Fairfield Meeting 
House, and forbidden to preach for a season. He was soon 
restored, and pursued his ministry in Delaware until his 
death in 1741. 


In 1724 the Rev. Noyes Parris came here. He was admit- 
ted to membership in the Synod the next year. He was a 
son of the Rev. Samuel Parris, pastor of Dan vers, Massachu- 
setts, then a part of Salem. He was born in 1692. In that 
year two children in his father's family complained of being 
tortured b}'^ a witch, and the sad history of the Salem witch- 
craft followed. It was not the best time, place and conditions 
in which to be born, and the noon of his life was no brighter 
than the morning. He was graduated at Harvard in 1721, 
preached here five years, and then such charges were made 
against him that he returned irregularly^ to New England. 

We have reached a point where about forty years have 
passed since the formation of the church. There are two 
houses for public worship — one here and one in Greenwich — 
perhaps two organizations. There is yei no church-edifice 
in Deerfield. The whole region whose waters flow into the 
Cohansey, has for its Christian and orthodox people one Bap- 
tist Church on the west side, and one Presbyterian Church on 
the east side. The population has greatly increased. The 
children baptised by the Rev. Mr. Bridge have grown up. 
Much land has been furrowed by the plough. Horses and 
cattle are multiplied, and the horse and saddle are more used 
and the boat less employed for travelling. The dwellings are 
larger and better. The physical burdens and hardships of 
the people are diminished. Both food and clothing can be 
more easily obtained. But there is yet much sickness, and it 
is not alleviated by any skillful medical practice. No trust- 
worthy physician lived within the present limits of Cumber- 
land county for the first half century of its occupation by 
white men. 

But the times and the men at length came for better con- 
ditions of life. The streams are turned into servants, and 
their power is put to use for many purposes. The}' not only 
convert logs into boards and lumber, but also grain into flour 
and meal, and wool into cloth. Markets are opened ; barter in 
some measure ceases, and money is more freely used. 


The first minister who lived here long enough to make 
any great and permanent mark upon the place is the Rev. 
Daniel Elmer. His honorable ancestry is well known. He 
was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1690, graduated at 
Yale in 1713, taught a classical school, married, and preached 
several j^ears in Massachusetts, came here probably in 1727, 
with his wife and five children, purchased a farm near the 
church, and became its pastor in 1729. He stood well in the 
Presbytery and the Synod. When the latter formally adop- 
ted the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, he 
declined to do it at that time, and thus proved that he had 
conscience and character enough to stand alone. He was 
subsequently prepared to confess his faith in the same words 
which his ministerial brethren had adopted, and he did it. 
His ministry here was prosperous until Whitefield came io 
Cohansey. His charge included nearly all the people east 
and south of the river. A church was organized at Green- 
wich as early as 1728, when the Rev. Ebenezer Gould became 
its pastor. Eleven years later this Mr. Gould removed t^JJjie^ 
jCutchogue Churchin Squthold, Long Island. His removal 
opened the door widely for itinerants, and they soon made 
disturbance. Whitefield preached there in April and October 
1740, and again in September, 1746. In this month, the 
Rev. Andrew Hunter became pastor of Greenwich and Deer- 
field. The distractions of the times greatly disturbed and 
embittered the whole Presbyterian Church throughout the 
colonies, and divided it in 1741. But Mr. Elmer's ministry 
was so efficient, that about 1745 he built a new dwelling near 
the church, having obtained a legal title for his farm, previ- 
ously purchased. He had his survey so made that he could, 
and did, give the church also a valid title for the burying- 
ground, including the site of the meeting house. This deed 
was made June 9, 1747, to Ebenezer Westcott, Deacon ; Capt. 
John Ogden, Deacon ; William Bradford, Ephraim Dayton, 
Jeremiah Buck, Lieutenant ; Edward Lummis, Lieutenant ; 
David Ogden, Ensign ; Matthew Parvin, Benjamin Davis, 


Thomas Bateman, Thomas Harris, Jr., Nathaniel Whitaker, 
Ebenezer Bower, James Rose, Stephen Clark, Thomas Whita- 
ker, John Garretson, Thomas Ogden and Daniel Bateman. 
They were a committee chosen to take the Release from the 

The divisive spirit of that day caused some unhappy sepa- 
rations in the congregation, and a part of the people, includ- 
ing the pastor's eldest son, ceased their public worship here 
and often went to Greenwich. This son had married a 
daughter of a zealous Baptist, and made his home near his 
father-in-law's. The trouble was serious enough, the pastor 
thought, to be submitted to the consideration of the Synod, 
and a committee was appointed to visit Fairfield and make 
an effort to heal the disorders. Mr. Elmer's death, January 
14, 1755, prevented any action on the j)art of this committee. 
His grave is in our old burying-ground, and the inscription 
on his tomb-stone is ecclesiastically significant. It does not 
speak of him as the late pastor of the Presbyterian Church, 
but of the Church of Christ in Fairfield. It thus indicates 
the puritan and independent origin of the church, and shows 
that it was at first a Town Church. In the deed, also, tAvo 
deacons are named, but no ruling elder. Mr. Elmer's new 
dwelling was burnt to the ground about the time of his death, 
and with it all the previous records of the church. For the 
time and place, the estate which he left was large, £428, 4s, 
6d. He was twice married. His first wife died soon after 
the}^ came to Fairfield. She had seven children, three sons 
and four daughters. Her remoter descendants are very many. 
His second wife was Susanna Webster, and their children 
were two sons and three daughters. She survived him and 
after his death married in succession two other husbands. 
But her grave is by the side of her first husband's. His off- 
spring have been as prominent and influential in this county 
and State as those of any other man who has ever lived in 
this county. Charles E. Elmer, Esq., is now the head of the 
family according to the rules of the old common law, and his 


son Daniel is the seventh Daniel in the direct lineal descent 
of eldest sons. 

The eldest son of the Rev. Daniel Elmer came, at thirteen 
years of age, with the family from Massachusetts. His father 
educated him to be a land-surveyor, and he followed his pro- 
fession all his life. In 1738 he married Abigail Lawrence, 
daughter of Nathan Lawrence, who moved from Long Island 
to Cedarville before 1720, and became wealthy. Daniel El- 
mer made his home near his father-in-law and prospered. 
He had been early admitted to the full communion of the 
church ; but when Whitefield came, in 1740, to Cohansey, Mr. 
Elmer, two years after his marriage, became a follower of this 
famous Episcopal clergyman. His father-in-law had built a 
meeting house in Cedarville for the use of the Baptists, and 
after the builder's death, this house became the property of 
Mr. Elmer, and the Rev. Gilbert Tennent and other Presby- 
terian followers of Whitefield preached in it. After the 
Presbyterians united in 1758, Mr. Elmer returned to his early 
religious home and became, as early as 1760, an elder of this 
church. For the last four years of his life he was the clerk 
of the county. He died in 1761, aged 46 years ; but though 
so young, he left five sons and five daughters. 

Before the Rev. Daniel Elmer's death the disruption of the 
Presbyterian denomination had continued fourteen years, and 
a strong tendency towards reunion had become manifest. 
The Fairfield Church and its disaffected members were feel- 
ing the genial influence of the better spirit. Wise measures 
were therefore adopted to remedy the disorders in this place. 
Mr. Thomas Ogden was appointed to go to Connecticut and 
get a minister from the old home. The Rev. Dr. Francis Al- 
ison, of Philadelphia, commended him to the Rev. Dr. Ezra 
Stiles, President of Yale College; but no suitable minister 
could be found in Connecticut who would come here. Hap- 
pily the fit person was found nearer home. This was William 
Ramsay, who was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 
1732, and graduated at the college of New Jersey in 1754. 
His call is in this form : 



"March 22d, 1756. Fairfield, in Cumberland. 

We, whose names are underwritten, do mutually Promise 
and Agree to call Mr. llamsay to the pastoral care of this 
Congregation, and to give him Eighty pounds Proclamation, 
per annum, for our Lawful Minister : To be levied on our 
estates both Real and Personal, which are subject to rates in 
the Provincial Tax. Our Lands and Certainties to be valued 
by a Committee, by us to be chosen and appointed for the 
purpose : 

Daniel Elmer, 
Thomas Bateman, 
Thomas Ogden, 
Thomas Whitecar, 
Ephraim Buck, 
John Powell, 
Nathaniel Diament, 
Henry Peirson, 
Jonathan Lorance, 
Robt. Low, 
Jeremiah Buck, 
David Ogden, 
Israel Petty, 
Edward Lomis, 
Abraham Sayre, 
David Husted, 
Joseph Ogden, 
David Westcote, 
James Diament, 

James Ray, 
Benjamin Stratton, 
Joseph Westcote, 
Jonathan Westcote, 
Thomas Joslane, 
Zadoc Thompson, 
William Dickson, 
Jonathan Stratton, 
Ephriam Harris, 
Daniel Westcote, 
Joseph Seeley, 
Amos Ireland, 
Nathan Lorance, 
Jonathan Diament, 
David Fithian, 
Jeremiah Nickson, 
Henry Sparks, 
Daniel Bateman, 
Moses Husted." 

These thirty-eight men thus engaged to pay the salary ac- 
cording to an assessment upon all the property of each, made 
by a committee of their own choice. The sum amounted to 
about eight dollars and a half from each man, in silver, on 
the average; a yearly payment, by every one, of the price, per- 
haps, of a good cow, or two acres of good land, at that time. 

To be free from the partisanship of the times, Mr. Ramsay 


went to Fairfield, Connecticut, for license, and received it 
from the Association of the Eastern District of Fairfield 
county ; and to win the favor of the disaffected here, he also 
joined the Presbytery of Abington, in Pennsylvania, a New 
Side body. This Presbytery ordained and installed him De- 
cember 1, 1756. Something more than a year later, the two 
Synods became one, and he then joined the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia, to which the church belonged. When order 
had been restored there were seventy-eight communicants in 
this church, and as many square miles in the bounds of the 
congregation, from the Indian Fields to Newport. 

In 1758 Mr. Ramsay married Sarah, the eldest daughter 
of Col. Ephraim Seeley, who died June 22, 1774. His grave 
is in our old burying-ground near the Cohansey river. 

On his marriage, the congregation bought for Mr. Ramsay's 
use a farm of one hundred and fifty acres on the east side of 
Sayre's Neck, a little below the school-house, about two miles 
south of the church. His home was on this farm till he died, 
November 5, 1771, in the thirty-ninth year of his age. In 
1850, Dr. J. Barron Potter copied the inscription on his 
tomb-stone, as well as all the others in our old cemetery, and 
has generously published them. It speaks of his superior 
genius and native eloquence which shone so conspicuously in 
the pulpit as to command the attention and gain the esteem 
of all his hearers. It also states that he discharged his duty 
faithfully in every situation in life ; that he was greatly 
respected and died universally lamented. His piety, virtues, 
worth and eloquence were commemorated in a glowing 
eulogy from the lips and pen of his pupil and brother-in- 
law, Dr. Jonathan Elmer. It was printed. 

His widow married the Rev. Dr. Robert Smith, of Pequea, 
in the native county of her first husband. Her second 
husband was the father of the Rev. Samuel Stanhope Smith, 
D.D., L.L.D., successively President of Hampden Sidney 
College, Virginia, and of the College of New Jersey ; and 
also the father of the Rev. Dr. John Blair Smith, successively 


President of Hampden Sidney College, Virginia, and of 
Union College, New York. The Rev. Dr. John Blair Smith 
succeeded George Duffield and preceded Archibald Alex- 
ander and Thomas Brainerd, as pastor of the Third Church, 
Philadelphia. The Rev. Dr. Robert Smith's wife survived 
her husband and died here among her kindred, August 9, 
1801, aged 63 years. Her grave is near her father's and her 
first husband's. 

Mr. Ramsay did much to form the character of some of 
our greatest and best men. He taught and trained the young 
Elmers, Newcombs,* Harrises, Bucks, Seeleys, and others 
who became men of renown in the revolutionary period. 
He formed a congregation equal to anything that could be 
required of it. The religious life of the people was specially 
vigorous, and that produced intellectual energy, and ten 
thousand manifestations of wholesome activity. Sometimes 
forty or fifty a year were admitted to full communion. 

The act dividing Salem county and forming Cumberland 
was passed in 1748, but the entire separation did not occur 
until the year after Mr. Ramsay's death, when Cumberland, 
apart from Salem, first elected members of the Colonial 

The Rev. Mr. Ramsay's ministry included the times of the 
conquest of New France in America, a transition period 
scarcely less important than the years of the revolutionary 
war ; for in those French wars New Jersey, like Connecticut, 
put into the army in two years more than one-fourth of her 
arms-bearing men, in order to spread the Protestant religion 
and English rights over this continent ; and the people also 
paid taxes that would now be deemed intolerable. 

The Rev. William Hollingshead succeeded Mr. Ramsay. 
His English ancestors settled in New Jersey. He was born 
in Philadelphia in 1748, admitted to the full communion of 
the church in his boyhood, graduated at the University of 
Pennsylvania, studied for the ministry, and was licensed in 

*Col. Dayton Newcoinb died March 22, 1809. aged .57 years. 


1772, and became the pastor of this church, installed by the 
First Presbytery of Philadelphia, July 27, 1773. In the 
autumn of the same year he married Sarah, the only daugh- 
ter of John and Jane Harrison McCalla, of Roadstown,in this 
county. Soon after, it was found necessary to provide for the 
building of a new house of worship, to make sure of the 
future comfort and growth of the congregation and the town- 
ship. The frame building, used more than half a century, 
had become unsafe. It was taken down in 1775. The pulpit 
and benches were set in the shade of an oak near the site of 
the church, and this was the place of the public worship in 
fair weather. But the congregation did not sing : 

" The groves were God's first temples." 

They made arrangements to build a suitable edifice. 
There seems to have been no difficulty in selecting the new 
site for the new building. The hallowed and grateful 
associations of the old place, even though sanctified by the 
graves of their parents, they made subordinate to the pros- 
perity, convenience and welfare of the people and of posterity. 
The good of the township required that the church should 
stand on the main road running through its centre from one 
end to the other. Accordingly they bought land here, and 
determined that the structure should be substantial, built of 
such materials, of such size, in such style, and with such 
workmanship, as to be worthy of its purpose, and of the 
worshippers within its walls. Circumspicite. Behold it ! The 
type of the structure is not Yankee ; it is rather Scotch. But 
the stones were scarcely quarried and brought upon the 
ground when the storm of war burst from the clouds which 
had been growing darker for years. No lull permitted the 
enterprise to go forward until the British force was mainly 
transferred to the southern part of the country early in 1780. 
Then our fathers determined to arise and build, even in the 
troublous times. Many hearts were ardent and many hands 
were active in the work. Providence greatly favored the 
design, and no rain fell from the time the foundations were 


laid, on the first day of May, until the rafters were raised and 
the roof put on in the middle of June. The speaker well 
remembers with what admiration in his boyhood he heard 
this statement from the lips of Moses Bateman, Esq., who in 
his early manhood worked upon the building all the time it 
was rising from foundation to roof-tree. The interesting fact 
is well attested by the journal of John Stratton, Esq., and 
other testimony. Thus in spring and summer the work 
advanced so rapidly that before the first week of autumn 
was past, the Rev. Mr. Hollingshead, sharing the joy and 
thankfulness of his people, could, in this house, lead their 
profound and grateful devotions. He preached his first 
sermon here, September 7th, 1780, from Philippians, 3 : 7. 
" But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for 

The house was now a shelter for the people, and defied the 
rain and the snow, but the labors of a year were required to 
finish it within, and to form rules for its use by the families 
of the congregation. As soon as they could worship in it, 
the people gave themselves to the promotion of their spiritual 
welfare, and in the spring of 1781, forty-eight persons were 
admitted to the full communion of the church and nearly an 
equal number a few months later. The spiritual ingathering 
which followed the building of this house, added to the full 
membership one hundred and fifteen persons. The pew- 
rents amounted to one hundred pounds a year — enough at 
that time to buy a good farm — probably one per cent, of the 
whole value of the estates of all the pew-holders. 

In 1783 the church was incorporated by a special act of 
the State Legislature, and entered upon this new stage of its 
history in the same year that the independence of the United 
States was acknowledged by the treaty of peace with Great 

The church was incorporated August 4th, 1783, and the 
Trustees who have been members of the Board since the 
incorporation, are as follows : 



Samuel We.stcott, 

Jedediah Ogdeii. 

James Ogden, 

Joliu Houseman. 

Nathan Bemu^tt. 

Amariah Harris. 

Dauiel Westcott, Jr., 

Eli Elmer. 

John Bovver. 

Amos Westcott, 

William Bateman, 

David Pierson. 
- Levi Preston. 

Ephraim Harris. 

Jonathan Ogdeu, 

Jeremiah Nixon. 

Levi Stratton. 

Ephraim Buek. 

Jonathan Bateman, 

David Westeott. 

Jolm Ogden, 

Thomas Burch. 
Joseph Ogden. 
Amos Bateman. 
Reuben Powell, 
Norton Lawrence. 
Charles Howell. 
John Thomas Hampton, M, D., 
(who was the Treasurer for 
some years before his death, 
Sept. 29, 1794, aged 43 years.) 
James Clark. 
Thomas Whitaker. 
Thomas H. Ogden. 
James Diament, 
Jonathan Bennett, 
Daniel Elmer, 
Ebeuezer Seeley, 
Jesse Parvin, 
John Batenuxn, 
David Bennett. 
Abraham Sayre. 
James Harris, Esq,, 
Bayse Newcomb, 
Benjamin Thompson, 
Lot Fithiau. 
Burgeu Bateman, 

Urbin Diaon. (Diament ?) (Dixon ?) 
John Powell, 
Eleazer Smith, 

Charles Harris. 
Samuel Westcott. 
Pierson Hai-ris. 
Jeremiah Nixon. Jr., 
David Hariis. 
Moses Bateman. 
Natlian Bateman, 
Joseph Bateman, 
Amos Fithian. 
Moses Himt. 
E])hraim Dayton, 
John Elmer. Sr.. 
Silas Smith. 
Daniel Burt. 
Mnason (?) Boweu. 
Ephraim Smith, 
1800, Nathaniel Whitaker, 
Nathan Bateman, Jr., 
Joseph Dannals. 
Ephraim Lummis, 
Ezekiel Westcott, 
Jasper Burt, 
Asa Smith, 
William Hasted, 
Ellas Howell. 
John Weatherby, 
Nathan Gandy, 
Benjamin L. Ogden, 
Isaac Bishop, 
Enoch H. More, 
Matthias Burch, 
Lot Fithian, Jr., 
Ephraim Nixon, 
David Koray. 
Ephiaim Bateman. 
Joseph Newcomb. 
William Bateman, 
Henry Westcott. 
Reuel Whitaker. 
Neri Ogden. 
Norton O. Lawrence, 
John Trcuchard. 
Thonuis Hariiti, 
David F. Bateman, 
Asa Fish. 
Oliver Russell, 
John Howell. 
Reuben Powell, 
Sheppard Gandy, 
Thomas H. Ogden, 



Henry Howell, 
Ephraiin Westcott, Jr., 
James Diaiuent, Jr., 
Ephraiin Lummis. Jr., 
Israel Batemau, 
Oliver Elmer, 
Jason Ogden, 
Ephraim Fithiau, 
Aaron Seeley, 
Lorenzo Lawrence, 
John Whitaker, 
Henry Whitaker, 
Elkanah Bateman. 
John Treut'hard, Jr., 
Daniel Batemau, 
Elmer Ogden, Jr., 
1823. Norton O. Lawrence, 
Nathaniel Diament, 
William Westcott. 
JercTniah Bateman, 
Nathan Gandy, 
Elmer Ogden, Jr.. 
Jeremiah Bennett. 
Daniel L. Burt, 
Harris Ogden, 
John Howell, 
Isaac Harris, 
Ephraim Bateman, 
Joseph Burt, 
Henry Brooks, 
John Ogden, 
David F. Bateman, 
Ephraim Dayton, 
George Howell, 
Reuben Powell, 
Jonathan D. Harris, 
Leonard Lawrence, 
Joseph Dayton. 
William A. Smith, 
Daniel C. Pierson, M. D.. 
Leonard Lawrence. 
Thomas Ogden. 
John Elmer, 
Ephraim H. AVhiticar, 
Edmund Howell, 
Reuben Bateman, 
Ephraim Westcott, 
Nathaniel Diament, 
Wilham Moore, 
George Ogden, 

Theophilus E. Harris, 
David S. Ogden, 
Reuben Ware, 
Henry Sheppard. 
James Campbell, 
Reuben Nixon, 
George Smith, 
Horace Elmer. 
John P. Moore, 
Jeremiah Thompson. 
Heury Powell, 
George W. Nixon. 
Nathaniel Howell, 
Abel Johnson, 
Robert Westcott, 
David Clark. 
Leonard Bateman, 
John Holmes, 
William A. Smith, 
James Campbell 
Nathan DutHeld, 

1843. Butler Thompson, 
Joseph Campbell, 
John McChesney, 

1844. Ethan Ti'enchard, 
Adrian Bateman, 
Henry R. Conover. 

1845. Joseph F. Jaggers, 

1846. Theophilus Trcnchard, 

1847. George E. Elmer, 
Josiah Bennett, 

1848. Harris 0. Elmer, 
1851. Theophilus Tomlinson. 

George S. Whiticar. 
James E. Elmer. 
Aaron Smith, 
Robert M. Bennett, 
John W. Harris, 
Benjamin Jaggers. 
James Campbell, Jr., 
James A. Whitecar. Jr. 
Daniel Stites, 
Thomas P. Clark. 
Elias W. Bateman, 
Henry C. Trcnchard, 
Joseph Smitli, 
Samuel H. Williams, 
James Smith, 
Lewis B. Holmes, 
Levi J. Craig, 


Theophilus E. Smith. Robert L. Woodruff, 

Robert G. Smith, George Lorenzo Elmer, 

James H. Ehner, Justus Livingston, 

Edwin W. Staru. James McNichols. 

In 1783 the church lost the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. 
Holliiigshead, who accepted a call to the pastoral charge 
of the Circular or Independent Church of Charleston, South 
Carolina, the principal congregation in the chief southern 
capital. He continued to be the faithful and efficient pastor 
thereof until 1815, when he was stricken down while minister- 
ing in the pulpit on the Lord's day, and thereafter gradually 
declined until January 26, 1817, when he died, after a minis- 
try of forty-four years. His wife survived him about three 
years and eight months, and died while visiting at the Rev. 
Jonathan Freeman's, in Bridgeton. Her grave is in Green- 
wich. The Rev. Dr. Hollingshead, during his later ministry, 
held a prominent place in Charleston, as the Rev. Thomas 
Bridge did in Boston during the last years of his life. Dr. 
Hollingshead published his funeral sermon on the death of 
his brother-in-law, the Rev. Dr. Daniel McCalla, edited this 
brother-in-law's works in two volumes, and prefixed a memoir 
of his life. Dr. McCalla preached as a licentiate here for six 
weeks in August and September, 1772, just before Dr. Hol- 
lingshead came and preached six Sabbaths. The first sermon 
of the latter was from 1 Cor. 6:20. "Glorify God in your body, 
and in your spirit, which are God's;" and this rule he him- 
self obeyed through all the decades of his ministry. 

It is time to turn our attention to the Ruling Elders. John 
Ogden appeared in the Presbytery in 1712. His tomb-stone 
in our old grave-yard shows that he died December 22, 1745, 
aged 75 years. His American kindred, earlier than himself, 
have an exceedingly interesting history. He seems to have 
built the first flour-mill in Fairfield, and so changed the name 
of the north branch of the Cohansey to Mill Creek. Ilis son 
David succeeded him in the ownership of the mill, and died in 
December, 1760, aged 53 years. This David married Mary 
Diament. Their eldest son, John, was the father of Jedediah, 


one of our Elders, who married Mary (Polly), daughter of 
Ambrose Whitaker. Their eldest son, Isaac Ambrose Ogden, 
a cousin of the speaker's father, studied for the ministry with 
the Rev. Jonathan Freeman, of Bridgeton, and became pastor 
of the Cape May church previous to 1819. He removed to 
Ohio as early as 1825, and the next year his parish was the 
three counties of Union, Franklin and Fayette. He labored 
in the western part of that State and on the verge of Indiana 
for many years, and died there faithful unto death. 

Benjamin S. Ogden was a captain in the U. S. Army during 
the war of 1812-14. 

Fifty years ago, a conspicuous person here was John Ogden, 
an Elder thirty years, until his death, in 1832. His home 
was a fine farm in Rockville. He always attended public 
worship ; but the state of his health, in his later years, com- 
pelled him to fall asleep a few minutes during the sermon. 
He could not, in his pew, resort to the expedients to maintain 
wakefulness which were practised by some of his grandsons 
and other youngsters in the gallery. Hand ignota loquor. One 
of this Elder's sons, Elmer Ogden, was a member of the Leg- 
islature. Another son, Benjamin, was born in this township 
of Fairfield, on the fourth day of October, 1797. He pre- 
pared for college, and, in his boyhood, entered the College of 
New Jersey, and was graduated at- Princeton in the class of 
1817. In college he was associated with a very choice com- 
pany of young Christians, including the Rev. Drs. Robert 
W. Condit, Daniel Baker, John Goldsmith, Charles Hodge, 
Ravaud K. Rodgers, Charles S. Stewart, William J. Armstrong, 
John McLean, Eli W. Caruthers, David Magie, and Bishops 
John Johns and Charles P. Mcllvaine. After his graduation, 
he became a tutor of the College, and prepared for the minis- 
try in the Princeton Theological Seminary, which he entered 
in 1819, and pursued his studies there for two years. He was 
licensed, in April, 1821, by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, to 
preach the gospel, and in June, 1822, the same Presbytery 
ordained him at Bensalem, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. He 


ministered there for more than a year, and, in 1823, he was 
installed by the Presbytery of New Castle, as the pastor of 
Lewes, Delaware, where he faithfully performed his pastoral 
duties more than three years. During this time the Presby- 
tery of Lewes was formed. The Presbytery of New Brunswick 
received him to membership from the Presbytery of Lewes, 
on the 28th of November, 1826, when a call from the churcli 
of Pennington, New Jersey, was placed in his hands. He 
accepted it, and the Presbytery installed him as the pastor of 
this large and important church, on the 8th of December, 
1826. He was the sixth pastor of that church, and his imme- 
diate predecessors for eighty-five years had been the Rev. 
Messrs. John Guild and Joseph Rue. Mr. Ogden pursued his 
ministry with great fidelity and usefulness. The additions to 
the full membership of the church in 1833 were not fewer 
than forty-five. During the winter of 1837-8, there was a 
remarkable work of divine grace, under his pastoral care. A 
vivid description of it was published in the Presbyterian, of 
Philadelphia, written from Pennington, April 24, 1838. On 
the 16th of that month, sixty persons were admitted to the 
full communion of the church, the oldest being seventy years 
of age and the youngest eleven years — twenty-nine of them 
having never been baptized until the previous day. The 
Presbytery, near the close of the same month, made a partic- 
ular report of this gracious ingathering, and stated that it 
might " be characterized as having to a remarkable degree 
embraced persons in middle life and the heads of families." 
This large accession to the membership of the church was 
speedily followed, as often happens in such cases, by the ter- 
mination of Mr. Ogden's pastoral care thereof. During the 
twelve years of his pastorate, one hundred and eighty-six 
persons were admitted to full membership, the church edifice 
was greatly enlarged, its interior rebuilt and fitted for its relig- 
ious uses according to the better taste and greater comfort of 
modern times. The present plan was also adopted to collect the 
money for the expenses of the congregation by pew-rents, 


doing away with the antique and unsatisfactory method of 
yearly subscriptions. Under Mr. Ogden's pastorate, steps 
were also taken to erect a church edifice in the western part 
of the parish, at Titusville, in which public worship might 
be held on Sabbath afternoons. This house was built of stone 
and opened for its sacred purposes soon after Mr. Ogden's 
pastorate ceased. His ministry in the main at Pennington 
was prosperous, and ended when he was about forty years of 
age, in the full vigor of his powers. He then removed to 
Michigan, and preached there in Three Rivers, Niles, and 
elsewhere, for some years. He subsequently removed to 
Valparaiso, Indiana, and became the minister of the Presby- 
terian Church in that place, where he died January 11th, 
1853, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. The Rev. George 
Hale, D. D., his immediate successor as the prosperous and 
faithful pastor of the First Church of Pennington, now the 
worthy and efficient Secretary of the General Assembly's 
Board of Ministerial Relief, in his admirable history of the 
Pennington Church, says of Mr. Ogden : " He was married to 
Emily T. Sansbury, October 15th, 1821. There were ten 
children, four sons and six daughters, all of whom were living 
at the time of his death. One daughter is the wife of the 
Rev. James Green, and another of the Rev. J. G. Reiheldaffer, 
D. D. One son, Thomas Spencer, born in Pennington, Jan- 
uary 9th, 1832, entered the ministry." 

This bright, worthy son, Thomas Spencer Ogden, was 
graduated at the University of Michigan ; subsequently at 
the Princeton Theological Seminary, in 1857. He married, 
in the same year. Miss Phoebe C. Combs, of Perrineville, New 
Jersey. They visited Fairfield in the early autumn of that 
year, about tliB time of his ordination by the Presbytery of 
New Brunswick. They sailed from New York, October 6th, 
1857, and arrived at Corisco, Africa, January 14, 1858. He 
entered into the missionary work with great earnestness and 
industry, and soon became efficient in several departments. 
He withstood several attacks of fever, but the last and very 


malignant one overpowered him, May 11, 1861. He was a 
very faithful, lovely, energetic and useful Christian minister 
and missionary, and died, as he believed, at the post of duty, 
danger and death. Mrs. Ogden returned to this country with 
their only child — a bright boy. 

Another of these good Ogdens is Ephraim, the best boy in 
Sayre's Neck, fifty years ago. He is the grandson of Jason, 
and the son of that Jason who was born June 26, 1777. He 
was born a member of this church, June 9, 1818 ; baptised in 
his infancy by his pastor, the Rev. Ethan Osborti, and admit- 
ted to full communion with sixty others in August, 1836. He 
prepared for college with Levi F. Claflin, in Bridgeton, and 
the Rev. Dr. John W. Scott, in Steubenville, Ohio. He was 
graduated at Jefferson College in 1844, pursued the full course 
in the Western Theological Seminary, was licensed by the 
Presbytery of Steubenville, in April, 1847 ; ordained by the 
Presbyter}^ of Allegheny in November, 1848, and at the same 
time installed pastor of the churches of Middlesex and West- 
minster. Ten years later he was released from the care of 
Westminster ; but he is now the faithful bishop of Middle- 
sex, as he has been for nearly thirty-two years. He married 
first, Sarah Jane Harrison, of Steubenville, Ohio, January 11, 
1848; secondly, Mary Jane Banks, of Neshannock Falls, Pa., 
June 29, 1853 ; thirdly, Lavinia McGarrah, of Clarion 
county, Pa., January 30, 1867. They have passed into the 
Father's heavenly house before him, and the two children of 
the first, and one of the second wife, have followed their 
mothers. Four of the second and four of the third continue 
w'ith him. Three are married. He has often been chosen 
by his brethren in the ministry for important service, and 
has represented his Presbytery in several General Assemblies, 
including the last. 

Another of these Fairfield Ogdens that must be named is 
Jonathan, grandson of Jonathan, and son of Curtis. lie was 
born in Fairton, December 10, 1809. The family afterwards re- 
moved to Bridgeton, where his father was postmaster more than 


twenty years, and became a prominent Deacon of the Baptist 
Church. Jonathan Ogden entered the full communion of the 
Presbyterian Church on the confession of his faith, in 1827. 
Four years later he removed to Philadelphia, where, in 1833, 
he married Abigail, third daughter of Robert Murphey, Esq., 
a sturdy Protestant from county Antrim, Ireland, and a 
thorough Presbyterian. Mrs. Ogden's elder sisters also mar- 
ried men from Bridgeton, namely, John Sibley and John 
Heilig — all of them being persons of great Christian worth. 
Mr. Ogden moved, in 1852, to New York for business and 
Brooklyn for a residence. Four years later he became a mem- 
ber of the firm of Devlin & Co.. then and for several years 
thereafter the largest clothing house in the United States, 
employing from one thousand to two thousand persons. In 
1874 he retired with a competence, having built on Brooklyn 
Heights such a residence as he desired. His fellow-citizens of 
this part of Brooklyn, the head of its wealth, intelligence and 
refinement, have repeatedly chosen him to represent them in 
the State Legislature. He has done it with eminent ability 
and honor. He is the Vice President of the Long Island 
Fire Insurance Company, which has prospered through forty- 
seven years. He served the church for several years in the 
Board of Domestic Missions, for eight years in the Board of 
Church Erection, being its Treasurer for years. He was 
elected, in 1854, an Elder of the Second Church under the 
pastoral care of the Rev. Dr. Ichabod S. Spencer, author of 
the " Pastor's Sketches." In 1863 he entered the Session of 
the First Church, New School, Henry Street, and for the last 
seventeen years he has been a most efficient officer of this 
First Church. The divine blessing has rested upon his 
household. One son in early manhood, ripe for heaven, was 
transferred almost in a moment from earthly toil to supreme 
rest and blessedness. The other four children are well 
settled in life, and all intelligent, sincere, earnest and active 
Christians. While Mr. Ogden was in the Legislature, a keen 
observer and careful writer said of him, that he was "widely 


known as a man of high character and stern integrity." 
"Always scholarly, polished and graceful in his utterances, 
with the manners of a gentleman of the old school, there are 
few more agreeable speakers at the capitol than Mr. Ogden. 
His ideas are sound, practical and healthy, the fruit of a varied 
experience and a cultured and well-balanced mind. The 
second district of Kings county never had a better or a more 
efficient representative at Albany." 

Ephraim Sayre, who represented this church at the meet- 
ing of the Presbytery in 1713, was probably a relative, and 
perhaps the father, of Ananias Sayre, the Sheriff of the county 
and one of its chief men forty years later. 

In 1714, Joseph Seeley appeared in the Presbytery with the 
Rev. Howell Powell, and succeeded in making arrangements 
for the settlement of this minister as the bishop of this church. 
Joseph Seeley was the ancestor of one of our best and greatest 
families, including Col. Ephraim Seeley, the father of Judge 
Ephraim Seeley ; Col. Enos Seeley, Ebenezer Seeley, Clerk of 
the county ; Elias P. Seeley, Governor of the State ; Samuel 
Seeley, Clerk of the county ; Enos Seeley, Clerk of the county, 
and the present venerable Samuel Ward Seele3^ 

Jonathan Fithian was the Elder who represented this 
church in the Synod in 1741, when the spirit of separation 
and partisanship divided that body, and caused much alien- 
ation and strife in many of the churches. We may be 
thankful that the Rev. Daniel Elmer and Elder Jonathan 
Fithian took no part in that passionate work. 

A record of October 23, 1759, contains the names of 
six Elders at that time, the year after the re-union. These 

Nathaniel Diament, who died in 17(57, aged 72 years. 

David Westcott, who died in July, 1772, aged 57 years. 

Joseph Ogden, who died in July, 1772, aged 48 years. 

Moses Husted, who died in 1772 or 1773. 

Henry Pierson, who died in 177G. 

Henry Westcott, who died in 1777. 


With these six Elders most likely there was associated 
Daniel Elmer, who was certainly an Elder the next year, and 
who died May 2, 17G1. Thus, in 1759, the Session contained 
at least seven or eight Elders ; for Thomas Ogden, probably a 
son of John, the mill-builder, and brother of David, the mill- 
owner, continued alive and in the Session as lately as 1781. 

On March 30, 1760, two more were ordained, namely : 

Jonathan Lawrence, who died on the 19th of February, 17G4. 

Joseph Westcott, who died May 18, 1777. 

Five years later, two were ordained, namely : 

Joseph Dayton, who died in 1770, aged 56 years. 

Robert Low, who died after August 25, 1769. 

Three were ordained February 14, 1771, namely : 

Ephraim Harris, who died in November, 1794, aged 63 years. 

James Diament, who died in 1776. 

Isaac Preston, who also died in 1776. 

In December, 1773, two were ordained, namely : 

John Bower, who was admitted to full communion Septem- 
ber 22, 1765, and died after May 20, 1793, and probably before 
May 1, 1797. 

Eleazer Smith, who also died after Ma}'^ 20, 1793, and prob- 
ably before May 1, 1797. 

There was, in 1777, an ordination of three persons who 
were elected on the 18th of May, namely : 

Levi Preston, who was admitted to full communion in May, 
1762, and died after 1781. 

William Preston, who also died later than 1781. 

Jeremiah Nixon, who died October 11, 1798. 

These are all the Elders of whom we have a record at pres- 
ent who were ordained before the settlement of the Rev. 
Ethan Osborn. 

In the deed of the Rev. Daniel Elmer to the committee of 
the congregation are the names of Nathaniel Whitaker and 
Jeremiah Buck, and one of those who signed the call for the 
Rev. William Ramsay was Ephraim Buck. 

Perhaps the most widely known laymen here, in the Rev. 


Thomas Bridge's day, were Richard Whitaker and Henry 
Back. Nathaniel was a grandson of this Richard Whitaker, 
and Jeremiah and Ephraim Buck were descendants of this 
Henry Buck. 

Richard Whitaker came from London. He was with Fen- 
wick in Salem, as one of the Council of the Proprietors, in 
1676, and he seems to have continued in this office until 1702, 
when the colonial government of the crown was formed. 
The first order which it is known that he signed in Salem is 
dated 25th of 4th month, 1676. He and Elizabeth Adkin, of 
Allowa3's Creek, were married 17th of 1st month, 1679, in 
the Friends' log meeting house, at Salem. He moved with his 
family, in 1690, to the south bank of the Cohansey in the part 
now called " Herring Row." He built a substantial dwelling^ 
of bricks made on the place. It was taken down less than 
twenty years ago, when more than one hundred and fifty 
years old. Here Richard Whitaker and Henry Buck were 
active in trade and commerce as well as in agriculture. They 
traded directly with Boston, New York and the West Indies. 
Their books, that show the daily business of the firm, give 
the names of many of the people of this tow'nship, and the 
kinds and prices of the goods sold here at that time, includ- 
ing farming utensils, hardware, dry goods, clothes, groceries, 
liquors, and books, chiefly Bibles, psalm-books and school- 
books. Richard Whitaker's descendants are very many in 
both South and North Jersey, in New York, Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois and other States. His grandson, Nathaniel, named 
in the deed, was the grandfather of Nathaniel, who was the 
father of Joel, Reuel and Nathaniel. Joel moved to Illinois 
in 1833. His eldest son, Alanson, is known there as a school 
officer, and a worker in Sabbath School organizations. His son, 
Daniel, was graduated at the University of Rochester, New 
York, where he also studied theology. He was ordained and 
sailed as a missionary of the American Baptist Missionary' 
Union, to Burmah, where he was a most zealous, devoted and 
successful worker for ten or fifteen years, having when he died 


about one hundred assistants of the Union under his direction. 
Joel's son, Ethan Osborn Whitaker, was ordained, and fell at 
the front preaching the gospel near Yankton, the capital of 
Dakota Territory. Reuel's son, Clement, became an owner 
and editor of the Bloomington Rejniblican, published at the 
county town of Monroe county, Indiana, and the seat of the 
University of the State — a paper whose very place of publi- 
cation favored its extensive influence. Another son of Reuel 
is the father of the Rev. William Force Whitaker, who was 
graduated at the University of Pennsylvania, first in his 
class and with the highest honors, in 1873, and at the Union 
Theological Seminary, New York City, in 1876. He is the 
first pastor of the St. Cloud Church, Orange, New Jersey, of 
which the Governor of the State, Gen. George B. McClellan, 
is one of the elders. Reuel Whitaker's daughters are superior 
to his sons. The eldest married first, Theophilus E. Harris, 
the Sheriff of the county from 1848 to 1851, and secondly 
Ephraim H. Whiticar, who was successively a member of the 
Assembly and of the Senate of the State, and for more than 
one term a Judge of the county. He was for many years 
both an Elder and Trustee of this church, and a very influ- 
ential officer in its counsels and affairs. His son, the Hon. 
George Swing Whiticar, having, like his father, served 
in the Assembly, now represents the county in the Senate 
of the State ; he is also an Elder and a Trustee of this church. 
Reuel Whitaker's second daughter, Abigail, the most intel- 
lectual of his ten children, never married. The other 
daughter, Harriet, was graduated at Mount Holyoke Seminary, 
in 1853, and in 18G0 became the wife of Johnson P. Clark, a 
native of Watertown, New York, and Professor in Irving 
College, Tennessee. Reuel Whitaker married, March 28th, 
1810, Sarah, the eldest daughter of John Westcott, Esq. She 
has the signal honor of being the only woman in the town- 
ship now in her ninety-first year ; and the supreme joy of the 
speaker, in this service of his fellow-townsmen, is that it per- 
mits him to speak her praise. 


Henry Buck, of the old firm of Whitaker & Buck, came to 
this place from Wethersfield, Connecticut, about 1692. His 
father, Henry, there married Elizabeth, daughter of John 
Churchill, and they had eight children. Dudley Buck, the 
foremost musical composer of the new world, is one of their 
posterity. Henry Buck's descendant, the Ephraim Buck who 
signed Mr. Ramsay's call, married Judith Nixon. They had 
six children. The eldest was Joseph, born May 1st, 1753. 
He entered the revolutionary army as ensign in 1779, two 
years later was made lieutenant, and when the war ended he 
was captain by brevet. He soon after married Ruth, daughter 
of Col. Enos Seeley, father of Ebenezer, who was Clerk of the 
county nearly twenty years, from 1814 to 1833; this Ebenezer 
being the father of Elias P. Seeley, Governor of the State, and 
of Enos Seeley, Clerk of the county in 1842. Mr. Buck was 
elected Sheriff four years after the close of the war, and filled 
the office three years. He was one of the most enterprising 
men in the county. He founded and named Millville, but 
died in the midst of his days and of his plans to create there 
somewhat such a city as Millville is to-day. He left a 
remarkable family of children. John, born April 1st, 1784, 
was elected Sheriff of the county before he was twenty-five 
years old. His sister Jane having married Daniel P. Stratton, 
and his sister Hannah, Nathan L. Stratton, these three men 
formed in Bridgeton the firm of Buck & Stratton, which 
remained substantially the same until Mr. Buck's death, in 
1842. It was for a generation the chief mercantile house in 
South Jersey. One fact tells the whole story of their 
character. About forty years ago, their promissory notes for 
fractions of a dollar, issued for change in the absence of silver, 
though paying no interest, were hoarded by the people until 
they had been put forth to the amount of twent}' thousand 
dollars — a large sum in this county forty years ago. Mr. 
Buck's eldest daughter married William S. Bowen, M. D., a 
prosperous ph3'sician of Bridgeton, one of whose sons is John 
Buck Bowen, who received his degree of M. D. from the 


University of Penns34vania in 1861, and who held the rank 
of Assistant Surgeon in the U. S. Army in 1862, and was the 
Surgeon of the 34th Regiment of N. J. Volunteers in 1863 
and 1861, until he resigned and commenced his skillful and 
heneficent practice in Bridgeton. 

Joseph Buck's son Ephraim received his medical diploma 
from the University of Pennsylvania, and became a well- 
known and skillful physician, and an unselfish and active 

Joseph Buck's daughter Sarah married, first, John Bower 
Ogden, and after his death, Henry Sheppard. She was the 
mother of the late Col. Henry Sheppard, of Springfield, Mis- 
souri, and of Dr. Joseph Sheppard, Bridgeton. 

Joseph Buck's daughter Jane married Daniel P. Stratton, 
and was the mother of the Rev. James Stratton, of Jackson, 
Louisiana, and of the late Rev. Daniel Stratton, of Salem, New 
Jersey. The late Rev. Wallace H. Stratton, of Louisiana, and 
Rev. William M. Stratton, of Missouri, are sons of the Rev. 
James Stratton. 

Joseph Buck's daughter Hannah married Nathan L. Strat- 
ton, and was the mother of Rev. Joseph Buck Stratton, D. D., 
who has been the eminent pastor of the church of Natchez 
for the last thirty-seven years, as he is now. He is the head 
of the delegation from the Southern Presbyterian Church, in 
the great Alliance, meeting this week, in Philadelphia. She 
was also the mother of Charles P. Stratton, of Camden, who 
is among the foremost lawyers of New Jersey. 

Ephraim and Judith Buck's son Jeremiah married Sarah 
Holmes. They had eight children. One of them, Robert 
Shute Buck, was elected Sheriff of the county when he was 
twenty-three years old. His cousin John's election at twent}- 
four seems marvelous ; and his election at twenty-three 
appears almost incredible ; but many here may remember 
that it took place in J 825. This young man married Caroline 
James, and the marriage led to his connection with the Cum- 
berland Nail and Iron Works. The history of her family, as 
well as his own, is full of interest. 


Another son of our Jeremiah Buck was F'rancis Nixon 
Buck. As a gentleman of taste and refinement, and a mer- 
chant of enterprise and integrity, he held for several years 
the chief place in a large mercantile house in Philadelphia. 

During the revolutionary period, and for many years there- 
after, the most influential family of this congregation were the 
posterity of the Rev. Daniel Elmer. His son Theophilus, 
born the year of his father's installation, was the Sheriff of 
the county from 17G6 to 1769, a member of the Legislature in 
1772, active in the Council of Safety for the county during 
most of the war, and in the Upper House of the Legislature 
in 1776 and 1782. He was specially active in building this 
house. He lived to worship in it three years only, for he 
died in the midst of his usefulness, August 1, 1783. 

The Rev. Daniel Elmer's youngest son by his first wife was 
Theodorus. Through his offspring he has bestowed many 
and rich gifts of God upon his native place; for they include, 
according to the most competent authority, " most of those 
bearing the family name now residing in Fairfield," among 
them one of the present Elders of the church, who is also the 
superintendent of the Sabbath School, Mr. James H. Elmer. 

In the revolutionary period our chief man, the most influ- 
ential in the county and in South Jersey, was Jonathan Elmer, 
a son of the eldest son of the minister. He was born Novem- 
ber 29, 1745. His father died wdien he was sixteen years of 
age, but he continued his studies under the instructions of the 
Rev. Mr. Ramsay. He was graduated a doctor of medicine 
at the University of Pennsylvania, in 1771, and elected the 
next year a member of the American Philosophical Society. 
He commenced the practice of medicine, and his practice soon 
extended beyond the county. He quickly turned his atten- 
tion to political affairs, raised a military company, was active 
in the Committee of Vigilance, entered the Provincial Con- 
gress in 1776 and was a member of the committee that formed 
the first constitution of the State. He was a member of the 
National Congress during most of the Revolution, and was a 


Medical Inspector of the Army. After the establishment of 
independence he was two years in the National House of 
Representatives ; and then, in 1789, he was elected to be a 
Senator of the United States. He became an intelligent 
lawyer, and for many years, until near the close of his life, he 
was the presiding Judge of the county court of common pleas. 
He was the Clerk of the county from 1776 to 1789, and Surro- 
gate from 1784 to 1802. He was a member of the higher 
branch of the State Legislature in 1780 and in 1784, President 
of the State Medical Society in 1787, ordained a Ruling Elder 
of the Presbyterian Church in 1799. He resigned his Judge- 
ship in 1814. He died September 3, 1817. The foundation 
of his greatness and worth were in a great measure laid by 
the instructions which he received from the ministers of God's 
word, the faithful pastors of this church. 

He married Mary, daughter of Col. Ephraim Seeley, in 1769. 
His youngest son, William, became the most eminent of his 
children. This son was graduated a doctor of medicine in 
1811, and the next year commenced practice in Bridgeton. 
After the death of his father, he gave himself chiefly to the 
management of his estate, the improvement of agriculture 
and stock, and various enterprises for the public welfare. He 
died May 6, 1836, aged 48 years. He was twice married — 
first in 1812, to Nancy B. Potter, daughter of Col. David 
Potter, whose wife was a daughter of our excellent Mrs. Mary 
Boyd. Mrs. Elmer lived four years after her marriage and 
was the mother of three children. Dr. Elmer married, in 
1819, her sister, Margaret K. Potter, who also bore him three 
children. His four sons are, 1, Jonathan ; 2, Dr. William, the 
father of Drs. William, Jr., and Henry W. Elmer ; 3, David 
Potter Elmer ; and 4, Benjamin Franklin Elmer. One of his 
daughters married Charles E. Elmer, Esq., and the other 
Hon. W. G. Whitely, of Delaware. 

The Rev. Daniel Elmer's eldest son was the father of 
Timothy, born in 1748, who served in the revolutionary 
army, was a member of the State Legislature in 1779 and 1780. 


He died a faithful Christian May 16, 1780. He married Mary 
Dayton and they had two sons, Timothy and Oliver. Timothy 
was born in 1773. He was elected Sheriff of the county in 
1805. He served in the Legislature. He was the Surrogate 
of the county from 1815 until his death in 1836. He mar- 
ried, in 1807, Ruth, daughter of Jeremiah Bennett, Sheriff of 
the county. She died September 8, 1859. They had ten 
children, the youngest but one being Joseph H. Elmer, of 
Bridgeton, United States Collector of the Port. 

The Rev. Daniel Elmer's eldest son was the father of Gen. 
Ebenezer Elmer, the youngest son of his parents. No wor- 
thier name adorns our history. He was born August 23d, 
1752, seven years younger than his celebrated brother, Dr. 
Jonathan Elmer, but a fit associate in toil and fame. He 
grew up in the genial and healthy atmosphere of this 
church, and became early, according to his own record, a 
" believer in the gospel plan of redemption by faith in 
Jesus Christ." His father died when he was nine years 
old. He was subsequently taught by his mother. He 
attended no other than an evening school but one quarter 
until he reached manhood. Then he learned, one autumn* 
navigation of John Westcott. He studied medicine with his 
brother two years. He was now twenty-three years old and 
1776 had come. He entered the army in January, 1776, as an 
ensign. His captain was Joseph Bloomfield, who was after- 
wards Governor of the State. He soon became a lieutenant. 
He served more than a year and then declined promotion in 
the line, and accepted a commission as Assistant Surgeon to 
Dr. Lewis Howell, his fellow student in his brother's office, 
and twin brother of Richard Howell, who became Governor 
of the State. A few days before the bailie of Monmouth, Dr. 
Howell was seized with fever and died near the field of battle, 
and on the day of it. His assistant succeeded him as surgeon 
of the regiment, and served until the close of the war — the 
whole period of his service being seven years and eight 


He now commenced the practice of his profession in this 
county ; but he did not entirely leave the public service. He 
was a member of both houses of the Legislature in succession, 
presiding in each, also a member of Congress for six years 
from ISOl to 180G. He was the Collector of the customs for 
this part of the State, and the Clerk and the Surrogate of the 
county several years, as well as the Judge of the county. In 
1804 he was appointed the Adjutant General of the State, and 
in 1806 the General of the Cumberland Brigade. During 
the war of 1812-14 he commanded a brigade employed to 
defend Philadelphia ; and he was thenceforth well known as 
Gen. Elmer. In 1818 he took the chief part in organizing 
the County Medical Society, was chosen its first President, and 
held the office several years. He entered the full communion 
of the church in 1825, and established the first Sabbath 
School in the county. He was one of the founders and for 
many years the President of the County Bible Society. He 
was in many elements of his character, as well as in many 
activities of his life, a great and most excellent man. In 
manifold ways he brought forth fruit in old age. 

Indulgence must here be craved for a few words of personal 
reference. When, in 1843, the duty of preparing for the 
gospel ministry was urged upon the speaker, consultation 
was held with a few persons on the subject, especially with the 
late Francis G. Brewster, of Bridgeton. The result was a 
visit to Gen. Elmer. He was alone, in his own parlor. The 
crown of more than four score and ten years rested upon his 
large and shapely head. His physical powers were feeble; 
but his intellect was sound and clear, and his sensibilities 
responsive and generous. The visitor was received with a 
patriarchal dignity, which did not surpass the genial affability 
and^ kindness of this aged man. Gen. Elmer had known his 
visitor slightly for several years, as a youth who had now grown 
up to manhood in the town, and as a member of the same 
church with himself. He deliberately and most courteously 
drew out the experiences and sentiments as well as the incli- 


nations and habits of bis visitor, and tben paternally advised 
his young friend and brother to begin the needful prepara- 

There was no further consultation on the subject with any 
person. The advice of Gen. Elmer was decisive. 

He was at this time a man of medium size. His hair was 
not white, but gray, flowing and abundant. His forehead was 
broad, high and erect, jutting somewhat over the e^^es, and 
thin cheeks. The nose was handsome, linely moulded, not 
specially prominent, and symmetrical in both shape and 
length. The eyes, though showing age and slightly dim, 
were mild and expressive. The cheeks had not only lost 
their fullness ; they were also pale. The lips were thin and 
drawn somewhat inward, the teeth being absent. The chin 
was square and firm, but not unduly broad. The voice was 
gentle and tremulous. The whole figure, seated in an arm 
chair, and wearing a citizen's dress, made of dark gray cloth, 
and easy in size and style, with slippers upon the feet, and 
walking-stick within reach of the hand, presented a charming 
picture of old age, intelligence, dignity, contentment, kindness 
and piety. 

His life on earth closed about six months later, October 18, 
1843, in his ninety-second year. His funeral was celebrated 
in the Old Church at Bridgeton, and his contemporary and 
intimate friend, the Rev. Ethan Osborn, our Fairfield pas- 
tor, preached an appropriated sermon from the following 
most appropriate text: Matt. 25 : 21. "His Lord said unto 
him, A\^ell done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast 
been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over 
manv things ; enter thou into the iov of thv Lord." 

Gen. Elmer married, in 1784, Hannah Seeley, a sister of 
his brother Jonathan's wife, and a daughter of Col. Ephraim 
Seeley, one of the most enterprising and wealthy citizens of 
the county. Children were born to them : Lucius Quintius 
Cincinnatus and Sarah Smith. The latter married the Rev. 
William Neill, who was graduated at the College of New 
Jersey in 1803, received the degree of D. D. from Union 


College, was president of Dickinson College, president of the 
Trustees of the General Assembly, director of the Princeton 
Theological Seminary, pastor of the First Church of Albany 

and Church of Philadelphia, and successively Stated 

Clerk and Moderator of the General Assembly. 

There is no need of a word here in respect to L. Q. C. 
Elmer, who was born in 1793, admitted to the bar in 1815, 
elected a director of Princeton College in 1829 and continued 
in the office for many years, member of Congress from 1843 
to 1845, chosen Attorney-General of the State in 1850, and 
Judge of the Supreme Court in 1851. He held this posi- 
tion with great honor for a long term of years. About forty 
years since, he published a complete digest of the statute 
laws of the State with indexes and notes, a work of immense 
professional learning and research, demanding also the 
keenest discrimination and the soundest judgment. Several 
new editions, edited by his son-in-law. Judge Nixon, have 
been from time to time demanded. His history of Cumber- 
land is the chief source of all our knowledge of the county. 
His portraits of the Bench and the Bar of New Jersey, like the 
works of the Old Masters, will increase in value with their 
increasing age. For a half century past, South Jersey has 
contained not his peer in erudition. When he has finished 
his illustrious career on earth and gone late to heaven, let 
some skillful hand fitly portray his life, character and worth, 
and set forth the generous and benign contributions which 
he has made to the welfare of the past, present and future 
generations of men. 

One more of these Fairfield Elmers must be named, Daniel, 
fifth in direct line from the pastor. The mother of this 
Daniel was Esther Thompson. He was born September 30, 
1784. His father died when this eldest of several children 
was nine years of age. His mother entrusted him to Gen. 
Elmer with whom he lived until he was fifteen years of age, 
when he began to study law with Gen. James Giles. He was 
admitted to the bar in 1805, as soon as his age would permit, 


according to the law of the State. His prosperous and honor- 
able career at the bar for thirty-six years was crowned by his 
elevation to the bench of the Supreme Court. While filling 
this Judgeship he was elected in the Spring of 1844 a member 
of the Convention to form the new constitution of the State. 
He was a very active and prominent member. While thus in 
his greatest usefulness, he suffered a partial paralysis. In 
January, 1845, he resigned his Judgeship and withdrew from 
public affairs. He was intelligent, wise, prompt, unwearied, 
resolute, and as full of real kindness as of courtesy and 
courage. He made the impression which is imprinted upon 
the heart and mind by an upright, vigorous, noble, decisive 
and faithful man. As he studied his profession under Gen. 
Giles, so he succeeded him as President of the Cumberland 
Bank, and held the place for twenty-five years, until he became 
Judge of the Supreme Court. He was a devout Christian, with 
an intelligent preference for the faith and order of the church 
of his fathers, into whose full communion he was admitted 
when in the height of his power and fame, and in whose 
membership he died July 3, 1848. 

In 1808 he married Martha, daughter of Col. David Potter. 
His only surviving son is Charles E. Elmer, Esq., well-known 
throughout the county and prominent in the civil affairs of 
the State. Judge Daniel Elmer's only daughter, Martha 
Potter, married John Curwen,who was born in Lower Merion 
township, Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, September 20, 
1821, graduated at Yale College in 1841, received the degree 
of M. D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1844, and of 
LL. D at Jefferson College, in 1862. He has been the Physi- 
cian and Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum of Pennsyl- 
vania, at Harrisburg, since about 1850. He is a descendant 
of John Curwen, of Keswick, Cumberland county, England, 
who came to Philadelphia and settled there in 1784. 

Four years after Daniel Elmer, the Judge, was born, the 
Rev. Ethan Osborn came to this place. He was installed 
the pastor of this church, December 3, 1789. 


His call was presented in this original and characteristic 
form : 

" ' To Mr. Eathan Ozburn. 

Sir. — We the Subscribers, Members of the Presbyterian 
congregation of Fairfield in the County Cumberland, and 
State of New Jersey, having been for sometime passed Deste- 
tute of the Stated Means of Grace the Preaching of the word 
of God among us do most Sincerely lement the loss of so 
Great a blessing, and desire to bewail over our sins which has 
provoked the Lord to strip us of those privileges we have so 
long enjoyed in time passed and too much abused and being 
Deeply affected with this our bereaved situation would most 
humbly implore the Supreme Ruler of all Events, and head 
of the Church so to Dispose the hearts of this people that 
truly repenting of their Sins and returning unto God he 
would graciously return unto us and* Grant the Settlement of 
the Gospel in this place Again. — 

And Sir haveing had the oppertunity of Some Personal 
Acquaintance with and frequently hearing you preach, have 
upon the Most Mature Deliberation Unanimously agreed to 
Call and invite you to Come and take the Charge of this 
Church and Congregation : and Cannot but Entertain pleas- 
ing hopes that Devine providence has Desined you for this 
part of his Vineyard in as Much as he has inclined the hearts 
of this people to Unite in this Call. — 

and for incoragement in a temporal respect and for the 
support of yourself and family we do hereby promis and 
ingage for our selves that if you should Come among us as 
our pastor that you Shall have the whole Use of the Passonage 
in this place of one Hundred and fifty Acres of Land, with 
the houses and Buildings and improvements thereon all put 
in Good Tennantable repair, and likewise will pay unto you 
or to your Order Yearly and Every Year, while you Continue 
our Minister at the Kate of One Hundred pounds per annum, 
Gold or Silver, and do Every thing in our power to make 


your Situation among us as Comfortable and easy as poss- 

and again, Sir, we beg leave most Earnestly to Solicit and 
intreat you to Except this our call and invitation to Come 
and take the pastoral Charge of this Congregation ; you Know 
our Destitute State, and are acquainted in some Measure with 
the Dispositions and tempers of the people, we must therefore 
leave it to your own consideration, and most Sincerel}' pray 
that God May Direct you in your Deliberations thereon, and 
incline you to Determine in Such a Manner as may be most 
for his Glory and the Good of Church in General — 

Witness our hands this Twenty-fourth Day of March one 
Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-Nine.' 

Signed by one hundred and four persons, including, ap{)ar- 
ently, all the male members of the congregation." '.u!^^u^'~ 

See Presbyterian Journal, Philadelphia, September 7, 187G. 

The story of his most remarkable and worthy life and 
ministry is well told in the volume on " the Pastor of the old 
Stone Church," by his immediate successor in the pastoral 
office here, the Rev. Beriah B. Hotchkin, D. D., whose pen is 
equally graceful and accurate. It is as unnecessary here to- 
day as it is impossible to rehearse the story of Father Osborn's 
honorable and saintly course through the hundred years that 
he lived from 1758 to 1858. The singular goodness, beauty, 
wisdom, uprightness, fruitfulness, and continuance of his 
career, has no parallel perhaps in the annals of the American 
pulpit. The Future will take care of his fame ; and of him 
we may safely say : "the righteous shall be in everlasting 
remembrance." Indeed, we have never known another person 
so fit as the Rev. Ethan Osborn to represent the ideal man 
outlined in the 112th Psalm. It would require a volume to 
complete the sketch, and we must forbear, however attractive 
the theme, in order to say a few words respecting some of 
the men who enjoyed his ministry or were the fruits of it ; 
and first let us name the Elders who were then in office, and 
those who have since been ordained. 


In Mr. Osborn's " Half Century Sermon," as iwinted, he 
names Ephraim Harris, Jeremiah Bower, Jeremiah Nixon 
and Levi Stratton. Doubtless the names should be Ephraim 
Harris, Eleazer Smith, John Bower and Jeremiah Nixon. 

In 1790 five were ordained, namely : 

Levi Stratton, who had been admitted to the full com- 
munion twelve years previously, and who died February 
16th, 1 792, aged 49 years. 

John Thomas Hampton, M. D., baptized June 1, 1780, died 
September 29th, 1 794, aged 42 years. 

Amos Westcott, admitted to full communion December 2d, 
1781, died July 2d, 1815. 

Jedediah Ogden. 

Jeremiah Harris, who died January 21st, 1812. 

Four were ordained April 30, 1797, namely : 

William Bateman, admitted to full communion December 
20, 1778; died December 18, 1835, in his eighty-sixth year. 
He was many years a deacon. 

Norton Lawrence, admitted to full communion May 13, 
1783; died February 5, 1805. 

Thomas Burch ; died July 26, 1812. 

Joseph Ogden, admitted to full communion May 13, 1783 ; 
died February 6, 1806. 

Two were ordained April 10, 1803, namely : 

John Ogden, admitted to full communion May 20, 1798 ; 
died June 27 or 28, 1832, jiged 77. 

David Harris, admitted to full communion October 20, 
1799 ; died November 20, 1823. 

Four were ordained January 1, 1813 : 

Thomas Harris, admitted to the full communion October 
20, 1799 ; died March 3, 1825. 

Henry Howell, admitted to full communion August 31, 
1806 ; died September 13, 1824. 

Daniel Burt, a deacon, admitted to full communion April 
1, 1810, dismissed with others to form the First Church of 


John Howell, admitted to full communion December 3, 
1809, dismissed to form the First Church of Cedarville. 

Ephraim Westcott, admitted to the full communion Decem- 
ber, 1807, and ordained in December, 1818. He died April 22, 
1848, aged 72. 

Three were ordained July 10, 1825. 

Nathaniel Diament, admitted to full communion April 7th, 

Burgin Bateman, admitted to full communion August 6, 
1820 ; moved to Illinois in 1833. 

Ephraim Bateman, M. D., admitted to full communion 
April 5, 1810 ; died January 28, 1829. 

Three were ordained April 6, 1833. 

Asa Fish, admitted to full communion December 7, 1806; 
dismissed to First Church, Cedarville, in 1841. 

Ephraim H. Whiticar, admitted to the full communion 
April 1, 1827, died May 23, 1879, aged 81 years. 

Nathaniel Howell, admitted to the full communion, De- 
cember 3, 1809 ; died August 18, 1868. 

About 1844, John Holmes was ordained. August 11, 1847, 
he was dismissed to the First Church of Bridgeton. 

Three were ordained July 11, 1847. 

Theophilus Trenchard, dismissed to one of the Bridgeton 
churches, March 6, 1869. 

Jo'seph Campbell, admitted to full communion April 5, 
1840 ; dismissed October 10, 1849. 

Joseph F. Jaggers, admitted to full communion April 5, 
1837 ; dismissed May 5, 1870. 

Three were ordained in March, 1867. 

George S. Whiticar, baptized and admitted to full com- 
munion March 2, 1851. 

Theophilus Tomlinson, admitted to full communion March 
2, 1851. 

Samuel H. Williams, admitted to full communion March 
2, 1851. 

Two were ordained March 7, 1880 : 


Elias W. Bateman, baptized and admitted to full com- 
munion December 3, 1842. 

James H. Elmer, baptized and admitted to full com- 
munion March 7, 1858. 

These Elders form a goodly company. Three of them 
have been Diaments. A son of one of them is the Rev. 
Jeremiah Nixon Diament, son of Nathaniel Diament and his 
wife, Ruth Nixon. He was graduated at Middlebury College 
in 1856, and at Auburn Theological Seminary in 1860; 
ordained and installed pastor of Upsonville, Pa., in 1861, 
and his present address is Grant Post-office, Indiana county. 
Pa. His sister Lizzie, under our own Board, is a missionary 
among our Indians ; his sister Naomi, under the American 
Board, is a missionary in China ; his sister Mary L. is the 
wife of the Rev. James Ross Ramsey, a missionary of our 
own Board at Wewoka, Indian Territory; his wife is a 
daughter of the Rev. William Hamilton, of the Indian 
Mission of Belle View, Nebraska. This old Huguenot blood 
has not lost its virtue. 

It is only the Ogdens and the Westcotts that have given 
us more Elders than the Batemans. Of these Batemans the 
most eminent was Ephraim Bateman, born July 9, 1780. 
He studied medicine with Dr. Jonathan Elmer and in the 
University of Pennsylvania, and practiced extensively in this 
township and Downe, from 1803 to 1813, when he was elected 
a member of the Legislature. In the same year he was 
admitted to the full communion of this church. He was a 
member of Congress from 1815 to 1823 — eight years. In 
1826 he was elected to the upper house of the State Legisla- 
ture, and subsequently chosen its presiding officer. While 
in this office he was elected to the U. S. Senate. It was at 
the close of his eight years course in the U. S. House of Rep- 
resentatives that he was elected an Elder of this church. He 
died January 28, 1829, in his 49th year. 

His son, B. Rush Bateman, born March 7, 1807, studied 
medicine with his father, was graduated at Jefferson Medical 


College in 1829, and admitted to the full communion of this 
church the same year. He has had an extensive and honor- 
able practice for more than half a century, his diploma 
having an earlier date than any other registered under the 
recently enacted State law. He has given the County Medi- 
cal Society his valuable services, like his father, as President, 
and also as Treasurer and contributor of special papers pre- 
served in its archives, two of these being his own interesting 
reminiscences. His richer gifts to the profession are two 
sons, and of one of these it is permitted to speak freely. 

Robert Morrison Bateman, son of Dr. B. Rush Bateman 
and his first wife, Sarah Ann Ogden, was born September 14, 
1836, and received at his baptism the name of Morrison from 
the Missionary to China. He was dedicated to the ministry. 
Before he was fourteen years of age he was admitted to full 
communion in the First Church of Cedarville, February 24,. 
1850. Four 3'ears later, he entered the College of New Jer- 
sey, where he studied three years and then left in consequence- 
of impaired health, and for the same reason abandoned the 
purpose of the ministry. He studied medicine with his 
father, and was graduated M. D. at the University of Penn- 
sylvania in 1859. On the 7th of April in the same year, he 
married Cornelia H. Bateman, the only child of Dr. Eli E. 
Bateman. Three of their five children survive. Mrs. Bate- 
man died August 22, 1874, and on the 14th day of June, 
1876, he married Louie, eldest daughter of Walter Goff. She 
and their child survive him. He superintended the Sabbath 
School of the First Church of Cedarville eighteen years, 
where he lived and had a wide and successful practice the 
same length of time. He removed to Bridgeton in 1877, and 
died at his home there June 4, 1878, in his 42d year. He 
served in the army during 1862-3 as Assistant Surgeon of 
the Twenty-Fifth Regiment of New Jersey Volunteers, and 
his death seems to have been hastened by the service 
which he rendered in delivering the oration in Bridgeton on 
commemoration dav, the week before his death. He was an 


unceasing Christian worker, a fluent writer and speaker, a sin- 
cere and hearty devotee to the welfare of men. One monu- 
ment which he erected to his memory is his "History of the 
Medical Men and of the District Medical Society of the County 
of Cumberland," which he gave to the press in 1871. It will 
perpetuate his fame for many generations to come. His first 
wife was a granddaughter of Moses Bateman, Esq., of whom, 
as a very near and most cordial and worthy neighbor of the 
Rev. Ethan Osborn, a few words must be said. 

Moses Bateman was born July 19, 1760, and died August 
12, 1841. He wrought with his own hands in erecting this 
house, from foundation to peak of gable. Then he served his 
country in the revolutionary army, for which he received a 
pension in his later j^ears. He became a model farmer, his 
place being the most attractive one in the township, showing 
thrift everywhere, the perfection of neatness, and a delightful 
degree of beauty. He was a pattern of honesty and kindli- 
ness, with a positive disposition, and the full courage of his 
convictions. He needed no man to keep his conscience. He 
could afford to do it, and was able to do it himself. He was 
Constable of the town fifteen years, Justice of the Peace twenty 
years, and a Judge of the county ten years. So thorough was 
his intelligence, so consummate his discernment and good sense 
and so spotless his integrity, that a higher civil court never 
reversed one of his judgments. He was for a generation pre- 
eminently the Esquire of the township. To his eldest son, 
Moses, he gave a medical education. This young physician 
entered the army at the beginning of the war of 1812-14, and 
among the troops defending Philadelphia he died at Billings- 
port, New Jersey, in the service of the United States, Novem- 
ber 7, 1814, in the 30th year of his age. 

Eli E. Bateman, a son of Moses Bateman, Esq., was born 
Oct. 3, 1805. He acquired his academical education under 
the instruction of Matthew Seymour, Rev. John Burtt and 
others, and studied the classic languages under the instruc- 
tion of the Rev. Ethan Osborn. He was graduated M. D. at 


the University of Pennsylvania in 1833, purchased and took 
possession of the property of the late Dr. Daniel C. Pier- 
son, in Cedarville, the same year, and for forty-seven 
years past he has lived there in a most intelligent, skill- 
ful and beneficent practice of his profession. Beloved for his 
father's sake by his pastor, when he was a classical pupil of 
the Rev. Ethan Osborn, the relations between the teacher and 
the pupil became those of intimate friendship, which grew all 
the stronger with increasing years, so that, early in his prac- 
tice, this Dr. Bateman became the physician of Mr. Osborn 
and his family, and he continued to be until the pastor's 
death, for whom he performed a minor surgical operation 
when the venerable man was in his ninety-fourth year. 

Another of our good Bateman Elders was Burgin Bateman. 
He moved to Illinois in 1833, taking with him among his 
children one of our brightest Fairfield boys, Newton Bate- 
man, born July 27, 1822. This youth, in his seventeenth 
year, was permitted to prepare himself for college. He had 
no teacher, and there was no room in his father's house in 
which he could study ; but near the house stood an old elm 
tree, eleven feet in diameter. He tried it, and found it hol- 
low, and then cut a door in the side of it, removed some of 
the dead wood, put down a carpet, made a rough table and 
stool, built a fire in front of the door, and commenced the 
Latin grammar. He made the preparation for college in 
four months and entered the Freshman class. He worked 
his way through, and was graduated at Illinois College in 
1843 at twenty-one years of age. He entered Lane Theologi- 
cal Seminary, but soon left it, in order to travel and sell a 
chart of histor}'. In eighteen months he visited all parts of 
the country, from Maine to Texas, and studied men of every 
kind. He then taught a private school in St. Louis, and 
made it very prosperous. From 1847 to 1851 he was the 
Professor of Mathematics in St. Charles College, Missouri, 
and then became principal of the Public Free School of 
Jacksonville, Illinois. Here he fitted one hundred students 


for college and as many more for teachers — being at the 
same time Superintendent of Schools for the city and Com- 
missioner of Schools for the county. He was re-elected 
County Commissioner without opposition. After devoting 
seven years to this work, he resigned it, and became princi- 
pal of the Jacksonville Female Academy in 1858 ; but he 
was elected before the close of the year, State Superintendent 
of Public Instruction. In the meantime he had taken a 
foremost and toilsome part, for three years, in the successful 
effort to establish the Normal University. Five times he was 
elected State Superintendent for two 3'^ears each, and every 
time, except one, by a larger majority than any other man 
on the successful Republican ticket with him. He published 
near the end of each term a masterly volume in the form of 
a report, and the volumes of the series have placed him in 
the front rank of educational writers. It is believed that the 
reports of no other State Superintendent, except Horace 
Mann, have ever received so wide and profound attention 
and study in this country. During the years 18fc)2-4 he had 
charge of the correspondence of the Provost Marshal General 
of the State, and kept thirty-five clerks busy in this work. 
He then resumed the State Superintendency of Public 
Instruction. He was appointed by the National Association 
of Superintendents to be one of the committee of three to ask 
Congress to establish the Bureau of Education ; and the 
committee were charged to prepare a bill for the purpose. 
He went to Washington on this business in 18G7, and the 
law now in force is essentially the committee's draft. He 
sometimes has made an hundred public addresses a year, and 
he rarely repeats one more than five times. He makes good 
use of his native language and of a persuasive eloquence. In 
1874 he was elected president of Knox College, and success- 
fully fills the office, showing himself well worthy of his 
degree of Doctor of Laws. 

The Westcotts surpass even the Batemans in the number 
of Elders they have given us, and are equalled by the 


Ogdens only — five of each. Two Westcotts and two Ogdens 
were in the session in 1759. John Westcott, a school teacher, 
living in Bridgeton when it was on the verge of the congre- 
gation, was the father of James D. Westcott, who was born 
January 'IQ, 1775. The next year the father entered the 
army as lieutenant and soon became captain, and fought in 
the battles of Trenton, Brand3^wine, Germantown and Mon- 
mouth. The son was educated in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania. He became a printer and an editor, and published 
the Argus, in Bridgeton, from 1794 to 1796, and married 
during the time Ann Harris Hampton, daughter of Dr. 
John Thomas Hampton, an Elder of our Session, and 
Treasurer of our Trustees. He subsequently went to Wash- 
ington, and was in the printing business there a few years, 
and during this time his son, James D. Westcott, Jr., was 
born in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In 1810 he purchased the 
Bellers' land-title to a large part of this township, one claim 
stretching from Fairton to the mouth of Back creek and 
another covering Jones' Island. The result of a law-suit was 
an arbitration which compelled the occupants of the land to 
pay $3.25 per acre, whatever its quality. Much of the land 
was not then worth this price. But most of the holders paid 
the money and took legal deeds from Mr. Westcott, and he 
was two or three years busy with this work, living at Cedar- 
ville. Then he lived for a time on Jones' Island. Afterwards, 
for about five years, he w^as United States Collector of the 
Port of Bridgeton. In 1816 he was elected a member of the 
State Assembly, and in 1820 a member of the upper house of 
the Legislature, and for many years he was the Presiding 
Judge of the County Court of Common Pleas. In 1829 he 
was elected by the Legislature Secretary of State, and was 
re-elected several times, so that he held this ofiice ten years, 
living in Trenton, where he died in 1841. His widow sur- 
vived him until 1849. They had a large family of children. 
Hampton became a naval officer. James studied law, 
practiced in Bridgeton, married a daughter of John Sibley, 


sister of Samuel Shute Sibley and of the present John Sibley 
of Philadelphia. President Jackson appointed him Secretary 
of Florida, and he became the acting Governor. The Legis- 
lature of that State elected him in 1856 a Senator of the 
United States. During the war he went to Canada, and 
continued to reside in Montreal until his death — perhaps a 
year since. His brother John made his home in Florida, 
and was for a time its Surveyor-General. Gideon Granger, 
another of the brothers, became a prosperous Philadelphia 
merchant and the Postmaster of that city. George Clinton 
became an accomplished and gallant officer in the United 
States army, won the favor of Gen. Scott in Mexico, by his 
meritorious conduct, and received two brevets. He married 
a daughter of his mother's half-sister, Mrs. John E. Jeffries. 
His wife's sister married the Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Willey, one 
of our first ministers in California. This faithful captain 
died in 1853 at sea, while on his way to California. Another 
brother of this large family, Bayse Newcomb Westcott, was 
named after one of our Fairfield men who became an eminent 
lawyer of Philadelphia. This brother has attained a high 
rank as an officer in the United States Navy. 

Our Elder Hampton had other children than Mrs. Westcott. 
One son was the late Dr. Isaac H. Hampton, born June 12^ 
1785, who lived here until he was graduated M. D., at the 
University of Pennsylvania, in 1802, at the remarkably early 
age of seventeen years. He commenced practice in Wood- 
bury, married the daughter of Gen. Giles in 1810, and the 
next 3^ear removed to Bridgeton, where he became an eminent 
physician and a celebrated conversationalist, as well as an ar- 
dent Whig politician. He celebrated his golden wedding, April 
23, 1860, and passed away from earth September 4, in the 
same year. He was the father of James Giles Hampton, who 
was graduated at the College of New Jersey in 1835, studied 
law, became a practitioner in Bridgeton, and was a member 
of Congress four years from 1846-49. 

The latest of our Westcott Elders is memorable for his 


children. One of them, John H., was graduated at the 
College of New Jersey, and became a classical teacher in 
Philadelphia. Another, Lorenzo, was graduated with honor at 
the same college in 1852, and at the Princeton Theological Sem- 
inary in 1855. He was ordained pastor of the Green Avenue 
Church, of Brooklyn, October 16, 1856. He was afterwards 
pastor of Warrior Run, in Pennsylvania, and resigned that 
charge to become a professor in Lincoln University, whence 
he was providentially called to be the Professor of Theology 
in Howard University, at Washington, D. C. His splendid 
personal appearance attracted attention in any company, and 
the courtesy and grace of his manners were surpassed only 
by the Christian devotion and zeal of his heart. He was a 
fine scholar, and died, all too soon for us, in the midst of his 
great usefulness, at Germantown, Pa., June 5, 1879, aged 50 
years. His younger brother, Franklin F. Westcott, a lawyer 
of Bridgeton, a man of superior abilities, died j^oung, while 
rapidly winning the honors and rewards of his profession. 

Another good man of this family is Robert Raikes West- 
cott, who was graduated at the College of New Jersey in 1863, 
and at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1866, and 
ordained the next year. He has been for the last ten years 
the pastor of Clarinda, Iowa. 

The Westcotts have extended their activity and enterprise 
over a wide range of employments. One of them has become 
prominent in the construction and management of railroads. 
This is Ebenezer Westcott, who had the chief part in bring- 
ing the Cumberland and Maurice River railroad into exist- 
ence, and was the president of it for several years. The 
station nearest this Old Stone Church, on his own farm, he 
called after his own name, Westcott His residence is now 
in the city of Camden; but as a railroad builder, he is 
pushing his business on more than one line. He is the 
son of Ebenezer and Hannah (Low) Westcott, and was born 
some six miles south of this Old Stone Church, on the 23d of 
October, 1814. His brother, the Rev. Henry Westcott, pastor 


of the Baptist Church, of Milburn, New Jersey, was born in 
181G, and is laboriously and faithfully pursuing the duties of 
his most worthy and useful calling. 

Our Elder Daniel Burt was born August 14, 1765, and died 
November 19, 1843. His father, John, came from East Jersey. 
The Elder's first wife was Abigail Harris. Their son, Daniel 
Lawrence Burt, was born May 10, 1793, and died February 
29, 1872. He married Sarah Clark, November 16, 1813. Her 
great-grandfather came from Long Island, and the name of 
both her father and grandfather was James. Daniel L. Burt's 
children were Sarah Clark, James Clark, Cornelia, Nathaniel 
Clark and Abigail. Of these children, Sarah Clark married 
Jonathan Russell, and their son, James Burt Russell, is a 
banker of Champaign, Illinois. James Clark Burt, born Feb- 
ruary 1, 1817, studied in Lafayette College and in Hanover 
College, and was graduated at the latter. He studied medi- 
cine in Philadelphia and Cincinnati. He married first Ann 
Butler, of Hanover, Indiana, made his home in Vernon, 
Indiana, and practiced medicine there thirty-three years, until 
his death. He entered the full communion of the Vernon 
Church in 1845, and was ordained an Elder thereof in 1851. 
He was wise, generous, kindly and faithful in the fulfillment 
of the duties of the office. He was an intelligent, energetic 
and skillful physician, being at the head of his profession in 
the county, and often consulted in difficult cases. He was 
the U. S. Medical Examiner for the county, and for ten years 
a Trustee of the Deaf and Dumb Institution of the State. He 
married for his second wife Martha Elizabeth Howell, of 
Cedarville, New Jersey. His eldest son, William N., is a pro- 
fessor in the Deaf and Dumb Institution at Indianapolis. 
His second son, James Clark, was graduated at Hanover Col- 
lege in 1867, and then studied two years in the Princeton 
Theological Seminary, was ordained in 1874, and is the min- 
ister of the churches of Vernon, North Vernon and Graham, 

Nathaniel Clark, second son of Daniel L. and Sarah Burt, 


was born in Fairton, April 23, 1825. He was graduated at 
the College of New Jersey, valedictorian of his class, in 1846, 
and at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1850, ordained 
pastor of the First Church, Springfield, Ohio, June 1, 1850; 
installed pastor of the Franklin Street Church, Baltimore, in 
1855, and of the Seventh Church or Broadway Street Church, 
Cincinnati, in 1860 and retained this charge eight years. On 
account of ill health he travelled, in 1866, through Europe, 
Egypt and Syria. When the same cause impelled him to re- 
sign his pastoral charge, in 1868, he was elected president of 
the Ohio Female College ; and he well fulfilled the duties of 
the office for two years, as long as failing health permitted. 
In the summer of 1870 he sailed with his family for Europe, 
and remained there, mainly in the southern part, until his 
death, which occurred in Rome, March 4, 1874. He made a 
free and excellent use of his pen, as well as of his speech, and 
published his first volume, "Redemption's Dawn," in 1852, 
and subsequently "Hours among the Gospels," "The Ear East," 
and fourthly, "The Laud and its Story." He possessed many 
elements of a lovely, noble, beneficent, Christian manhood. 
He was scholarly, eloquent and spiritual. His clear intellect 
was united with a vigorous imagination and a gentle humor 
that was no less spontaneous than it was charming. He per- 
ceived quickly and accurately, and expressed his thoughts 
and observations with grace and precision. He wrote much 
for periodicals, both secular and religious, and the place of 
his birth may well prize his life, character, deeds and benign 

influence. He received the degree of D. D. at college. 

On the 29th of May, 1850, he married Rebecca A. Belden, of 
Salem, New Jersey. She survives him with three of their 
four daughters, Mary, Sarah, Cornelia, Frances. His burial 
place is the Protestant Cemetery, at Rome, where many un- 
speakably precious forms sleep in Jesus. His widow resides 
in Bridgeton, and his youngest sister, Abigail, at the home- 
stead, in Fairton. His mother's sister Ruth was the mother 
of the Rev. W. L. Githens, one of our honorable and faithful 


men of Fairfield, who is the rector of the P. E. Church of the 
Advent, in San Francisco. Another sister, Bathsheba, was 
the mother of Francis Marion Wood, who was graduated at 
the College of New Jersey, in 1858, and at the Princeton The- 
ological Seminary in 1861, and who not long since was pas- 
tor-elect of Oxford, Ohio. Ruth, daughter of James Clark, 
Sr., was successively the wife of Rev. Nathaniel Ogden and 
Rev. Abijah Davis. The former was graduated at the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania in 1793, and studied theology under 
the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Emmons, of Franklin, Massachusetts. 
Bathsheba, second daughter of James Clark, Sr., was the 
mother of the Rev. Theophilus Parvin, who was born here in 
1798, graduated at the University of Pennsylvania, married 
Mary, daughter of Cassar A. Rodney, ordained as a mission- 
ary, went under the A. B. C. F. M. to South America, in 1823, 
in connection with the Rev. Mr. Bingham, settled in Buenos 
Ayres, where he remained until 1830, and then returned 
home in ill health. He died December 15, 1835. He left 
two children — Mary, who married, first, Rev. Joseph Porter, 
and secondly. Rev. Levi Janvier, both being missionaries in 
India ; and Theophilus, who studied medicine and is now at 
the head of his profession in the city of Indianapolis, the cap- 
ital of Indiana. 

Elder Daniel Burt's daughter, Abigail, married David 
Harris, and one of their sons is the Rev. Daniel Burt Harris, 
of the M. E. Church. 

One of the Elders in 1759 was Henry Pierson. Of this 
family a word must be said respecting three generations of 
physicians. Dr. Azel Pierson seems to have studied medicine 
with Dr. Ebenezer Elmer, and commenced practice in Cedar- 
ville, in 1789, before he was twenty-two years of age. He 
was appointed Clerk of the county in 1804, and held the office 
eight years, until his death in 1812 at the early age of forty- 
six years. While Clerk of the county he lived in Bridgeton ; 
but his grave is here. His son, Azel, Jr., is the author of 
Rose's Arithmetic, a school book which was for a generation 


much in use, especially as being the first to give in its 
examples prices in the decimal money of the United States. 
He became a schoolmaster of much celebrity, as some of his 
scholars yet living will testify. He carefully prepared this 
arithmetic for his own use in school, and at his death the 
manuscript came into the possesion of Mr. Rose, merchant, 
in Bridgeton, who deemed it well worth publication. It had 
a very extensive sale, being for many years the most popular 
book of the kind in the country. Azel died in 1824 at the 
early age of thirty years, and is buried in the Presbyterian 
cemetery in Bridgeton. Another son of Dr. Azel Pierson, 
Daniel C. Pierson, born in Cedarville, October 9, 1792, studied 
medicine with his father, and was graduated at the University 
of Pennsylvania, M. D., in 1814. He gave a year thereafter to 
the settlement of his father's estate, and commenced the 
practice of his profession at Cedarville, in 1815. When he 
was twenty-eight years old, he w^ent to Vincennes, Indiana, 
on foot, except from Pittsburg to Cincinnati by skiff. He 
entered the full communion of this church in 1S2S, and in 
the same year took the lead in organizing the first temper- 
ance society formed in the county — an enterprise whose need 
and difficulty few can now understand. The Rev. Ethan 
Osborn and Dr. B. Rush Bateman gave him efficient support. 
He moved in 1833 to Jacksonville, and in 1850 to Augusta, 
Illinois, where he died January 29, 1857. He was an Elder 
both at Jacksonville and Augusta — a man of great intelli- 
gence, versatility and usefulness. He married Naomi Nixon. 
Of his Fairfield children Jeremiah is and has been for twenty 
years past the Justice of the Peace of Jacksonville. Daniel 
studied medicine with his father and practiced thirty-three 
years in Augusta, until his death in 1879, being always as 
resolute against intemperance as his father. William became 
a teacher of the Cherokees in the Indian Territory, and died 
in 1854. George, born herein 1826, was graduated in Illinois 
College in 1848, and at Andover Theological Seminary in 
1851. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Jacksonville, 


November 9, 1851. He married Salome Dexter of Augusta, 
Illinois, the next month, and they went forthwith as mis- 
sionaries to the Choctaw Indians. Their health failed the 
next year, and they turned their faces homeward. Mrs. 
Pierson died on the way, at Little Rock, Arkansas, September 
14, 1852. The next two years the Rev. Mr. Pierson studied 
medicine in the College of Cincinnatti, Ohio, and Albany, 
New York, and obtained his degree. The American Board 
desired him to labor in Micronesia — the world of small 
islands in the Pacific. He consented. In October, 1854, he 
married Miss N. A. Shaw, of Delaware county. New York. 
They sailed the next month from Boston by Cape Horn and 
the Hawaiian Islands for their destination, where they labored 
faithfully as missionaries until the failure of Mrs. Pierson's 
health, when they returned to the United States in 1860. The 
Rev. Dr. Pierson thereupon began to minister to the Presby- 
terian Church of Brooklyn, California, across the bay from 
San Francisco, and there well fulfilled the duties of his 
office ten 3^ears ; then, for five years, to the church of Adel, 
Iowa. In May, 1876, he was installed pastor of the church 
at Solomon, Kansas, where his venerable Fairfield mother 
lives with him. How thankful she may be for such a hus- 
band and children as her own ! How much she has done to 
make them such ! 

Next to the Ogdens and the Westcotts the Harrises have 
had the largest part in our Eldership. Ephraim Harris, Esq., 
was ordained February 14, 1771, before the death of Pastor 
Ramsay, and continued in office more than twenty years. He 
was, perhaps, the second man in the county, and prominent 
in the State, a member of the Legislature of 1776, when it 
formed the first constitution of the State, and he afterwards 
served in both branches, being the presiding officer, of the 
Assembly in 1782. He was the most intelligent member of 
the Session when the Rev. Ethan Osborn began to moderate 
it. He was probably a son of Capt. Thomas Harris, who 
went to England in 1750, for the people here, and made an 


unsuccessful effort to buy the Sellers' title to the land in the 
central and southern part of the township. Ephraira's son 
Thomas was an Elder, and this Thomas was the father of 
Theophilus E. Harris, Sheriff of the county from 1848 to '51, 
father of James, William, Thomas Urban, Albert and others. 

Jeremiah Nixon was ordained an Elder in 1777. He was 
one of seven children, and the eldest son of the founder of 
the family in this county, whose name was Jeremiah also, and 
who established himself on a fine farm at Jones' Island, 
where he died August 2, 1766, aged 60 years. The Jeremiah 
who became our Elder in 1777, died October 11, 1798, having 
been an Elder more than twentj'^-one years. The only son of 
this Elder was Jeremiah, born in 1770 and died in 1812. 
The eldest son of the latter was Jeremiah Smith Nixon, who 
was born September 20, 1794, on the family farm, Jones' 
Island, where all his Cumberland county Nixon ancestors 
lived and died. In his later years his residence was in 
Bridgeton, where he was a member of the West Presbyterian 
Church, and where he died April 24, 1878. He married, 
April 30, 1816, Mary Shaw Thompson, who was born Decem- 
ber 22, 1794, on the family farm, adjoining the Nixon farm. 
Her death occurred in Dennisville, New Jersey, December 
14, 1861. They were the parents of a remarkable family of eight 
children: Isabel Sheppard, William Garrison, John Thomp- 
son, James Oscar, Rhoda Smith, Mary Eliza, Jeremiah How- 
ard and Anna Elmer. Isabel married Samuel T. Bodine, for 
many years a prominent business man, church supporter and 
Christian worker in Philadelphia, an Elder of the Presbyte- 
rian Church, a director of the Pennsylvania railroad, a man 
of recognized influence in the affairs of the city, as genial as 
he was resolute and commanding. Their two sons are well 
known for their intelligence, energy and success in conduct- 
ing a large manufacturing business in Bridgeton, and also 
for their liberality, as earnest Presbyterians, in the support of 
Christian and benevolent enterprises. 

William Garrison Nixon, born on the old Thompson home- 


stead, December 6, 1818, entered in his youth a banking insti- 
tution in Philadelphia. His health failed, and to restore it 
he returned to his father's house in Bridgeton, in 1839. He 
was soon able to accept a clerkship in the Cumberland bank. 
Mr. Charles Read had been its cashier from its organization, 
in 1816. He died in 1844, and Mr. Nixon was elected his 
successor, and how efficiently he has filled it for thirty-six 
years is well known. The bank has been eminently sound, 
prosperous, largely increasing its capital and its business and 
usefulness, while he has become one of the foremost men of 
the city in general intelligence, social position, cpsthetic cul- 
ture, moral and financial power, and beneficent and Christian 
influence. November 8, 1843, he married Sarah Boyd, daugh- 
ter of James B. Potter, a son of Col. David Potter of the revo- 
lutionary army, father of Dr. J. Barron Potter, Col. William 
E. Potter and others. Mr. Potter was the brother-in-law of 
Judge Daniel Elmer, whom he succeeded as the president of 
the bank when the latter resigned on becoming Judge of the 
Supreme Court. Mr. Nixon's elder son, James Boyd, is the 
Nixon, of Potter and Nixon, lawyers, Bridgeton. The younger, 
William Barron, is his father's assistant in the bank. 

John Thompson Nixon was born in Fairton, August 31, 
1820, prepared for college in Bridgeton, graduated with dis- 
tinguished honors at the College of New Jersey in 1841, and 
for two years thereafter was directed in his study of law by 
ex-Governor Elias P. Seeley ; he then studied a year in the 
Valley of Virginia, with the Hon. Isaac S. Pennybacker, U. 
S. Judge for the Western District of Virginia, until 
he was admitted to the bar of Virginia, in May, 1844. 
The next summer he returned to his native State and 
received his license to practice in New Jersey at the October 
term of the Supreme Court, in 1845. He was elected a mem- 
ber of the Legislature in 1848 and again the next year, and 
was chosen Speaker of the House when he was twenty-nine 
years of age. In the autumn of 1858, the First District of 
New Jersey elected him a member of the Thirty-sixth 


Congress of the United States, and re-elected him to the Thirty- 
seventh Congress in 1860. He was a prominent member of 
the Committee of Commerce throughout the four years. He 
declined to serve a third term, though his course had been 
brilliant, effective, and eminently satisfactory and grateful, 
as well as honorable, to the great majority of the District. 
In 1863 he was invited to deliver the annual address during 
commencement week, before the two Literary Societies of the 
College of New Jersey. He chose for his theme : "Endur- 
ance — Individual and National." His oration was both 
scholarly and eloquent, and peculiarly appropriate to the hour 
in the dark day of the war for the Union, a week before the 
capture of Vicksburg and the glorious victory of Gettysburg. 
In 1864 he became one of the trustees of the college, and has 
ever since devoted much time and attention to the institu- 
tion. In 1870 President Grant appointed him to be the 
United States Judge for the District of New Jersey, and he 
continues to fill this high and responsible office, with great 
ability, learning and rectitude. He prepared the second, 
third and fourth editions of Judge L. Q. C. Elmer's Digest of 
the Statute Laws of the State, with copious indexes and a 
complete body of notes — the second edition in 1855 and the 
fourth in 1868. He also prepared a "Book of Forms" for 
popular use, admirably adapted to their purpose. He has 
given much attention to Sabbath School work, having been 
eighteen years a superintendent of a Sabbath School. In 
the General Assembly of the Church, as a Ruling Elder, he 
has been repeatedly a prominent member. He was especially 
active in the Old School Assembly of 1869 in promoting the 
re-union. He was a member of the last General Assembly 
at Madison, Wisconsin, and is now, as for two years past, a 
member of the General Assembly's committee of seven min- 
isters and five Elders engaged in revising the Form of 
Government and Book of Discipline. He is one of four 
residuary legatees to whom the late John C. Green entrusted 
for distribution to religious and charitable objects an estate 


of more than seven millions of dollars — a sum far exceeding 
the assessed value of half the real and personal property in 
Cumberland county ; seven times the assessed value of this 
whole township of Fairfield. Judge Nixon married, Septem- 
ber 24, 1851, Mary Hirst, youngest daughter of Judge L. Q. C. 
Elmer. They have several children. 

James Oscar Nixon was born in Cedarville, April 13, 1822. 
He became, in early manhood, a partner with his uncle James 
B. Thompson, merchant tailor, New York, and took charge of 
a branch of the large business in New Orleans. But the bus- 
iness did not suit him. He withdrew from it and formed a 
partnership with a friend, and they purchased the New Or- 
leans Crescent, a daily and weekly newspaper. They speedily 
made it equal to any paper in the city, and maintained this 
position until it was seized and confiscated by the military 
force employed in suppressing the rebellion. Since the close 
of the war, impaired health has kept him from active busi- 
ness. He married, in 1846, Martha Inskeep, of New Orleans, 
a granddaughter of Gen. James Giles, of Bridgeton. Their 
only son, James Oscar Nixon, Jr., is a young lawyer of bright 
prospects in New Orleans. 

Rhoda Smith Nixon, born in Cedarville, June 1, 1825, mar- 
ried Henry Sheppard in 1844. They forthwith made their 
home in Springfield, Missouri, where they maintained a char- 
acter worthy of their Presbyterian and patriotic blood. Their 
only son was graduated at the U. S. Naval Academy, but has 
become a prominent young lawyer in Springfield. 

Mary Eliza Nixon, born in Cedarville, July 3, 1827, mar- 
ried David Potter Elmer, February 19, 1852. Bridgeton has 
been their home ever since the marriage. They have two 
sons and one daughter. The orange blossoms have recently 
been fragrant in the West Church of Bridgeton. The chief 
clergyman was the bride's uncle, namely : 

J. Howard Nixon, born November 27, 1829, gradu- 
ated with honor at the College of New Jersey in 1851, 
and three years later at the Princeton Theological Sem- 


inary, ordained pastor of the Church of Cambridge, New 
York, in June, 1856, and four years later installed the pastor 
of the First Church of Indianapolis. His ministry was 
acceptable, prosperous and faithful in both places ; but failing 
health compelled him to resign these charges — the last in 
1868. The next year he accepted the superintendency of the 
public schools of Springfield, Missouri, and in 1871, the 
presidency of the Female College, at St. Charles, in that 
Commonwealth. He raised the institution from decline to 
vigor and usefulness ; but as soon as he was able to resume 
pastoral work, he resigned his place at its head, and accepted 
the pastorate of the Central Church, of Wilmington, Dela- 
ware, which has been flourishing under his wise, active and 
faithful ministry for two years past. While the pastor of the 
" Old White Meeting House," he married Flora, daughter of 
the Rev. Mr. Jewell. They have one son and two daughters. 
He received his degree of D. D. from College, 

Anna Elmer Nixon married Gen. John B. Sanborn in 1865. 
He was an officer of distinction in the army, and is now a 
public spirited citizen and a prominent lawyer in St. Paul, 
Minnesota. She died in May, 1878. 

A half brother of Jeremiah Smith Nixon, whose children^ 
have been named, is George W. Nixon, who married Marthat 
Harris. He was born November 11, 1804, and her birthday was 
May 23, 1811. Their eldest son, George Franklin, was born 
October 18, 1833, and was admitted to the full communion 
of the Church at fourteen years of age. He became a printer 
in Philadelphia; and, in 1858, an owner of the Bridgeton 
Chronicle, having a half interest five years and then the 
whole. He was the sole proprietor sixteen years. He started 
the Bridgeton Daily in September, 1873, published it six 
years, and then sold both Chronicle and Daily to Mr. Alfred 
M. Heston, the present owner. 

Another son of George W. and Martha Harris Nixon is 
James Harris Nixon, who was born in 1838, graduated at the 
College of New Jersey in 1858, studied law with John F. 


Hageman, Esq., of Princeton, one year, and with his cousin, 
Hon. .John T. Nixon, two years, was admitted to practice in 
1863, a member of the New Jersey Legislature seven consec- 
utive years from 1865 to 1871, four in the Assembly and then 
three in the Senate, chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 
both the Assembly and the Senate, the Republican candidate 
two years for the Speakership of the Assembly, candidate for 
Presidential Elector in 1876. He is a good Presbyterian, a 
lawyer of high standing, eminent ability, great influence, his 
attractive personal appearance indicating a sound mind in a 
sound body. 

Our Stratton and Preston Elders were related. Benjamin 
Stratton 2d, (son of Benjamin, son of Richard of Easthamp- 
ton and Southampton, L. I.), married Abigail Preston, daugh- 
ter of Levi Preston, and granddaughter of Levi Preston, of 
Salem, New England. This Stratton-Preston marriage was 
on November 28, 1723, and the bride's father was our Elder 
Levi Preston, and our Elder Isaac Preston was her uncle. 

One fruit of it was our Elder Levi Stratton. ( )ther sons 
were Benjamin and John. Levi was the father of Daniel 
Preston Stratton, father of the Rev. James and Rev. Daniel 
Stratton. Levi's brother Benjamin was the father of Dr. 
James, the father of Governor Charles C. Stratton, and of the 
Rev. Samuel Stratton. Levi's brother John was the father of 
Nathan Leake Stratton, father of the Rev. Dr. Joseph Buck 
Stratton and Charles P. Stratton, Esq. Thus, from that Ben- 
jamin, who was the father of our Elder Levi Stratton, have 
descended all those goodly generations of Strattons that trace 
their ancestry backward to this old church. 

There is one house in Fairton that has been, it is thought, 
the birth-place of at least three of our ablest men, namely : 
the Hon. Jonathan Ogden, .Judge Nixon, and the Rev. Joseph 
Fithian Garrison, M. D., D. D. The grandfather of the latter, 
William Garrison, M^as a captain of New Jersey Volunteers 
in the revolutionary army. His father was Dr. Charles Gar- 
rison, who formerly practised here, and more recently in 


Swedesborough. His mother was Hannah Leake Fithian, 
daughter of Amos Fithian, of Cedarville, and his grand- 
mothers were sisters, Ruth Leake, who married Captain Wil- 
liam Garrison, and Rachel, who married Amos Fithian. 
Joseph F. Garrison prepared for college mainly under the 
Rev. Samuel D. Blythe, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of 
Woodbury, " who illustrated as one of nature's noblemen, as 
well as a true minister of Christ, the precept that he very 
often repeated, and always endeavored to live out : * My boys, 
first be Christian men, then be gentlemen.' " Mr. Garrison 
entered the Sophomore class of the College of New Jersey in 
1839, and was graduated in 1842, with two above him and 
about seventy below him in his class. He studied medicine 
with his father and with Drs. Edward Pease and William 
Pepper, attending physicians of the Pennsylvania Hospital. 
He was also a medical student in the University of Penn- 
sylvania, at which he was graduated M. D. in 1845. He 
began the practice immediately in Swedesborough, with his 
father, where he continued ten years, in tlie later years study- 
ing divinity under the Rev. Dr. Boggs, as well as practicing 
his profession. In June, 1855, he was ordained in Trinity 
Church, Swedesborough, a deacon in the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, by the Rt. Rev. G. W. Doane, D. D., Bishop of New 
Jersey. He was soon after called to the charge of St. Paul's 
Church, Camden, New Jersey, and was there ordained to the 
priesthood in the following year. He has ministered in this 
church twenty-five years, and continues to be its rector. He 
received the honorary degree of D. D. at the College of New 
Jersey, in 1879. He is also the Dean of the Convocation of 
Burlington, a member of the Standing Committee of the Dio- 
cese, one of the Examining Chaplains of the Bishop, and was 
a member of the last three General Conventions of the Church 
in the United States. He has been a frequent contributor to 
the Reviews and other periodicals of the Church, published 
occasional sermons, patriotic addresses and other productions 
of his pen. He married, April 25, 1848, Elizabeth V. Grant, 


daughter of the Rev. John L. Grant, pastor of the Eleventh 
Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia. Their eldest son was a 
student in the Department of Arts of the University of Penn- 
sylvania and graduated M. D. at this University, in 1872. 
He practiced medicine about five years in Swedesborough, 
then studied law with S. H. Grey, Esq., of Camden, where he 
is now settled as a practicing lawyer. Their second son, 
William Halsey Garrison, is a student in Harvard College. 
The third son, Lindley Miller Garrison, is a scholar in the 
Academy of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in Philadelphia. 
The fourth son, Joseph Lea Garrison, is at school in Camden. 
The children are all sons. Dr. Garrison's natural endow- 
ments, orderly habits, persistent industry, social attractions, 
great scholarship, high character generally, and exemplary 
Christian spirit and activities have given him a commanding 
position in the Diocese of New Jersey, and extended his be- 
nign influence far beyond it. 

Another of the strong men, whose birth and childhood 
were here, but whom the city has attracted, is the Hon. Isaac 
A. Sheppard, who was born July 11, 1826. He is the eldest 
son of Ephraim and Mary Westcott Sheppard, his mother 
being a daughter of John Westcott, Esq. His parents died 
while he was young, and he entered, as an apprentice, into 
the employment of Charles W. Warnick & Co., stove founders, 
Philadelphia, for whom he worked until 1859, when, with six 
of his fellow- workmen, he founded the firm of Isaac A. Shep- 
pard & Co. For two years it was the severest toil, most 
persistent effort, thorough business integrity, and unsurpassed 
excellence of its productions, that sustained the house. Then 
it began its steady march in its course of prosperity towards 
its present place in the foremost rank. In February, 1879, 
one of the original partners died, two withdrew, and Mr. 
Sheppard's eldest son entered the firm, giving father and son 
a controlling interest, but its name and character are 
unchanged. Their foundry at first was at Seventh street and 
Girard avenue. In 1866 they purchased a block at Eastern 


avenue and Chester street, Baltimore, where they built a 
second large foundry. In 1871 they purchased the block on 
Fourth street and Montgomery avenue, Philadelphia, and 
built the most complete establishment of the kind in the 
United States. Their two foundries now cover more than 
five acres of ground, and employ between three hundred and 
four hundred men, and sell nearly seven hundred thousand 
dollars' worth of their manufactures a year — more than two 
thousand dollars' worth a day. They have covered the site of 
their old foundry with stores, which are rented for the sale of 
dry goods and other merchandise. Mr. Sheppard served 
three years in the Legislature of Pennsylvania, and became 
a very influential member, being indeed the last year, as 
chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, the leader 
of the body. He had a chief part in devising and passing 
the general law respecting building associations, to the opera- 
tion of which it is due that Philadelphia is superlatively the 
city of homes. He is the city's Trustee of the Northern 
Liberty Gas Works, a member of the city's Board of Educa- 
tion, a Director and Vice President of the National Security 
Bank, an active member of the Union League from the begin- 
ning of its history, a prominent officer in the Masonic Order. 
As Grand Master of the State of Pennsylvania in the Order 
of Odd Fellows, he has had the largest jurisdiction in the 
Order, comprising a membership of nearly one hundred 
thousand men ; he represents the State of Pennsylvania in 
the Grand Lodge of the United States. He is an active and 
influential member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, being 
a vestryman of Zion Church and the superintendent of its 
Sabbath School. He is usually a member of the annual Con- 
vention of the diocese of Pennsylvania. He has the reputa- 
tion of being as kindly and generous as he is energetic and 
trustworthy. He married Caroline Mary Holmes, February 
5,1850. Their surviving children are three sons. The eldest, 
Franklin Lawrence Sheppard, was born in 1852, graduated at 
University of Pennsj'lvania at the head of his class and 


with the highest honors, in 1872 ; was forthwith employed 
in his father's business, and admitted as a partner in the 
firm in February, 1879, married five years since, has three 
children, and resides in Baltimore, where he has special 
charge of the business of the firm in that city. The other 
sons are younger and in school. 

Other rich and wholesome fruit of this congregation may 
be seen by a visit to Clayton, New Jersey, In the list of two 
hundred and eleven names of men who are or have been 
Trustees of this church since its incorporation, August 4, 
1783, is the name of William Moore ; and it would not be 
amiss for us, while he is in our grateful remembrance for 
other good deeds, to be specially thankful, that he has given 
to the Church and the country his two sons, John M. Moore 
and D. Wilson Moore, who, at the head of a large manufac- 
turing establishment, know how to be diligent in business 
and at the same time fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. 

This spirit has been characteristic of many of the Fairfield 
people, for example, the Lawrences : Nathan, who came from 
Long Island, his two sons, Nathan and our Elder Jonathan, 
and Jonathan's son, our Elder Norton, and this good Elder's 
sons, Norton Ogden, Lorenzo, Dr. Leonard and Lemuel, and 
many of their children. Fifty and sixty years ago, Norton 
O. and his wife, Phoebe, the daughter of Major Ephraim 
Buck, were specially active in the establishment and improve- 
ment of Sabbath Schools. What a divine light irradiated 
their faces one day in May, fifty years ago, when they saw 
this house thronged, and crowded, and packed full in every 
part with the united schools of Jones' Island, Cedarville, 
Fairton and Back Neck, of whom a few now here were then 
a small part. It was the first great Sabbath School meeting 
held in the township. 

Among the good boys of the congregation who were in 
that grand Sabbath School celebration, when this house 
probably contained eight hundred persons, it is most likely 
that Ethan Osborn Bennett had a place. His Bennett ances- 


tors here were Samuel, who built the saw mill and flour mill 
at Bennett Town ; Nathan, who was born November 5, 1752, 
and died June 22, 1818, and Nathan's son, who was born 
January 18, 1785, and died in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Janu- 
ary 4, 1866, where his wife, Esther Elmer, born November 
29, 1787, also died, December 17, 1859. This father of Ethan 
Osborn Bennett was for a long time an Elder of the Presby- 
terian Church. Ethan Osborn Bennett pursued his collegiate 
studies in the Rev. Dr. David Nelson's Institute, Quincy, Illi- 
nois, and his theological course partly in Yale College and 
partly in Oberlin College, where he was graduated in the 
class of 1853, and soon after became the minister of Anamosa, 
Iowa. There he married, November 7, 1854, Laura A. Pul- 
sifer, of Westfield, Massachusetts. They have one son and 
three daughters, and all the children live with their parents 
in Brighton, Iowa. 

Another good minister, of Fairfield blood and birth, is J. 
Napier Husted, son of Elijah and his wife, Clarissa Buck. 
He was graduated at Lafayette College in 1849, and studied 
theology in Princeton Seminary, and has been the minister 
of Flanders, New Jersey, and of Zion, Maryland ; and for 
some years past he has been the pastor at Liberty, New York, 
where he is now the faithful bishop of the Presbyterian 

Fifty years since, the most conspicuous men in Fairtun, 
and chiefs in this congregation, were John Trenchard and 
William D. Barrett. No matter how many places claim to be 
the very spot of his birth, it is evident that John Trenchard 
first saw the light within the limits of this congregation, for 
Bridgeton had no church until 1792, and John Trenchard 
was born July 21, 1783. He made himself prosperous as 
blacksmith, farmer, merchant, vessel-owner, mill-owner. Soon 
after he was twenty-one years of age he married, October 8, 
1803, Eleanor Davis, who bore him seven children ; and after 
her death he married, in 1816, Hannah L. Pierson, and they 
had seven children who survived him when he died, in 1863. 


His father, John, was a cousin of Commodore Edward Trench- 
ard and of Rear Admiral Stephen Decatur Trenchard. The 
family is old and honorable in this State. One of his sons is 
Dr. John F. Trenchard, of Philadelphia ; another is our Elder, 
Theophilus Trenchard, now living in Bridgeton. He was a 
member of the Legislature, active in public affairs, attentive 
to business, social in disposition, keen and witty, kindly and 
generous. His prosperity was greatly due to his foresight, 
energy and thorough honesty. 

The other magnate of the village of Fairton, in those days, 
was William D. Barrett, who was born near Shiloh, in this 
county, February 12, 1791. Both his j^arents died when he 
was a child. He lived during his boyhood in Newport, in 
Downe township, which was originally within the bounds of 
our township of Fairfield. He there attended the common 
school three months. This was the whole of his education in 
school. He became, in his early manhood, a merchant in 
Fairton, and on the 15th of March, 1815. married Bathsheba 
Harris. It is believed that they were generally regarded as 
the handsomest young husband and wife that appeared 
together in this house every Sabbath in the boasted days 
of old. He acquired, before he reached middle-age, a good 
English education, was the postmaster of the village many 
years, became very familiar with the Bible and the statute 
laws of the State, represented the county as a member of the 
State Legislature, was more than thirty years a Justice of the 
Peace, and was for fifteen years an associate county Judge. 
He never ceased to be an attractive looking man, with regular 
features, dark, bright eyes, and dignified manners. His 
height was six feet, and at seventy -five years of age his weight 
was two hundred and thirty -five pounds. He died April 10, 
1867, in his seventy-seventh year. The venerable widow sur- 
vives in her eighty-eighth year, and resides in the old home- 

The fruit which this garden of the Lord has already yielded 
is abundant and precious. There are many other worthies 


who have passed away that well deserve commemoration, and 
the recital of their virtues would greatly adorn our annals, as 
their lives have enriched the place of our birth. There is a 
goodly compan}^ of daughters, wives, and mothers, who have 
well fulfilled their providential and reasonable vocation, 
and done more to promote the intelligence, prosperity, dis- 
tinction and piety of our town and congregation than 
our most conspicuous citizens have ever accomplished. 
Their virtues and graces have not been loudly blazoned 
abroad, but they have themselves endured toils and cares 
for the good of others. They have shown dexterity and tact in 
a thousand ways. Their diligence and economy have been 
the prosperity of their households. Their endurance and 
patience have been as unfailing as their days. Their for- 
bearance has been the bond of peace for homes and for whole 
neighborhoods. Their sympathy has brought good cheer into 
the very shades of death, and turned the darkest midnight 
into the light and the glow of the morning. Their devotion 
and charity have baptized the place of their abode with the 
priceless blessings of Heaven. The chief incitement to all 
commendable progress has been their excellence, their aspi- 
ration and hope, their faith and love, their zeal and piety. 
Through all our history, they have been the heart of the 
social body. Their worth has been the life-blood of the whole 
frame, and had there been no rich and perpetual supplies 
from their superior goodness, there would have been, not 
health and vigor in every part, but social, moral and spiritual 

It remains for the future — mainly for those who are now 
young — to determine whether our history in the years to 
come shall yield better and more abundant fruits than the 
past has produced. One thing is certain ; it is by the more 
thorough application of Christian truth and principle to all 
the conduct of life that we ma}'' expect the harvest of the fu- 
ture to be more plentiful and excellent than the past has 


Taken at the age of 97. 




In the history of Cumberland county, by the Hon. L. Q. 
C Elmer, the organization of this church is fixed at about 
1690 — few years previous to its first mention on record.* 
This seems to me very probable, for the following reasons : 

First. There is a tradition that the first settlers brought a 
minister with them, which was in keeping with the Puritan 
custom. This tradition was believed by Ephraim Harris, 
who was born in 1731. As this is but forty-one years later 
than its organization, doubtless several of the original mem- 
bers were living in his boyhood. If this tradition be true 
the organization might have been still earlier than 1600. 

Secondly. The Baptist portion of the colonists founded a 
a church at Roadstovvn, at this date. As the pedo-Baptist 
portion are known to have been the " more considerable " in 
numbers, it is not probable that they were later than their 
brethren in founding their church. 

♦This record is a provincial law of 1697. which enacts : "That the tract of land 
on Cohanscy purchased by several people, lately inhaliitants from Fairfield, in New 
Enixland, from and after "the date hereof, be erected into a township and be called 



Its charter designation is, "The Presbyterian Congregation 
at Fairfield." Its familiar and endeared name is, "The Old 
Stone Church." By inheritance it is the " Old Christ's 
Church " on the Cohansey river ; the " Old Fairfield," and 
the " Old New England Town " church. In its relation to 
the nation it might be called with propriety the " Church 
of the Revolution." The pains that gave birth to the nation 
were now severely felt and retarded its construction. 

Again, it might be christened " Father Osborn's Church." 
Of the sixty-five years of active pastorates, all but ten found 
him its constant occupant. From his lips the gospel was 
preached. Through his ministrations the lamp of this sanc- 
tuary went not out. Half of the other ten years he was also 
present as a worshipper, and frequently took some part with 
the pastor. 


Before a house like this invites a congregation to enter 
and consecrate it to the service of Almighty God in prayer, 
in psalms and sound of the silver trumpet, there is a history. 
If we go a mile north-west to the old New England town 
cross-roads, on the last Sabbath of August, 1780, under the 
"great oak " (whose stump can still be seen), we find a con- 
gregation worshipping. From the Rev. William HoUings- 
head, who becomes the first pastor here, we learn that in 1778 
it consisted of pastor, seven ruling elders, one of whom is 
also a deacon, and ninety-four members. From several 
independent witnesses, this people are represented as among 
the best in this section of the country. I will add one which 
I have not seen in print : 

Mr. Griffith, a traveling preacher in the Society of 
Friends, in his journal, states that he held a meeting among 
the Presbyterians of New England Town ; that the pastor. 
Rev. William Ramsay, and most of his people attended, and 
" behaved in a solid and respectable manner." 


In 1775, they had it in mind to build a new church, and 
subscriptions were taken. Theophilus Elmer was the treas- 
urer and managing spirit. He looked after the workmen, 
paid the bills, and seems to have engaged actively in the 

The well was the first work finished. Was this symbolic 
or prophetic of the living fountain, of which so many after- 
ward were to drink so freely ? In 1775, there were upwards 
of one hundred and eighty-nine loads of stone and eight 
hundred feet of lumber placed on the ground. 

The claims of the country called away the men, and laid 
upon them extraordinary burdens which delayed the building 
four years. 

In 1780, the following subscription paper was circulated : 


"We, the subscribers, whose names are hereunto annexed, 
do each and every of us, bind ourselves, our heirs, executors 
and administrators to pay or cause to be paid, unto the 
person or persons appointed or to be appointed as managers 
for building said house, the several sums annexed to our 
names, to be paid either in labor or materials necessary to be 
used in the building, at the same price that articles of the 
like quality might have been purchased for in the year 1774, 
to be applied in building a house on the aforesaid lot of 
ground where the materials are provided for building the 

The one-half to be paid at any time, when the congregation 
shall think proper to proceed to build, and the other half to 
be paid when the walls shall be finished, which, if not paid 
in labour or materials as aforesaid, then we do hereby engage 
to pay the same in money, allowing the year 1774 as the 
standard, at such a sum as shall make up the depreciation at 
the time the money shall be called for and paid. In testi- 
mony of all which we have hereunto set our hands, with the 
several sums thereunto annexed." 


N. B. What money has been paid by any subscriber, to be 
deducted out of his subscription, when payment is made." 

Then follows the names with the amounts. Jonathan 
Elmer is the largest subscriber, £40. Theodotia Anderson is 
second, £37, 10s, the whole amounting to £488, 17s, lOd, so 
far as recorded. 

As peculiarities of the times, I might mention that Esther 
Meek contributed three half Joes, Eleazer Smith two 15 shil- 
ling bills. Others contributed cattle, sheep, geese, feathers, 
etc. A public vendue was held at which these were sold. 
Many worked out their subscriptions, some travelling six and 
eight miles to tend mason and do other work. 

Like the builders of the second Temple the}^ brought their 
weapons of war for defence in case of attack, and like it this 
Temple stands to-day, the monument of a poor but pious peo- 
ple, that had a mind to work, and wrought with their own 

The first stone was laid May 1st, 1780, and the walls up 
and roof on June 14th. The first sermon was preached in 
the church Sept. 7th, but it was not completed till 1781. 

As we look upon it a century ago to-day, we see these walls, 
this floor, these brick aisles, but without chimney, and per- 
haps without these seats or gallery. It is quite probable 
they brought the benches and desk used in the former church 
and under the oak, over here, and made them do temporary 
service for a few months. There was no provision for heating 
for about eight years, except as any one might bring heated 
blocks or the foot-stove. 

September 18th, 1781, the congregation met and formed 
rules and rates for the pews. One hundred pounds was 
raised on the seats. The pews were sold to the highest bidder 
and remained in the possession of the family and heirs as 
long as the annual rate was paid. 

The deed was recorded May 18th, 1775, at Burlington. An 
act of incorporation was passed June 11th, 1783, by the State 
Legislature. This act required of the trustees the oath of 


abjuration of the British rule, the oath of allegiance, and to 
faithfully perform their duties. This continued in force till 
1865. By a special act of the Legislature, obtained through 
James Campbell, Esq., they were relieved of this formality. 

On the 8th of August, 1800, the trustees purchased one and 
three-fourths acres to enlarge the graveyard. 

On the 24th of October, 1810, the trustees obtained a deed 
from James D. Westcott, as agent of John Bellers, of London, 
Great Britain, confirming the right and title of this congre- 
gation to the possession of three acres of land, commonly 
called " the old burial ground," purchased originally on the 
10th of June, 1747 ; recorded the 5th of June, 1811, in the 
Clerk's office of Cumberland county, book S of deeds, pages^ 

On the 2d of April, 1816, the trustees purchased one and 
eighty-four one-hundredths acres to enlarge the graveyard. 
These several purchases make the cemetery at the Stone^ 
Church contain five and three-fifths acres. 

In 1785, the trustees adopted a rule that any membel" 
absent from their meeting should be fined a sum not exceed- 
ing five shillings. If a satisfactory reason was assigned at 
the following meeting the fine was remitted. 

Another rule was that they became responsible for debts 
that had run a year after they became due, unless they were 
voted lost by the person having become insolvent. 

This had the eff'ect of hurrying up collections. In some 
cases they took legal steps to collect pew-rents. After the 
parsonage and plantation in Sayre's Neck were sold, a rule 
was adopted not to loan money without interest, and to re- 
quire double the amount as securit3^ 

At first the session only recorded their minutes when there 
was a case of discipline, or some unusual occasion for its 
meeting. From May, 1783, the time of Mr. Hollinghead's 
withdrawal, till 1790, we have no records of session. The 
five years previous to the coming of Mr. Osborn, we know 
not who preached, how often they were supplied, or whether 



the sacraments were administered. They doubtless had 
occasional supplies, but the church languished. 

At this time many of our churches were in a very sad 
condition. The trustees were regularly elected and qualified, 
(that is, took the oath), but little is recorded of what was 
done, except to rent the parsonage and collect a little money 
which seems to have been given with reluctance. 

We come now to the man whose name and influence has 
given permanence and fragrance to this hallowed house. It 
is "Father Osborn" that has bound your hearts together, and 
whose bonds these passing years have not been able to dis- 
solve. There was a brief and brilliant ministry before ; there 
was a similar one that followed ; but the central orb that has 
attracted and brought you together to-day is the " Old Man 
Beloved." He is as really present to your minds as the 
masonry of these walls. 

For a full account of this man and his work we refer the 
reader to the volume entitled "The Pastor of the Old Stone 
Church," containing Mr. Hotchkin's Memorial, Judge Elmer's 
Eulogy, and Mr. Burt's Address. 

It seems appropriate that extended quotations from this 
volume should be made to set forth this portion of the history, 
which I take the liberty of doing. 

The Rev. Ethan Osborn was born in Litchfield, Connecti- 
cut, August 21st, 1758. Little is known of his early life, 
except what is preserved in his own manuscript sermons. 
From two, preached in 1822, we have the following record : 

• He had religious parents, was instructed in the scriptures, 
habituated to attend public worship and the common educa- 
tional privileges. 

He dates the impressions on his heart which resulted in 
his conversion, to the ninth or twelfth year of his age, and 
experienced a constant and growing interest in his soul's 
eternal interests. 

He confesses, however, that "scarcely, if ever, do I feel that 
assurance of salvation which I desire." It was the " amiable 


excellency of the Saviour," unclouding itself to his view, that 
resulted in the positive faith, " I know that my Redeemer 

" While at college, at Dartmouth, he was admitted to full 
communion with the Congregational Church there." At the 
age of eighteen he enlisted in the second year of the Revolu- 
tionary War, and was with the forces under the immediate 
command of Washington, in the retreat through New Jersey. 

He studied theology under the Rev. Andrew Storrs, of 
Plymouth, Conn., and his cousin, the Rev. Joseph Vaill, of 
Hadlyme, in the same State, and was licensed to preach in 
1786. He received a call to Spencertown, N. Y., which he 
declined, and, in the Providence of God, made a journey on 
horseback to South Jersey. 

After preaching the usual time of trial, this church gave 
him a call and he was ordained and installed the 3d of De- 
cember, 1789, by the Presbytery of Philadelphia. 

At this time the congregation was scattered through the 
whole of Fairfield township, and parts of the adjoining town- 
ships of Downe and Deerfield, including a portion of the peo- 
ple of Bridgeton, where, as yet, there was no church of any 
denomination. The pastorate of Mr. Osborn was like his gen- 
eral life, tranquil and marked chiefly by revivals. 

He has left on record, repeatedly, the sense of obligation he 
felt for the cooperation and assistance he received from the 
session. In 1790 the number was raised to nine, which he 
seemed to regard as the standard. As members died or 
moved away, others were chosen, keeping up this number 
till near the close of his ministry. The list, as given by Mr. 
Hotchkin, needs to be corrected by the addition of the names 
of John Ogden and David Harris, who were ordained and 
Installed in 1803. 

As was customary in those times, the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper was administered but twice in the year, in 
May and October. In 1806 it was changed to three times, 
which practice continued down to the pastorate of D. C. 


Meeker, when the present custom of observing it four times 
a year was introduced. 

It was long a standing rule for the session to meet three 
weeks before communion, at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. In 
the earlier history, discipline was more frequently adminis- 
tered. Matters that would now be taken to a civil court, 
were then adjudicated by the session. Usually they sub- 
mitted to its decision. I notice settlements of damages and 
a case of breach of promise. Offences, such as breaking the 
Sabbath, neglect of the ordinances, absence from public 
worship, omitting to have their children baptized, were 
matters that were carefully attended to, as well as intemper- 
ance and grosser offences. The pastor has recorded the fact, 
that the intoxicating cup was the chief cause that called for 

To show the valuable assistance rendered by the session, 
in furthering the spiritual interests, I quote the following 
from the pastor : " I now speak it as my candid opinion, 
that in any revival of religion, the ministry is only one 
among many agencies which coequally operate in promoting 
the blessed work of God. If a lay brother is active in prayer 
and exhortation, the people are more impressed with his 
sincerity, so that what he says and does may have more 
influence on their minds. And not a little have my Chris- 
tian brethren and sisters, as agents under God, contributed 
to maintain and promote the blessed religion of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. I thank them for their labors of love, and I 
thank my God for moving them to labor. Mine exhortation 
to them is, not to be weary in well-doing, for in due season 
they shall reap a glorious harvest." To indicate the sub- 
stance of his preaching, I quote from a charge he delivered 
at Cape May, when Mr. Edwards was ordained, some time 
previous to 1809. 

" Preach the law and preach the gospel. Preach the law 
in all its strictness and spirituality, as an external rule of 
right, binding on every moral agent, and as covering all the 


■exercises of the mind as well as outward actions, requiring 
perfect and perpetual obedience in every act, word and 
thought, on pain of condemnation. And make close appli- 
cation to the conscience for the conviction of impenitent 
sinners, to make them duly sensible of their sin, and to make 
them feel as if standing in the Day of Judgment." 

" But not confining yourself to the law, preach the gospel. 
Hold up the blessed remedy it provides for guilty, perishing 
sinners. Preach Christ and Him crucified, in all His fullness 
and freeness to save. Preach Him in all His offices and 
sacred characters, as the way and only way to the Father 
through whom alone we can be redeemed from the curse of 
the law, and obtain salvation. Show His ability and willing- 
ness to save all who come to Him believing, and also the 
necessity of the Holy Spirit's influence to enable and dispose 
them to come believing. Show the happy consequences of 
belief, and the fatal consequences of resisting the Spirit's 
influence and remaining in a state of impenitency and unbe- 
lief. Do not confine yourself to general doctrines and truths. 
Descend frequently to particulars, that so you may touch the 
particular cases of your different hearers. And let your prac- 
tice correspond with your preaching. Pay a proper respect to 
the discipline of the church to purify and build it up. And 
in all things approve thyself a minister of God, in much 
patience and perseverance in the blessed work to which thou 
hast devoted thyself." 

To show his style the following is taken from one of his 
autobiographical discourses : 

" You know after what manner of style I have preached 
to you, that it has been a simple and plain Style. 

Though I might have used a more elegant, learned or sub- 
lime style, yet I thought it my duty to follow the example of 
Paul in speaking to you with great plainness of speech. For 
the design of preaching is to convey ideas, and give instruc- 
tion and knowledge to the hearer. But if my language is 
above the understanding of many hearers T might as well 


preach to them in Greek or Hebrew. And, therefore, to speak 
the truth has been my first object, and next to speak it in 
such language as to be intelligible or easily understood. I 
have been all along sensible that by using such a plain style, 
I have sacrificed my reputation for learning ; but this is a 
matter of little consequence. I ought not to care whether I 
am thought learned or ignorant, if I can but promote your 
Christian knowledge and be a helper of your faith." 

With another quotation from a sermon descriptive of his 
pastoral work, a pretty accurate view of this herald of the 
cross and Christain shepherd will be obtained. 

" In the first I aimed to represent religion as the most 
important of all things with which we have any concern, 
and that it ought to be the chief object of our desire and pur- 
suit. As we are fallen, depraved creatures, I urged the 
necessity of a change, by the renewing and sanctifying influ- 
ence of God's Spirit. I urged it home to the conscience by 
this serious question — ' Do you really think you have exper- 
ienced such a change, or possess true gospel religion ?' When 
the answer was in the affirmative, I reminded them of their 
constant need of the grace of Christ to keep them in such a 
state, and their obligation to live near to God, by walking as 
Christ walked." 

" When the answer was in the negative, I reminded them 
of the lamentable character of a conclusion and their gloomy 
prospect beyond the grave. I solemnly warned them of the 
danger of resting there, and exhorted them immediately to 
seek for mercy. After mentioning some essential duties, 
such as repentance, faith, love and obedience, I spoke of 
the relative duties of parents and children, and urged on 
parents and guardians the important duty of bringing up 
their children in the fear of God. After this I led on the 
conversation to the duty of family prayer and inquired 
whether it was performed in the family. After this, I turned 
my conversation to the children and others present. Here I 


urged the importance of obtaining religion in early life, as 
youth is the most favorable time for it." 

In addition, he was accustomed to visit the public schools 
and catechise the children in the shorter catechism, as well as 
the Bible. 

For twenty years such labors were constantly and faithfully 
performed with only the ordinar}^ ingatherings, the members 
added making up about the number that died and moved to 
other places. In the year 1809 occurred the first of a num- 
ber of revivals of great power and blessed influences. This 
was preceded by monthly meetings of four ministers, Mr. 
Osborn, Mr. Freeman, Mr. Davis and one unknown, com- 
menced at Fairfield, December, 1808. The next at Bridgeton, 
and third at Deerfield. He says, " he and Mr. Freeman made 
a preaching tour of three days ; preached successively at Allo- 
way's Creek, Pittsgrove and Deerfield, and talk of taking 
another after awhile. The four agreed to preach at seven 
places, mostly in the outposts of our congregations, on that 
same day and hour, at four of the places, and about once 
a fortnight by rotation. The general object was the promo- 
tion of religion.'" 

Mr. Osborn gives the following account of this revival : 
"Through the summer and fall of 1809, a general awakening 
to the concerns of the eternal world prevailed among the peo- 
ple. Conferences or prayer meetings were held in different 
parts of the congregation, not less than six or seven evenings 
in the week. It was truly a revival time, both to saints and 
sinners ; the spirit of grace was poured upon each ; some were 
severely experienced and brought into deep distress. Others 
were exercised in a mild manner. Though there were divers 
operations, yet the same God wrought in all. In a few 
months a considerable number entertained a hope, and, 
thanks to God ! He continued His gracious work for many 
months. On December 3d, 1809, just twenty years from my 
ordination, twenty-four were admitted to the church. In 
April, 1810, thirty were admitted to full communion. In 


August following, twenty-seven more, and small numbers at 
the two communions following, so that in the space of two 
years there were added to this church one hundred and 
twelve. The Lord hath done great things for us, and blessed 
be His name. Though various means were used, yet it was 
evident the excellency of the power was of God and not of 
man. This appears from the great change wrought, and the 
good fruit following. Though I was not idle during the revi- 
val, yet it seemed as if I was a spectator, beholding the won- 
derful operation of divine grace convincing and converting- 
sinners. My brethren of the session were alive and diligent 
in prayer and religious conversation, and perhaps I may 
have aided, in some measure, the good work of the Lord. 
But I was only one among a multitude of agents who were 
active in the same employ. Truly my soul rejoiced to see 
many return unto the Lord and enlist under the banner of 
King Jesus." 

This revival was followed with good influences and fidelity 
on the part of the members with " no remarkable occur, 
rences until the year 1819." A second revival season was 
now enjoyed, beginning with a prayer meeting at Sayre's 
Neck, but extending throughout the congregation, and resulted 
in adding fifty-six souls to the church membership. 

Again, in 1826, another extensive work of grace was 
enjoyed. The following account of it is preserved in a letter 
of Mr. Osborn, written (to his brother, Capt. Eliada Osborn, 
of Litchfield), May 19th, 1827 : 

" The Lord, we believe, has been carrying on a wonderful, 
gracious work among us since last November. There seemed 
to be some unusual seriousness among the people through the 
fall, and nine were added to the church on the first Sabbath 
of December. From that time a general awakening seemed 
to prevail, and a wonderful spirit of prayer was poured out 
on old and young. Prayer meetings were multiplied, and 
that cold weather in January could not stop the people from 
going to them. They were often crowded. Such a degree of 


general earnestness and anxiety in religion I never before 
witnessed, either here or in any other place. Many were 
seriously inquiring what they must do to be saved ; and there 
were several instances of alarming conviction and distressing 
fears sinking almost in despair. 

"One young man, after conversing with another in the eve- 
ning, on the interesting subject of religion, while returning 
home, felt such a burden of guilt that he could hardly move 
along. He said it seemed every moment as if the lightning 
would strike him. After going along a while he kneeled 
down by the fence and prayed ; he went further and prayed 
again, and again after he returned home. The heavy rain of 
that evening had thoroughly soaked his clothes, but he 
scarcely thought of that, so intensely was his mind occupied 
with the concerns of religion and eternity." 

"A meeting for prayer and conversation with the anxious was 
established, and afterwards another ; but so many crowded in, 
that in a few weeks they became common prayer meetings. 

"The boys, of their own accord, began a prayer meeting, and 
afterwards another, both of which are yet continued. You 
will understand that all these meetings are weekly, on fixed 
evenings. But beside these there are, in the winter, frequent 
extra meetings collected in the two villages (Fairton and 
Cedarville) on two or three hours notice. One week our peo- 
ple counted nineteen meetings, fixed and extra. 

"Previous to the sacrament the session appointed two days 
to converse with those who should come forward. The total 
number propounded and admitted to full communion with 
the church was fifty- one. This, we believe, is the Lord's 
doings, and while it is marvellous in our eyes we would 
rejoice and give thanks. Among the aforesaid number were 
five men and their wives. A large number of the new mem- 
bers are young people, and two of the age of thirteen — one 
of whom, thanks to God, is our dear son Robert. The 
gracious work seems to be still in a measure progressing." 

This revived state seems to have continued more or less till 


1831, when the results became more apparent, and Mr. 
Osborn, taking in the whole number received during these 
years, recounts them at about eighty. At this time, with but 
little numerical increase of the population of the township, 
the number of communicants in the church had increased 
from one hundred and twenty-five at the time of Mr. Osborn's 
settlement, to three hundred and thirty-six. The Old Stone 
Church had become so filled, that not a pew, and scarcely a 
sitting, either on the floor or in the spacious galleries, 
remained without rent. 

Over this large and widely-scattered congregation the 
greatly endeared pastor continued to labor on alone till 1836, 
then in the seventy-eighth year of his age. 

A co-pastor is now obtained in a young man directed 
hither by the venerable Dr. A. Alexander. 

David McKee, from Kentucky, was ordained August 4th, 
1836. He is now in his seventy-sixth year, and is the oldest 
living pastor of this church. He now resides at Hanover, 
Indiana. Not being able to be present at these centennial 
services, and taking a lively interest in them, he has sent a 
brief and interesting account of the work of grace during his 
short co-pastorate, which was dissolved October, 1838. 

This was the last revival season during Father Osborn's 
ministry, and which he characterized as the most powerful, 
but of short duration. In August, sixty-one were added to 
the church, the largest number received at any one commu- 
nion. [An account of it was given by the Rev. David McKee, 
in a brief paper read at the centennial meeting.] 

While we record these precious seasons of ingathering with 
devout gratitude and look upon them as the marked charac- 
teristics of Mr. Osborn's ministry, we should note that large 
as were the number received at these times they constituted 
only about one-half of the aggregate he admitted into church 

Before this time the church was twice called together to 
consider the question of organizing a church at Cedarville, 


but each time a majority voted against it. The steps taken 
which resulted in the organization of the First and Second 
Churches in that village will be given by their present 

On the questions which divided the Church into Old and 
New Schools, Mr. Osborn's views and sympathies were with 
the latter. About one-half the session and church were with 
him. They deliberated a good while before they decided to 
withdraw from the Presbytery of West Jersey. The formal 
step was taken, however, May 11th, 1840, and they became 
connected with the Third Presbytery of Philadelphia, May 

He continued to preside over the church until 1844, when 
he offered his resignation. " It was felt by all concerned a 
mournful necessity." There was but one person living who 
was a member of the church when he came. But few could 
remember his coming. The following minute was adopted 
by the Presbytery April, 1844, when they dissolved this pas- 
toral relation : 

"In complying with the request of our venerable father and 
brother in the ministry, the Rev. Ethan Osborn, to dissolve 
the pastoral relation between himself and the church congre- 
gation of Fairfield, N. J., the Presbytery feel that there are 
circumstances of interest, which render it worthy of peculiar 

"For fifty-four years Father Osborn has ministered to this 
branch of Zion, during which time a degree of harmony and 
friendship has subsisted between pastor and people, and a 
success has attended his ministry, highly creditable to them, 
and happily illustrating the beauty and importance of a per- 
manent pastoral relation. Now, late in the evening of life, in 
the eighty-sixth year of his age, after having been permitted 
to enjoy, in connection with his labors, several revivals of 
religion, and having buried all but one of those who com- 
posed his flock at the time of his installation, and after hav- 
ing seen the children of two generations, baptized with his 


own hands, succeeding to the places in the church vacated by 
their fathers, he comes with undiminished regard for his peo- 
ple, and in the unabated enjoyment of their confidence and 
affection, to commit his united and happy charge to the care 
of this body. The Presbytery commend this church for pro- 
viding that their worthy and venerable pastor may continue 
to lean upon their arm while he lives, and recline on their 
bosom when he dies, and hope that other churches may fol- 
low their example." 

Mr. Osborn continued to worship with this people and 
preach frequently, take part in the administration of the sac- 
rament, and aided in every way the work of the Lord while 
he had strength. When he resigned there were three elders 
and one hundred and thirteen members. 

At the present time, of those admitted to church member- 
ship by him, there are living in connection with this church, 
eighteen; in the First Church, Cedarville, twenty-five; and in 
connection with other churches about seventy in all. Josiah 
Bennet has been a member more than fifty-three years, and 
Hannah Seeley, now Mrs. Hogbin, was admitted at the same 
time. There are nine of his spiritual children, who are 
elders, though but one is in connection with this mother 

For a further account of the old pastor, whose life is so 
bound up with this church, we must refer the reader to the 
memorial from which we have quoted so freely. 

November 19th, 1845, the Re\. Beriah B. Hotchkin was 
installed pastor in connection with the Second Presbyterian 
Church, of Fairfield, now called the Second Presbyterian 
Church, of Cedarville. His residence was part of the time 
at Cedarville, and part in Fairton. He was associated in the 
session with four elders — Nathaniel Howell, Ephraim H. 
Whiticar, John Holmes, and Ephraim Westcott. There were 
elected and ordained on July 11th, 1847, Joseph Campbell, 
Joseph F. Jaggers and Theophilus Trenchard, raising the 
number to seven. There seems to have been great care 


shown in watching over the church. The ordinances and 
sacraments were faithfully administered, but no special out- 
pouring of the Holy Spirit appears during his ministry. 
Numbers were added from time to time, and the members 
generally witnessed a good profession. An unpleasantness 
and want of harmony in the session the pastor regarded as a 
hindrance to spiritual growth. 

An important step was now taken, the building of a new 
church at Fairton, and the formal removal of the stated 
worship from this house. 

A preliminary meeting was held in December, 1846 ; but 
it was not until March 16th, 1848, that it was resolved (by a 
vote of ten in favor and two against) to proceed in building. 

The lot was contributed by John Trenchard, Esq. The size 
of the building was to be 38 by 52 feet. 

Mr. John Trenchard and Theophilus E. Harris, the building 
committee, reported March 29th, 1850, the house completed, 
at a cost of about |2,250, and $278.58 due the contractors. 

At a congregational meeting held in the Stone Church the 
following paper was adopted : 

" Resolved, That from and after the fifth Sabbath of March, 
1850, the regular public worship, held by this congregation, 
be transferred from the house now used, (Stone Church), for 
the purpose, to the new church in Fairton. 

Also Resolved, That the public worship of Almighty God, 
conducted by the pastors and elders of this congregation on 
Sunday and other days appointed for the purpose, in the new 
church in Fairton, should be regarded as worship performed 
by this congregation according to all their compacts and 
agreements to unite in such worship as a particular congre- 

The last sermon prior to removal was preached by the old 
pastor, as was very fitting. It was, as Judge Elmer has well 
said, "a solemn farewell to that place, hallowed by so many 
endearing associations, and to the people so long under his 


On April 5tli, rules and regulations were adopted for selling 
and renting the pews. The annual rental was set at $350. 
Ten dollars was the highest premium paid, and the highest 
annual rent the same. 

They had everything arranged and comfortably fixed in 
the new church when the pastor announced to the senior 
elder that he thought it a very suitable time to leave. The 
congregation reluctantly agreed to his request, and the 
Presbytery dissolved the pastoral relation June 11th, 1850. 

The Rev. D. C. Meeker, having preached as supply, a call 
was extended to him, which being accepted, he was installed 
February 12th, 1851. 

In his address at the centennial, he said : " He regarded 
it as his rich privilege to have stepped in and reaped the 
harvest of the seed sown and watered by that good man, the 
sainted Hotchkin." Immediately on being settled, he found 
the harvest ripe and ready for gathering. 

While I do not find large numbers added on any single 
occasion, as in former revivals, there seems to have been an 
earnest revived state, as the condition of the church during 
his stay with them. There were frequent meetings of session, 
and persons appearing and applying for the church privileges 
at almost all of them. I find between forty and fifty were 
received at these difl^erent times, and some of them the most 
prominent and useful in the church at the present time. 

Since the old parsonage and plantation at Say re's Neck 
were sold in 1807,- the church was without a home for the 
pastor. Mr. Osborn occupying his own home, the need was 
not felt till after his resignation. Both Mr. Hotchkin and 
Mr. Meeker were put to great inconvenience for want of a 
home. Although the old parsonage was sold for nearly 
three thousand dollars, it was now all gone. It had slipped 
away at the rate of about one hundred dollars a year. 

It was resolved now, however, chiefly through the energy 
of Theophilus E. Harris, to build again. He and George E. 
Elmer were appointed the building committee, who reported 


the house completed in 1853. The whole cost, exclusive of 
the lot, amounted to about nine hundred dollars. 

In a few months the Rev. James Boggs was employed as 
supply. After serving the church in this capacity for nearly 
nine months, having received a call, he was ordained on May 
19th, 1857, by a committee of the Fourth Presbytery, of Phil- 

The Rev. Thomas Brainard, D. D.,the Rev. C. F. Diver and 
the Rev. Jacob Helffenstein took part in this service. After 
laboring faithfully for near two years, Fairfield was again 
visited with an outpouring of the spirit of great power. The 
pastor was assisted in his labors by the Rev. 0. Parker. All 
parts of the old parish was awakened as in former times. 
Not only the Presbytery, but all churches within its former 
bounds shared in the precious influences. 

At several meetings of session during February and March, 
fifty-nine persons were examined on their application for 
church membership, and approved. On March 7th, 1858, 
they publicly came forward and adopted the articles of faith 
and the covenant. Mr. Boggs continued to labor on till the 
autumn of 1866. The church seems to have enjoyed peace 
and gradual growth, members having been received from 
time to time, and the congregation so increasing that the 
building became too strait for them. It was resolved to enlarge 
the church, and Messrs. George E. Elmer and Theophilus 
Trenchard were appointed the building committee. In 1862 
they reported the work completed. The whole cost was about 
^900. The church as enlarged seats about 500. 

A special note is made of nine members having volun- 
teered, at the call of the President, when the country needed 
them for its defence. 

On the withdrawal of Mr. Boggs, the Rev. H. E. Johnson 
was obtained as stated supply, which arrangement continued 
a little more than two years and a half. Messrs. George S. 
Whiticar, Samuel H. Williams and Theophilus Tomlinson, 


having been chosen and appointed ruling elders, appeared 
in session for the first time, March 31st, 1867. 

The church seems active and vigorous. A resolution is 
passed to erect a chapel at the rear end of the church. 
Messrs. Samuel H. Williams, James Campbell, and Daniel 
Stiles were appointed the building committee. It was com- 
pleted in 1867, at a cost (including organ and furnishing) of 
$1,733.33. A part of the money was collected in Philadelphia 
by Elder Joseph F. Jaggers. The last hundred dollars of 
this expense was paid by note, and allowed to linger on at 
interest for ten years before it was paid. The whole cost of 
lot and buildings in Fairton amounts to about $5,000. 

A series of meetings was held in January and February 
of 1868, and a class of seventeen, mostly young people were 
received into church fellowship. They organized a young 
people's prayer meeting, which was continued some months 
with interest. 

Not being able to attend the centennial meeting, a letter was 
received from Mr. Johnson, expressive of his continued 
interest in these young converts, and stating that his 
labors and associations with this people were among the most 
pleasant of his life. His salary was $800 a year with the free 
use of the parsonage, the largest sum ever paid by this 
church. His labors closed May 9th, 1869. 

The Rev. Samuel Beach Jones, D. D., of Bridgeton, was in- 
vited to preach the following Sabbath as supply. He accepted 
the invitation, and also some following Sabbaths, when the 
senior elder informed him that his services were very accep- 
table to them, but they felt quite unable to compensate him 
for his labors. The doctor was very cordial, and expressed 
his desire to preach as opportunity offered, and proposed to 
serve them whenever and as long as they might desire ; and 
as for salary they might pay him just what they found con- 
venient, and give themselves no further anxiety. 

In this informal way the church secured him as stated sup- 


ply, till laid aside by a stroke of apoplexy Sabbath morning, 
October 4th, 1874. Since that day he has never been able to 
preach, though he is still able to ride out in pleasant weather. 

He continued to reside in Bridgeton, but was ever punctual 
and present at the various meetings on Sabbath and week 
days, and visited the families from time to time. His preach- 
ing was instructive and numbers were added to the church 
from time to time. The missionary spirit was cultivated and 
collections for the Boards of the church and for the Bible So- 
ciety were regularly taken. Upwards of $50 was taken atone 
collection for foreign missions — an unusual amount for this 
church. He was paid $600 annually. 

This arrangement having been unexpectedly brought to a 
close by sickness, occasional supplies were obtained for a few 
weeks. The Rev. Samuel Rutherford Anderson, of Tucker- 
ton, was invited to come and preach for a year, with the view 
to a permanent settlement. Having accepted, he moved with 
his family and took charge February 15th, 1875. 

On September 29th following, a call was regularly made 
out at a salary of eight hundred dollars and the free use of 
the parsonage. Having accepted the call the Presbytery of 
West Jersey appointed the Rev. W. A. Ferguson, of Pittsgrove* 
the Rev. Heber H. Bedle, of Bridgeton, and the Rev. James 
K. Wilson, of the First Presbyterian Church, Cedarville, a 
committee to install him pastor. These services they per- 
formed November 12th, 1875. 

During the five years which have intervened to the present 
time, the congregation have passed through a season of great 
financial depression. An unusual number have, in conse- 
quence, moved away. Several of the old and influential 
members have died, thus weakening it financially and 
otherwise. Elias W. Bateman and James H. Elmer have 
been added to the session. 

The winter of 1878-9 enjoyed an unusual refreshing. 
During these five years, fifty-seven have been received into 


church fellowship — about one-half in the spring of 1879. 
Twenty-two infants and twenty-eight adults have been bap- 
tized, and nineteen persons taken to their long home. Be- 
sides these, the pastor has assisted at several other funeral 

During the century there has been added to the church on 
the profession of their faith about one thousand souls. The 
average yearly addition has been about the same since 
Father Osborn's pastorate as during it. There have been 
seven pastors (including the short co-pastorate of the Rev. 
David D. McKee,) and two stated supplies. Thirty-seven per- 
sons have been associated in the session and co-operated with 
the pastor in the spiritual oversight. 

At present there are five elders and one hundred and forty- 
seven members. 


About a century ago Sabbath-schools took form and 
developed into a system, which is now among the most hon- 
ored, instruments for imparting religious instruction. 

Not until the year 1818 were they organized in the bounds 
of this parish. On December Tith, of this year, the citizens 
of Fairton met in the small stone school-house, which stood 
on the ground that the new building now occupies, and 
organized on the plan of the Sunday School Union. A com- 
mittee of seven was appointed to manage the affairs. Two 
were appointed to attend each Sabbath, by course, except 
that the seventh, being an odd number, had no partner. 

It was considered a union school, but made up chiefly of 
Presbyterians. Mr. John Trenchard, though not a member 
of the church, was one of the most interested and faithful 

It ran down and was suspended in 1821, but again resusci- 
tated in 1827, since which time it has enjoyed an uninter- 
rupted life. When it was reorganized, a superintendent was 


chosen to act instead of two of the committee. In 1830 two 
superintendents were chosen, and in 1833 the second was 
called assistant superintendent. 

Joseph Dayton was chosen the first superintendent and 
served till 1840, when he resigned, prior to moving west. Mr. 
Josiah Bennett, who is still living, and the oldest member 
of the church, was the second superintendent chosen. 

In 1840, they adopted the plan of electing teachers, but it 
was soon discontinued. The first list of teachers contains the 
names of three, Theodotia Smith, Joseph F. and Benjamin 
Jaggers. The first named is still living in our midst, the 
other two in Philadelphia and Camden, respectively. Miss 
Lydia Bennett was chosen teacher in 1843, and has continued 
as such to the present, without intermission, a period of 
thirty-seven years — a very worthy example of faithful labor. 

In 1865, a chapel at the rear of the church was built and 
the school moved into it. 

The constitution was now changed, dropping the seven 
managers and electing the several officers. In 1876, it was 
further changed, limiting the election to the officers, teachers 
and adult scholars. These are called the Sunday-school Asso- 

Besides those mentioned, Theophilus Trenchard, James 
Campbell, Ephraim H. Whiticar, Levi J. Craig and James H. 
Elmer have served as superintendents. The school now con- 
sists of one hundred and sixty-five members, seven officers 
and twenty teachers. 

It was an old custom to hold anniversaries of all the schools, 
Bridgeton, Fairton and Cedarville, in the Stone Church. It 
is now the custom to hold anniversaries commemorative of 
the removal from the old stone school-house into the new 


When the church was opened for service, a century ago, 
Mr. John Bateman was put in charge of the graveyard. His 
son John succeeded jhj^^ who was again followed by his son, 


Thomas. The last mentioned lived to be eighty years old, 
and was long familiarly called " Uncle Tommy." It con- 
tinued in the care of this family seventy-seven years. 

For the following facts, about all we have (of this period) 
regarding the burials, we are indebted to J. Barron Potter, 
M. D., of Bridgeton. His notes were taken in 1853, as given 
him by the sexton, Tommie Bateman. 

Of the sexton, the doctor says : " He seems to form a part 
and parcel of the establishment. He walks familiarly over 
the ground and can call up each shade, by its family name, 
whether it be mounded or sunken, or to the passer-by bears 
no external sign of a narrow house. For more than half a 
century he laid away in their long home, those that rest in 
this sacred ground. He had a large family connection, and 
his personal worth secured him high regard. He was seldom 
absent from public worship, and made the word of God his 
daily counsellor. The New Testament he had read in course 
fifty-seven times." 

The same year this house became the birth-place of souls, 
this yard became the receptacle of the dead. The first burial 
was the child of John Houseman, in 1780, marked only by a 
rude sandstone, without name or date. The second was John 
Barton. The third, and first marked by a tombstone, is 
Stephen Clark, Esq., May 13th, 1781. Then follow two Ruths, 
the wives of two elders, Jedediah Ogden and John Bower. 
His grandfather kept no record of burials and his father's is 
incomplete. He, Thomas, estimated the number of the first 
at one hundred, and his father's at five hundred. At this 
time, 1863, he had himself buried thirteen hundred and fifty. 
After this, to the time of his death, he probably added seventy- 
five to one hundred more — making in all more than two 
thousand graves." 

The following notes are not without interest : 

" At one time the sexton (Tommie Bateman), had the 
measures for six graves in his possession, before he had com- 
menced to dig the first. On one day he buried three mem- 


bers of the same family. Two stones, not far apart, marked 
"I. B." and "M. E." were pointed out, of whose epitaphs, the 
sexton remarked, " If truth is ever found on stone, you find 
truth there r 

Even so long ago, a grassy level space, a rod or two in 
length, was pointed out, of which it was often asked, " Why 
do you not bury here?" The sexton's reply was, "Beneath 
this quiet sod lie strewn, as leaves in autumn, the remains of 
one large family." 

Mr. Tommie Bateman was succeeded by Nathaniel Howell, 
an elder of the church, an humble and highly esteemed 
person. He had charge of the yard till his death in August, 
1868, and buried one hundred and seventy-seven bodies. 

Mr. Bayze N. Bateman was next appointed to take charge, 
and continued to do so until May, 1879. During his time 
some very important improvements were made. The church 
was covered with a slate roof. 

The forest trees* were cleared away, and the ground laid 
out in regular tiers of lots, with roadway and paths. Gravel 
was hauled gratuitously by many, and an iron fence built in 
front at an expense of thirteen hundred dollars. This 
expense was met by subscription ; the people having friends 
buried here very generally and very generously contributing. 

Mr. Bateman buried about three hundred, including some 
that were moved from the graveyard of the Second Presby- 
terian Church of Cedarville, and other places. 

In May, 1879, Mr. Justus Livingston was elected by the 
trustees to take charge of the graveyard, as well as sexton of 
the church at Fairton. He has added to this silent congrega- 
tion forty-two more. In the past year the yard has been 
cleaned, gravel walks made and lots sodded, at a cost of sev- 
eral hundred dollars. 

There are now not far from two thousand six hundred 
bodies reposing in this sacred yard. Only a little more than 

*I understand it was the sale of the timber that paid the expense of putting the roof on the 
buDding. I find no record of the expense incurred. 


one-third have stones within scriptions, commemorating their 
names and virtues. It is still true that most of those that 
repose around Father Osborn are his children in the flesh 
and in the spirit. 

The sexton of the Stone Church at first received onl}^ three 
pounds. A woman served in this office a few years. The 
amount paid was raised to seventeen dollars, but never any- 
more. The chopping of wood was considered extra. 

In the new church, at Fairton, the sexton received, at first, 
twenty-five dollars. This has been raised from time to time, 
till it reached sixty dollars, the sum now paid. 

The town meeting was held in the church from the first, 
which practice is still continued. 




The Old Stone Church, time-worn and gray, 
Survives, though, since its natal day, 
A hundred years have passed away ! 

Still stands, while those who planned and reared 
Its walls, have long since disappeared ; 
A sacred shrine, beloved, revered. 

With hallowed memories running o'er, 
With visions of the times of yore. 
Dear to each heart forevermore. 

And with them comes the kindly face 
Of one whose hfe we fondly trace ; — 
A Pastor, full of heavenly grace. 

A youth when, in those distant days. 

He led the flock in Wisdom's ways, 

With words of love, and prayer and praise. 

And still, through half a century 
Of sweet devotion, Uved to be 
A Father in God's ministry. 

Till, with the weight of years oppressed. 
His mission closed — accepted, blest, 
He tranquilly lay down to rest. 


And, reunited now with those 

Who, gathered here, these graves enclose, 

The Pastor and his flock reiDOse. 

But the archangel's trump shaU sound. 
And God Himself rend every mound 
Within this silent burial ground. 

Then shall the dead awake, and be 
Redeemed from death's deej) mystery 
To life and immortahty ! 

The fathers sleep, — but what they wrought. 
The faith and love their hves have taught. 
Survive the changes time has brought. 

And cherished with their memory, — 

Prized as a j)recious legacy, — 

The Old Stonk Chuegh shall ever be. 

Philadelphia, 1880. 


And its Connection with the " Old Stone Church ^ 


In 1818, when the Stone Church was the only Presbyterian 
Church in this part of the country, and when nearly all the 
people of Cedarville attended worship within its sacred walls, 
there was a Sabbath-school organized and sustained in a 
school-house, called the " Friendship " school-house, situated 
on the south side of the dam in that place. This school 
was organized on the 13th of September, 1818, at 8 o'clock in 
the morning. The time of meeting was afterwards changed 
to 2| o'clock in the afternoon, and Mr. John Burtt, (after- 
wards Rev. John Burtt,) in his first report, says : "Before the 
change was effected, scarcely so much as two hours could be 
devoted to instruction, owing to the distance between the 
school-house and the church. We shall now have from two 
to three hours at each meeting throughout the winter, which 
will enable us to devote a few minutes more to religious 
instruction than we could at the commencement of our labors. 
We are the more satisfied that we should have greater time 
allowed us to address the scholars on the important concerns 
of a hereafter, because our short experience enables us to per- 
ceive that much may be read or recited without being 
attended to or understood." 

The school was organized with one hundred and ninety 


scholars — ninety males and one hundred females. The first 
officers were Mr. John Burtt and Mr. Norton 0. Lawrence. 

It was organized by and under the supervision of a com- 
mittee of twelve gentlemen, of whom the Rev. Mr. Osborn 
was one. Two of this committee were required to visit the 
school every Sabbath, to counsel and encourage those en- 
gaged in the management and instruction of the scholars. 
It was made the duty of the superintendent to make a report 
quarterly to the patrons of the school. 

This, which was more than sixty years ago, was of course 
when Sabbath-schools were, in this region, in their infancy. 
But they seem to have gotten the idea, nevertheless, which 
there may be danger of losing sight of in these days of so 
many Sabbath-school appliances, but which it will be sad for 
our children if we do, viz: the Sabbath-school is for the 
study of the Bible. 

One man, now past his three score and ten, who was a 
member of that school, tells of his going, and carrying with 
him, by his father's direction, a book called the " Christian 
Remembrancer," a good book, no doubt, but it was not the one 
■for that place. He was told as he came to the door, that 
the Bible was the book he needed there. There was some 
heroic work done, in the way of committing to memory. 
They were desired at one time to commit the first ten verses 
of the fifth chapter of Matthew. Two girls repeated the 
whole chapter, which was regarded as quite a feat. Another 
girl was said, however, to have learned one thousand to 
twelve hundred verses in a week, and to accomplish this she 
sometimes worked on into the night, studying by the light of 
the moon ; and another girl, it is said, committed to memory 
a large portion of the Bible. 

A report dated April 20, 1824, which is about five and a 
half years after its organization, states — " the scholars have 
committed to memory and recited, since the organization of 
the school, two hundred and thirty -six thousand two hundred 
and sixty -five verses of Scripture, one hundred and five 


thousand four hundred and sixteen verses of hymns, and 
twenty thousand and ninety-three answers in the Catechism." 

This shows to us the only Presbyterian institution existing in 
Cedarville before the organization of a Presbyterian Church 
there, and something of the material to be used in it. 

There were many people living in that neighborhood 
who belonged to the Stone Church. The distance was 
considerable to walk (and there were many who did walk), 
and it was for these reasons chiefly that there were 
thoughts of the formation of a new church in that neighbor- 
hood, and steps in that direction were taken. The result of 
this was the organization of a church at Cedarville, on the 
twenty-third of October, 1838, consisting of thirty-five, who 
came with their certificates from the church at Fairfield, 
which is the Stone Church. Probably there were four from 
other churches who united with this thirty-five from the Stone 
Church in the petition for an organization, for the records 
give the names of thirty-nine who at first petitioned. These 
names are : 

Asa Fish, Reuben Nixon, 

Joel Westcott, Esther Bateman, 

David Whitecar, Hannah Blizzard, 

David Harris, Bathsheba Bowen, 

John Elmer, Oliver Blizzard, 

Archibald Bancroft, Ann Conover, 

Joab Sheppard, Phebe C. Moore, 

Elizabeth Newcomb, Elizabeth Blizzard, 

William R. Newcomb, Sarah F. Bateman, 

David McClure, Maria Bateman, 

Reuben Ware, Betsy L. Westcott, 

Rachel Fish, Nancy Trenchard, 

Mary Westcott, Clarrissa Husted, 

Hannah Whitecar, James R. Newcomb, 

Abigail Harris, Ruth Nixon, 

Elizabeth Elmer, Margaret P. Howell, 

Lydia Bancroft, Ann Eliza Ogden, 

Mary A. Sheppard, Abagail F. Burt, 

Jane Newcomb, Susan Ogden. 
Mary Ann McClure, 


At the meeting at which the church was organized, the 
Rev. George W. Janvier officiated, and preached a sermon 
from Exodus, 25 : 8, " And let them make me a sanctuary ; 
that I may dwell among them." 

Mr. Asa Fish having been an elder in the church at 
Fairton, was chosen to be an elder in this new church at 
Cedarville, and Messrs. David Whitecar and David Harris 
were elected and ordained elders on the 25th of November, 

It does not clearly appear whether they were on that day 
elected and ordained, or ordained only, but it is probable that 
they had been previously elected and were on that day or- 

While these provisions were being made for the spiritual 
interests of the church, its temporal affairs were not neglected. 
A constitution for their guidance appears upon the records, 
and on November 10th, 1838, previous to the ordination of 
the newly-elected elders, a board of trustees was chosen. 
This board consisted of the following persons, viz: John 
Elmer, James R. Newcomb, Preston Foster, Reuben Nixon 
and Joel Westcott. 

A Board of Trustees is supposed to have the care of the 
temporal interests of the church only, but one which would 
conduct its meetings as the meetings of this board were re- 
quired to be conducted, must be able to control not simply its 
temporal affairs, but must have much influence upon its 
spiritual interests also. It was required by the cbnstitution of 
the church that a man must be a communicant in the church 
to be eligible to the office of trustee, and in the rules which 
they adopted for the regulations of their own meetings, two 
items were prayers. We might reasonably expect such a 
board to succeed in whatever it should undertake. 

The Rev. David D. McKee preached for the new organiza- 
tion for a time, but was not settled over it as pastor. He had 
been co-pastor with the Rev. Mr. Osborn, of the Stone Church. 
His sympathies, however, were with the Old School, and it 


was probably for this reason that he did not remain in con- 
nection with the Stone Church, and his recent connection 
with that might give a sufficient reason to a Christian why he 
should not become the pastor of another church which was a 
branch of the old vine planted in the neighborhood. As he 
was about to leave them he preached a sermon to them, using 
for his text the exhortation of Joseph to his brethren, Gen. 
45 : part 24, " See that ye fall not out by the way." 

We cannot give the exact date, but it was probably very 
soon after the church became so thoroughly organized in 
its various parts, that the services of the Rev. Richard Curran 
were secured. There is a record of a meeting of session, 
dated August 24th, 1839, signed by Mr. Curran; he was 
therefore probably there previous to or by that time. 

After the records which we have of transactions about this 
time, there seems to be a great blank in the statements of the 
doings of the congregation. On the 5th of November, 1840, 
there was an election of trustees which resulted in the choice 
of Preston Foster, Nathaniel Ogden, David Harris, Robert 
Whitecar and Joel Westcott. 

This, and the record of one meeting of the Board of Trus- 
tees for the purpose of choosing officers, is all the record we 
have until November 4th, 1841, when we have the record of 
a meeting at which there was the election of trustees which 
resulted in choice of the following persons, viz : 

William Westcott, William Ogden, B. Rush Bateman, 
Daniel L. Burt and John Elmer ; and Messrs. David White- 
car and James R. Newcomb were chosen a committee of in- 
spection. These five trustees took three oaths before Leonard 
Lawrence, on the 10th day of November, 1841. 

The substance of these oaths were, 1st — That they would 
support the constitution of the L'nited States. 2d — That 
they did, and would bear true faith and allegiance to the 
government established in this State, under the authority of 
the people. 3d — That they would faithfully execute the 


trust reposed in them as trustees of the Presbyterian Church 
of Cedarville, according to the best of their abilities and 

These were each separately signed by the persons named 
in them, and each bears the attestation of the Justice of the 

The church thus organized and fitted for work, worshipped in 
what is now the Second Presbyterian Church, and was under 
the care of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. Very soon, 
however, that warm controversy which resulted in the 
division of the Presbyterian Church reached this place, and 
while the church then formed stood upon the side of the Old 
School, there were many living in that neighborhood who 
were more favorable to the new, the old church itself being 
upon that side. The result was that this young church went 
out from the building which they had been occupying, and 
held their services in the school-house known, as the "Friend- 
ship school-house," and a new organization was then formed, 
which was in connection with the New School branch of the 
Presbyterian Church, and which is now the Second Presby- 
terian Church of Cedarville. 

The First Church then was without a building, and for a 
time worshipped in this school-house, but successful efforts 
were soon made to secure a new house of worship, and a 
brick church, erected on a piece of ground situated on the 
north side of the dam, where the church now stands, obtained 
from Mr. Henry Lawrence, was the result. It seems 
strange, yet no records can be found of the proceedings when 
, this house was built. It was built or commenced in the year 
1839, as a tablet which bears that date upon its face, 
will testify. We find, however, no minutes of meetings, 
no appointments of committees, no bills, nor anything 
that gives us exact dates or figures of cost, etc. The church 
was evidently built, however, previous to December 2d, 1841, 
for there is a diagram of the church drawn at that time. 


This first building was supposed to be about thirty-seven 
by fifty feet. 

But while the records concerning the temporal affairs of 
the church are so very meagre, it is very evident that there 
was not inactivity, and that the church was growing. Min- 
utes of frequent meetings of session speak of additions to the 
church until we come to February 23d, 1840, when it is said 
that there were twenty-nine added to the church on that 
Sabbath. Most of these were received on the profession of 
their faith. Then, on July 10th, 1841, there was an addition 
of forty-one on certificates from the church at Fairfield ; and 
on the twentieth of November in the same year, sixteen from 
the same church, and one from the Presbyterian Church in 
Cheviot, Ohio. 

We find that on January 3d, 1842, Messrs. John Howell 
and Daniel L. Burt were installed as ruling elders. A record 
just following this, and although without date, probably refer- 
ring to about that time, states that the session of the Presby- 
terian Church, of Cedarville, consists of Messrs. Asa Fish, 
John Howell, David Whitecar, Daniel L. Burt, David Harris, 
elders, George W. Hires and David Fithian, deacons, and 
Richard Curran, stated supply. It appears that although 
Mr. Curran was ordained while they were worshipping in the 
school-house, and was regularly supplying them, he was not 
regularly called to the church until the 30th of March, 1842. 
The reason was that the church was receiving aid from the 
Board of Home Missions, and, for some reason, they seemed 
to wish to become self-sustaining before they should call a 
pastor. This they accomplished, and when they called Mr, 
Curran, and off'ered him a salar}^ it was to be paid by the 
congregation themselves. Since then the church has always 
been self-sustaining. Mr. Curran's pastorate lasted to the 11th 
of January, 1848, when it was dissolved by the Presbytery of 
West Jersey. 

Mr. Curran was speedily followed by Mr. Thomas W. 
Cattell, a licentiate of the Presbytery, who was invited by the 


session to supply their pulpit for three months, and who ac- 
cepted the invitation in less than a week after the pastoral 
relation of Mr. Curran and the church had been dissolved. 
He very soon received a call and was ordained and installed 
as its pastor. 

Mr. Cattell was with this church until September, 1851, a 
little more than three years, when the pastoral relation was dis- 
solved by the Presbytery of West Jersey, at a meeting held at 
Bridgeton, on the first Tuesday in September, 1851. Dur- 
ing this pastorate there seems to have been frequent additions 
to the church, and the building was enlarged by the addition 
of twenty feet to its length. 

Upon an invitation from the session, the Rev. J. A. Annin, 
of Franklin, Ohio, came and commenced labor among them 
on September 19th, 1852. 

At a meeting held January 18th, 1853, a call was extended 
to Mr. Annin to become the pastor of the church. On the 
29th of March, 1856, three elders were elected, viz.: Messrs. 
Ephraim Harris, James M. Newcomb and Jasper Bateman. 

Messrs. Jasper Bateman and James M. Newcomb were 
ordained elders on Sunday morning, May 11th, but, on 
account of sickness, Mr. Harris was never ordained.. 

The pastorate of Mr. Annin was the longest that has yet 
existed in this church, extending over nearly fourteen years. 
Very brief is the notice of his departure, but there seems to 
have been frequent additions to the church scattered along 
through these years. The largest seems to have been in 
February, 1858, when there were forty-six admitted on pro- 
fession of their faith. At his own request, the pastoral 
relation was dissolved by the Presbytery of West Jersey on 
July 19, 1866. 

On the 31st of the same month there was a meeting of the 
congregation at which a unanimous call was extended to the 
Rev. William E. Jones, late of Bath, N. Y., for his pastoral 
services. This call was accepted, and it is recorded, under 
date of August 25, 1866, that the Rev. William E. Jones, 


pastor-elect, having arrived, commenced his labors in this 

The pastorate of Mr. Jones was a short one, lasting but 
about four years, but it seems to have been marked by large 
additions to the church. 

The Rev. James H. Clark followed Mr. Jones, having re- 
ceived a call on August 24th, 1870. His pastorate lasted until 
July 19th, 1874. At a meeting of session, held September 
7th, 1874, Rev. James K. Wilson was invited to supply the 
pulpit for one year, with a view to a call and settlement as 
pastor, if the way be clear, in six months or any time during 
the year. Mr. Wilson was afterward installed and remained 
pastor of the church until the 17th of April, 1878. Novem- 
ber 23d, 1878, a call was extended to Rev. George L. Smith 
the present pastor, who was installed April 25th, 1879. 

Early in the pastorate of Mr. Clark, on December 31st,- 
1870, Messrs. A. F. Bateman, George Gandy and Henry M. 
Howell were elected ruling elders, and on Sunday morning, 
January 15tli, 1871, they were ordained. 

Death has at various times removed members of the session 
and some have changed their places Of residence, until now 
there is not one of the original session among us. The ses- 
sion is composed at the present time of Messrs. Jasper Bate- 
man, James M. Newcomb, A. F. Bateman and Henry M. 
Howell, elders, and Rev. George L. Smith, pastor. 

Nearly all those who formerly belonged to the old mother 
church have been removed by death, or otherwise, until now 
there are to be found, as near as can be ascertained, but sixteen 
of those who once belonged to the Old Stone Church among 
us ; and of the original petitioners for the new organization 
there are but three, Mrs. Elizabeth Blizzard, Messrs. Joab 
Sheppard and Archibald Bancroft, now living among us. 

The Sabbath-school connected with this church was organ- 
ized April 5th, 1840. The names of the superintendents 
who have served in this school are Dr. B. Rush Bateman, 
William Ogden, George W. Hires, David Whitaker, Jeremiah 


Hann, David Harris, Jasper Bateman, Dr. Robert M. Bateman 
and A. F. Bateman, who at present holds the office. 

It seems impossible to tell the exact number that came 
from the Stone Church to this, on account of imperfections in 
the records, but, as near as we can ascertain, there were, pre- 
vious to the last of the year 1841, or within about three years, 
a little over one hundred. 

There seems to have been added to the original number 
from every source, before November 20th, 1841, one hundred ; 
and from that on before the date February, 1848, forty-two 
more, and so on until, in April, 1869, there is reported to Pres- 
bytery two hundred and twenty members. From worship- 
ping in a school-house, which was their only shelter, they 
built a brick church, in 1839, measuring, probably, thirty- 
seven by fifty feet, and, a little later, enlarged it by the 
addition of twenty feet in length. There was built, too, quite 
a large and commodious parsonage. During the last sum- 
mer the church has been further improved and beautified. 


And its Connection with the "■ Old Stone Church.'" 


It was at the end of that period, from 1830-8, when the 
church had been rent asunder by feuds and doctrinal 
discords, and when the churches once more began to have a 
foundation, that the Second Church was formed. 

It must not be supposed that, on this account, it grew out of 
schism, or that it separated, because of any difference of 
doctrinal views, from the Mother Church. Its growth was 
necessar}^ and natural, as may be seen by a reference to the 
Session Records, pages 1 and 2 : "A considerable portion of 
the people of Cedarville and vicinity^ connected with the 
Presbyterian Church and congregation of Fairfield, under 
the pastoral charge of Rev. Ethan Osborn, having for a long 
time desired to have a Presbyterian Church established in 
that village, and concluding that the time had arrived that 
it should be brought about ; did, according to previous public 
notice from the pulpit on the Sabbath previous, hold a meet- 
ing in the church at Cedarville, on the evening of the 17th of 
August, 1838, to consult about the propriety of having a 
church organized at that place, and to adopt measures for 
that purpose." 

The reason why a church here was judged necessary was, 
that Cedarville and vicinity, comprising the south part of 


Mr. Osborn's congregation, and the greater portion of it being 
considerably remote from the place of worship, occasioned 
great inconvenience in attendance at the church." 

An adjourned meeting was held on the evening of the 22d 
of August ; likewise on the 31st ; and also on the 14th of 
September. What was done we only get a hint of here and 
there. In the meantime a petition was drawn up, and 
upwards of sixty signers obtained, requesting the Presbytery 
to organize them into a church, which petition it was under- 
stood should be presented before the Presbytery in October, 
when in session at Greenwich. Although this church did 
not originate through the spirit of schism, yet the odium 
theologicum of this time did affect its ecclesiastical relations. 

Although there was a difference of sentiment among the 
people in relation to the two divisions of the Presbyterian 
Church then existing, yet, under the conviction that it was 
necessary to be united, to support a church when formed, it 
was considered advisable to forbear, preferring a connection 
with the Third Presbytery of Philadelphia. 

Thus everything progressed well enough outwardly, but 
beneath there was a smouldering fire, which needed but the 
least fanning to cause it to burst into a flame. 

This little fanning was done in an unlocked for and in- 
structive way. Instructive, as showing how small a thing 
may set in motion sleeping emotions, which shall produce 
great and lasting results. " Behold how great a matter a 
little fire kindleth." 

The Rev. David D. McKee was co-pastor with the Rev. 
Mr. Osborn. About this time he preached a sermon which 
contained views in harmony with the majority of the Assem- 
bly of '37 ; and Mr. Osborn favored the minority of that 
Assembly. So it was but natural that there should have 
been two parties in the congregation, which we immediately 
find to have been the case. For we find it recorded, that at 
the meeting of September 14th, the congregation voted to 
retract from their resolution, viz : " to be organized as a 


church by the Presbytery of West Jersey, and now voted 
that they would be organized by the Third Presbytery of 
Philadelphia." In accordance with this, in October, the 
committee, which was appointed in September, " were in- 
duced, from various considerations, to write to the Third 
Presbytery of Philadelphia, requesting that some of their 
ministers come down and preach a few times, as some 
thoughts were entertained of petitioning the Presbytery to 
organize a church at Cedarville. 

In accordance with the above request, Rev. Alexander Por- 
ter, of Philadelphia, came down and preached, acquainted 
himself with our situation, and, on- his return, was furnished 
with a petition signed by a number of individuals, request- 
ing the Presbytery to organize a church here as soon as prac- 
ticable, if it met with their approbation. The petition being 
presented by Rev. Mr. Porter, according to instructions, was 
complied with by the Presbytery. A committee was ap- 
pointed to come down and confer with Rev. Mr. Osborn on 
the subject, and if the way should be clear, to proceed and 
organize the church, which took place on the evening of the 
sixth of November, 1838. 

The following persons having presented one general cer- 
tificate of dismission from Rev. Ethan Osborn 's church, 
dated November 5th, 1838, were organized into a church, at 
Cedarville, on the sixth of November, by the Rev. Robert W. 
Landis, — the church to be known by the name of " The 
Second Presbyterian Church of Fairfield :" 

Benjamin Thompson, James M. Batemau, 

Nathaniel Diament, Benj. F. More, 

Ruth Diament,* Charles E. Bateman,* 

Harriet Lawrence, Lot Fithian, 

John Duflield, Ruth Smith, 

Mary Duffield, Elizabeth Johnson, 

Samuel Conover, Smith Burt, 

Nancy Conover,* William Conover,* 

Henry Powell, Joanna Conover,* 


Rebecca Powell, Elmer O. Bateman,* 

Charlotte Bateman, Sarah Bateman, 

Charlotte Bateman, John Husted, 

(daughter, Langley*) Hannah Husted, 

Matilda Thompson,* Eleazer S. Bateman.* 
Total twenty-seven. 

Nathanial Diament was elected and ordained ruling elder. 

Thus the church was organized. Their first minister, Rev. 
Alexander Porter, was employed for three months, whose 
term of service expired on March 24th, the following year, 
1839. During this time the blessing of the Lord seems to 
have attended the ministrations of the word ; for, in the 
month of March just mentioned, fifteen persons were received 
on the profession of their faith. 

The second elder was Isaac Harris, elected and ordained 
August 10th, 1839. 

In the beginning of the following year, 1840, Rev. A. G. 
Morss began to preach to this church as stated supply, and 
continued till in July, 1843, over three years. A number of 
ministers seem to have preached to the church at stated 
intervals, until November, 1845. Then we find this 
record : " November 19, 1845 — This day Rev. Beriah B. 
Hotchkin was installed, by a committee of the Third Pres- 
bytery of Philadelphia, as pastor of this church in connection 
with the First Presbyterian Church of Fairfield. Thus the 
mother and daughter were re-united under one pastorate ; 
this being the first pastor of the Second Church up to this 
time. This relation seems to have happily existed for nearly 
five years, for on page 71 of minutes we find the following 
record : 

" June 11th, 1850, the Fourth Presbytery of Philadelphia 
dissolved the pastoral relation subsisting with Rev. B. B. 
Hotchkin and the First and Second Presbyterian Churches of 

*Still living. 


Thus was snapped asunder the last visible tie which bound 
them, but not the invisible and spiritual which, we trust, will 
last through time and eternity. 

It would be pleasant to trace still further the history of this 
church, but the object with which we started out is attained, 
viz : Its origin and connection with the Old Stone Church. 

It only remains to mention one fact more. On December 
20th, 1870, the Presbytery of "West Jersey" changed the name 
of this church from the Second Church of Fairfield, to the 
Second Church of Cedarville, the name by which it is now 

That God will bless this church and make it a garner for 
many souls in the present and future is the prayer of many 



It has been assigned me, on this interesting occasion, to 
read a paper containing some incidents connecting the history 
and style of that part of worship pertaining to sacred song, as 
practised in the olden time, by a congregation who were wont 
to meet in this ancient and venerated house of God ; and I 
only regret that one more capable had not been chosen. 

As I look around me, and on this day especially, I am 
carried back, in thought, quite a half-century. 

When but a little boy I was accustomed to sit in yonder 
pew, and listen to the words of that good man, the Rev. Father 
Osborn, whose name has been associated with this house and 
place for one hundred years. He was in the pulpit on the 
Sabbath morning of each returning Lord's Day, to preach an 
earnest, practical sermon. In my childish notion of things I 
believed that somewhere about that sounding board there was 
an Angel, or some invisible Being, communicating with the 
speaker, dictating and directing the words he uttered ; and 
hence every motion of the speaker, and the surroundings, filled 
me with awe, and the most profound reverence for the place 
and the day. 

In this clerk's seat (as it was then called) were usually four 
singers, whose office was to lead ; and I now call to mind 
David F. Bateman, Aaron Bennett, Woodruff Robinson and 
Harvey Bateman, who usually officiated. 

After the hymn or psalm was announced from the pulpit, 


they would rise deliberately in their places, name the tune, 
take the pitch from a sounding fork, slide up and down the 
scale, giving the sound of each of the four parts ; then the 
singing commenced, and the different parts of the tune could 
be heard distinctly throughout the congregation, all joining 
heartily in the worship. 

The tunes then in use were selected from a book called 
" Wyth's 2d Part," which contained " shape notes," (some- 
times called the " patent notes ") and read Faw, Sol, Law, 
Mi. Having to repeat these notes, in order to complete the 
scale, it required no ordinary degree of study to render the 
sounds accurately, giving the tones and semi-tones their 
proper relation to each other ; and, in order to make one pro- 
ficient in the art, certain rules were introduced for the study 
of beginners, called " The Gamut." 

It was supposed that those who occupied the clerk's seat 
were trained in the schools, and led these devotions by rule, a 
position I sometimes thought of, but with little hope of ever 

The tunes then in use were largely Minor — the Minor al- 
ways used at funerals. I recall such as Russia, Supplication, 
Windham, Coleshill, New Durham, Old Hundred, Glasgow, 
Ocean, Sherburne, Nettleton, Canaan, Silverstreet and Lenox, 
and the anthems, Easter Anthem and Denmark. 

Some of the singers at this time noted in the congregation, 
were Daniel L. Burt, James Campbell, Reuben Ware, Joseph 
Robinson, Leonard Bateman, Jasper Bateman and William 
Moore ; three of the number are still living, and are with us 

Mr. James Campbell was the leader in our meetings at 
Fairton, for many years. He made no claim as to singing 
by rule, (as he often expressed himself) but he had a clear 
voice, an accurate ear, and was a good leader. 

The custom of leading from the clerk's seat seemed to fall 
away by common consent ; and, for some time, the singing 
was led by Reuben Ware, David F. Bateman and William 


Moore, raising the tune from the seats they occupied in the 
body of the church, or from the front pew in the gallery. 
From this custom the singing began to decline, and fears 
were entertained that the public worship would suffer in 

In about the year 1837-8, (soon after the division,) a choir 
was formed, and the singers took their seats in the gallery, in 
front of the pulpit. A new singing book was then introduced, 
containing many additional tunes. This was pleasing to the 
young people, but the older folks affirmed that the new tunes 
were not as good as the old. 

In our singing schools the new, or Pestillozian System of 
Instruction, was used, (giving to each note a name and dis- 
tinct sound), which soon became popular, and harmonized all 
discordant elements. The new books introduced were "Ives' 
Book," "Boston Academy," and "Carmena Sacra." 

The original members of this choir were: Ladies — Martha 
Bateman, Alvira Githens, Ruhama Seeley, Jane Clark, Mary 
Westcott and Theodocia Smith. Gentlemen — Joseph Camp- 
bell, Benjamin Jaggers, Isaac Sheppard and Joseph F. Jag- 
gers. The choir of the Fairton church had its origin in this 

In the year 1842 Mr. Daniel Williams removed from Phila- 
delphia to his farm in Herring Row, and thereafter rendered 
us valuable assistance in singing. After the dedication of 
the new church building, in 1850, by formal invitation of the 
session, Mr. Williams took charge of the choir, and led the 
singing of the congregation. The choir had now become 
enlarged, and among those added were: Ladies — Lydia 
Barrett, Emily Trenchard, Hannah Campbell, Nancy Trench- 
ard, Mary Holmes, Mary Campbell, Sarah Jane Bennett and 
Mary Githens ; Gentlemen — Theophilus Trenchard, Joseph 
Williams, Daniel M. Williams, Samuel H. Williams, Albert 
Williams and Charles Campbell. 

In the worship at the " Old Stone Church," in the 
olden time, we had no organ, but, in about the year 186"2, an 


instrument was purchased of the First Presbyterian Church, 
of Bridgeton, for the sum of fifty dollars. This was soon 
laid aside, being replaced by a cabinet organ, which is still in 
use. Albert Williams was our first organist, and continued 
to act in that capacity until his removal to the city of Phila- 
delphia, in 1867. At intervals, in his absence, his place was 
supplied by Mary W. Jaggers. Since that time the position 
has been filled by Mrs. McNichols and her sister. Miss Sophro- 
nia Elmer, now deceased. 

From 1858 to 1866 the responsibility of keeping up the 
choir rested largely upon Mr. Theophilus Trenchard. Under 
his management the singing was well sustained, and a num- 
ber of the younger singers were added to the choir, some of 
whom remain at the present time. Since 1866 the direction 
and leadership have been by Mr. Samuel H. Williams. 

But allow me to relate a few incidents in the life and habits 
of that man of God, who was the settled pastor of the " Old 
Stone Church " for the term of fifty -five years. 

I could never meet him without feeling impressed by the 
power of Christian example, and I had some innate idea 
that he knew my thoughts, and all about my life ; hence, my 
deportment, while in his presence, was always that of the 
highest order. 

During his pastoral visits to our house, my mother would 
call us together around the family altar, while he read from 
the Bible and prayed for us, not forgetting all the children, 
whether present or absent. On such occasions I would take 
the seat farthest from him, in some corner, or shield myself 
behind a chair, where the least observed. In taking his leave 
of the family he would take each one by the hand, at the 
same time making a personal appeal to live a Christian life ; 
and I felt greatly relieved when he left, though his visits 
made a most salutary impression on my mind. 

I well remember, also, his manner of entering the church 
on a Sabbath morning. Some ten or fifteen minutes before 
the hour of service he might be seen, on a morning in sum- 


mer, slowly and thoughtfully walking along the grove up to 
the church. The trees, large and in full foliage, afforded a 
delightful shade. A number of the well known members of 
the congregation, standing in groups, discussing the events of 
the day, would each in turn, as he approached, step forward 
to grasp the cordial hand extended, with the usual salutation 
and inquiry as to the family welfare. The line generally ex- 
tended some considerable distance, from the center of the 
grove to the church fence, and sometimes nearly to the door. 
He would take those directly in his way by the hand, bowing 
politely to others in the background, or at a distance, who 
were too diffident to approach him. He then entered the 
church reverently, taking off his hat as he passed through 
the door, and, with a measured step, walked along the upper 
aisle to the pulpit steps, aad ascended. Taking his seat in the 
pulpit, he would draw from his pocket a brown silk handker- 
chief, and wipe his eye-glasses thoroughly, after which he was 
ready for service. 

The invocation being over, he read a portion of the Scrip- 
ture, together with the marginal notes and practical observa- 
tions ; then followed prayer and singing. 

He was none the less methodical in his preparations for the 
pulpit. His sermons were carefully prepared, and divided 
regularly into three parts, viz. : Introduction, Doctrine and 
Application. The introduction and doctrinal parts consumed 
thirty minutes, and the application fifteen, making his dis- 
course forty-five minutes in length. If, perchance, he had 
taken for the first two parts two or more minutes than the 
time allotted, he would say, " But I hasten to a close." He 
carried his watch in a fob, with a shining steel chain and a 
flat silver key, or seal, attached. At the end of the doctrinal 
part of the discourse this watch was always taken out, and the 
hour noted, when he would govern the remainder of the time 

But the crowning excellence of this eminent servant of 
God was, in my estimation, most manifest in his sympathy 


with the bereaved, and his manner at funerals. Let us pause 
for a moment and look at that band of mourners at the gate. 
A coffin is borne by four men, the pastor at the head, and, 
close in the rear, a mourning family. Following them a large 
number of friends have come to pay the last tribute of respect 
to one so lately their associate. Now they reach an open 
grave. The coffin is let down into the narrow house. The 
last sad look is taken. They retire a few steps, and the sexton, 
with others, fill up the grave. Now and then a sob is heard 
from the mourners, and tears of sympathy fall from the 
spectators. Solemnity reigns ! The last shovelful of earth 
now rests upon the new-made grave ; the head and foot are 
marked by temporary stakes of wood. The workmen have 
moved back into the crowd. All reverently take off their 
hats, and stand silently confronting the future and the past. 
Father Osborn steps to the head of the grave, and, with 
bared head, looks over the congregation and speaks : 

" In behalf of the relatives and friends of the deceased, I 
return thanks for your kindness and attendance on this 
mournful occasion. Again we are solemnly reminded, in the 
Providence of God, that we are mortal, and must soon pass 

" One and another of our friends are taken away by death. 
But a short time ago, our friend who is now in his grave, 
was active and among us, but he is with us no more ! Go to 
his home, where he was so recently surrounded by his 
family, he is not there ! Go to his workshop, or his accus- 
tomed place of business, he is not there ! Go, on the Sab- 
bath, to yonder church, where he was wont to sit, hearing 
the word of God, he is not there ! Where is he ? His spirit 
has returned to God who gave it. His body lies in the grave 
never more to awake until the archangel's trump shall 
sound, and call the sleeping dead to judgment ! May God, 
in His infinite mercy, prepare us all to follow him, that in 
the morning of the resurrection we may awake to eternal 
life ! And now, may the grace of God, the Father, who 


brought again from the dead our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, be with you, and abide with you, both now, hence- 
forth, and forevermore, amen !" 

And, in conclusion, let me say, that as I stand before you 
to-day, with the reminiscences of the past half century 
vividly in review, I seem to be among the dead — yet with the 
living. This house, dedicated to the worship of God one 
hundred years ago, venerable by age, and preserved intact ; 
hallowed by many holy associations ; that graveyard ! — 
where lie my kindred dust, and friends of my youth — make 
it to me the most sacred place and spot upon earth, and 
when it shall please God to remove me hence, it is my prayer 
— if His will — that my mortal body be borne by friends to 
this resting place, and in the morning of the resurrection 
arise together to life eternal and a home in heaven. 


Just before the close of the exercises of the day, Dr. Wil- 
liam Elmer, the chairman, called upon the Rev. William L. 
Githens, rector of the " Church of the Advent," San Fran- 
cisco, to address the assembly in a few words of parting. Mr. 
Githens had but just arrived from California, and it seemed 
most opportune that he should be present, the only represen- 
tative from so large a family who had once worshipped in 
the old church. 


I wish to thank the historian of the day, the Rev. Dr. 
Whitaker, for his beautiful tribute to the memory of my 
cousin, the Rev. Dr. N. C. Burt, and also my appreciation of 
the kindl}'^ notice of my family, four generations of whom 
lie buried in the old church yard. 

The Centennial of the Old Stone Church ! — what a subject ! 
What a picture ! — where the mind that can grasp the thought, 
where the artist that can paint the picture ? One hundred 
years to stand as a witness to the truth. One hundred years 
of holy services, holy lessons and holy lives. A hundred 
years ago ! Our nation was young, but four years old in its 
independence, and now behold the contrast ! 

Pilgrims have journeyed thousands of miles to worship at 
the shrine of some saint, or to tread the plains of Palestine. 
Sacred, because the God-Man once trod those plains ! To-day 
bow low, for this spot is sacred ; put thy shoes from off 
thy feet, for the place where we meet is holy gfound. 
Around and about us there is an unseen but not an unfelt 
presence. We may call this burial place the City of the Dead ; 


is it so ? Have they not entered into life ? Is not this the 
land of the dying, with its funeral trains, its sick beds and its 
graves ? Beyond is that better life, is the rest that remains. 
Around and about us may be hovering Angel Spirits. For 
once this old and deserted church is alive with living, breath- 
ing men and women, gathered to do honor to the old building 
consecrated by sacred memories. 

The Old Stone Church — here as a little boy but five years 
old, I followed the coffin of my father, and saw it placed 
before this desk and stood in the presence of an awful mys- 
tery, that I could not understand. A year later, and the 
remains of my sainted mother stood here, and the white- 
haired pastor prayed for the orphans, that the Father of 
Mercies would care for and protect them. That dear old man 
— will his name ever be forgotten ? Is it not true of him 
that he "being dead, yet sleepeth ?"' The name of the Rev. 
Ethan Osborn is a household word in homes far scattered — 
east, west, north and south — and his picture may be seen 
hanging upon the walls, but dearer still the picture engraved 
in the hearts of those whom he helped to lead to Christ. 
Well do I recall that feeling of reverence with which I gazed 
upon him as with bared head, and in his black silk gown, he 
walked from yonder gate to this, his pastor's desk. The 
impression of the fitness of that outside badge of the servant 
of God has, perhaps, helped me to cling lovingly to that 
church which bids her Priests be clothed in white when they 
approach God's altar. 

0, the memories of this Old Stone Church ! how they come 
trooping up before me ; how many I can see before me as I 
look around upon these pews and in the gallery, that have 
passed to the other shore ! There are some memories that 
are not all solemn, that come back to me as I look around. 
In that old gallery the boys used to sit, and a favorite place 
in the summer was the window seats. In those times the 
church was fairly infested with wasps, and as I never could 
lay claim to the title of a " good little boy," such as we used 


to read about in our Sunday School library books, I, with 
two other boys about the same age, would employ most of our 
time, to the neglect of sermon or lesson, to the killing of those 
humble insects. We three boys, grey-headed now, one a Pres- 
byterian minister in Ohio, another an elder of the Presbj'^te- 
rian. Church in Fairton, the other has the privilege of bring- 
ing up these memories of the past. It was worth while com- 
ing three thousand miles to be present at these services to-day. 
It would be worth while to come ten times three thousand 
miles to meet the welcome that has met me on every side from 
the friends of other days. These the treasures of friendship 
and regard to be treasured through eternity. 

The time must come when this church must crumble and 
fall and not a stone be left to mark the spot where once it 
stood. Will it have perished ? No ! A thousand times. No ! 
Like the invisible ladder in Jacob's dream, upon which the 
angels ascended and descended, so outside the walls of this 
church another temple has been erected, all unseen by mortal 
eyes, but upwards and upwards has it ascended, and see, on its 
topmost wall there stands the cross of the crucified, and there 
comes floating down to us the music of the harpers, as they cast 
their crowns before the throne, and sing the new song to Him 
who has redeemed them from death, " Thou art worthy, 0, 
Lord." And see — that goodly company — and one among them 
who has received the "Well done, good and faithful servant." 
It is the pastor with his flock ; they are a part of the multi- 
tude that no man can number ; they are safely housed, safely 
home in the mansions prepared for them ages ago. 

Aye, this old church may crumble and fall, but not the 
lessons of hope, of faith, which, learned within these walls, 
are to grow and spread through all eternity, and if we, my 
friends, so follow God's saints in all virtuous and godly living 
— we shall come at last to those unspeakable joys that God 
has prepared for all who love him ; with the sure faith and 
trust in the everlasting God, when every earthly structure 
shall crumble, we may have our dwelling place in that 
" temple not made with hands eternal in the heavens.'^ 


The venerable Rev. David D. McKee, residing at Hanover, 
Ind., was invited to participate in the memorial services at 
the Stone Church, of which he was co-pastor with Father 
Osborn, some forty-four years ago. In his letter of reply, 
addressed to Rev. S. R. Anderson, which was read at the 
centennial, after expressing a desire to be present on such 
an interesting occasion, but declining, because of his 
health and the journey to be undertaken, he proceeds to 
make the following graphic and interesting outline of the 
precious revival enjoyed by the church in 1836. It is especi- 
ally valuable as being the only history of that remarkable 
work of grace that has ever been written and published : 

" In October, 1835, I was licensed to preach by the Presby- 
tery of Philadelphia, in session at Salem, N. J., at which time 
I was a student of theology in the Princeton Seminary. In 
April, 1836, at the request of Dr. Alexander, I went to Fair- 
field and placed myself under the care of Rev. Ethan 
Osborn and the session of the church, to spend my vacation 
in such work as they might assign me. 

" The arrangement was that the Sabbath morning service 
was to be at the Stone Church, conducted on alternate Sab- 
baths by Father Osborn and myself. He was to take what 
other service his health and strength would permit. I was 
to preach on alternate Sabbath afternoons or evenings at the 
villages of Cedarville and Fairton, and on week evenings, as 
occasion might offer, in the school-houses in the vicinity. 
Much of my time was employed in visiting the families of the 
congregation and in forming the acquaintance of the people. 


In mingling with the people I found a few persons who were 
more or less earnestly inquiring after the way of salvation. 

" There had been kept up, as I learned, for many years, a 
Saturday evening prayer meeting, at the school-house in 
Cedarville, which, from my first coming among them, was 
generally well attended. 

" After I had been there several weeks, one Saturday morn- 
ing, just as I was starting to Bridgeton, to preach a prepara- 
tory lecture for Brother Kennedy, a young man came to my 
room, anxiously inquiring, as did the jailor, " What must I 
do to be saved ?" After a brief conversation, and promising 
to see him in the evening at the prayer meeting, I hurried 
off to meet my appointment. In the evening, as I returned, 
I called on Father Osborn, and he went with me to the 
prayer meeting. The school-house was crowded. The meet- 
ing was conducted in the usual way, with brief remarks, 
both by Father Osborn and myself, and was dismissed at the 
usual time. The young man spoken of in the morning came 
up, and I directed him to Mr. Osborn, and just then I was 
asked to step to another part of the house where I found 
several persons, whose anxious inquiry was, " what they 
must do to be saved !" In looking around I observed that 
the congregation, instead of leaving, had all taken their 
seats, and the whole audience was greatly moved, and sup- 
pressed sobs were heard from every part of the house. An 
hour or more was spent in singing, prayer, exhortation and 
private conversation, when the congregation was again 
dismissed ; but none, or very few, left the house. The exer- 
cises were resumed and continued till the hour of midnight, 
when it was suggested that the duties of the Sabbath were 
coming on, and that it might be profitable to spend a few 
hours in the privacy of our own chambers, and give oppor- 
tunity for meditation, and that we would meet there at sun- 
rise in the morning to spend an hour in prayer. The people 
then slowly retired, many of them going in groups of four 
or five to different houses with some experienced Christian, and 


the remainder of the night was spent in religious exercises. 
At sunrise the house was filled with deeply interested, anxious 
worshippers. The morning service at the Stone Church was 
well attended. In the evening the school-house was not 
only full, but they were crowded around the windows on the 
outside, anxious to hear the gospel. At the close of the ser- 
vice I appointed an inquiry meeting for Monday evening at 
my own room, where the session would meet with the anxious 
and inquiring, to direct and instruct them. Between sixty 
and seventy came, and after weeks of instruction, both pub- 
lic and private, at the first communion season, the session 
received into membership of the church, on the profession of 
their faith, sixty-two persons, the fruit of this revival. At a 
subsequent communion others came in, making in all about 
seventy. And I do not know that any of the number ever 
dishonored their profession. Many of them, after consistent 
Christian lives, " have fallen asleep, but some remain until 
the present time." One of them has been a useful minister 
of the gospel for a third of a century. There were other 
youths in the congregation, who, although they were not 
brought into church at that time, may have received im- 
pressions that resulted in their conversion, and who became 
ministers of the gospel — N. C. Burt, one, if not two of the 
sons of E. Westcott, and also a son of Mr. Whitaker. I have 
spoken of this revival as a remarkable work of grace — re- 
markable in that it came without any apparent special human 
agency. It was manifest to all that it came " not by might, 
not by power, but by the spirit of the Lord." I felt and be- 
lieved then, I feel and believe still, that there was an inti- 
mate communion between that long continued Saturday 
evening prayer meeting and that precious revival. There 
had been earnest, importunate, persevering and believing 
prayer that brought down this rich shower of blessing."