By Klin«s Vosseller.
FLEMINGTON, N. J.,
Printed for the Society.
•• > » -i
(I. W. BURROUGHS,
Book and Jon Printkk.
CRANBURY, N. J.
• • •
• • •
•• • •••••
. * .
4 « •
t I t
4HE Hunterdon County Historical Soci-
^ ety was organized September nth,
1SS5, by Doctors Henry Race, Geo. H. Lari-
son, N. B. Boileau, Geo. N. Best and Rev.
Dr. Geo. S. Mott, Rev. C. S. Conkling and
William T. Srope, E. M. Heath, John W.
Lequear, Jacob Servis, Richard H. Wilson,
Walter F. Hayhurst, Jos. C. Exton, E. T.
Bush, Asher W T . Carroll and Elias Vosselkr.
Doctors G. H. Larison, Henry Race and
Rev. C. vS. Conkling were appointed a com-
mittee to draft a Constitution and By-Laws.
In the Constitution the object of the Society
is declared to be "to discover, procure and
preserve whatever relates to any department
of the History of Hunterdon County, natural,
civil, genealogical, literary or ecclesiastical :
and generally of other parts of the State."
"It shall also act in auxiliary relations
with the New Jersey Historical Society ac-
cording to the plan adopted by that Society."
Doctor George H. Larison was elected its
first President. The yearly business meet-
ing is held on the third Saturday of October,
in the chapel of the Presbyterian church of
Flemington, at which time officers are elected
for the coming year, reports of the officers
made, the more important items that have
been added to our Collections during the
year, exhibited, one or more papers of his-
torical value read, and plans for the good of
the Society discussed.
During the summer at such time and place
as the Executive Committee may select, a
more general meeting is held, and often
largely attended. Such meetings have been
held in the M. E. Church, of Frenchtown, in
the grove of W. F. Holcombe, at Mt. Airy,
in connection with the Holcombe Re-union,
terization of a would-be Reformer.
.- Day bv day he gave the Almighty advice,
Which he deemed of great woith.
And his wife took in sewing,
To keep things going,
While he superintended the earth
From Miss Kate Taylor. "Shuster's Hol-
low School and its Teachers."
From Dr. Havhurst "A Memorial of Jacob
Servis " one of our most enthusiastic mem-
bers From our Corresponding Secretary,
Mr. Elias Yosseller, "A Sketch of the Copper
Mining Enterprises near Flemington. 1 Ins
also was published in pamphlet form by Mr.
H. E. Deats. .
From Mrs. Mary C. Vail '"A Historical
Sketch of the Friends Meeting at Quaker-
town." From Walter F. Havhurst an
appreciative Sketch of the Life of George H.
prison, M- I)- our first President, whose
death was greatly deplored.
One of our members discovered that k,
, ()hn Atkinson, the founder ol the M. B.
Church of Flemington was living in Benton
Harbor Mich. Through his daughter, Mrs.
Sarah Wirians, a considerable correspondence
was carried on with him and many interest-
ing items relating to the early history of
Flemington and snch families as the Alex-
anders, Flemings, Lowreys and Atkinsons
were secured. He died in the spring of 189 1
of La Grippe in his ninety-fourth year.
Our Society sent the following Communi-
cation to the Legislature of Pennsylvania,
which explains itself.
The members of the Hunterdon County
(New Jersey) Historical Society desire to call
your attention to the Bill now pending
before your legislature relating to the pur-
chase by your state of Valley Forge. We
hope you will pass this, or a similar Bill, so
that this historic spot, dedicated to the spirit
of Liberty, may be preserved. We are of
opinion that Valley Forge stands for a crisis
in our Country's history of no less magni-
tude than Gettysburg. At Gettysburg amid
the roar and flame of battle, our brave troops
showed that our country was able to conquer
the Military power of the Rebellion. At
ill the Baptist Church at Baptisttovvn, at
Deer Park, Perm, in connection with the
Buck's county Historical Society, in the
room of the W. C. T. U. in Clinton, in the
Baptist Church of Sandy Ridge, in the home
of Jacob Servis, in Lambertville, in the Pres-
byterian Church of xMilford and in the Hall
The first paper read before the Society was
by George N. Best, M. D., on the "Duties of
the Historian." Other papers of importance
have been prepared and read by the following
members ; — By Henry Race, M. D., on "Jane
Mc Crea," who at one time lived in Hunter-
don County, and who was brutally murdered
near Fort Edward, N. Y., in 1777. This
paper was afterward read before the New
Jersey Historical Society and incorporated
by them in their "Proceedings." He also
prepared and read a "Historical and Genea-
logical Account of Col. Thomas Lowrey and
Esther Fleming, his wife," and showed their
photographs. This article has been pub-
lished in pamphlet form, by Mr. M. E. Deats.
of Flemington, including the pictures, and
has been of great interest to the numerous
branches of those families. Also "A His-
torical Sketch of the Rockhill Family," and
other shorter papers.
From Geo. H. Larison, M. D,, we have
had "A Genealogical History of the Hol-
combe Family," "The dead in Barber's
Burying Ground," "The mode of life in our
Karly Settlements," "Elnathan Stevenson
Family," including the "Sharps" and the
"Fields," "A History of the Sandy Ridge
Baptist Church," "A Sketch of the Life of
Dr. Gershom Craven," who practiced medi-
cine in Ringoes and vicinity from 1771 to
From our Recording Secretary, Mr. John
W. Lequear we have had "The Early Settle-
ment and History of the Baptists in Hunter-
don County," " History and Settlement of
the Rittenhouse Family in Hunterdon
County," "History of the branch of the Ing-
ham Family in Hunterdon County," "The
Culture of Flax, and making of Flax seed
Oil ; their labor and importance in the early
wealth of Hunterdon County," with samples
of home-spun and home-made linen, ging-
ham, and calico. Also, "Biography of
Robert Rittenhouse," "Some Recollections
of Lambertville over fifty years ago," "The
Rodman Tract" once owned by Col. Thos.
Lowrey, The "Rio Grande Mills," "Rem-
iniscences of the Border between Kingwood
and Delaware Townships," and "Recollec-
tions of Pittstown General Training of
From Mr. Stacy B. Bray, we have had an
important paper on "The Life and Times of
General Robert Hunter," the Colonial Gover-
nor after whom Hunterdon County was
named, showing an oil painting on wood of
his Excellency. Also " Some accounts of
General Daniel Bray's Efforts in procuring
the Boats for Washington's Crossing the
Delaware" bringing to our minds an impor-
tant act in our National History, of which
every Jerseyman is proud, as it was the
turning point of the Revolution.
From Rev. George S. Mott. D. D., we
have had "The old churches, more particu-
larly the Presb}^terian Churches of Hunter-
From Mr. Jacob Servis, "The Early Mar-
riages in old Amwell Township from Official
Records of Rev. William Frazer from 1769 to
1793." Also an account of a "Visit to the
Mc Neely Farm and Grave Yard, near New
Hope." Here a number of Revolutionary
soldiers were buried.
From Mr. W. T. Srope, "Baptisttown and
Kingwood History," " The Sheriffs of Hun-
terdon County," and obituaries of Hugh E.
Warford and Rev. C. S. Conkling, deceased
members of our society.
From Rev. W. W. Bullock, "The Founda-
tions on which our Fathers Built" and "The
Rittenhouse Manual Labor School." This
school was established by Robt. Rittenhouse
in 1830 near Locktown. It was not a finan-
cial success and Mrs. Rittenhouse soon
complained that all the manual labor came
on her. It reminds one of this clever charac-
Valley Forge our forefathers by heroic endur-
ance, amid manifold discouragements, even
the elements of nature seeming to augment
and protract their misery, proved their abil-
ity to maintain their war for Independence.
We cherish their memory. We would
honor them by preserving, as nearly intact
as possible, this spot the very mention of
which recalls such worthy deeds."
The Bill passed both Houses and was
signed by Governor Pattison on last Memor-
ial Da}*, an act appropriate to the day and
the day worth}' of the deed.
The Columbian Liberty Bell Committee
appealed to Historical Societies and Mu-
seums for filings from objects of Historical
value, especially those that had any bearing
on the struggle for Freedom, to be cast in
the Bell. Our Society responded as below ;
"On the 14th of December, 1776, Cornet
Francis (xeary with about twenty picked
men of the 16th Regiment (Queen's Light
Dragoons, the pet Cavalry Regiment of the
British Army, led a raid from Trenton, New
Jersey, on the village of Flemington, Hun-
terdon County, New Jersey.
' ' By a clever ruse on the part of Col. Thom-
as Lowrey he was frightened out of the vil-
lage without doing much harm.
1 ' On his retreat he was ambushed by Capt.
John Schenck, home on a furlough from the
Patriot Army, who hastily collected a half
dozen farmers for that purpose. In the skir-
mish Geary was killed and was buried near
the spot where he fell.
"A committee of the Hunterdon County
Historical Society opened his grave in May,
1891, and took from it the silver buttons
from which these filings were taken."
Our Society has stirred up a new interest
in local history and in genealogical research
and we receive many inquiries relating to
families that were prominent in the earlj'
history of the County. In some cases we
are able to furnish the information desired,
in others, are able to suggest probable sources
We are making a Collection of Books,
Pamphlets, Newspapers, old Deeds &c relat-
ing especially to Hunterdon Count}'. We
invite all to co-operate with us in this. We
have even undertaken to collect complete
files of all the newspapers ever published in
our County. Stray numbers of any of these
that precede 1880 will be welcomed by our
Librarian Mr. H. E. Deats. We have the
nucleus of a very interesting Historical Col-
lection which some day will be an honor to
our County, and of sufficient interest to at-
tract the attention of visitors.
At present we have fifty-four Resident
members, and eleven Corresponding and
Hunterdon County Historical Society
President, E). T. Bush, Stockton, N. J.
i st Vice-Pres., I\. Thomas, Milford, N. J.
2d Vice-Pres., A. W. Carroll, Tocktown. N. J.
3d Vice-Pres., W. F. Hayhurst, L,ambertville, N. J.
Kec. Sec, J. W. I^equear, Frenchtown, N. J.
Cor. Sec, K. Vosseller, Flemingtou, N. J.
Librarian. H. R. Deats, Fleniington, N. J.
Treasurer, X. 15. BoiLEAU, M.D., Jutland. N. J.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
■ 014 224 971 6
Is a Quarterly Magazine of Local History
contributed to by members of the Hunter-
don County Historical Society and others,
and contains all the papers read at the
meetings of that vSociety.
Now in its Third Volume.
Subscription, 50 cents a year.
H E. DEATS,
Kditor aii(i Rul>li«lier,
FLEMINGTON, N. J.