y&w - ' /•*'■
FRANCIS F. EASTLACK.
THE AUTHOR AT WORK UNDER HIS OWN VINE AND PKAR TREE.
PHOTOGRAPH PRESENTED BY HARRY SCHMIDT, MERCHANTVILLE.
PLATE EQUALLY KINDLY CONTRIBUTED BY GATCHELL & MANNING PHILADELPHIA.
CAMDEN COUNTY, N. J.,
Francis F. Eastlack.
Sweet Auburn ! lovliest Village of the Plain,
Where Health and Plenty cheered the laboring Swain,
Where smiling Spring its earliest Visit paid,
And parting Summer's lingering Blooms delayed."
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1899, by
FRANCIS F. EASTLACK,
in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.
PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR.
HALF TONES BY GATCHEL & MANNING, PHILADELPHIA.
PRESS WORK BY LOUIS B. COX, CAMDEN.
BINDING BY R. S. BENDER & SON, CAMDEN.
"Admitting its brevity, and possible literary blemishes, yet
the public must distinctly understand that this* work has not been
written in a cursory manner nor for pecuniary gain.
"Its merits, if any, stand upon its truthfulness and historical
"With this object in view, it has been compiled with the
strictest regard for accuracy. Files of old newspapers, aged farm-
ers still living in our neighborhood, eminent authorities, minute
books and charters, families of old residents, together with all
records of the origin and history of our borough have been care-
"It is, therefore, put forward as a standard authority on all
important matters pertaining to Merchantville."
While all the sins of feeble rhetoric or other want of literary pol-
ish should rightfully fall upon my unshielded head, yet I am
greatly indebted to the following named gentlemen for much val-
uable information: Dr. John R. Stevenson, of Haddonfield; the
late Frank Thomson (president of the Pennsylvania Railroad
Company), John S. Collins, Moorestown; W. B. Stewart, Conrad
Demmy, Henry Scull, Dr. David H. Bartine, Rev. Richard
George Moses, Walter H. Eastlack, Rev. N. M. Simmonds, Dr.
Charles W. Greene, C. C. Dickey, Hon. Charles C. Garrison,
Gottlieb C. Mick, John Senft, Thomas J. Pancoast, Allyn Brewer,
Charles H. Pidgeon, Thomas S. Rndderow, David S. Stetson,
Dr. Edward Evans, J. Harry Wilkinson. John Homer, Maurice
B. Rudderow, Hon. Howard Carrow, Daniel Carlin, William
Longstreth, Benjamin Forrest, A. M. Whilt, Samuel C. Gilmore,
William Early, Rev. C. Bridgeman and other kindly interested
townsmen whose names I cannot now recall.
And last, though not least, Mrs. E. M. Furber, Miss Annie A.
Scull and Mrs. Sarah R. Murray, of the "Colonial Dames of New
Also to Gatchel & Manning, of Philadelphia; Harry Schmidt,
William Longstreth, Charles F. Homer and Hon. Oliver Lund,
of Philadelphia, for many evidences of practical assistance.
ANTIQUITY OF NEW JERSEY.
Geologists are unanimous in the assertion that at one time,
far back in prehistoric periods, the ground now known as New
Jersey lay completely under the sea; the whole State, in fact,
except possibly the upper northern mountainous section.
This is not simply a theory, but a veritable fact, substanti-
ated by the total absence of coal, besides the existence of immense
marl pits, fossils of marine life, shells, and much debris, unmis-
takably establishing marine origin.
Finally, that there is scarcely a spot in the State in which
these traces of matter purely marine cannot be found at the
ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE GROUND
ON WHICH MERCHANTV1LLE NOW STANDS.
The valuable information received,* if published in full, would
indeed make a
"quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,"
but it must necessarily be condensed. That is to say, Samuel
Coles, of Coleshill, Hertfordshire, England, came to this country
in possession of a "right" to the one-ninetieth part of an immense
tract of land which he obtained by debt or purchase from the heirs
of Edward Byllinge; it began at the junction of Coopers Creek
and the Delaware River, and extended in a northerly and easterly
On the 13th day of the Third month, 1682, Coles sold to
Samuel Spicer (coming from Gravesend, Long Island), 500 acres
of this tract, and with it another part of his tract extending to Pen-
sauken Creek (the latter being six miles long and three miles
wide.) Coles also disposed of 100 acres to Henry Wood in 1685,
and afterward the balance to various parties. Samuel Spicer died
in 169 1. He left two Sons — Jacob and Thomas. Thomas died
in 1760; his daughter — his only child, Abigal, born January 25,
1743 — was married to William Rudderow on the 25th of May,
1758. His ancestors came from Hirnant, Wales. He owned
considerable property across Pensauken Creek, immediately op-
posite to the Spicers' land. He was born October 11, 1732. and
died in November, 1808. His son John succeeded him (being
born in February, 1759, and dying February 14th, 1840).
Under the will of John's grandfather (Thomas Spicer), John
inherited 400 acres of the original Spicer tract, which is now cov-
ered by the Borough of Merchantville. (See map.) After his
death it was gradually sold off by his heirs, among whom was
included Amos, the father of our postmaster, Maurice B. Rud-
derow. Amos Rudderow died December 15th, 1898. The last
conveyance of this original tract was for 80 acres, made in 1885.
* Dr. John R. Stevenson, Haddonfield, and his equally scholarly sister, Mrs.
Sarah R. Murray, of the "Colonial Dames of New Jersey."
FURNISHED BY DR. JOHN R. STEVENSON, HADDONFIEED.
Re-drawn bv Walter H. Eastlack.
Note. — The Moorestowu pike, also Cove road, (marked by dotted lines) were, of
course, not projected when the original' map was drawn in 1691.
THE FOUNDERS OF MERCHAXTVILLE.
Matthias Homer, John Louty, Samuel McFadden and Freder-
ick Gerker (four Philadelphia merchants) were the pioneers of
Merchantville. They came here together in 1852, building their
houses on the north side of Maple avenue near Cove road, except
Mr. Gerker, who built opposite (the house now owned by Wil-
liam B. Kempton). Mr. Gerker was an ardent Catholic, and,
having few means of attending- a church of his own denomination,
he built a private room in his new house, in which was erected an
altar and confessional, and a Philadelphia priest called at stated
times to administer the functions of his office.
At a social meeting at the house of John Louty, the question of
naming the new settlement was under discussion; when, after a
number of striking names had been suggested to no purpose,
Mrs. Louty entered and said. "Gentlemen, as you are all mer-
chants, why not call it Merchantville?" which met the approval
Where Merchantville now stands there were five houses — one
on Maple avenue, above Centre street, once occupied by a Scotch-
man (whose name I cannot get), but where James C Finn, who
owned considerable property in the neighborhood, lived for some
years, and who afterwards built the house now occupied by the
The old farm house on the Curtis property, at the junction of
Maple and W'ellwood avenues, said to have been built more than
a hundred years ago, is still standing.
An old wooden building which stood near where the Millinger
house now is was occupied by John Laney. A frame house stand-
ing where the Robbins house now is was occupied by Conrad
Demmy from 1857 to 1867. It was afterward removed to the race
track, where it still remains. Church (or Cove) road was once a
private road from Thomas Spicer, Jr.'s, to Colestown. The pres-
ent road was laid out April 27, 1809.
Whiskey road was so called from a distillery owned by Ralph
V. M. Cooper on the ground now occupied by Samuel Coles.
He owned considerable property in the neighborhood, and opened
the road to the turnpike.
A private road ran snake-like through the woods from "Spicer's
Ferry" (Cooper Creek) from the earliest settlement. Snake-like
is a fitting word. Not knowing by what tortuous trails it took
from Camden, we know that it ran close to the old Curtis farm
house. Then, starting to the right through a dense forest, found
its way to the rear of where our Methodist church now stands;
thence, through Dr. Bartine's and other properties, it crossed
where Centre street now is, at Mrs. Thomas C. Knight's house;
thence struck the Hollinshead homestead; afterwards, turning to
the left, it ran close to the "Half Moon Inn" (now Fred Ritter's),
and so continued its way to Moorestown.
You must also remember that through this same tiresome route
Washington led his troops after the battle of Princeton. It is also
a historical fact that some American and Hessian soldiers fallen
in that memorable battle lay side by side in the old Colestown
Cemetery. The public road was laid out March 8th, 1762. It was
straightened out in 1804.
"The Moorestown and Camden Turnpike Company" con-
structed the present road in 1850. It was opened for use April
1st, 1 85 1. Edward Harris was its first president. Its original cost
was thirty-six thousand dollars. The roadbed was of gravel. A
two-horse tea m drew usually from seven hundred to twelve hun-
dred pounds. Afterwards it was laid in stone at an additional
outlay of sixty-five thousand dollars, making for construction
alone a total of one hundred thousand dollars. At present a span
of horses can draw three to four tons weight to and from Phila-
delphia or Camden.
Its bonds and stock are held in part by widows and the de-
scendants of its original incorporators. Emmor Roberts, of
Moorestown, is now president of the road.
"The Cherry Tree Inn" (on ground near the Hollinshead home-
stead) was built at an unknown date, between 1717 and 1733, ten-
ant unknown. It was occupied by Thomas Spicer, Jr., after his-
marriage (1740), but not kept as a tavern by him. After his death,
in 1760, his widow lived in it. In 1769 her son-in-law, William
Rudderow, removed it to the pike above Cove road. At his death
it came into the possession of his half-brother, John, who lived
there until 1850, when it was left to his heirs. *
"The Half Moon Inn" stood where Fred Ritter now lives. It
was built in 1800; was kept by a man named Cattell. Charles-
Busby bought it in 1828 and changed its name to the "Spread
Eagle Hotel." He sold it to William Hinchman, and he, in 1846,
to John A. Vennier, who kept it until his death, in 1876. It after-
wards passed into the possession of several other parties. A hotel
is now kept there by Fred Ritter.
The "Stockton House" (corner of Maple avenue and Centre
street) was originally a two-story shanty, occupied as a cake shop.
It was built by James Folwell in 1845 or 1846. He afterwards
built around and over it and owned it until 1856, when he sold it
to "Benny" Martin, who occupied it as public house for many
years. It afterward passed into several hands and has been leased
from the Martin estate bv William W. Pancoast since.
"The Camden and Pemberton Agricultural Railroad" was
chartered July 28th, 1854. It ran to Moorestown, Mt. Holly and
Pemberton. In February, 1866, its several branches were united
* Old musty documents being sometimes puzzling and even conflicting, I am not
certain that the final disposition of the " Cherry Tree Inn," as given is historically correct.
.as the "Camden and Burlington County Railroad Company."
The road, under its new name, running from Camden to Mt.
Holly, was opened for use Monday, October 21st, 1867. It was
leased to the Camden and Amboy Railroad and Transportation
Company April 21st, 1868, and was finally leased to the Pennsyl-
vania Railroad Company May nth, 1872. The conditions of the
lease are that the latter company shall pay interest on the bonds
of the company and 6 per cent, per annum on its capital stock.
"The Camden Horse Car Company" finished this line from
Camden to Merchantville in September, 1893. The fare each
way was ten cents for some time. The first monthly ticket was
issued to A. Macray on October 24th, 1893. The name cf the
company has since been changed to the "Camden and Suburban
The following two sad incidents have been related to me by
more than one old farmer still living in our neighborhood, but
which I have no means of verifying:
THE GYPSY CAMP.
A band of gypsies had encamped in the grove near where our
present stand-pipe now is. A young and very interesting maiden
(the daughter of a prosperous farmer of the vicinity) was naturally
attracted there. After "crossing hands with silver" and with
many other nonsensical maneuverings one of the old hags told
her that she would surely marry, but not until after the death of
her first lover. The maiden, being at that time betrothed •> 1
young and promising lawyer, this foolish prediction made such an
impression upon her mind that, notwithstanding" all the kindly in-
fluences of her family and friends, she fell into a rapid deehne
from which she never rallied.
THE GERMAN PEDDLER.
On the grounds now occupied by the hotel, corner Maple ave-
nue and Centre street, stood a little shanty, in which lived a widow
named Sarah Green, with her two children, who kept a cake and
candy store, besides taking- in washing. On a cold and stormy
"It was in the bleak December,"
a German peddler, with a heavy sack, making his way toward
Moorestown, but cold and blinded by the storm, knocked at the
widow's door, pleadingly begging shelter for the night. Not-
withstanding she was alone, her woman's sympathies were en-
listed, and she built him a sort of rude bed beside the kitchen
stove. Locking the doors, she, with her children, retired and
slept soundly. Upon arising in the morning she was horrified
to find the body of the peddler stretched out upon the kitchen,
floor, where he had been strangled to death and robbed of all his
money and valuables.
Although suspicion pointed to two desperate characters (who.
had evidently tracked him from Camden), yet no conviction fol-
Now allow me to revert to matters more intimately relating to
The Trinity Methodist Episcopal Chapel was, of course, the
only public place of worship for miles around of any denomina-
tion. After a series of meetings held in the little school house
(elsewhere referred to), in which Matthias Homer, David S. Stet-
son. A. G. Cattell, Elijah G. Cattell, James C. Finn, Isaac II inch-
man, Isaac Starn, Charles W. Starn and Joseph II. Starn were the
1)1,1) " TRINITY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY WM. LONGSTRETH.
principals, the "Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church" was duly
incorporated March i ith, 1865. The corner-stone of the "Chapel"
was laid on the third Saturday in October, 1865. It was finished
and dedicated in March, 1866, Bishop Matthew Simpson officiat-
ing-. It was a quaint and cozy wooden structure, standing back
from the road, through an avenue of sturdy oaks, and surmounted
by a modest belfry.
Some time afterwards the children of the Sunday school, by
contributions from every resident, stranger and passing farmer,
supplied it with a bell, the same that now swings in the tower of
its new majestic edifice.
It was generally known as the "Union" Chapel; the seats were
free, and for obvious reasons doctrinal sermons were preached
but once a month. The Rev. Robert S. Harris was the first pas-
ter, and David S. Stetson and Matthias Homer were the first
superintendents of its Sabbath school.
The present handsome granite edifice was finished and dedi-
cated May 9th, 1894. The Rev. J. B. Haines is the present pas-
tor, since June, 1898. Samuel C. Gilmore is the superintendent
of the Sabbath school, supported by eighteen teachers and Dfficers,.
with 178 scholars on the roll.
In a handsome window in this church (representing Christ
blessing children) appears imprinted the following significant
statement: "This church marks the place where Children's Day
was originated by its pastor, Rev. Robert S. Harris, in the year
1866, and this window is lovingly dedicated to the memory of this
We might add that the second Sunday of June in everv year is
set apart as Children's Day, and is now observed in every Metho-
dist church throughout the world, and by many other religious
The following poetical address was read from the pulpit by the
pastor of the church:
To the teachers of the Trinty M. E. Sabbath School at Mer-
chantville, New Jersey, and its Greenville and Pennsville branch
schools, on the occasion of their floral festival, May 28th, 1871.
BY FRANCIS F. EASTLACK.
Dear teachers — friends of innocence and youth! #
Guides o? our footsteps in the paths of truth.
To you we turn — for you our hearts o'erflow
With gentle love and fond affection's glow.
And v e have come with a childish lay,
This genial, beautiful day of May.
May! when all nature, as if proud to wear
Her livery of green — her balmy air,
Yet speaks in language rich and rare,
"Each bud and blossom is a voiceless prayer."
S(. May has given us what we dearly prize,
Her choicest flowers in their richest dies,
And we have gathered them in festoons gay,
To deck orr school-room on this Sabbath day.
Look at our flowers! So beautiful! So bright!
So full of perfume! So grateful to the sight!
Dear teachers, ?re we not like tender flowers,
Needing the warmth, the dew and the showers,
The kindly Gard'ner's hand to prune and tie,
And trail our trembling tendrils toward the sky ?
Oh may our hearts receive the warmth of truth above,
The silent dews of grace — the showers of love;
And all our aspirations ever fondly bend
Upward, to please our heavenly Friend
As flowers exhale their perfume on the air,
And lull the sense with odors rich and rare,
So may our feeble prayers arise
Like incense, till they reach the skies.
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY *M. LONGSTRETH.
And as the gard'ner plucks the lovely flower
So rich in glory and in perfume power,
So at our gleaning may we ready stand
To meet a greeting at the Saviour's hand.
We come as branches to this holy place,
And bring our pretty flowers our school to grace,
Would that the Saviour would our hearts incline
To be indeed the branches, as He is the Vine!
Like tender branches we are scattered wide,
'Mid thorns and roses — humble truth and pride!
But in the Upper-Land, supreme and blest,
No separation shall disturb our rest.
Teachers and scholars shall with one accord
Sing songs triumphant to the living Lord,
And should ambition rise among the blest,
'Twill be "who loves our Lord the best!"
It will interest many of my readers to know, that in the frontis-
piece my left hand is resting upon the original minute book
(1865) of Trinity M. E. Church.
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
The first meetings looking up to the formation of this church
were held in the Oak Grove Academy in 1871, but it was not until
1872 that an actual organization was effected, which met in the
old Merchantville Hall. The Rev. Robert Ellis Thompson was its
first permanent pastor, the Rev. Nathaniel L. Upham following in
November, 1874. It is but just to say that under the energetic
management of Mr. Upham that the church edifice was built and
presented to its trustees absolutely free from debt. Its tower was
left unfinished. This needed $240 to complete. Within a week
one of its determined members raised more than the necessar)
amount from contributions from all denominations.
It was formally dedicated June 12th, 1876. Mr. Upham re-
signed and was followed by Matthew C. Wood, then by Rev.
Roderick Cobb and finally by Rev. J. Mench Chambers.
Its Sunday school was started October 13th, 1873.
Mr. and Mrs. Francis F. Eastlack succeeded in gathering some
children who attended no Sabbath school, and on that day thirteen
presented themselves at Mr. Eastlack's house. Dahlias were in
bloom; each little one, having one of these flowers pinned to his
or her bosom, were marched two by two to the Merchantville
Hall, where the school was formally opened.
As near as I can remember, the names of the original thirteen
were Casper Lord, Kate Miller, Emma Demmy (now Mrs. Fred-
erick Ritter), Walter Knight, John Miller, Hannah Humphreys,
Mary Knight (now the widow of William Moses), Walter Rud-
derow and Francis F., Jr., Ida, Walter H. and J. Dorsey B. East-
lack and Daniel Carlin.
T. E. Atkins is the present superintendent, since March, T899,
assisted by twenty-two teachers and officers and one hundred and
eighty-eight scholars on the roll.
Years ago a pastor of this church in going to a prayer meeting
there, found a man stretched out asleep on its front steps. He
awoke him, finding him poorly though cleanly dressed and en-
tirely sober. He told the minister that, having walked from Fel-
lowship on his way to Camden, becoming tired and hungry, he
had selected this spot for a little rest, but had fallen asleep. With-
out questioning his word, the good man took him to his own
home, and, after giving him a substantial supper, invited him to
return to the prayer-meeting with him, which he did. and re-
mained until its close. After some whispering the good man
placed a generous sum in his hand, and one of the members walk-
ed with him to the railroad station, bought him a ticket for Cam-
den and sent him on his way rejoicing. Rut similar evidences of
practical Christianity were not uncommon in those davs.
THK CRACK EPISCOPAL CIU'RCH.
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY HM. LONGSTRETH.
THE GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
As early as 1871 the question of farming an Episcopalian
Church was agitated. The first actual service was held at the resi-
dence of Henry A. Macomb December 2d, 1872, Edward S. Hall
reading the services. Similar meetings at private houses followed,
until April 16th, 1873, when, at the residence of George Crump,
theParishwasincorporatedOct.5,'73. A neat wooden chapel was
erected in 1878 at the corner of Centre street and Park avenue,
the pulpit was occupied by several transient ministers, yet the
Rev. Richard George Moses became the first permanent minister
and still holds that position.
The chapel was removed to the ground of the proposed church
in July, 1890. The present imposing edifice was built during 1893
and 1894, and on September 30th, 1894, the first divine service
was solemnized. The first Sunday school superintendent was
Henry A. Macomb. Arthur Truscott has present charge, assisted
by fifteen teachers and officers and one hundred and fifty scholars,
on the roll.
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.
This congregation was formally organized in 1889. In 1890
their present church, a neat and artistic wooden structure, was
erected at the corner of Centre street and Rogers avenue. It has
been greatly enlarged and improved since. The Rev. Samuel S.
Merriman, its first pastor (then a theological student), was for-
mally ordained as minister at our Presbyterian church, his own
father taking a leading part. Immediately afterwards he assumed
the pastorship of the church. He was succeeded by the Rev. New-
ton M. Simmonds, the present pastor, in 1896.
Joseph Wiltshire was its first superintendent and is still in
charge, assisted by twenty teachers and officers, with about two
hundred scholars on the roll.
FRIENDS' MEETING HOUSE.
A number of "Friends" have for some time been holding meet-
ings in Davenport's Hall, giving occasional public exercises in the
grove adjacent to the old Merchantville Hall, and at present in
our Centre Public School house. Though quiet in their opera-
tions, still I learn that much interest is manifested at their meet-
ings and that their number is increasing.
I may say right here, as a reason for the frequent use of Mr.
Homer's name through these pages, that there is nothing — either
in borough matters, formation of churches, building associations,
Free-Mason and Odd Fellow lodges, railroad or political mat-
ters — that does not bear the imprint of this honored gentleman's
prominence and active participation. He was born in Birming-
ham, England, in 1812; came to America in 1822; located as one
of the founders of Merchantville in 1852, and died December 16th,
DAVID S. STETSON, SR.
Nor can Mr. Homer's name be mentioned without coupling
that of Mr. Stetson's. He was one of our oldest and most hon-
ored public-spirited citizens; he was ardently and heartily engaged
in every kind of religious and beneficial work, besides freeh con-
tributing for their support and advancement. He was born in the
-city of Bath, Maine, May 22d, 1819, settled here in September,
186 r, and died respected and esteemed September 27th, 1878.
His son, David S. Stetson, Jr., is president of our Building Asso-
|. BUILDING ASSOCIATIONS.
"The Cottage Loan and Building Association" was organized
in 1867. David S. Stetson, Sr., was its first president; E. S. Hall,
secretary, and Matthias Homer, treasurer. It issued a number of
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY WM. LONGSTRETH.
series Mr Stetson resigned in 1874 and Thomas C. Knight suc-
ceeded him. In 1880 the title was changed to the "Merchantville
Building and Loan Association." It preserved the same officers
until 1888. when David S. Stetson, Jr., became president and still
holds that position. Matthias Homer remained its treasurer until
his death, in 1893, when he was succeeded by his son, John Ho-
mer. It has just issued its eighteenth series.
On account of the destruction of the books of the first associa-
tion (the Cottage Loan and Building Association) it is impossible
to give the total amount of the loans made by it. But since the
organization under its present title this association has made
loans to its shareholders ag-gregating $ . see Note.
Charles W. Starn was the first postmaster of the new settlement,
also storekeeper, and was located where Dr. Bartine now resides.
He was followed by Richard C. Schriener, his widow, Charles
Shinn, Gottlieb C. Mick, W. P. Phelps, William Macfarlan and
our present postmaster, Maurice B. Rudderow, who assumed
charge November 2$d, 1897.
OAK GROVE ACADEMY.
In the year 1869 the Rev. Thomas Cattell (a brother of Senator
Alexander G. CattellJ opened what is now known as the "Oak
Grove Inn" as an academy for boys, where the rudiments, as well
as the higher branches of education were taught. It flourished
for a few vears, when it was abandoned and turned into a sum-
mer boarding house.
THE FIRST SCHOOL HOUSE.
This stood on the grounds of Dr. Bartine. It was a small-sized
one-story wooden building, erected in 1863 by a close corporation
for the purpose of affording some means of instruction to the
young children. ( )ne of the most emphatic clauses of its incorpo-
ration was, "for no cause whatever, shall it ever be used except
for religious or educational purposes."
In this little school house the entire settlement worshipped and
it became the nucleus of the Trinity Methodtst Church. After-
wards it fell into disuse and was diverted from its original pur-
poses. It finally came into the possession of Dr. Bartine, who
sold it, and it was removed to Sordantown, where it still stands.
FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS.
Merchantville Lodge, No. 119, works under a warrant issued
from the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons of the juris-
diction of New Jersey, dated October, 1871. It met originally in
the old Merchantville Hall, and remained there until the builmng
of Collins' and Pancoast's Hall, where it removed in 1893, and
still holds out the second Friday of each month. Really speaking,
meetings looking up to its formation were held in what is now
the freight station, corner of Park avenue and the railroad. Robert
F. S. Heath was its first master, with Matthias Homer as treas-
urer, a position he held until his death in 1893.
Harry R. Sharp is its present Master; George V. Sharp,
Senior Warden; Elmer P. Strang, Junior Warden; Dr. Charles H.
Jennings, Treasurer, and John Homer, Secretary.
The Past Masters of Lodge No. 119, F. and A. M., of Mer-
chantville, have been Matthias Homer, Robert F. S. Heath, J.
Earl Atkinson, A. Clifford Jackson, John Homer, T. Augustus
Beck, George N. Conrow, William R. Lippincott, John S. Mor-
gan, William A. Stavers, Charles P. Spangler, Joseph H. Wil-
kinson, John H. Sinex, E. Budd Wilkins, William J. Flanagan,
Alfred J. Briggs, William M. Duvall, Stacy S. Pancoast, John W.
Elliott, Arnold H. Moses, William Mercer, James W. Stevens,
W. W. Vickers, Stephen S. Childs, Charles H. Jennings, Millard
F. Peterson and Morris S. Smoker.
The Messrs. Homer, Louty. McFadden and Gerker, building
substantial dwellings and adorning their grounds, were disap-
pointed at the slow growth of the town, for it was not until be-
tween the years 1866 and 1872 that much progress was made.
OLD FREIGHT STATION PENNSYLVANIA R. K.
WHERE THE FIRST MEETINGS LOOKING UP TO THE
FORMATION OF LODGE NO. 119, FREE MASONS, WERE HELD.
KINDLY LOANED BY FRANK E. MANNING, PHILADELPHI,
During these years it received an impetus by the coming in of
such families as David S. Stetson, Alexander G. Cattell, Edward
M. Furber, Joseph H. Hollinshead, Amos K. Mylin, Jacob L.
Tripler, John Hanna, Elijah G., Rev. Thomas and Senator Alex-
ander G. Cattell, John W. Torrey, Dr. David H. Bartine, Harrison
Robbins, D. Tenney Gage, James Millingar, George Crump, Ben-
jamin F. Sausser, Jacob Mick, Edward S. Hall, William D. Kemp-
ton, Richard C. Schriener, Francis F. Eastlack, Atwood Porter,
Gottlieb C. Mick, Theodore L DeBow, John C. Miller, William
C. Fox, Oliver Lund, Henry A. Macomb, Rev. D. H. Schock,
John Homer, Charles H. Jennings, Martha Hinchman, John
Laney, David W. Keen, Thomas C. Knight, Colonel James P.
Mead. R. B. Knight, Joseph Bayliss, Joseph E. Wilkinson, Henry
Trout, Christian E., Edwin J. and Charles P. Spangler, Joseph
Shivers, John Peace, Rev. Nathaniel L. Upham, Allyn Brewer,
Frank L. Kirkpatrick, William Marsden, John Senft, "Benny"
Martin and probably a few others whose names I cannot now
The railroad station was at that time located on Park avenue,
opposite Gilmore street.
This brings us to about 1872, when the settlement called Mer-
chantville (then forming a part of Stockton township) started on
its way to permanent prosperity.
Did space allow, many pleasing incidents relating to our town
might be given. The following must suffice:
A WELL ON FIRE.
As elsewhere said, the well at the Furber residence, on W r alnut
avenue, was over a hundred feet deep. After the introduction of
the present street pipe system this old well was practically aban-
doned, except for keeping butter, milk, etc., to cool at the end of
a suspended rope.
Possibly the servants may at times have thrown down waste-
paper or other light rubbish. Be this as it may, one day the rope
broke, and alas! for the butter and eggs, laying a hundred feet
below. A hook with lighted candle was sent down, which, of
course, took fire, and- the cry of "Well on fire" startled the whole
town. Even our Fire Department was called out and general ex-
citement prevailed; the loss, however, was trifling.
FIVE CENTS OUT OF POCKET.
Many years ago a man and woman presented themselves at the
residence of one of our clergymen for the "nuptial tie." They
were accompanied by a friend of the minister; the pair were ac-
cordingly married, the friend acting as groomsman and the worthy
pastor's wife as bridesmaid.
This good lady, seeing in prospective a generous fee for her
husband, sent out a servant and expended thirty cents for tea-
cakes and lemons. After the usual prayer and good advice had
been given she brought on a tray the cake, supported by a glass
of lemonade (which, of course, was appreciating!}- disposed of).
Upon leaving, in the dark vestibule, the man slipped a coin in the
hands of the minister. Fancy his astonishment (particularly his
wife's,) when the good man entered the lighted parlor and found
the coin to be a silver quarter of a dollar.
A resident of our town, on a hot August afternoon, was seen
trudging along from the railroad station carrying the remains of
a huge cake of ice (by means of a strong cord), which he brought
from Philadelphia. He could easily have gotten it right in our
town from the private ice houses of Homer, Stetson, Cramp or
LODGE No. 119, FREE MASONS
RESIDING THEN OR NOW IN MERCHANTVII^E.
FATHER OF THE LODGE
ROBERT F. S. HEATH
FIRST WORSHIPFUL MASTER
HARRY R. SHARP
PRESENT WORSHIPFUL MASTER
W. M. 1875
CHARLES P. SPANGLER
W. M. 1881
J. HARRY WILKINSON
W. M. 1882
JOHN H. SINEX
W. M. 1883
PLATES KINDLY CONTRIBUTED BY FRANK E. MANNING. PHILADELPHIA.
was unknown. Each new-comer, conscious of the rectitude of his
own character, felt himself neither superior nor inferior to any of
Everv new-comer was gladly welcomed; his family visited at
once without invitation. A general interchange of good feelings
was manifested for the health and happiness of one another. Con-
sequently there were no "bosses." Each was animated by the love
of a quiet home and the progress of its surroundings. Evenings
were spent from house to house in social intercourse. There be-
ing but one church in the town, all worshipped God together.
Their wives and daughters were equally of the same mind. "Dor-
cas" and sewing circles were planned; the sick and the poor were
cared for, Sunday school scholars hunted up, and in every way
motherly and sisterly affection existed between them.
Happy, oh! happy Merchantville in those olden days.
THE CENTRE STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL.
This building was erected on a lot one hundred by one hundred
and seventy-five feet (purchased from James Homer) in 187 1. It
was of one story and had two rooms (one front and the other
back). William Way was, strictly speaking, its first principal.
It has from time to time been greatly enlarged, having at present
six rooms, with Professor R. Howell Tice as principal (since
1896), assisted by five lady teachers and two hundred and forty
scholars on the roll.
The last school census (marie May, 1899) shows three hundred
and seventeen children of school age living within our borough
Our borough authorities have appropriated four thousand four
hundred dollars for its maintenance during the present year.
Harry Knox Oakford is president of the board, composed of
Mrs. E.'h. Nash, Mrs. H. J. Stiles, Mrs. E. W. Preston, John W.
Kohlerman, Arthur Truscott, Alexander B. Porter and William
Early. John Homer is the clerk.
The results of this school are incalculable. Architects, fanners,
Miechanics, lawyers, ministers, civil and naval engineers, artists,
LODGE No. U9, FREE MASONS
RESIDING THEN OR NOW IN MERCHANTVIIXE.
ILLIAM M. DUVALL
W. M. 1887
W. M. 1892
CHAS. H. JENNINGS
W. M. 1896
STACY S. PANCOAST
W. M. 1SS8
JAMES W. STEVENS
W. M. 1893
MILLARD F. PETERSON
W. M. 1897
ARNOLD H. MOSES
W. M. 1891
W. W. VICKERS
W. M. 1894
MORRIS S. SMOKER
W. M. 1898
PLATES KINDLY CONTRIBUTED BY FRANK E. MANNING, PHILADELPHIA.
besides citizens in many other walks of life, received their early
education in this same building.
Before it was built the children of our early settlers were forced
to trudge to the "Union School house," on the Burlington turn-
pike, a distance of fully three miles from Merchantville.
THE INCORPORATION OF THE BOROUGH OF MER-
CHANTVILLE AND MATTERS RELATING
Our community, after vainly petitioning the officials of Stock-
ton township (which then embraced Merchantville) for the return
of some part of our taxes for many needed improvements, deter-
mined to cut free from it and form a new local government. For
this purpose George Crump (a lawyer by profession) drew up a
proposed charter, and a "steering committee," composed of
George Crump, John Homer, Edwin J. Spangler, Thomas C.
Knight, Joseph Bayliss and Colonel James P. Mead, volunteered
to take it up personally to Trenton and urge its adoption, by the
Legislature then in session.
This was in March, 1874. How successfully they accomplished
their mission may be briefly stated. Upon the first day of their
arrival in Trenton the proposed charter passed its first and second
readings. The second morning it was enacted by both houses;
was immediately signed by the then Governor, Joel Parker, and,
with the big seal of the State attached, the "boys" brought it home-
Some necessary time elapsed before the date of its actual incor-
poration. May 18th, 1874.
Matthias Homer was made Burgess, and occupied that position
for thirteen consecutive years. The first Councilmen were Thom-
as C. Knight, Joseph Bayliss, D. Tenney Gage, Elijah G. Cattel'i,
James Millingar, Edwin S. Hall and Christian E. Spangler. John
Homer filled the position of Clerk of the Board, retaining it for
the twelve fcllownig vears.
Hon. Charles S. Ball, our present Mayor, was the first to be
elected bearing- this new title.
Matthias Homer was succeeded by Joseph E. Wilkinson, John
H. Sixsmith, Harvey Knight, Herbert W. Johnson, Charles P.
Spangler and J. E. Van Kirk.
A bonded debt of $2500.00 was created the first year, to provide
for the payment of State and county taxes, besides immediate cur-
rent expenses. The collections for the year 1874 amounted to
$3105.50. The first annual report was not made until May 2d,
1876, which may be thus summarized:
Balance fom 1875 $15449
Receipts from all sources 4,025.30
Total payments 3,203.70
Leaving a balance of $976.09
Now compare this with the last annual report, made February
Balance, February 23d, 1898 $3,796.23
Receipts from all sources 31,947.84
Total expenditures 30,527.49
Leaving a balance in hands of treasurer $5,216.58
Appropriations were made for the ensuing year, that is. for
1899, aggregating $1 1,175.00.
At a meeting of Council July 14, 1874, the Finance Committee
reported that $1155.00 would be a suitable appropriation for the
year. A tax levy of 41 cents per $100 was at once ordered. The
whole tax rate was $2.00 per $100, made up as follows:
State tax $0.34
County tax 70
School tax 5^
Borough tax 4!
THE CENTRE STREET PCBIJC SCHOOL.
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY WM. LONGSTRETH.
The borough taxes (August I, 1899) are predicated on the
Assessed valuation of borough real estate $633,250.00
Assesser valuation of borough personal property 65,475.00
A tax of $2.70 per each $100 is levied in this manner:
State tax 2 7
County tax 54
School tax 28
Borough tax i-6i
Which, with $302 from poll tax and $133 from dog tax, pro-
duces a total of $19,300.57.
The Burgess' office and the "Lock-up" were built in 1874.
The first official survey of our streets was made in 1890.
Stone pavements were laid in 1898.
Gas was introduced in 1889.
Electricity — The first experiment made in our town was by
Gottlieb C. Mick in a small frame building adjoining Pancoast's
Hotel in 1889. Electricity was formally introduced about 1890.
Water was introduced by the street-pipe system in 1887.
Edwin J. Spangler was the first Freeholder of the borough. The
position has been subsequently filled by Charles B. Coles, Charles
P. Spangler, Gottlieb C. Mick, Herbert W. Johnson, and again
by ( lottlieb C. Mick, elected March 14th, 1899, to represent Mer-
chantville and Pensaukin township.
"THE ORIGINAL MERCHANTYTLLE WATER WORKS."
as it was facetiously called, was certainly a novel and ludicrous af-
fair. It is necessary to state that on account of the great depth
that water could be found, few houses were built north of the rail-
road until the introduction of the present pipe system; for in-
stance, at William M. Furber's residence (the first house built on
Walnut avenue), the well actually measured 107 feet from the top
of the pump to the bottom. He succeeded in reaching water, but
the exertion of getting' it up was heroic.
This, of course, retarded building in that section; while we may
add that an ordinary hogshead, sunk even with the ground, fully
supplied the water for the building of the Episcopal chapel, at the
corner of Park avenue and Centre street. But to resume. This
outrageously comical looking affair consisted of a huge unpainted
hogshead (loaned by Jacob L. Trippler), placed on four wheels by
Jacob Mick, and the hoise supplied by Richard C. Schreiner. The
"works" were located at the bottom of "Father" Homer's barn
well, where the "plant" made morning calls, supplying the "over-
the-railroaders" with pure sparkling water.
Our present worthy policeman, Daniel Carlin, was the "presi-
dent, director, engineer and general forwarder," besides filling
the important positions of cashier, secretary and treasurer. Such
amusement did it create that Frank Haviland made a drawing of
it and transferred it to stone, printed and distributed copies. Nor
did the fun end here, for the Camden and even 'the Philadelphia
newspapers noted it, and "wrote it up," to the amusement of their
readers. (See illustration.)
The First Democratic Mass Meeting
Was held in the fall of 1884 over Jacob Mick's blacksmith
shop (derisively called from this occurrence Mick's Hall). Judge
Charles T. Reed and J. K. R. Hewitt, of Camden, Gottlieb C.
Mick and Francis F. Eastlack made speeches. There were only
six Democrats in the borough, but a large number of Republicans
greeted them and applauded their audacity.
Hon. Alexander G. Cattell (Republican).
This honored gentleman was appointed United States Senator
by Governor Marcus L. Ward March 27th, 1866. He served as
such until March 3d, 1871, when he retired full of honors. His
public career is too well known to need comment here. President
Grant afterwards sent him to London to negotiate a United
States Government loan of two million dollars, which he success-
fully accomplished. He died here amid universal sorrow in May,
Hon. Oliver Lund ( Republican).
Was elected in the fall of 1875 to the State Assembly of Xew
Jersey. He was re-elected in 1876. A remarkable feature of his
first election was that he received the unanimous vote of the
borough. Such was his popularity that, in addition to the support
of his own party, every Democrat in Merchantville voted for him.
While in the Legislature he offered a number of wholesome
laws, which were enacted and which still stand as statute laws of
( rottlieb C. Mick (Democrat).
Though twice previously elected, he was again elected in
March, 1899, as Freeholder (representing Merchantville borough
and Pensaukin township). His past commendable record in the
former P>oards of Freeholders insures an equally satisfactory one
for the present and future. W r e might add that among his many
meritorious actions was the urging and successful construction of
the new stone road on our Park avenue.
Hun. Herbert W. Johnson (Republican).
Ever since this gentleman moved into our town (1887) he has
been identified with every matter conducive to the best interests
of Merchantville. For instance, he served several years in our
Rorough Council; was one of the Burgesses, besides filling the
position of Freeholder.
In [896 he was elected State Senator, representing Camden
county, by a plurality of 9859. He has offered (and through his
■efforts have been enacted) many important laws (far above local
conditions). I can here only cite a few.
The "Kindergarten Act," legally making this invaluable meth-
od of infant instruction an integral part of our State public school
system. An "increase of State appropriation for public roads,"
amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which prac-
tically means the construction of about a half million dollars'
worth of "good roads" in New Jersey during the coming year
Sufficient has been given to show the trend of his industry. It
might be added that he has served as chairman on many State
committees, such as "Finance, Labor and Industries" and "Mis-
cellaneous Business," besides being a member of important com-
mittees, "Militia," "State Library," "State Printing" and "State
Another important matter should not be overlooked. He
drafted a number of clauses in the new "Borough Act" in 1897,
giving certain enlarged powers to the charter of our town.
Such industrious and useful work has naturally given Senator
Herbert W. Johnson, from Camden county, an enviable reputation
throughout our entire State. .In a word suffice it to say that the
interests of Camden county in the State Senate have never been
confided to a more watchful or more capable representative.
Old Merchantville Hall.
Its corner-stone was placed in position in October, 1870, by the
Right Worthy Grand Master of Masons of the' jurisdiction of
New Jersey. It was for years our only resort for public meetings
and entertainments, besides the meeting place for various secret
and social organizations.
Collins and Pancoast's Hall.
Was built in the spring- of 1893. The first entertainment given
there was by the St. Agnes Guild of the Grace Episcopal Church.
It is largely used for fashionable entertainments. It is also the
seat of our United States postoffice and the Merchantville Lodge
of Free Masons.
SECRET AND BENEFICIAL ORGANIZATIONS.
Amity Lodge, No. J 66, I. O. O. F., was chartered June 6th,.
1872. John Homer was its first Noble Grand and Francis F.
Eastlack its Secretary for many years. It removed afterward to-
Cramer Hill, where it remained for some years, and has recently
returned to its birthplace. John Crawford is its present Noble
Grand, with F. A. Buren as Secretary, and George H. Anion,
Lodge No. 29, Knights of the Golden Eagle.* Chartered Octo-
ber 10, 1887. J onn Homer was its first presiding officer. That
position is now held by Edward M. Wright.
Washington Camp, No. 29, Patriotic Order Sons of America,
was instituted September 28th, 1894, with William D. Stanger as
President. Walter H. Eastlack fills that position at present.
Archimedes Senate, No. 27, Order of Sparta. Organized Au-
gust 22d, 1895. Its first presiding officer was J. E. VanKirk. It
is a practical relief association, based upon a new system. Say,
for instance, a member dying within
1 year, his family receives $1875.00.
2 years, his family receives 2000.00.
3 years, his family receives 2375.00.
4 years, his family receives 2500.00.
Each member being fully beneficial at the expiration of five
years. It has paid $5000.00 of death claims since its formation.
Robert Riddle is the present presiding officer.
* Formally disbanded July nth, 1899, dividing the funds and surrendering its charter.
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD STATION IN MKRCH ANTVII.I.K-
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY AIM. LONGSTRETH.
"The Half Hour Club"
Was started in 1897. It is located in the Borough Council
chamber and has about 2000 volumes. Mrs. Frank S. Walton is
the present very efficient librarian.
Merchantville Protective Association
Was formed January 15th, 1894, for the purpose of protecting
the business interests of hs members. Ellis Parker, its president,
and Walter H. Eastlack, its secretary, at the date of its formation,
still hold these positions.
Merchantville Improvement Association,
Among other objects, has old paper and other similar refuse
removed from our streets. It was started March 28th, 1898, with
John B. Morton as president and William Early as secretary, who.
still remain as such.
Miss Emma Culin has for years been engaged in educational
work, such as the preparation of advanced students for college
and imparting knowledge in the English classics.
The Misses Lucy and Edith Moses opened, in 1899, a kinder-
garten, to which has since been added an academy for instruction
in the higher branches of English education.
Francis F. Eastlack gives instruction in practical double-entry
bookkeeping, besides private reading lessons in English, German,
French, Italian, Spanish, etc.
OUR FIRE COMPANY.
The Niagara Hose Company
Built its present house in 1889. John B. Hamel, Jr., was its
first president. The hose carriage now in use formerly belonged
to the Niagara Hose Company of Philadelphia. The bell now-
swinging in its tower was set up in 1897. John Senft is now
president and Gottlieb C. Mick its chief.
NIAGARA FIRE COMPANY has a chemical extinguisher
and 1200 feet of hose always ready for use. Our borough con-
tributes annually $200 and Pensauken Township $150 towards
its support. We have thirty fire plugs within our limits.
The "Beacon" (a juvenile experiment), edited by William Pil-
ling in 1873.
The "Plain Speaker" (also of same class), edited about 1878 by
George A. Crump.
The "Weekly Record," edited by J. K. Miles and J. Fred Dun-
leavy in 1894.
The "World," in 1895, edited by William Early.
The "Trinity News," published by the Epworth League of our
Trinity Methodist Church, in 1897.
The "Merchantville Review," edited by W. H. Lewis, made its
first appearance June 2d, 1889.
The "Star" was started in 1895 by F. C. Alexander as editor,
but ceased to exist in July, [899.
THE NIAGARA HOSE COMPANY.
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY *M. LONGSTRETH.
The Merchantville " Press," W. G. Taylor, publisher, and
Francis F. Eastlack, editor, issued its first number September
2d, 1899. It is claimed it has "come to stay."
The "Review" still flourishes, and though locally circumscribed,
is lively and sprightly and much appreciated by our community.
The first directory of Merchantville was issued in 1893 and fol-
lowed in 1895, 1897, 1898 and 1899.
William Longstreth published a pamphlet, "A Glance at Mer-
chantville," in 1898, which attracted much attention.
MERCHANTVILLE CHICKEN FARM.
Possibly in the entire State of New Jersey, either in grounds,,
model houses and skill exercised, is there a handsomer result than
that in the chicken farm of Harry Schmidt (assisted by his son,.
Leonard), right in our own town, on Centre street. Here can be
seen magnificent specimens of first-class breeds of fowls, say, for
instance, "Buff Cochins," "Wyandottes," "Black Minorcas,"
"Plymouth Rocks" and many others. After a personal inspection
of all its details I can only saw "it must be seen to be appre-
Early in the eighties a number of our citizens played cricket in
a field either adjacent to or within the race-track grounds. I
don't think there were any officers, nor had it a distinctive title.
It was usually called the "Cricket Club." Senator Cattell, Harri-
son Robbins, George Crump. Thomas C. Knight and Henry A.
Macomb were among the principals. This was succeeded by the
"Athletic Club," on ground loaned by Senator Cattell at the west
side of Prospect street, south from Maple avenue. This was reg-
ularly officered. It started in 1888, and W. H. Dole was its first
president. It existed until the Senator sold the ground for build-
ing purposes; it then vacated it and removed to grounds diago-
nally opposite. These two clubs thus formed the nucleus of our
present handsomely equipped Merchantville Field Club, which is
the favorite resort for lovers of outdoor sports — base ball, cricket,
tennis, football, golf, etc. It controls six acres of ground, conve-
niently laid out, with suitable buildings and grand stand, on
Prospect street, south of Maple avenue. It was started
, with John B. Morton president. Frederick W.
Kleinz holds that position at present. It has a membership of
nearly 200, and is one of the most flourishing organizations of its
kind in New Jersey. *
In addition to its sports, attended by vast crowds of our best
society, our wives and daughters, it gives during the winter sea-
son (usually at Collins & Pancoast's Hall) a series of entertain-
ments, whether of balls, hops or music. Particularly is what 1
might call an annual "oddity" where theatricals (home talent t,
local hits, songs, squibs, "takings off," in fact a conglomeration
of comicalities and refined nonsense, draw the largest and the
most thoroughly amused audiences.
* Owing to the inability of its officers to give me date of organization, I am
forced to subscribe blanks.
THE MERCHANTVILLE GENTLEMEN'S CLUB
Occupies the entire second floor of the old Merchantville Hall.
Its rooms are handsomely furnished with billiard tables and all the
accessories of a club of this character. In fact, it is the resort of
our best society. Ladies patronize it for the pleasure afforded in
progressive euchre. It was founded April ist. 1889. John H. Six-
smith being its first president. Henry J. Stiles now occupies that
THE RACE TRACK.
Harrison Robbins originally opened the race track as the "Gen-
tlemen's Driving Park" and ran it for some time. It fell into the
hands of disreputable parties, making it a nuisance and a disgrace.
It has been recently started under different auspices and is now
known as the "West Jersey Country Club." The splendid recep-
tion given it on Decoration Day, when our pretty little jewel,
"Merchantville Girl," triumphed over all contestants, speaks well
for its future. J. I. Chalfant is now its president.
LAYING PARK AVENUE IN STONE.
Work is already begun, under the personal supervision of the
company's capable general superintendent, Mr. J. W. Craig.
The public may look forward to its early and satisfactory con-
struction. The contract price is $12,900, which has been award-
ed to the B. M. & J. F. Shanley Company, of Jersey City. There
will also be an iron bridge across Pensauken Creek costing $2600
additional. Camden and Burlington counties each paying one half.
FIRES IN MERCHANTVILLE.
Since the very inception of our town there have been few
fires, comparatively speaking, and none involving life or serious
loss. Before the formation of our present admirable Fire Depart-
ment may be mentioned the burning of the stables of David S.
Stetson, Benjamin F. Sausser and Harrison Robbins.
Immediately preceding its formation was the burning of Dr.
Bartine's stable and the destruction of many valuable books and
public documents belonging to the late Senator Cattell, stored in
a stable on the old Hanna property.
But, independent of these, while there were, of course, number-
less small fires in and around our borough, yet they really nar-
rowed themselves down to two of any importance, the Mclntyre
house and Oak Grove Inn.
The Mclntyre house (Chestnut avenue and Centre street) (of
supposed incendiary origin), broke out Sunday night (or, rather,
Monday morning), about 12.20, June 24th, 1894. The interior
was pretty well gutted. Our Fire Department was in service
three hours. The damages were said to be about five thousand
The ( )ak Grove Inn fire started at 10 o'clock on the morning of
September 5th. 1892. The Niagara Fire Company was in service
four hours. The third and fourth stories and parts of the roof
were practically consumed.
The insurance was $16,000 and the loss $6000. At one time
was feared its total destruction. The perseverance, skill and en-
ergy of our own firemen averted widespread disaster.
The Fire Departments of Stockton and Camden were rung up
and dashed in just when our "boys" became the victors. The
chief of the Camden Department was surprised and pleased with
everything. Calling aside Gottlieb C. Mick, the chief of the
Niagara Fire Company, he said:
"Chief, Niagara's boys have done handsomely; any error on
your part would have resulted in its total destruction! Give your
boys my compliments! Tell them I feel proud of them; that I
sec in them the stuff that dignifies the name of firemen!"
UNITED STATES ARMY AND NAVY "BOYS."
ARMY.— Company M. (Captain John A. Mather), Third Regi-
ment, N. J. Vols., Colonel Benjamin A. Lee. Jay B. Wilson,
Jr., Abram Morris Browning, Harry Kirby, Harold Browning,
Howard Marsden and Frederick W. Kleinz, Jr. Enlisted April
2j, 1898. Honorably discharged and disbanded at Athens, Ga.,
February 11, 1899.
The "boys" were principally instructed in coast defences at the
Pompton Lakes, N. J. They bore themselves well throughout,
and it was no discredit to them that they saw no actual war, for
which they nobly enlisted.
NAVY.— Marine Corps — John C. Megonegal, enlisted August
4, 1897. During our late war with Spain he was on the U. S.
cruiser Columbia, guarding in Cuban waters. He is still in the
U. S. Navy.
NAVY. — Landsmen Corps — Harry Mick (son of the late Louis
Mick), enlisted June. 1895. Was carpenter's mate aboard the
U. S. flagship New York. W r as actively engaged in several bloody
battles during our Spanish War. His officers spoke highly of
his gallantry. He resigned the navy and immediately re-enlisted
in Company E. Third Cavalry, Regular Army, where he still is.
One of the "boys" that Merchantville feels proud of.
U. S. NAVY.— Lieut. Reynold T. Hall, (son of E. S. Hall,)
was educated at our Centre Street. Public School. He was
appointed Assistant Engineer in the U. S. Navy in 1880 ; thus
making a continuous service of nearly twenty years. Among his
other services was the search for the "Jeannette" in the frozen
Arctic Seas. He took a conspicuous part throughout our late
War with Spain. Managed the engines of the "Petrel" at the
bloody battle in front of Cavite, Phillipine Islands, May 1st, 1898,
where the "Petrel" ran in closer to the Spanish guns than any
other of our fleet. He was also at the final attack and the
surrender of Manilla, August 13th, 1898. He is now (September
1 st, 1899,) at San Francisco in charge of the U. S. S. "Boston,"
just returned from Manilla. At home a Public Reception and
handsome Sword await him at the hands of the people of
Merchantville (taking place at Collins & Pancoast's Hall,
SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY.— Hon. Charles G.
Garrison (Democrat), was appointed by Governor Robert S.
Green, February 1, 1898, for a term of seven years. He was re-
appointed by Governer George T. Werts, in 1895, and is still
serving. His judical abilities and career on the bench are too well
known to make comment here necessary.
DISTRICT COURT OF CAMDEN COUNTY.— Ex-Judge
Howard Carrow (Democrat). This noted criminal lawyer was
appointed by Governor Leon Abbett, April 1, 1891, his term ex-
piring in 1896.
Judge Charles Y. D. Joline I Republican) was appointed by
Governor Griggs, April 1, 1896. and still performs the functions
of that office.
OUR C( >MMISSIONERS OF DEEDS.— Richard C. Schrei-
ner, Edwin J. Spangler, Joseph Bayliss, Francis F. Eastlack,
Charles Shinn, Robert B. Knight, John S. Matthews. George P.
Rush and William Longstreth.
OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT.— James Wright. William
Marsden (6 years). William Naylor (19 years), Daniel Carlin (9
years), William 11. Linderman (6 years), Robert Graham ( _»
years). This means continuous service in each case.
FLAG THAT WAVED O'ER MORRO'S WALLS.
MERCHANTVILLE'S OLD GLORY.
This national emblem has a peculiar history. At the breaking
up of "Union Camp," September ist, 1862, the "boys" of the
Corn Exchange Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, started for
Senator Cattell, being the originator of this regiment, was pre-
sented with its camp flag and pole, which he sent over to Mer-
chantville, planting the flagstaff on his grounds, but religiously
preserving the flag for holidays and special occasions.
General Grant, who was a warm personal friend of the Sen-
ator, on a visit to Merchantville, in September, 1875, hoisted
the flag himself, in the presence of many of our citizens.
Upon the death of the Senator (May, 1894) the flag came into
the possession of our fellow-townsman, George W. Algor. The
old flagstaff was purchased by William Longstreth and presented
to the "Merchantville Field Club," and now adorns their grounds.
At the breaking out of our war with Spain a number of our
citizens, among whom were George W. Algor, Walter H. East-
lack and Marshall G. Stevens, conceived the idea of floating her
over Morro Castle so soon as that fortress should come into our
possession. With this end in view a public meeting of our citi-
zens was called May T8th, 1898, in which all our ministers made
eloquent remarks, Judges Charles ( i. Garrison and Howard Car-
row taking leading parts. It was then decided that the flag
should be borne personally to Washington and the request of our
people be made known to the War Department. This was done
May 24th, 1898, and. January ist, 1899, when the morning sun
rose over humbled Morro Castle, it was greeted by Merchant-
ville's "Old Glory" floating defiantly from its ramparts. In Feb-
ruary, 1899, the flag was returned to us with an autographic let-
ter of thanks from the Secretary of War. It is now in the posses-
sion of Mr. Alg-or.
THE OLD CANNON IN FRONT OF PIDGEON'S.
This old cannon has a peculiar history, which, I understand,
Society of Pennsylvania," at Twelfth and Spruce streets, Philadel-
will be found in greater details in the archives of the "Historical
A careful examination will show the following inscriptions near
the touch-hole, "G. J. O. 3. 1. 2.," and on each of its trunnions
"456." It was part of the armament of the British frigate "Au-
On September 23d, 1777, freighted with gold to pay the British
army in this section, with the royal standard of St. George floating
from her masthead, she sailed defiantly up the Delaware River.
But when she stood abreast Fort Mifflin and particularly a little
shore battery at Red Bank (near where the "National Park" now
is), she met her doom at the bottom of the Delaware. Here she
remained until 1875, when she was raised, one of our townsmen
(the ex-Postmaster William Macfarlan) being present . Her hulk
is still to be seen at Gloucester. After passing through several
hands, the old cannon came into the possession of our produce
dealer, Charles H. Pidgeon, and now adorns the front of his place.
As an evidence of its present sound condition a number of sa-
lutes were fired from it July 4th. 1890, in front of our Niagara
Fire Company's house.
CRIME IN MERCHANTVILLE.
1 now approach a subject of great importance, not necessarily
to our own people, but more particularly to new-comers. I make
this statement in all the consciousness and all the solemnity of a
I have searched the records of the criminal courts at Camden,
the "dockets" of every committing magistrate in our borough,
and I fail to find a single instance of a heinous crime having ever
been committed within the limits of Merchantville. Chicken steal-
ing, petty burglaries and other minor offenses have, but even
these have been committed by outside parties. I make this public
statement because the fame and fair name of Merchantville have
been tarnished, and many drawbacks to our prosperity have been
caused by sensational newspapers in which matters of a criminal
nature occurring miles outside of us have been continuously at-
tributed to Merchantville.
Take as prominent subjects the Leconey and Mrs. Miller mur-
ders. Xow every resident of Merchantville knows that by the
nearest route the former took place three miles and the latter one
and a half miles outside of our borougfh limits.
POINTS CONCERNING PRESEXT MERCHAXTVILLE.
Merchantville has a population of over 2500. It is situated on
the Moorestown turnpike four miles northeast from Camden.
One takes either the Pennsylvania Railroad, via Market Street
Ferry, Philadelphia (round trip, 20 cents, or monthly ticket $4,
time, 25 minutes), or the trolley cars at the foot of Market street,
Camden (round trip, 10 cents; time occupied, about forty min-
utes). It stands on ground 100 feet above water mark at Camden.
The soil is neither clay nor sand, but a happy combination of
both, being sufficiently porous to absorb all dangerous moistures
and noxious odors, consequently there is not a stagnant pond for
miles around, thus insuring a total absence of malaria or kindred
The air is of the utmost purity, and, having no factories, we
have no smoke. Its water, whether bubbling up in private wells
or from a reservoir three miles away, from a series of artesian
springs, is cold, sparkling and pure as crystal. Its streets run at
right angles, are wide and shady, and the pavements throughout
the town are handsomely paved with stone. Many of the houses
are palatial in size and architectural beauty; but, in any case, they
are substantially built of diverse pleasing designs, while particu-
lar attention is given to the adornment of our grounds, lawns and
gardens. It has four handsome churches, with flourishing Sab-
bath schools attached, besides a "Friends'" Meeting; an up-to-
■date public school, with experienced teachers, full supplies, large
airy rooms and expansive playgrounds. In fact, in its teachers.
its range of studies and 1 supplies, it has no superior among the
grammar schools of Philadelphia. It has, besides, two private
schools and a commercial institute, where double-entrv book-
keeping is taught and reading lessons given in English, German,
French. Spanish and Italian.
Tt has a first-class fire company, occupying its own house, fully
equipped with fireplugs in every street: is well lighted with gas or
electricity, both in street lamps and in our houses. We have two
drug stores, five experienced physicians, a dentist and a monthly
The Philadelphia and New York newspapers are served early
in the morning, while the weeklies, monthly magazines and cur-
rent literature generally are for sale at the newsman's store or
stand at our railroad station. The Knickerbocker and the Wilson
Ice Companies supply the town daily.
About thirty trains arrive and depart from our railroad station
■daily, and the trolley cars run every ten minutes. We have daily
expresses, bringing and taking trunks, packages and furniture
We have a town street sprinkler; also carts to collect all kinds
of loose papers and rubbish generally. There is also a beautiful
public hall, with walls splendidly frescoed, with a seating capacity
of 400. with stage, scenery, footlights and other theatrical appli-
ances, besides kitchen, retiring rooms and a smooth dancing floor.
We have an association to protect our merchants and business
men, a circulating library, various religious organizations, such
as Guilds, Christian Endeavorers, Epworth Leagues and the
Young People's Meetings.
Masonic, Odd Fellows, Knights of the Golden Eagle, Patriotic
Sons of America and Order of Sparta are all well represented.
So far as sporting and athletic matters are concerned, we have our
Driving Park, our Field Club, with extensive grounds and conve-
We have a Gentlemen's Club (faithful to its name in every par-
ticular), with billiard tables, sumptuously furnished smoking and
reading rooms, which is situated in one of the most prominent
positions in the town.
Of course, we have a government postoffice. with the free de-
livery system going into effect January 1st, 1900, a weather bureau
and a public telegraphic and telephone service. An old and relia-
ble Building Association, which lias lately issued its eighteenth
The municipal government consists of a Mayor, assisted by a
Common Council. These gentlemen are all property owners,
and, of course, residents of our town, so that, while every improve-
ment to the general benefit of the town is adopted, vet their nat-
ural self-interest prevents the borough from being extravagantly
governed. In this connection we might add that we have a first-
class police force and two committing magistrates.
We have a well-kept and old-established hotel with twenty
rooms (the only hotel in our town), to which is attached livery
stable and service. We have also a Board of Health, which care-
fully takes care of the sanitary conditions of our town. A large
boarding house gives ample accommodations to a large number
of summer boarders. So far as provisions are concerned, there is
not an article exposed in Philadelphia markets that cannot be
found at our many local stores. The juiciest of "roasts," fresh
and salted meats of every description, sweet country butter and
eggs right from the farm, all manner of groceries, the very earliest
of Southern and Jersey fruits and vegetables, fish just caught in
our neighborhood, oysters, clams, flour and ham, and, in fact,
everything befitting the table of an epicure, and all brought right
to our doors.
Dry goods, notions, hardware, hay and feed are all well repre-
sented. We have our bakers, with fresh bread and cakes; our ice
cream parlors and eating saloons.
Independent of these we have a real estate exchange, shoe and
gents' furnishing store, barber and hair-dressing parlors, an un-
dertaker, an upholsterer, coal dealers, tobacconist, watchmaker,
tailors, shoemakers, blacksmiths, tinsmiths and wheelwrights,
nursery grounds, commissioner of deeds, notary public, harness
and whips, bicycle depot, florist, laundries, dressmakers, milliner,
stationery store, music teachers, paperhangers, poultry farm and
There is no lack of skillful mechanics and artisans in our town.
We may say in a word every trade necessary to. build, ornament
or repair a house from roof to foundation is well represented, as
the many handsome edifices in our town fully testify. Taking
into consideration all these conveniences, all these attractions,
the tax rate is not high; houses are rented at fair prices and real
estate is offered at reasonable and inducing figures. As a class
the men of Merchantville are law-abiding, intelligent and hospita-
ble; they are generally what is called "well-to-do in life," and in a
few instances are wealthy.
They are an assemblage of good fellows and business men,
pursuing their various vocations generally in Philadelphia, but
whose good judgment has selected our town, simply from its
general adaptation to all the conveniences of a luxurious or a
But the women of Merchantville! God bless them! Every
one of them is an earth angel! Be she matron or maid, old or
young, she is a physical beauty and a mental paragon !
Sufficient has been said to raise the thought in the mind of any
intelligent man, "Now here is a place differing from many" pro-
jected "towns, where (except on paper) there is only a railroad
station and a few cottages, where everything is in prospective,
where myself and family would be subjected to many wants
and inconveniences, and the absence of churches, schools and
the necessary benefits of social life. Where, in a word, one must
"grow up with the town." That is the whole matter in a nutshell.
Here you have an already established town, healthy, pure air,
crystal water, streets broad and well shaded, stone pavements,
well lighted, well governed, with every convenience befitting a
wideawake, prosperous town, and where the people are hospitable
and will gladly welcome all who seriously think of locating with
SOME SERIOUS AND WELL-MEANING ADVICE.
To Every Party Who May Have in View the Buying of Ground
or Locating in Merchantville.
We have a long-established Building and Loan Association,,
one whose operations have been so honorable and successful that
it has lately issued its eighteenth series. It charges $i per month
for each share (the series run out generally in eleven years).
Money is exposed for sale at every meeting to the highest bidder.
Full $200 is loaned on each share at the legal rate of interest. A
mortgage taken as security. This mortgage may be paid off at
any time or allowed to stand until the closing of the series (just
as your own means or convenience may suggest).
Of course, it is much more satisfactory to buy the ground, get
out plans and contract and have the house built under your own
supervision on a purely cash basis. But this cannot be done in
every case. You would be surprised were I to enumerate one-half
of the houses in our town now free of debt which were built
through the agency of this same liberal association.
You have two easy means of procuring a home. Assuming
that you have sufficient cash ready to buy the ground, and a house
is already built on the lot, then join the Building Association, tak-
ing as many shares which producing $200 each as will enable the
association to loan you the necessary amount. Or, if there is no
house on the ground, get out plans, make the application for loan
and have the building contract signed, hand it to the association,
which will pay the builder as the work progresses, according to
the terms of the contract. ( )f course, some necessary forms must
be observed, such as the taking out the shares, applying for loan,
awaiting the report of the Loan Committee and possibly a few
other minor matters, will need your attention, but all these can be
readily understood and followed.
I hit. before buying ground or renting, place the matter in the
hands of a reliable and experienced real estate agent, of which we
THE PARTING SHOT.
The Merchantville Building and Loan Association.
The aggregate amount of LOANS, given by the combined
''Cottage Building Association," and the "Merchantville
Building and Loan Association," approximates ($1,244,400)
one million, two hundred and forty-four thousand, four
hundred dollars. The exact figures would not vary $20,000
My readers must remember the books and papers of the
"Cottage Building Association," have been destroyed; hence
the seemingly impossibility of quoting identical figures ; yet care-
ful and conscientious calculations (based upon official state-
ments) justify the figures as given.
The following facts, (taken from the sworn statement) of its
operations for the fiscal year ending October 31st, 1898, are
well worthy of perusal and reflection : —
Cash received during that period, $102,693.35
Loans given " " 51,850.00
Assets at that date 223,869.78
Building and Loan Associations, wherever spread over broad
America are silent benefactors, giving encouragement and
dignifying TOILERS with the proud title of OWNERS ; owners
of that sacred spot — HOME — the result of industrious LABOR
and the husbanding of SMALL ECONOMIES.
Far may they spread, throwing out their giant arms laden
with encouragement and practical assistance !
Among these honored many, may I not rightfully — yet
modestly — claim that the "Merchantville Building and Loan
Association," shall stand somewhere near the top?
~i . 7. .
'i' 77 iit
I'm.' : '-
"OLD" MERCHANTVILLE HALL.
LOANED EXPRESSLY FOR THIS WORK BY WM. LONGSTRETH.
AN OLD-FASHIONED GHOST STORY.*
Samued Spicer (see page — ) died at his home near the rear of
the steam soap factory, on our pike near Coopers Creek bridge.
An aged farmer (nearly eighty), still living on the outskirts of
Merchantville, assures me that the following nonsensical story
was believed in his childhood days by "almost everybody" in our
neighborhood. His grandfather oftentimes related it (in this
fashion) to many a wide-eyed and open-mouthed crowd of lis-
"Oh! yes, old Sam Spicer' s sperritt! (Now don't break into
me.) Sam went off sottin' one stormy night, nigh unto Christ-
mas, in his old arm cheer, a-front of a roarin' kitchin fire, with
his long clay pipe an' a mug of ale on his table, his old gun in a
corner, an' his alminics hangin' on the wall.
"Well, they give him a decent buryin', but lo! an' behold! the
next mornin' in comes Sam, an' sotted hisself in his old arm-
cheer. An' it didn't matter, day nor night, thar sot Sam. (None-
of your botherin' to mix me up.) No, neighbor, it waren't Sam.
hisself; it war' his ghost! Well, there he sot, an' he sot, an' he
"He didn't bother nobody; it 'pears he was ginerilly in good
humor, watchin" ev'rything goin' on. He never got mad, 'cept
sume fool would touch his gun or rumple his lot of alminicks..
Then he would git red in his face and stamp his foot. (No, ninny,
he didn't make no noise.) Then once in a while he tuk from his
s-h-r-o-u-d his 1-o-n-g c-l-a-y p-i-p-e a-n' 1-i-t i-t. (Now don't
bother me.) How kin I tell how he got it on fire? I only hearn
that it was rale fire, an' the smoke smelt like y-a-1-l-e-r b-r-i-m-
"Howsomever, so many folks come in to see him that the floor
'gin to git thin. They 'lowed he was gittin' to be a disgrace."
* Foundation furnished by Thomas S. Ruddcrow.
(The grandfather evidently meant a nuisance.) "So what to do to
git his sperritt to rest?
"Well, after a heap of trouble, they got three yarb doctors.
They argued with him, an' tole him if he would stay away fer a
hundred years, they would put him at the bottom of a nice dry
well on Josiah Wilson's ground, and kiver the top over with
lumber, so as rain nor snow wouldn't bother him. (Now, how do
I know if he talked like us? Mebbe it was g-h-o-s-t talk.) But,
howsomever, they got him down there. All the folks 'magined
he was laid to rest, but lo! an' behold! inside two days in' comes
Sam an sots right down in that big arm cheer agin; an' he. sot, an'
he sot, an' he sot.
"Well, the "soothers' was agin called; they was mad, an' tole
Sam he lied! He made them understan' he didn't like the dry
well; he wanted to go somewheres in the nice cool water, where
he could see something lively-like aroun' him.
"Arter a spell of coaxin' they put his sperritt down softly at the
bottom of Cooper's Creek. The old cheer was burnt up, an' Sam
never darted them doors again. But my father used to say that
when anybody went up Cooper's Creek at night and seed s-o-m'-
t-h-i-n' w-h-i-t-e i-n a w-i-n-d-i-n' s-h-e-e-t jump up a-front of the
boat they knowed it was old Sam Spicer's sperritt trubblin' the
THE UNHINGED BARBER.*
"It was many and many a year ago," long before our borough
barbers were born, that an old white-haired Irishman lived in an
unpainted shanty somewhere near us on our pike. In addition to
eking out a scanty living at cobbling he kept an oddly-arranged
barber shop in the front.
He was fearfully eccentric. One of his oddities was the loquac-
ity usuallv ascribed to barbers, besides an uncontrollable desire
for gathering news about horse racing. In fact, he stopped all
passers-bv (going or coming), asking them for the latest news
from "the turf." Was he unsuccessful, then he would manufac-
ture nonsense from his own brain and pour it out with much
gusto and volubility to every neighbor and customer.
One day "George," the son of a prosperous farmer near
Moorestown, visited his place (for the first time) to be shaved.
Now, though "George" was somewhat of a "sport," yet he did
not possess that kind of courage which characterizes the "Dew-
eys" and "Hobsons" of to-day.
However, being pleasantly received, he submitted to the usual
napkin and lathering with bad-smelling soap, and while the old
man was giving his razor some generous manipulations on the
long black strop he said to "George," "Be you over in town the
day?" "No!" came from "George;" "not to-day, but vesterday."
"Ah! yesterday; then belikes you seen the big horse race, where
Bill Butts' black Mare, Trullano,' won?" "You are mistaken,
sir; Sam Hustin's chestnut horse, 'Layout,' won the day!"
"What?" exclaimed the old man, now resting his left hand on
"George's" head and holding aloof a gleaming razor in the other,
his eyes staring and face in rage. (Of course, my readers must
understand the old man spoke a pure Irish brogue, which T can-
"What?" he now thundered into "George's" ear, "Trullano
* Foundation furnished by Benjamin Forrest.
didn't win? Didn't put her nose over the gate, after doing her
pretty mile in 2.37? Didn't leave ten horses a half mile back of
her heels? Owner didn't get two hundred thousand dollars?
Mebbe you'd say there weren't a million people there?"
Well, to put the matter mildly, "George" wilted, what! at the
mercy of a lunatic with a razor at his very throat! But he was
equal to the emergency. Instantly (though trembling inwardly)
he blurted out, "Certainly! that neat, that purty jewel Trullano
won! Really I was thinking about another race. Oh, I'll tell
you all about it. Don't I wish you'd bin along. Why, if 1
knowed you was fond of races, by gosh! I would of taken you
down there myself. I'd a vittled you, drinked you and smoked
you, and the hull thing wouldn't have cost you one denied cent.
Why, let me tell you! It's just as you say, Billy Butts' little slick
mare Trullano's the purtyest piece of horseflesh that ever pranced
a race track! She can throw dust from her hind legs into the nose
of any four-footer in this United States.
"Don't I wish I had taken you along. I'd a-fed you, drunk
you and smoked you, and it wouldn't ha' cost you a denied cop-
per for the hull thing! Why! she made her mile in two ten and
three-quarters; the other bosses didn't come in for two minuter
afterwards! They give her owner four hundred thousand dollars
and her little jockey, Tommy Burke, a big solid gold pitcher.
"Why, when her nose touched the gate you could hear the
yells for five miles. Why! there was over three million sports
there." Seeing the effect of his words, he continued, "Now, I'll
tell you something; she's goin' to run agin on Monday. If you
will only say 'yes' I'll take you down! I'll put you clean in, vittel
you, smoke you and drink you, and the rull thing won't cost you
one denied cent."
( >f course, the old man was delighted, fairly danced with joy.
The beard was soon removed. The heart of George leaped with
joy when he saw that razor closed.
"1 lave a bit of bay rum on yer face?"
"Never mind that or brushing n iy hair; I hear my horse kick-
ing up the sand outside, and that means I want to g"0."
The old man's eyes now danced with frenzied joy, and he cried
"Won't we have a jolly old time? Egad! fed, drinked and
smoked and not a cent to pay."
"George" stepped out as if in a hurry, unhitched his horse, and,
whip in hand, looked in the open door. There sat the old one
chuckling to himself. "George" yelled out to him:
"You old white-haired liar, Layout won the race, time 3.15;
her owner got forty-one dollars, and there was only a hundred
and sixty-seven people there."
Jumping in and lashing his horse, he was soon in the distance.
It is perhaps needless to add the old man's mind was really de-
ranged. In fact, he died in a lunatic asylum shortly afterwards.
But what a luckey escape for "George!"
1 was ill, "sick unto death." I stood alone within a vast unfin-
ished edifice. I knew not were it a Christian church or Jewish
synagogue; yet certain evidences convinced me it was a temple
reared to the true and living God. Many signs of unwrought
work lay 'strewn around- — carved and uncarved blocks of marble,
pilasters, cornices. Three finished columns of white, graceful in
outlines, majestic in proportions, caught my eyes. They were
ornamented by chapiters of Corinthian, Ionic and Doric. The
floor was laid in marble squares, white and black alternately,
known as Mosaic.
There was no covering, no ceiling — the pallid moon and silent
stars alone shone down on an altar surrounded by three dimly
Then came strains of unearthly music, grandly beautiful, but
oh! so sorrowful, so majestically solemn, breathing a wealth of
woe, of lamentation. From an obscure quarter came a woman in
black, of pale face and raven hair. She approached the altar,
when suddenly went out the dimmed tapers. She sang in unison
with that outburst of bewailment. The refrain of her song, "( )h
God how sinful is man," overpowered me. I fell.
But what a glorious transformation! Shall I stop right here,
or feebly attempt description?
A round halo of light came down, surrounding the altar and
dispersing the gloom from every nook and corner. Even the be-
fore dimly burning tapers now gave out mystic Hashes, seemingly
dancing in joy.
A being in the glorious form of womanhood came in some way,
kneeling at the altar. A white-winged dove came down and
fluttered there, then rested Upon her bosom. She was in white,
of golden hair, eyes of blue and cheeks laden with health and joy-
* This is absolutely truthful. I myself experienced it. No poor words of mine,
however, can even feebly depict its actual granduer and glory.
ousness. Upwards she turned those eyes, and from her pearly
mouth issued a glorious hymn of thanksgiving!
A burst of angel song of which the Diety was choir-master.
Oh! Being from the inner chamber of the Holy of Holies!
Personification of angel. "Israel," "whose heart string are a lute,
and who has the sweetest voice of all God's creatures." j"
I can go no further; I trod upon the borders of the God-land!
My pen drops from my nerveless fingers. I can give only the
mere words of that ravishing refrain, "THANKS BE TO THE
LORD GOD JEHOVAH! WHO CREATES AND WHO
I turned and met at my bedside the kindly eyes and extended
hand of good Dr. Bartine, who exclaimed, "The crisis is past; you
arc out of danger."
There will be some who may doubt its truthfulness. Be it so.
Yet ofttimes, in the quiet hours of night, in my chamber, dark-
ened save by the silent stars, I still see that upturned face, that
flowing golden hair, those eyes of blue, and even my ear can catch
that glorious anthem, "Thanks be to the Lord God Jehovah, who-
creates and who SAVES."
t Edgar Allen Poe.
A CLOSING THOUGHT.
I present the following — not because it is in any way connected
•with the history of our town — but that it occurred to me in the course
of this work. Without egotism, I claim it is entirely original — the re-
sult of musings under the shade of my own quiet porch.
I feel that it will prove of incalculable benefit — especially to our
up-growing youth. It is this :
That from Creations' dawn until the present moment — there has
never been a structure reared by man — whether a human habitation,
pyramid, tower, dome or citadel — without the original aid of a single
grain of barley !
And is thus explained ; such is God's unerring accuracy, that the
ancients finding every individual grain of barley so undeviating in length —
undeviatingly to the width of a single hair — that plucking them and
placing three lengthwise, they formed an inch— the only basis of uni-
.This was indeed a crude measure, but one easily comprehended
by every one of the millions of toiling slaves who reared the awful
pyramids. This barley corn was of uniform size throughout the then
And even to-day — adown the corridors of centuries — beneath the
very shadows of those awe-inspiring pyramids — the barley stalk still throws
upon the desert air her generous seeds — three of which measure a
Who but an imbecile dare, from this fact alone, doubt the existence
of a Creator, wise, good and of unspeakable accuracy?
So may this modest little book, (based upon accuracy), continue to
uprear its head and be appreciated by the thoughtful, long after the
trembling hand that writes it has gone
"To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon." — Bryant.
MERCHANTVILLE BUSINESS DIRECTORY.
(Only Such as Are Actually Engaged Here.)
Bakery and Candy Stores — William Kohler, George T. Richard-
Barbers and Hair Dressers — William G. Knehr, John H. Krantz.
Boots, Shoes and Gents' Furnishings — Walter H. Eastlack.
Builders and Carpenters — Joseph M. Morgan, Charles E. Castle,
Coal — Marion Knight, Collins & Pancoast.
Commissioner of Deeds — W'illiam Longstreth.
Dressmakers — Mrs. Fanny Hewitt, Mrs. Amos Blake, Mrs. Park-
er Lewis, Miss Jennie Bailey, Miss Lizzie Eastlack, Miss Edith
Drug Stores — Dr. Charles H. Jennings, J. W. Kohlerman.
Dry Goods and Notions — Samuel Lewis.
Eating Saloon — Frank Vergason.
Florists — John Tully, Henry Millingar, H de Snyder.
Flour. Feed, Hay, etc. — B. M. Beideman.
Fruits — Charles H. Pidgeon.
Gas and Electricity — Merchantville Light, Heat and Power Co.
Groceries — C. C. Dickey, Ellis Parker, H. H. Brown, Cramer
Harness, Whips, etc. — William G. Wetzel.
Hardware, Lumber, Builders' Supplies, etc. — Collins & Pancoast.
Horse Shoers— A. W. Haney, Geo. E. Lewis, G. C. Mick.
Hotel (Stockton House) — William W. Pancoast.
Ice Cream Parlors — Arthur E. Craig, William Kohler.
Justices of the Peace — William Longstreth, J. B. Wilson.
Laundry (Chinese) — Fing Fong.
Lawyers — Hon. Charles G. Garrison, Hon. Howard Carrow,
William Early, F. A. Rex and Judge C. D. V. Joline.
Livery Stables and Service— William W. Pancoast, John Thomas.
Meat Stores — Fred Seeger, Ellis Parker, William Macfarlan.
Ministers of the Gospel — Revs. J. B. Haines, Richard George
Moses, N. W. Simmonds, I. Mench Chambers, C. Bridgeman.
Music Teacher — David Frye.
Newspapers — "Merchantville Review." "Merchantville Press."
Nurse (monthly) — Mrs. Hannah Polk.
Oysters, Fish, etc. — Charles H. Pidgeon.
Painters (Fresco) — August Heulinger, H. T. Fox.
Painters (House) — Harry S. Matthews, Conrad Krantz.
Paperhanger — E. T. Johnson.
Physicians — Dr. David H. Bartine, Dr. Charles H. Jennings. Dr.
J. W. Marcy, Dr. William H. Armstrong, Dr. Joseph D. Law-
Plasterer — William A. Boyd.
Plumbers and Gas Fitters — George W. Algor, J. Reid & Co.
Public Coach — Harry Whitlock.
Real Estate Agents — William Longstreth, R. B. Knight, J. B.
Wilson, Arthur E. Craig, Harry Schmidt.
Shoemakers — Adam Yeakel, James Linahan.
Stationery Store — George T. Richardson.
Tailor Store — Theodore Meyer.
Tinsmiths and Roofers — George A. Fisher, George Meiler.
Undertaker — John Crawford.
Upholsterer — Richard F. Neumann.
Veterinary Surgeon — Harry B. Cox.
Water Service — Merchantville Water Company.
Wheelwright and Carriage Builder — Gottlieb C. Mick.
Violinist — Atwood P. Eastlack.
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