Skip to main content

Full text of "Religious forces and other activities in the history of Vineland, N.J."

See other formats


3 1833 02343 064 5 

Gc 974.902 V75c 

Co n we 1 ] , Jose p h Alfred. 

R e I i g i o u s f ' o r c e 5 s n d o t h e r 

activities in t h e his t o r v 

o f V i n e ] £ n d , N . J . 
















ArfH- , ■ ■„„ y 

. . Ak^-fi- 


1^. .. 














[ .'-^ .■■;,_;•-'■• ■ -1 

.:e| --^^ 


















900 ^>^^ 


Arttuttt^a in tl|? IftBtnrg 
0f Btttf lattii 

Inasmuch as Rev. Dr. D. H. King, our Pastor 
Emeritus, preached a historical sermon this morning 
and dwelt more particularly upon the intimate and 
spiritual history of our church, I feel that it is both 
appropriate and desirable that I, in what I shall say this 
evening, broaden the subject somewhat, and refer not 
only to the history of our own church, but to the 
various religious and other forces that have exerted an 
influence for good in our town during the past half- 
century. While the subject is too great to be fully dis- 
cussed in the time alloted me, it should be stated with 
special emphasis that the history of a live, active 
church is inevitably a part of the history of a commu- 
nity. The church gives inspiration, encouragement 
and genuine vital force to every worthy enterprise and 
every good cause. To undertake to give the history 
of a church and of religious forces in general in a com- 
munity like Vineland, where the churches and every- 
thing else grew up together out of a wilderness, and 
for fifty years have lived and labored and struggled to- 
gether and turned that wilderness into a land of beauty 
and fertile fields and extensive manufacturing interests, 
where intellectual culture and high moral principles 
are maintained, is a task calling for the utmost rever- 


ence and respect. If we candidly accept the plain, 
cold facts regarding the founding of Vineland, we 
must admit that it offered many advantages not enjoy- 
ed by older and differently constructed towns. 

When Mr. Charles K. Landis drove the now 
famous stake in the wilderness on the 8th of August, 
1861, near where the West Jersey Railroad station now 
stands, he established not only a landmark, but a great 
historical starting point. This area was then a vast 
wilderness. It was such a wilderness that the conduct- 
or refused to stop the railroad train at the prospective 
city, and instead put Mr. Landis off near what is now 
Newfield, forcing him to walk five miles to drive his 
fancied city-centered stake. It was such a wilderness 
that Mr. Landis had to walk out to Sharp's corner on 
Main road to get his dinner. It was such a wilderness 
that the railroad officials refused to build a platform so 
people could get off the cars. It was such a wilder- 
ness that the government refused to recognize Vineland 
as a post office until Mr. Landis gave security for the 
expense incurred. Yet Mr. Landis, a young man of 
twenty-eight, had the faith and courage and grit to walk 
over this wilderness for weeks and months, and employ 
men to survey and lay out roads and avenues, and pull 
stumps and haul dirt. He advertised town lots and 
farms until he had not only spent all of his own re- 
sources, but had eventually gone in debt over three 
hundred thousand dollars to improve and beautify 
the prospective enterprise. 

The early struggles and experiences of the founder 
of Vineland, while to some may seem like the work of 
a dreamer, were the true unfoldment of a long-sighted^ 
orderly, systematic plan. During the first winter Mr. 
Landis maintained his headquarters out at Sharp's farm 


house on Main road. And let me quote his words as 
found among his private papers: 

"There were many days and weeks during 
that long and tempestuous winter when nobody 
came. To say that I never had moments of de- 
pression, when I looked out of my window upon 
the boundless stretch of wilderness, would be 
simply untrue. The southeast winds at night 
would howl around the corner of the house where 
I slept, sounding like wailing voices of ill omen 
and mockery. And as I listened to the dismal 
sound of the wind and thought of the possibility 
of no visitors, I would be struck almost by an icy 
chill. The greatest relief I found was in prayer." 

The founder of Vineland did not claim to be a 
religious man, nor was he so regarded. I refer to 
these prayers of Mr. Landis, because so far as known, 
they were the first religious worship and the beginning 
of the religious history of what the world now knows 
as "Beautiful Vineland." 

This brief outline faintly pictures the wilderness 
with its virgin soil and the man with his ambitions and 
motives. His determination was to build a model 
community free, if possible, from the objections he 
had seen elsewhere, and possessing those character- 
istics which experience had proved to best insure 
beautiful and healthful surroundings and the prosperity, 
happiness and general well-being of the people. With 
his life dedicated to this proposition, he, through the 
public press and other methods, and in the most wide- 
spread manner, invited the world to come and make 
Vineland a model community. 

And in all candor he placed before prospective 
settlers an unusual opportunity. Here was offered 
what we all more or less crave — the chance to begin 
afresh and, to a marked degree, live life over again. 
To those of the north was offered a milder climate. 
Those in the crowded cities here found fresh air and 


plenty of room. To those in ill health or weary of 
monotony was a new hope. Here were good 
prospects for the ambitious and an equal opportunity 
to all. The proposition appealed to men and women 
of intellect, energy and character, and they came 
from every direction and were received with cor- 
dial welcome. No matter from whence it came, all 
blood was new blood on reaching the primitive 
soil and inspiring atmosphere of Vineland. 


While at the end of the first year there were only 
about six settlers, yet at the end of 1862, the second 
year, about eighty persons attended Mr. Landis' first 
annual reception. His reception at the end of the third 
year was attended by over one thousand persons. The 
attendance at the end of the fourth year was two 
thousand, and about one thousand partook of supper. 
His reception at the end of the fifth year was attended 
by more than three thousand. Two brass bands fur- 
nished music and the occasion was an innovation to 
South Jersey. At this time the population of the tract 
was fifty-five hundred. In 1867, when Vineland was 
six years old, it was a community of about eight 
thousand population, containing churches of all the 
leading denominations, fourteen schoolhouses and 
twelve hundred pupils. The Presbyterian, Methodist 
and Episcopal churches were organized in '63. The 
Baptist, Unitarian and what was known as the "Friends 
of Progress" later, but when Vineland was six years 
old they all had flourishing congregations, the 
audience of our own church averaging three hundred 
and fifty persons on Sunday. 

Not only had churches been organized at this time, 
but "The Historical and Antiquarian Society," "The 
Floral Society" the various social and secret Societies 


had been organized and were existing much as they 
are to-da}'. Let us mention some of the things that 
took place when Vineland was only six years old. 

The Sabbath schools were organized and prosper- 
ous, and on the 4th of July of that year, paraded the 
streets of our town. The procession was about a half- 
mile in length and seven hundred children were in the 
parade. They picniced in the Vineland Park and Rev. 
J. O. Wells, the pastor of this church, was one of the 
orators of the occasion. This custom of Sunday 
Schools uniting in picnics and excursions continued 
for many years, and I have seen a special train take 
over nine hundred persons from Vineland to the sea- 
shore on a Union Sunday School excursion. 

Up until that year this church had used a melodion 
when it was exchanged for a cabinet organ. The 
Great World's Universal Exposition was held at Paris, 
France, and honorable mention was awarded by the 
Imperial Commission of that Exposition to Mr. Charles 
K. Landis for his great work in founding and promot- 
ing the success of Vineland, New Jersey, and he was 
placed upon record as one of the benefactors of the 
world. Professor Marcius Willson, in a public address 
during the year 1867, declared that Vineland made 
greater progress in those things which belong to ad- 
vanced civilization, during six short years, than all 
Cumberland County made in the first two hundred 
years of its existence. 


The resources and initiative instinct of Vineland's 
pioneers were almost without limit. They had come 
from the four corners of the earth. Each man — and 
many women — was a distinct individual. While not 
one of them had been born here their loyalty and inter- 
est had all the intensity and enthusiasm of a second 


When the town was less than two years old Mrs. A. 
M. Spaulding its first poet composed some verses in its 
praise four lines of which were taken as a slogan. 

"Brothers and sisters we become 

On touching Vineland sod 
Inmates of one expansive home 

Children of one true God." 

These lines were quoted in addresses, were often 
seen in the newspapers, occasionally displayed upon 
banners at public meetings and became almost a local 
patriotic confession of faith. 

Among Vineland's early settlers were merchants, 
manufacturers, inventors, educators, physicians, re- 
formers, editors, financiers, authors — men of affairs — 
who had both failed and succeeded elsewhere and who 
had come here to secure a change, to gain health, to 
retire or to find congenial climate or to hustle for 
success amidst new surroundings. There were men 
and women of talent— musicians, singers, artists, actors 
or adepts in other professions — accustomed to public 
life and no matter what the occasion, whether a school 
meeting, political caucus, farmers club, literary or 
theatrical entertainment, it was more like the work of 
leaders and professionals than amateurs. The social 
atmosphere was fascinating and there was an abund- 
ance of real life. The ability to grasp opportunities 
was well illustrated in 1868 when it was learned that the 
members of the New Jersey Editorial Association were 
to pass through Vineland on their way to the annual 
convention at Cape May. They were invited to stop 
off at Vineland; ninety seven carriages met them at the 
depot; they were conveyed over our town and town- 
ship; Cosmopolitan Hall was turned into a banqueting 
room and they were sumptuously dined amidst a pro- 
fusion of flowers and 250 editors with their wives left 
our depot delighted, and the result was, that for days 

and weeks in the colums of almost every newspaper in 
New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York could be 
found editorials referring to Vineland with unstinted 
praise. What a splendid example for modern Boards 
of Trade and Commercial Leagues! 

Although many of the early farmers were new at 
the business, many were the occasions which showed 
their apt ingenuity. One incident always seemed to 
me to be unusually clever. Mr. Landis for several 
years gave liberal cash prizes for the best specimens of 
farm products, a leading prize one year being fifty 
dollars in cash for the largest Dutchess pear. That 
Autumn Mr. A. J. Hamilton, of Oak Road and a 
charter member of this church, brought to town an 
immense overgrown Dutchess pear weighing twenty- 
two and one-half ounces. Mr. Landis was delighted, 
paid the prize money, placed the pear in a handsome 
glass case, exhibited it at our local fair, then at the 
New York State Fair in Madison Square Garden and 
at various County Fairs outside of our State. To pro- 
duce this pear, Mr. Hamilton selected the best tree in 
his orchard, stripped it of all pears except one, ferti- 
lized and mulched and watered the tree all summer, 
propped and stayed the limb against storms and sus- 
pended the pear in a woven sack to support its weight. 
When Mr. Rockefeller, Jr. intimated that successful 
human beings, like perfect American Beauty roses 
require that ninety-nine be sacrificed in order that the 
hundredth may reach its fullest perfection and beauty 
did not know that the idea was first demonstrated by a 
member of this church in a Vineland pear orchard. 

Had a visitor, during Vineland's early years, stroll- 
ed among the people, from Newf ield to South Vineland 
he would have met a class of people as various and 
interesting as could have been found anywhere in the 
nation. Let us tonight in imagination, follow him on 
such a jaunt. 

At Newfield would be met a small well-clad gentle- 
man, George May Powell — preacher, traveler, public- 
ist, statesman, publisher of the international Sunday 
School maps; whose speech was the chief political doc- 
ument in the campaign of Lincoln, President of the first 
Congress of Forestry, first man to propose Y. M. C. A. 
buildings, a chief originator of The Hague Peace 
Court, President of the Peace Society, national temper- 
ance advocate, writer, orator and Christian statesman. 

Here also lived Mr. Job Ellis, teacher, linguist and 
pioneer in the study of vegetable bacteria, whose dis- 
coveries and writings are recognized the world over, 
his great work ''North American Pyrenomycetes,'' 
printed in Vineland, costing him and his devoted wife 
twenty years of incessant research and labor. 

At North Vineland lived John L. Mason iuA^entor 
of the "Mason Fruit Jar," which cost years of experi- 
ment, the waste of three hundred thousand dollars in 
two hundred lawsuits over the patent and what is too 
often true the final discouragement and poverty of the 
inventor, but the jar revolutionized the methods of pre- 
serving fruit and for forty years has been a household 
necessity in almost every civilized home. 

In Vineland, at that time, women took a more 
active part in business and public affairs than else- 
where The "Ladies' Store" owned by Misses Leavitt 
and Sherburne was for a generation the leading dry 
goods and variety business of South Jersey. Among 
our most prominent women was Mrs. Louise Cooper 
Bristol— tall, graceful, accomplished; teacher, orator, 
poet, essayist, a leader in modern thought and ideas; 
another. Miss Abby F. Leavitt, her hair short and 
groomed by a barber, but her head long and mind 
alert,— merchant, church official, Sunday School 
Superintendent, W. C. T. U. President, a champion of 
women and a leader of men; another, Mary E. Treat, 


reclusive and quiet, — a writer of books on nature, 
insects and birds and known as well in Europe as in 
her own land. 

Never has woman been more devoted and helpful 
than during the making of Vineland. When Louis 
Bristol ran for Congress, Mrs Bristol plead for his elec- 
tion from the platform, her ability causing her to be 
asked to place General Butler in nomination for the 
presidency at the National Convention at Cincinatti 
when her eloquence won her national fame. During 
the years that J. B. Duffy published the Vineland 
Daily News, Mrs. Duffy, with marked ability, wrote 
its editorials and her other writings in book form re- 
ceived wide circulation. During the years of the 
pastorate of Rev. W. W. Meech at the South Vineland 
church Mrs. Meech, herself an ordained minister, was 
ever ready to occupy her husband's pulpit and her ser- 
mons were always both eloquent and practical. And 
in merchantile, and other enterprises it was often 
difficult to tell which was the leading spirit and head of 
the concern the husband or the wife. Truly can it be 
said of the Vineland woman "She hath done what 
she could." 

On our Streets, in those days, were occasionally 
seen women dressed in male attire and Dr. Mary 
Walker here found congenial friends to visit and her 
presence now and then added interest to our town. 
These women were ridiculed in private and in public 
press and Vineland to some extent shared the obliquy. 
But they were all educated, and sincere and loyal 
champions of a cause they loved and the.y did much to 
gain for woman that recognition as a political factor 
which justice demands shall be hers. If the male attire 
or "bloomers" infringed upon the rights of the sterner 
sex it can be said of each of them that what remained 
woman was a genuine lady and what turned man was 
always a gentleman. 


On our Streets would be seen an unusual number 
of men who had fought under the flag from '61 to '65 
and when peace returned married and settled here, and 
Vineland never had better or more loyal citizens than 
the soldier citizens who during the rebellion bared 
their lives that the flag might live. 

Along our streets would be seen more retired 
preachers than elsewhere. Vineland was known as 
the Mecca of the retired minister. These men, educat- 
ed, and interested, and gifted with tongue and pen, 
were always a genuine moral force in our community 
and all of them loyal examples of the perseverance of 
the saints. 

He would here meet three gentlemen all formerly 
teachers and college professors. One of them— Prof. 
D. O. Kellogg, author, orator, cyclopedist; handsome, 
eloquent and brilliant; another. Prof. N. B. Webster, 
chemist, scientist and cyclopedist who had stored in his 
mind fifty thousand dates as accurately as the records 
on the printed pages of history and yet was as con- 
genial and free from pomp as a child; the other Prof. 
Marcius Willson, handsome, well poised, faultlessly 
dressed, a gentleman and a scholar par excellent, the 
author of more school books than any other American, 
about thirty altogether bearing his name and the royal- 
ties paid him by Harper Brothers alone being over two 
hundred and twenty thousand dollars. 

On our streets almost every day was seen and 
heard that ubiquitous humorist, poet, jester and punster, 
John W. Hum whose laugh was hearty and loud and 
whose wit was quick and keen. Here on Saturday 
afternoons gathered the populace, men and women 
who had succeeded elsewhere as merchants, authors, 
editors, physicians, manufacturers and political reform- 
ers and they and their children bore the stamp of 
cultured energy. Among the children destined to be- 


come men of influence were James H. Ingram now 
medical missionary to China and who is doing much 
by translating books to revolutionize medical practice 
in that great nation. Here were seen two farmer boys — 
Ernest Bagnall, inventor and manufacturer, of Cleve- 
land, Ohio, and his brother Alfred Bagnall, a manufac- 
turing promoter in Japan, whose home is the finest 
private residence built by an alien in the Japanese 
Empire; Edwin M. Ellis, who has organized hundreds 
of Sunday Schools in the far west; Henry W. Wilbur, 
editor, author, preacher, reformer and leader in the 
cause of peace, temperance and righteousness. Among 
the rising young men was Charles Keighley, ambitious, 
determined, tireless, laying the foundation of success 
for himself and making of our town a centre in the 
manufacture of footwear, which from the day he 
started has been Vineland's most constant and reliable 

At South Vineland were the Bidwells who turned 
the sand beds into veritable mines of wealth; the 
Wheeler family, reformers and temperance workers, 
among them Frederick Wheeler now a national 
leader in temperance work; the Gillam family, all 
of them brilliant of intellect and all destined to rise 
in the world; one of them, M. M. Gillam now the 
father of the modern method of graphic advertising so 
universal and which has revolutionized the methods 
of doing business. Among the school boys was D. 
Harry Chandler, bright, quick, energetic, who has 
since sought and found ''Acres of Diamonds'' at home, 
realized in the growth and success of the shoe manu- 
facturing plant which has been a substantial feature of 
Vineland's industry and enterprise. Here lived 
William A. Daggett inventor of the well known 
folding clothes rack and of the closed baking pan, 
improved forms of which are now made and sold 
all over the world. 


These are only samples of the thousands who- 
flocked to Vineland during its early years, who became 
known as the "Vineland Pioneers," and of whom an 
early poet said: 

"Through hardship, weariness and tears, 
We wrought the task of pioneers. 
In '62 some seventy-five. 
Would represent our little hive. 
Now thousands throng on every hand, 
And yet there's room and work and land." 
The question arises: What should be expected 
from a colony of people, newly organized, composed 
of men and women of such exceptional character, in- 
tellect, initiative enterprise and devotion to the public 
interest? Let us mention a few things that these 
people gave to the world. 

Let us begin with the founder of Vineland. It was 
he who decided that Vineland should be a temperance 
community, free from the dram shop with its tempta- 
tions and allurements. He not only established 
temperance principles in this community, but did 
much to teach the world its advantages. His method 
was ''Local Option.'" It is true that there were efforts 
to secure local option many years before Vineland was 
started, but Mr. Landis gave the movement a new life. 
After Vineland had become established, Mr. Landis 
wrote an address on the subject of local option, bring- 
ing to his aid the experience in the town he had 
founded, and his observations in extensive travel and 
study of the subject. He delivered this address before 
the Legislature of New Jersey at Trenton, and at that 
time the subject was so dense to the people in general 
that he did not think it was wise to endeavor to get a 
general petition, but he went to the State Penitentiary 


and got the inmates of that institution to sign a petition 
for the law, and when he delivered his address, he 
held his manuscript in one hand, and a petition signed 
by the inmates of the New Jersey Penitentiary in the 
other, and upon his return home he had his address 
published and sent about two thousand of them broad- 
cast over the world. It was my privilege forty years 
afterward to stand in the same legislative hall and 
plead before the legislature to enact the same law, 
showing the vitality of the principle but the slow pace 
of reform legislation in New Jersey. This address, no 
doubt, did much to create an interest and to establish 
the justice of such a law to curtail the ravages of 
strong drink through the legalized saloon, and while 
various measures have been adopted from that time 
until now, to accomplish the purpose, it must be ad- 
mitted that local option has been one of the most 
effective measures to close the doors of the American 
saloon, and to-day more than one-half of the popula- 
tion and more than one-half of the territory of the 
United States are free from the saloon, and local 
option perhaps, more than any other measure so far 
advanced, has been the method that has brought about 
this great and blessed reform. It can be truthfully 
asserted that more citizens of our nation, including all 
classes of people, from the present occupant of the 
White House to the humblest voter, are committed to 
local option, than have been committed to any other 
temperance movement so far proposed. And the first 
systematic public address upon the subject was written 
on Landis avenue and two thousand printed copies 
were mailed from the Vineland post office. For 
many years perhaps more than any other town in the 
nation, Vineland was referred to and held up as a 
practical demonstration of what temperance will do in 
promoting the success and well being of a community. 
May it always deserve the reputation it has made. 



In 1867, when Vineland was only six years old, the 
officials of the great Methodist church in America 
decided to hold what was termed a Camp Meeting of 
national magnitude and importance. In looking 
around for a location Vineland's reputation for 
morality and temperance principles naturally attracted 
their attention. The result was Vineland was chosen 
as the most desirable place for the first great "National 
Camp Meeting" to be held in America. Our citizens 
made great preparation for it and the welcome was 
cordial and sincere. Vineland Park was turned into a 
veritable city of canvass. Great, mammouth tents 
were erected capable of accommodating from one 
hundred to one thousand people. Wells were settled 
to furnish water and every convenience for a great 
gathering was made. Our local paper. The Vineland 
Weekly, decided to publish a daily edition and it was 
not only liberal but lavish in its attitude toward the 
management. During the time of the camp meeting 
it published fifty-four special columns. Every sermon 
was printed almost in full and no event in the history 
of the town ever received more enthusiastic consider- 
ation from the local populace than was given this first 
great National Camp Meeting. The attendance was 
tremendous. One hundred and thirty-five ministers, 
including the eminent Bishop Matthew Simpson, were 
in attendance. It was estimated that on one or two 
occasions the attendance numbered from twelve to 
fifteen thousand. One Sunday morning over six 
hundred vehicles passed along one road before twelve 
o'clock, all loaded with people bound for the Camp 
Meeting in Vineland Park. 

Rev. A. E. Ballard, who is at the present time 
President of Ocean Grove, was in charge. This 
meeting was a great success and all visitors went 


home singing the praises of Vineland. What was the 
result? Its success led to the establishment in the 
following year of Ocean Grove as a permanent 
National Camp Meeting ground, incorporating features 
of government like Vineland, only perhaps more so. 
It was found that to make such an institution a success, 
permanent buildings must be erected, and the erection 
of permanent buildings suggested meetings of other 
sorts, and soon the added custom arose that when the 
camp meeting had closed its exercises, to devote some 
days or weeks to matters outside of religion. Music 
and art and intellectual, scientific and other subjects 
were taught and promoted. As an outgrowth of 
Ocean Grove other similar national Camp Meetings 
were established. Among the most famous were at 
Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; Lakeside, Ohio; Bartley, 
Neb. and Pacific Grove in California. The success of 
the special features of these camp meetings caused 
Bishop Vincent and others to consider the matter of 
establishing centers devoted to various special subjects, 
and in response to this idea, in 1874, Bishop Vincent 
and Lewis Miller, of Ohio, founded the "Chautauqua" 
in western New York and out of this beginning grew a 
great system of education along neglected lines, until 
the growth of the Chautauqua movement has reached 
almost every town and community in the United 
States. Two hundred and sixty thousand people have 
joined in its work and more than fifty thousand have 
graduated after a full four years term of study. The 
Catholic church and the Jewish church both have 
established Chautauqua centers. The Chautauqua idea 
inspired the founding of a system in which talent of all 
kinds — music, lectures and an almost endless variety of 
entertainment — was placed within reach of almost 
every platform and community. This system has 
revolutionized the Lyceum platform. The entire field 
devoted to this kind of work is organized in our nation 


today. It fills a place between the school house and 
the church, and outside of the church and school it is 
now the greatest power in existence in developing 
wholsome thought and progressive sentiment in the 
United States. 

And if we trace its history, we find one of its chief 
beginnings and inspirations in the success of the first 
national Camp Meeting held in Vineland Park forty-six 
years ago. And when we recall the fact that for more 
than twenty years Vineland has annually maintained 
one of the most successful Courses of Star Entertain- 
ments in the nation, it shows that we have retained our 
appreciation of moral and intellectual culture and that 
Vineland in a signal and practical way has profited by 
the cultured zeal of its early pioneers. 

Another great movement to the credit of Vineland 
is the adoption of "Unfermented Wine" for sacramental 
purposes, and the promotion of Grape Juice as a com- 
mercial article. In the spring of 1869, when Vineland 
was only eight years old. Dr. T. B. Welch was elected 
Recording Steward of the Vineland Methodist Episcopal 
church. He protested against his election on the 
ground that he would not provide fermented wine for 
the communion service. He was told that "he was 
elected to the office and could furnish what he pleased." 
When grapes were ripe that fall, Dr. Welch, helped by 
his son. Dr. Charles E. Welch, squeezed grapes with his 
hands and made the first unfermented Grape Juice of 
modern times. It was made and sold under the name 
of "Unfermented Wine" for over twenty years, when 
the name was changed to "Grape Juice." It then 
appears that the Vineland First Methodist Church first 
used Unfermented Wine for communion purposes. 


Dr. T. B. Welch, Dr. H. L. Tuller, Mr. Harrison Durgin 
and Captain Daniel Tracy were all pioneers in promot- 
ing its use and later Mr. Frank A. Breck, Mr Henry 
Raisch, Mr. John Maytrott, The Vineland Grape Juice 
Company and others have done much to introduce its 
use to the public. Dr. Welch, Harrison Durgin and 
Captain Tracy promoted its use for sacramental 
purposes, and Dr. Tuller advocated it as a medicinal 
and household article. While all of these men deserved 
great credit for the enterprise they displayed in its 
adoption by the public, to Dr. T. B. Welch and his son. 
Dr. Charles E. Welch, now known as The Welch 
Grape Juice Company, belong the special credit of in- 
troducing Grape Juice to the world for sacramental 
purposes and as an article of commerce. I am in- 
formed that from the small beginning in 1869 the 
Welch Grape Juice Company now annually press over 
fourteen thousand tons of grapes, making an output of 
over two million gallons of product. Many concerns 
now manufacture Grape Juice and its sale is enormous. 
At the present time practically all of the Protestant 
churches almost throughout the world use the unfer- 
mented Grape Juice instead of fermented wine. As a 
temperance movement its influence is beyond compu- 
tation. The Grape Juice business will always be 
associated with Vineland, as it was for years almost the 
source for the world's supply, the first gallon being 
bottled at Fourth and Plum Streets. Vineland Grape 
Juice is now known all over the world. For years 
Vineland supplied not only churches in every State in 
the union, but it was sent from our town to every 
mission center of the Methodist church throughout the 
world. Large quantities are sent to South America, 

XoTE— In a recent Report, George E. Anderson, Consul General at Hong- 
kong states that American Grape Juice is rapidly gainine foothold in China, that 
already about $50,000 Nvorth is being annually distributed, that there is a chinatic 
demand for nonalcoholic drinks; that Grape Juice is being found specially whole 
some for Nvomen and children; that alcoholic drinks are being less and less used and 
that the market for Grape Juice i-o-'-'^^^J^-^l^lIf I^l^e Em^^^^ ,,^ ,^j^ 


Australia, to Europe, to China and Japan and to the 
Islands of the sea. Minister Wu, Ambassador from 
China to the United States, became acquainted with the 
virtues of Grape Juice while in America, and upon his 
return to China, he occasionally ordered it in quantities 
and it was sent direct from Vineland to his home in the 
Chinese Empire. 

From every viewpoint which it is possible to con- 
sider the subject, Grape Juice is one of the greatest 
factors in promoting temperance that has yet been 
devised. Nothing so takes the place and is so well 
calculated to become a substitute for alcoholic drinks 
as Grape Juice, and the time surely will come when it 
will be almost as much of a common household article 
as is milk to-day. Those w ho promoted its adoption 
are to be considered among the world's benefactors. 
For Vineland to become the originator and promotor 
of such an enterprise destined to so bless mankind the 
world over, is an honor worthy of the highest praise. 

Another achievement of Vineland is found in the 
establishment and history of its public institutions. 
Near our town are three public institutions with a 
population of over one thousand and all of them are 
models in construction and management. Twenty- 
five years ago the care and training of unfortunates, 
either of mind or body, was not only crude, but the 
whole subject was treated with almost universal in- 
difference. When in 1888 Rev. S. O. Garrison founded 
the New Jersey Training School for Feeble Minded 
Children, it became the nucleus of what was destined 
to become in the course of its development, the center 
of a new era in this line of benevolence. The Train- 
ing School in recent years has developed a system of 
study and of investigation that has attracted attention 


not only in this country, but in foreign lands. There 
is much not only interesting, but closely related to the 
happiness and security of the human race associated 
with the study of the cause and prevention of mental 
deficiency. Those connected with our Training 
School have undertaken to systematically study and, 
if possible, to solve the great questions which arise in 
connection with this subject. Progress in research 
work by those connected with the Training School has 
already made of Vineland a world centre in the study 
of mental defects. They have so far succeeded that 
they have attracted the attention of students and 
specialists in this particular department throughout 
the nation. They have also instituted a course of 
study, carried on during the summer months, devoted 
to such subjects and methods as have a practical appli- 
cation in the education of children in general who are 
backward in the regular school studies. This field is 
an exceptionally interesting one and invites increasing 
consideration along lines that are eminently practical 
and vital. Already more than three hundred teachers 
have taken the prescribed course at the Training 
School and have gone out into various parts of the 
nation better equipped not only to teach, but no 
doubt impressed with the importance of the subject 
of mental conditions. This movement cannot fail to 
have a permanent basis and will develop in many 
ways, and as people are instructed and an intelligent 
sentiment is created regarding the desirability of im- 
proving the race, great good will result to mankind in 
general. The study of this subject has gone far enough 
to prove that the progressive thought of the world in 
the social, political, intellectual and medical fields will 
become interested and concerned, and the day is not 
far away when a more correct knowledge of the 
causes which lead to all defects of mind will prevail 
and the measures either of legal enactments or 


education that can best prevent their occurrence will 
be utilized and the improvement of the race will then 
become a living issue and one of the duties of the 
patriot and of every lover of his fellowman. 


In looking up the achievements of Vineland along 
religious and moral lines, I have been impressed with 
the part that the churches have taken and how friendly 
they have worked together in building up not only the 
cause of the Master, but in promoting everything that 
was for the good of the town and community. When 
the walls of our church were erected and the roof had 
been finished, boards were used in this room for seats, 
resting on nail-kegs, and the good Presbyterians of 
those days invited the Methodists to come in and wor- 
ship, and I have been informed that the Methodists 
helped buy the original seats in this church, and when 
our church has been undergoing repairs we have ac- 
cepted invitations to worship in other churches. 

While those who came here represented the widest 
differences of religious faith, yet they lived in com- 
parative harmon}^ In Vineland were all kinds of 
beliefs, orthodox and otherwise, and yet as w^e look 
back on its history we find that unfriendly controver- 
sies have largely faded away. Almost every belief 
exists here to-day and have houses of worship or 
independent places where they adhere to their own 
forms of ceremony. This is desirable. Divided into 
separate groups we no doubt live in greater harmony 
and accomplish more good than possible otherwise. 

Vineland has occasionally suffered from the ex- 
aggeration of those who did not understand the 
situation. The chief difference between Vineland and 
other places has been that here every man and woman 


has felt free to publicly express his or her private 
opinions upon all subjects, including religion, and 
where a sufficient number agreed upon any doctrine 
or line of thought they felt at liberty to organize and 
hold religious meetings suited to their own views and 
tastes no matter how widely they differed from the 
prevailing beliefs and more widely accepted forms of 
worship. Manj'^ years ago the great Metropolitan 
papers seemed to delight in creating an impression 
that Vineland, religiously and otherwise, was different 
from other places, yet this might be strongly question- 
ed. I have seen copies of these newspapers asserting 
that at certain meetings held in Vineland, doctrines 
were preached that deserved to be criticized, that 
marriage vows were loosely held and religion in 
general was ridiculed, yet these things were circum- 
scribed to narrow limits. It was true, however, that 
differences of opinion in religion, politics and other 
matters, caused many a controversy, and there have 
been as many pop-guns filled with hot air to explode 
in our midst as in any town in the United States, yet it 
can be as truly said that when there was genuine 
reason for a united effort on the part of our people to 
crush some evil, no town in the United States could 
summon heavier artilliery and deal a more crushing 
blow to any invasion that threatened the welfare of 
the community, than could Vineland. 

When I came to Vineland thirty odd years ago I 
received a letter from a friend of mine referring to 
these things. My attention was called to a national con- 
vention, that had been held in this town, composed of 
women with peculiar notions regarding religion and 
morals, at the time styled "free thinkers" and where 
one of the leaders more bold than others made asser- 
tions regarding marriage and moral relations that were 
considered grossly improper. But let me tell you that 
this same woman, born in the rurals of Tennessee, has 


experienced poverty, obscurity, notoriety, fame, social 
position and a title as a wife and widow of a millionaire 
philanthropist who was knighted by England's King. 
And though her life has had many changes including a 
period of mazy religious belief, she is now "Lady 
Cook" of London noted for her intelligence, and 
interest in the poor, an earnest Christian, a genuine 
philanthropist devoting her wealth and talents to uplift 
those who are downtrodden and discouraged. 

Many years ago during a special revival of religion 
in this town, when the churches were united, and con- 
certed effort was made to reach outsiders and bring 
them into the fold of the church, those who were 
opposed to that sort of thing, paraded the streets, and a 
young lady riding on a white horse led the procession 
up Landis Avenue. It was looked upon by some as a 
defiance of that which was sacred and holy. But let 
me tell you that this same young lady came back to 
Vineland years afterward a converted and consistent 
Christian, and for years, in the town in which she has 
lived, has been zealous in church work, and I know of 
others, less conspicuous, who have joined the ranks of 
Christian workers, who in early life sympathized and to 
some measure took part in activities that seemed to be 
in opposition to that which we religiously hold sacred 
and dear. The prevailing thought of our people how- 
ever has always been loyal to scriptural doctrines and 
the prevailing trend of effort has always been toward 
higher ideals. Let us learn to look upon the antago- 
nisms in the religious life of Vineland during its history 
as rather a virtue than an evil. There has always been 
not only an earnestness, but a joy and a hearty 
enthusiasm in the moral and religious activities of 

The churches, taken as a whole, have always been 
willing to join hands with every good work, and in 


few towns have the various reUgious elements lived in 
greater harmony. Our church bells on Sabbath morn- 
ing, ring in unison and the musical tones of the 
Episcopal church chimes are a delight to all. 

I was impressed sometime back in reading a 
notice of our Methodist friends during Vineland's early 
history. In those days they had plenty of room, plenty 
of ground outside, and their advertisement of a church 
fair ran thus: 

"To our citizens: 

anything worthy of a show. Fruits, vegetables, 
live stock, tools, driving horses, cows, etc. Let 
Vineland fairly represent itself. Ladies are 
especially expected to show flowers, fancy work, 
specimens, etc. No danger of crowding. Come 
all. Whatever you bring you will get a prize or 
receive honorable mention." 

Our Presbyterian church sometime afterward, not 
to be outdone, held a fair and it offered as a prize — "A 
New Bonnet" — to the pastor's wife, including all the 
churches of the town, who received the most votes for 
her popularity. The object of the fair was to raise 
money to finish the top of the tower of the Presby- 
terian church. I do not know what pastor's wife won 
the bonnet, but they made enough money to finish 
the church tower. Whether the four peaked top of 
the tower was patterned after the bonnet or not, was 
not stated. But these events show that in those 
pioneer days when churches needed money, they used 
means at hand to get it. 

Our churches have been holding Union Thanks- 
giving services since the beginning of the town. One 
of the first was held in this church. We are informed 
that the church was crowded, although a rainy day. 
In those days they knew better perhaps than we know 
now how to get a crowd out Thanksgiving Day. 


Pastor Wells was the speaker and on that Thanks- 
giving morning when the congregation had assembled, 
a young man came up one of these aisles with a young 
lady leaning on his arm. They stood in front of this 
altar and were united in marriage, and after receiving 
that famous kiss, given to all young brides by Pastor 
Wells, they went out man and wife. I say this for the 
benefit of the young men and women present, because 
our handsome new church when completed, will 
afford a delightful environment for the marriage 

This church was first organized July 7, 1863, whh 
twenty-nine members. The first sermon preached in 
Vineland was by Rev. Mr. McConnaughay, pastor of 
the First Presbyterian Church of Millville, the services 
being held in Mr. Mabbitt's barn, then located at the 
corner of Landis avenue and Myrtle street. The first 
communion service was held in a school house where 
the Grove House now stands, and was conducted by 
the Presbyterians, with sixty participating. This 
church was dedicated by Rev. Ezra Eastman Adams, 
who had been Professor of Theology in Lincoln 
University, and Editor of ''The Presbyterian'' of 

Rev. Samuel Loomis, the first pastor, was installed 
July 7, 1863. 

Rev. John O. Wells, was installed April 19, 1866. 

Rev. D. H. King, January 1, 1877. 

Rev. J. Russell Verbrycke, November 3, 1912. 

While the church has been in existence fifty years, 
it has been served by only four pastors. All of these 
pastors have been able, earnest, christian men, and be- 
loved by the people they served. 

Mention should be made of the career of Miss 
Abbie F. Leavitt as a member of this church. She 


c - 

served as a Sunday School Superintendent for seven- 
teen years, was a Trustee and Treasurer for many 
years. She was active, aggressive and especially 
devoted to the cause of temperance. She was 
President of the local and county W. C. T. U., and 
during her administration in our community the cause 
of temperance was a live one. For many years union 
temperance services were held in rotation in the 
various churches, one Sunday evening every three 
months. Temperance meetings were held in the W. 
C. T. U. hall every Sunday afternoon for many years. 
A temperance Sunday School was carried on in con- 
nection with these meetings, and during these years 
Vineland was visited by nearly all the leading temper- 
ance workers of the nation. The first Order of Good 
Templars in the state was established in Vineland. 
Among those who have visited Vineland and delivered 
addresses upon the subject of temperance are John G. 
Woolley, Clinton B. Fisk and Governor John P. St. 
John, all presidential candidates, Francis Willard, 
Neal Dow, Mary Lathrop, J. Ellen Foster. Dr. Anna 
Shaw, Francis Murphy, Clinton Howard, Col. George 
W. Bain, Dr. C. H. Meade, Helen Gouger, and 
George Scott, a number of whom have been here 
several times. 

During the pastorate of Rev. D. H. King, D. D., 
our church enjoyed unusual prosperity and he display- 
ed great energy and earnestness. Dr King can well 
claim to be the founder of "OLD FOLKS' DAY" now 
so well known and adopted by many churches 
throughout the country. While isolated services had 
occasionally been held of special interest to the aged. 
Dr. King's enthusiasm and interest in old people made 
the celebration popular for which he deserves special 
credit. Old Folks' Day has been observed in this 
church on the second Sunday of September annually 


for twenty years and has been heartily appreciated by 
the old people of this community. 

Dr. King during his ministry, made over sixteen 
thousand pastoral calls, carrying sunshine and en- 
couragement into the homes of his parishioners. He 
received into this church nine hundred and twenty- 
four members. He performed four hundred and 
twenty-seven marriage ceremonies and what a delight- 
ful vision this must be to his memorj-. What a con- 
noisseur of bridal flowers! What a splendid judge of 
wedding cake! He also conducted six hundred and 
sixty-five funerals. This would be a funeral every 
day for nearly two years. To stand beside so many 
coffins and speak words of consolation to those who 
are bereaved, and offer the assurances of the gospel 
surely entitles a man to a special rew ard in the home 
of the blessed. 


Poetry and Literature have been indigenous to 
Vineland since its birth. Our town is greatly indebted 
to those who are inspired by the Muse. I was sur- 
prised at finding eight volumes of poetry in the 
Historical Society written by Vinelanders. These 
poets have done much to keep Vineland's popularity 
and progress on the crest of the wave and to combat 
those who have been disposed to criticise and belittle. 

"Friends, come and see — nor stay and cry, 
'Utopian,' 'a sell,' 'a lie,' 
Once here you'll find like one of old. 
That the attractions have not been told. 
While through each coming golden year. 
Your Vineland home shall be more dear." 

Nearly every public event in the earh^ history cf 
the town was accorded the recital of a poem special 


for the occasion. The first newspaper published con- 
tained an original poem; most of the issues for years 
contained original verses, many of them singing the 
praises of Vineland. I have known most of these 
poets, and their acquaintance has been a pleasure and 
a profit. They have loved Vineland and its people 
and their efforts were to make happiness and sunshine 
attend the struggles and sorrows of life's experiences. 

Dr. King is to be numbered among Vineland's 
recognized poets. He has enshrined in verse the 
sentiments of many occasions and at his anniversary 
every year we have sung together a hymn of his com- 
posing. This has added an interest and a charm to 
the recurring exercise as the years went by. 

We also have in our membership Mrs. Carrie 
Ellis Breck, who has written over twelve hundred 
hymns and over two hundred other poems and articles 
for papers and magazines. Many of her hymns have 
won a national reputation. One of them has been a 
favorite for years wherever Christian people have 
gathered and raised their voices in song and praise. 
I refer to that beautiful hymn, "face to face." 

Face to face with Christ my Saviour, 
Face to face — what will it be.^ 

When with rapture I behold him, 
Jesus Christ who died for me. 

Face to face shall I behold him. 

Far beyond the starry sky; 
Face to face in all his glory, 

I shall see him by and by! 

This hymn written by Mrs. Breck, was first sung 
years ago by the evangelist Grant Tuller in front of 
this pulpit, and is now found in most of the modern 
collections of sacred songs. 


Work of this kind and the recognition it has 
received surely is a compliment to our community 
and is worthy of being considered as one of 
Vineland's honored achievements. May Vineland's 
poets long live and others be born, because we know 
that so long as they do, it can be said that: 

"The very name of Vineland charms, 

The weary ones elsewhere, 

The beauty of its meaning warms 

Desires to breathe its air. 

The land of fruit, the land of spring, 

Land neath a favored sky. 

Land where the strange bird's weary wing 

May fold, no more to fly. 

Land of adoption swift to come. 

Fair clime, vines and flowers. 

Clime that affords the heart a home, 

A sunny clime now ours." 

General literature, as well as poetr3% has also been 
native to Vineland. One hundred and four books are 
to-day in the Historical Societ}^ written by Vinelanders. 
This is a surprising number, and few to^^^ls the size 
of ours in this nation can claim as much. About forty 
of these books were written by men and women who 
have worshipped in this church. Not only has litera- 
ture been produced and flourished here, but men and 
women devoted to patriotic and progressive measures, 
have visited Vineland and delivered addresses to a 
greater extent perhaps than any other town in the 

Vineland people have always been awake and 
willing to listen and learn. A square deal has awaited 
every question and ever>^ vital issue. Nowhere has 
woman's voice or woman's cause received a more cor- 
dial welcome. When Vineland was only nine j-ears 
old, the county elected one of our citizens to the state 


Legislature. He carried with him a Hberally signed 
petition to change the state constitution in favor of 
equal suffrage. "Women's Rights" which meant 
woman suffrage, was as familiar a term and as much 
favored in Vineland forty years ago as is "Votes for 
Women" in the average town to-day. Vineland has 
never been a laggard but a leader and always among 
the first to make new footprints forming the aggres- 
sive and advancing pathway of progress. 

One of the first great orators to come to Vineland 
was the giant reformer, Wendell Phillips, who oc- 
cupied this pulpit. And from that time until now 
reformers, patriots, temperance workers, men with a 
message who loved mankind and had special powers 
to lead in world movements, have delighted in visiting 
Vineland and addressing our people, always going 
away convinced that here the popular mind and popu- 
lar heart were in full accord with the onward march 
of progress and civilization. Among those with a 
national reputation, who have addressed Vineland 
audiences are the following: Woodrow Wilson, 
Theodore Roosevelt, President Taft, President Grant, 
Vice President Colfax, Grace Greenwood, Mary 
Livermore, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 
Julia Ward Howe, D wight Hillis, Theodore Tilton, 
Governor Hadley, Henry George, James G. Blaine, 
Horace Greely, Fred Douglas, Bishop McCabe, John 
Temple Graves, Thomas Dixon, Frank Dixon, Hon. 
George R. Wendling, Russell H. Conwell, J. Irving 
Handy, Gen'l George B. Gordon, Dr. Harvey Wiley, 
Josh Billings, Bill Nye, Robert Colyer, Judge Lindsay, 
Joseph Fels, Frank Gunsaulus and a host of others. 


Our church has also made a name for itself in the 
cause of philanthropy. One of our officials, Mr. B. D. 


Maxham, in his will, left $100,000 to the Training: 
School. Dr. R. B. Moore, during his residence in 
Vineland, I have been credibly informed, gave per- 
haps nearly as much to the cause of benevolence, 
education and religion. Mrs. Leake and others have 
done their part and I think it is within reasonable 
bounds to state that during the history of this church 
outside of what was given to various church Boards 
that more than a quarter of a million dollars have 
been given to various causes by those who worshipped 

Our people in general have always been devoted 
to benevolence. In the founding and development of 
our public institutions they have done much to pro- 
mote their growth and insure their success. And in 
the broader field of patriotism and philanthropy 
Vineland has always shown a spirit of loyalty and 
liberality worthy of the highest praise. 

Special mention should be made of Dr. Moore's 
gift of the Italian Mission church and parsonage locat- 
ed in this town, both of which he built at his own ex- 
pense. This mission has become a most worthy and 
successful field of Christian work. It is under the 
management of the Presbyterian Board. A flourishing 
Sunday School is maintained in connection with the 
church and the work is increasingly appreciated by 
those it is intended to reach. This church and the 
work connected with it is worthy of full confidence 
and support. 

The early settlers of Vineland gave to the world a 
practical lesson in city building. By adopting the 
system of small sized farms they developed a new era 
in the growing of fruits and produce. The new colony 
they helped to found and make successful has had a 


wide and important influence. 

As nature had given this region only limited ad- 
vantages, the settlers employed artificial methods to 
meet the occasion. Our wide avenues and streets, 
ample sidewalks, beautiful shade trees, uniform build- 
ing line, extensive advertising, under the magic power 
of brains and industry and sobriety, made this a model 
community. Vineland's success and growth establish- 
ed the success and growth of the colonizing spirit. 
This colonizing spirit has shown its power and influ- 
ence not only throughout South Jersey, but beyond the 
borders of the state. The same brains that founded 
and established Vineland founded Hammonton, Rosen- 
hayn and Sea Isle City. Out from Vineland went the 
founders of Holly Beach, Wildwood and Wildwood 
Crest, all of them splendid examples of constructive 
thought and enterprise. Wherever Vinelanders have 
migrated, whether to Florida or California, they have 
carried with them the cohesive and constructive 
qualities of genuine home and community builders. 

Vineland's colonizing spirit was early recognized 
across the sea. Italian immigrants have been coming 
to Vineland almost from the beginning, and they have 
taken a foremost rank in developing and improving 
our land, establishing homes and promoting every 
form of enterprise by their industry, frugal habits and 

It is estimated that at present there are over three 
thousand Italians living within a trading radius of 
Vineland and they constitute an important factor in 
every department of progressive activity. 

When the Hebrew exodus from Russia took place 
in 1882, one of their chief colonies was founded in the 
vicinity of Vineland. This early settlement has been 
constantly growing and while the Jews have been 
successful at farming, their aptitude for business and 


manufacturing enterprise has been increasingly mark- 
ed. Their business acumen is a challenge to every 
form of rival and in our community they are main- 
taining the same spirit of thrift which history all 
through the ages has recorded in their favor. The 
Hebrews have shown their urban tendencies by found- 
ing villages and towns as centres of their population. 
Among these are Alliance, Norma, Brotmanville and 
the modern development of Rosenhayn. Much of the 
business and manufacturing in our town is conducted 
by the Hebrews and they keep in touch with the 
enterprise of our larger cities and many of them are 
affiliated with well known establishments of Philadel- 
phia and New York. About three thousand Hebrews 
are located in this section, and their numbers and 
influence are constantly on the increase. 

I have been informed that an average of three 
hundred letters per week are sent from Vineland to 
Europe, chiefly written either in Italian and bound for 
Italy or written in Hebrew and addressed to Russia. 
When we add the additional fact that more than one 
thousand persons get on and off the trains at our 
depots every day in the year, we realize that Vineland 
is in constant and vital touch with the outside world. 


It can well be claimed that few towns of 
Vineland's size are better known in America or Europe. 
We are as a city set upon a hill. Vineland's influence 
covers a realm upon which the sun never sets. Let us 
realize that whatever we do to establish the cause of 
religion or promote the principles of truth and morali- 
ty, is of wide and vital significance. 

Let us feel that the moral and religious history of 
Vineland's first half century is secure. The men and 
women who settled this wilderness and built the 


churches and school houses and made it the success 
that it is, have mostly gone to their reward. Vineland 
is their monument. To possess a heritage so associat- 
ed with noble efforts and high achievements is our 
good fortune. As we look about us we are proud of 
what we see. 

Four thousand homes 

From a wilderness grown, 

Beautiful Vineland 

Everywhere known. 

And to-night as we stand between the Vineland of 
the past and the Vineland of the future, may we re- 
solve that by the practice of morality, of industry, of 
patriotism, of religion and of civic devotion, we will 
transmit unimpaired this garden spot of New Jersey 
to those who shall take our places in the years that are 
to come. 



AUG 94