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1. Maps of Morris County
Created from surveys by J. Lightfoot and Samuel Geil, the 1853 map of Morris County documents many of the institutions, businesses, and homes highlighted in the exhibit including:
- Dickerson-Suckasunny Mine on the border of Randolph and Roxbury
- Morris Canal (Southern Pequannock → Rockaway → Dover → Roxbury)
- Morris & Essex Railroad (dotted line, Chatham → Morristown → Hanover → Denville → Dover → Roxbury)
- Littleton (Morris Plains), Troy (Hanover), and Powerville (Boonton)
(Visitors are welcome to use the magnifying glass on the mantel to more closely examine the map’s details.)
The Robinson Atlas of 1887 (see Community and Institutions) and the Mueller Atlas of 1910 (see Homes & Settlement) help to further delineate the evolution of Morris County, its boundaries, and property ownership. Both publications detail not only the location, size, and shape of individual properties and buildings, but their owners as well, proving an invaluable resource to locate historic businesses and residences.
2. Early Surveyors of Morris County
Preserved in MCHS’s archives and collections are items and documents from 3 notable Morris County surveyors of the late 18th and early 19th century:
- Benjamin Howell, Jr. (1786-1852) of Troy (Hanover) was deputy surveyor and son-in-law to Lemuel Cobb. On display is his circumferentor (surveyor’s compass) with his name inscribed in the well of the case alongside his copy of Lemuel Cobb and Silas Condict’s field books. The front half is the Cobb copy and the back half (to which it is open) is the Condict copy.
- The circumferentor could be placed on a pole or tripod for use in the field by attaching the separate metal piece to the back and over the end of a pole.
- Lemuel Cobb (1762-1831) was one of the incorporators of the Parsippany & Rockaway Turnpike and involved in the early planning of the Morris Canal. He also owned two local iron forges. After he died, his heirs received a notice from the Morris Canal & Banking Co. regarding stock in his name (see Transportation). Among the heirs who signed the back was Benjamin Howell, Jr.
- Silas Condict (1738-1801) was a prolific early resident of the county. He was a surveyor, member of the NJ Council of Safety in the Revolution (see Military Service: Revolutionary War), and Morris Turnpike Co. board member (see Transportation), among many other roles. On display is a 1781 survey he executed of a mine tract and a receipt for payment made to him by Capt. Jackson for a survey. He had no sons, but many “Silas Condict”s followed, including his great-nephew, Silas B. Condict (see Families).
3. Early Turnpikes
The first years of the 19th century, dubbed “The Turnpike Era,” were marked by a craze for building toll roads. The Morris Turnpike of 1801 was the first in the state, followed by 29 more (covering over 550 miles almost exclusively in Northern NJ) by 1829. However, canals, later usurped by railroads, had far greater capacity to move goods and people, and their construction caused more and more turnpike companies to fail.
- Remnants of these turnpikes still remain in Randolph and elsewhere.
4. Morris Canal & Banking Co.
The Morris Canal and Banking Co. was incorporated in 1824 and issued stock in the company starting in 1825, making Lemuel Cobb (see Maps & Surveys), a surveyor and iron forge owner, one of its earliest investors. Another man with a vested interest in the transportation of local iron ore was Mahlon Dickerson of the Dickerson Suckasunny Mine (see Industry), who was also an early stakeholder. The Canal officially opened in 1831, spanning from Newark to the Delaware River. Critically, it passed near or through iron-rich Boonton, Mine Hill (then in Randolph), Succasunna (Roxbury), and what would become Port Oram (today Wharton) on its way through Morris County (see 1853 map).
- Lewis Condict (nephew of Silas Condict), later President of the Morris & Essex Railroad, was another early subscriber.
The Morris & Essex Railroad was chartered Jan. 29, 1835 over Morris Canal stockholders’ objections. Its route was very similar to the canal’s path across the state and would ultimately contribute significantly to the canal’s demise. Dr. Lewis Condict (nephew of Silas Condict, see Maps & Surveys and uncle of Silas B. Condict, see Families) was the railroad’s first president, and Major Ephraim Beach, chief engineer of the Morris Canal, was chief of construction. The Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad leased the M&E beginning in 1868, and it still exists today as the Morris & Essex Line operated by NJ Transit.
The Morristown & Erie Railroad, then called the Whippany River Railroad, was taken over by the McEwan brothers (see Families) in 1896. Originally a one-track, four-mile long line from Morristown to Whippany meant to serve the family’s paper mills, it grew to transport both passengers and freight and still runs today.
6. Boonton’s Iron Industry
The Scott brothers, William (1785-1838) and John (1782-1839) of Powerville (Boonton), were heavily involved in the iron industry and Morris Canal (John was one of the canal’s first commissioners). When William died in 1838, John became the administrator of his estate. In MCHS’s archives are various receipts for payments by John regarding transportation of iron freight on the canal, work at the Hibernia Mine, and work at several forges. Augusta Scott (1824-1863, see Families), Williams’s daughter, would eventually inherit some of their enterprises.
- Hibernia Mine: Most of the Hibernia tract was bought by William Scott in the early 1800s, and ore from the mine supplied the Powerville Forge. Several decades prior to Scott’s ownership, it was owned by Lord Stirling (see Military Service: Revolutionary War).
- Powerville Forge: Built by William and John’s father, Joseph Scott, in 1794. William soon became joint owner and became sole owner upon his father’s death in 1827.
The Boonton Iron Works began with a single forge in the 1760s. When Samuel Ogden took over the works around 1767, he erected rolling and slot mills to process iron into rods, bars, and sheets. An excerpt from the Iron Works’ June 1791 ledger shows payments from a variety of individuals for products and services, as well as several outgoing payments for everything from casks of wine to the repair of a wagon. William Scott was one of the owners in the 1820s, and the Iron Works continued to operate through much of the 19th century.
7. Dickerson Suckasunny Mine
Mahlon Dickerson (1770-1853), later Governor of NJ and US Senator, moved to the property encompassing the Suckasunny Mine along the Randolph/Roxbury border in 1810 and remained there until his death in 1853. Following the opening of the Morris Canal, his “magnetic ore” (magnetite) was shipped as far as the Lehigh Valley in PA. The year after his death, his heirs, including his brother Philemon, another NJ Governor, incorporated the company and sold stock, like the 300 shares bought by John H. Dickerson, Philemon’s son, in 1855 (sadly, John died two days after the purchase). Beginning in 1862, the mine was leased for 15 years by the Allentown Iron Co. It was ultimately operated by several different companies before finally closing in 1908.
- Today it is the Dickerson Mine Preserve in Mine Hill.
8. Carriages & Cars
Lewis Pierson, Jr. (1822-1902) began selling and repairing carriages, wagons, and sleighs in Morristown around 1850. He operated his shop on South St. at the corner of Madison for over 50 years. When Lewis Pierson died in 1902, his business was taken over by B.M. Tunis who heavily advertised the succession in local newspapers.
J. Smith Gunther (1862-1935) of Mendham began as a wheelwright in the 1890s, but transitioned to owning a garage between 1900 and 1910, as cars began replacing carriages on local roads. He was president of his company, Gunther Motors, Inc., through at least 1930.
Early bicycles were high wheels (also called “bone shakers” and “penny farthings”) developed in the 1870s by Englishman James Starley. The high wheel bicycle on display was purchased in 1887 in London by Charles A. Lindsley and brought over to NJ. They were so dangerous that when modern bicycles with two identically sized wheels were developed by James’s nephew, John Starley, in 1885, they were referred to as “safety bicycles.”
Both male and female cyclists could buy suits (also used for golf) with bloomer pants for riding. Although most women chose to ride in skirts, the bicycling trend furthered the “rational clothing” movement which pushed for more practical garments than the long cumbersome skirts traditionally worn.
- The golf and bicycle suit on display was owned by Samuel V. Hoffman of Madison Avenue, Morristown in the 1890s.
10. Local Stores & Businesses
All the bottles and jugs on display come from local businesses in Morristown, Dover, and Morris Plains. Many were early to mid-20th century dairies, but others were druggists and purveyors of alcohol.
- Henry M. Smith (c.1856-1923, middle shelf, left side) was a Morristown druggist from at least 1880 to 1922 with a penchant for advertising. His name was emblazoned not only on his bottles, but also local newspapers and town directories. His contemporary, James E. Stiles (1851-1906, middle shelf, right side) did much the same.
- August W. Theiler (c.1851-1908) sold beer, seltzer, and mineral water in Morristown beginning around 1886 and opened a saloon around 1898. He had previously emigrated from Germany around 1873 and lived in Dover for about a decade where he worked in tobacco. After he died, his two sons, Charles and William, continued his business.
- Isadore A. Roth (1879-1961), a Hungarian immigrant who came to Dover by 1910, was another purveyor of liquor who also labeled his jugs with his name (top shelf, left side). By 1926, he took the unexpected leap into motion pictures, opening the Roth Strand Movie Theater in Summit as movies gained popularity.
- Daniel M. Merchant (1866-1947) ran a general store in Morris Plains for much of the early 20th Several of the postcards on display were printed for his store.
- The Smart Store was a grocery store in Morristown from around 1890 to 1924. First on South Street, it moved to Elm by the turn of the century. On display is a scale from the store and a picture of the storefront at its Elm St. location. Around 1918, it was taken over by Frederick Smart (1880-1963) following the death of his father, William (c.1852-1918).
11. Epstein’s Department Store
In 1912, Maurice Epstein (1885-1943) founded Epstein’s Department Store, first called “The Fair,” in Morristown. It grew over the century into a famed local institution, and until 2004, was a dominant presence on the Morristown Green still remembered by many today. In MCHS’s collection is a portrait of Maurice Epstein painted later in life and a large iron “M. Epstein” sign that once graced the store.
12. Local Furniture Makers
Hiram Frazee (1809-1873) was a cabinet and furniture maker in Morristown in the 1840s and early 1850s. He ran a store on Bridge Street (now Speedwell Ave) just off the Green and produced the Hitchcock-style chair on display. Frazee moved to Newark by 1855 and worked as a painter.
- On the back of the seat is neatly stamped “H. Frazee, Maker, Morristown, N.J.” It is one of two identical chairs in MCHS’s collection.
John R. Sutton (1841-1901) bought successful furniture maker Thomas Knighton’s store in the 1860s. Located on South Street diagonally across the Green from Frazee, the store continued through at least 1875. Another Sutton piece, a pine cabinet, can be found in MCHS’s gift shop. His uncle for whom he was likely named, John H. Reid, operated a furniture store in the same location in 1887 and may have taken over the business from Sutton, who lived primarily in Brooklyn. Reid died in 1895 and the store appears to have been destroyed in a 1900 fire.
- His creations, like the marble top table on display, were marked inside “J.R. Sutton, Morristown, N.J.” far less neatly than Frazee’s stamp.
13. Bethel Church of Morristown
The church was formed from families who left Morristown’s Presbyterian church. Its first pastor, Bishop Willis Nazery, was born a slave in VA. Until the church was built on Spring Street, his congregation met in each other’s homes. For much of its early history, Bethel AME also served as the only school for Black students in the county. The 1874 wooden church stood until 1967 when it was replaced by the current building.
14. Morristown Sewing School
Outside of the 45 teacher’s books within MCHS’s archives, the Morristown Sewing School was largely lost to time. It was taught at the Maple Avenue School just off the Green (see bottom center of 1887 map of the Green). Most of the students lived on streets within walking distance such as Washington Street, Ann Street, Western Avenue, Water Street, Morris Street, and Spring Street (all also on the 1887 map). As the daughters of tradesmen, their father’s held steady jobs, necessitating few of their mothers or elder siblings to work. Some even had servants. Most never left New Jersey, or even Morristown, and are by and large buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
Their teachers were the daughters of senators, naval officers, bank presidents, and business tycoons. Many were born in a major metropolis, moved to Morristown between 1860 and 1880, traveled frequently to Europe, and eventually moved to the City. A significant number never married and none ever held a job of any kind. They are as likely to be buried in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery as Morristown’s Evergreen.
- Frances Miller Hitchcock (1830-1906), daughter of US Senator Jacob W. Miller, grew up at her grandparent’s home, Macculloch Hall, and lived two doors down later in life. She and her daughter, Mary (1861-1939), taught the segregated all-Black classes at the sewing school for at least seven years (1879-86). Frances’s brother, Lindley H. Miller, led an all-Black unit in the Civil War and died in 1864.
- Her sister-in-law, Catherine Miller (1840-1908, wife of Henry W. Miller, see Institutions), and neighbor, Sarah Little (1861-1951, daughter of Theodore Little, see Institutions) were also teachers. Their husband and father respectively were presidents of local banks.
15. Lucy Fitz Randolph
Lucy Fitz Randolph (1859-1929) and her cousin, Sadie Fitz Randolph (1858-1918), daughter of Theodore’s brother Edgar, each moved with their families from Jersey City to Morristown between 1860 and 1870. The young women were approximately the same age and lived within a stone’s throw of each other (Lucy on the elite Madison Ave. and Sadie at the corner of South St. and Madison). When Lucy married the future dean of Princeton’s Graduate School, Andrew Fleming West (1853-1943), on May 9, 1889, Sadie was her maid of honor. Also in attendance, according to the New York Times report on the “brilliant society event,” were many of the teachers from the school. One of the two Miss Randolphs was the teacher of Patchwork Class #1 in 1879-80, but it may never be possible to determine which one with any certainty due to their parallel early lives.
16. Local Artists
Edward Kranich (1826-1891) was a noted local artist who painted scenes around Morristown in the 1850s and 60s, including the Sycamores (home of the Bonsalls on Spring Valley Road). Another of his works depicting Bridge Street (now Speedwell Ave) as it leaves the Green is on permanent display in Acorn Hall’s library.
Lucille Hobbie (1915-2008) gained renown for drawings of local historic landmarks, including the Peer Store on the Morris Canal (see Transportation) and the Randolph Friends Meeting House (see Community). Within MCHS’s collection are 16 lithographs by Hobbie of Morris County houses, churches, businesses, and public buildings.
17. Beverwyck (Parsippany)
In 1772, Lucas van Beverhoudt (d.1796) bought an estate in Hanover (later Parsippany) where he built his home. Beverwyck, as it came to be called, was on the most direct route between West Point and Morristown, thus becoming a popular rest stop for generals and their aides during the Revolution. His wife, Maria (d.1798), also hosted frequent balls attended by George and Martha Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, Henry Knox, and Alexander Hamilton.
The van Beverhoudts’ granddaughter sold the property to John Ogden Condit (1797-1866) in 1856, and it remained in the Condit family until 1970. A picture of Florence Bates Condit (1906-1963), one of the last residents of Beverwyck, taken at age 5, is displayed on the mantle. The house was demolished to make way for Route 80.
- Note: by the 19th century, the Condits and the Condicts were two separate families.
- The estate’s 671 acres were surveyed by Lemuel Cobb (see Maps & Surveys).
18. Osceola of Florida & George Catlin
George Catlin (1796-1872) was known for his works depicting American Indians. He drew Osceola, Florida Seminole chief (aka Billy Powell, 1804-1838), between December 1837 and January 1838. Osceola was leader in the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), but was captured in late 1837. During his brief captivity before his death, he became something of a celebrity and reportedly developed a friendship with Catlin. This copy of Catlin’s lithograph hung at the Beverwyck Estate in Parsippany until 1970.
19. Morristown Millionaires
Morristown’s population of millionaires began exploding in the last decade of the 19th century. By 1896, the Morristown Social Directory listed 76 millionaires. Just six years later, there were 92 with a combined wealth of roughly $404 million ($12.5 billion). In the 1920s, the wealthy began migrating instead to places like Long Island’s North Shore and the crash of 1929 brought Morristown’s reign as millionaire capital to an end. Many of their homes were razed, but a few still stand today.
- General Edward P. Meany’s (1854-1938) Alnwick Hall, later known as “The Abbey,” still stands today on Madison Ave. Built in 1903, it was the site of many a social event reported upon by local media. Hundreds of guests would attend these famous musicales, many by special trains to nearby Convent Station.
- Richard A. McCurdy (1835-1916), president of Mutual Life Insurance Co., moved to Morristown in the 1880s. His South Street estate was razed some time after his death, but the back gate still stands on Franklin St. and his greenhouse and garage are at the corner of Franklin and Ford Ave.
- Sarah Coghill’s (1849-1926) residence, also on Plate 11 of the Mueller atlas, still stands today on Normandy Parkway. Around the turn of the century, she moved to Morristown with her father for the final years of his life. Her house shared a driveway with her brother, Howard’s, “The Red House.” Their father, who died in 1908, made his money in California during the Gold Rush.
- Louis C. Gillespie’s (1835-1911) Tower Hill was built in 1890 on 100 acres off Picatinny Road. The estate got its name from the 6-story water tower that graced the property. Sold by his son in 1926, it is now Villa Walsh Academy.
20. Hamilton Twombly’s Florham
Florham, a luxurious and expansive Madison Avenue estate, was built in 1896 for Hamilton McKown Twombly (1849-1910). Designed by the famed architecture firm McKim, Mead, and White, the 110-room mansion was situated in a 160-acre park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, designer of Central Park. The expansive Florham required a staff of over 100. Despite the opulence of the estate, the Twomblys only lived there for four months a year (two in the fall and two in the spring). However, reportedly worth upwards of $70 million at the turn of the century (approximately $2.2 billion today), they could afford such grandeur. Adjacent to the estate, Hamilton Twombly ran 750-acre Florham Farm, the location of his training stables. Following his death, Florence (1854-1952) was famous for her lavish parties (5 in the fall, 5 in the spring) that continued through the Great Depression. When their daughter, Ruth, died in 1954, the contents of the estate were auctioned. The enormous passementerie (curtain tie) is said to have come from that auction. FDU bought Florham in 1958.
- Plate 9 from the 1910 Mueller Atlas of Part of Morris County illustrates the enormity of both the estate and farm.
21. Otto Kahn’s Cedar Court
Otto Kahn (1867-1934), investment banker and patron of the arts (net worth approx. $20,000,000 – roughly $500 million today), built Cedar Court around 1897 not far from Florham. Complete with a croquet court, tennis court, indoor squash court, sunken Japanese garden, rose garden, stables, deer park, and golf course, the estate also boasted one of the area’s most splendid art collections. When one wing was lost in a 1905 fire, the damages were estimated at $750,000 ($22 million today). Kahn, however, was snubbed by Morristown’s elite for his Jewish faith. He opted to move his family to Long Island in 1920, following completion of a new estate, Oheka Castle. Cedar Court was razed by his widow in 1937.
- Plate 11 (showing the area adjacent to Plate 9) shows the 260-acre Cedar Court off Columbia Road.
22. Condicts of Littleton
Silas Byram Condict (1805-1891, top right photograph), grand-nephew of the famous Silas Condict (see Maps & Surveys), lived much of his life in Littleton (Morris Plains). He was the son of Charlotte Ford Condict (1767-1850) whose early 19th century horsehair trunk is on display. The 1820s-early 1830s dress is another family heirloom. He first married Emeline Philips (d.1834) and they had two sons. He and his second wife, Mary Johnson Condict (1814-1878), daughter of Mahlon Johnson of Littleton, married in 1840 and had seven children. In 1881, their son Henry Vail Condict (bottom left, 1853-1927) sent a picture of Silas to his sister Dr. Alice Byram Condict, M.D. (bottom center, 1844-1917, missionary to India). The third picture is of their sister, Charlotte Ford Condict Lee (1849-1920), who was named for her grandmother (the Condicts, it appears, liked to be confusing).
- Their home can be seen in Littleton on the 1853 map of Morris County (see Maps & Surveys).
- When Mahlon Johnson (1775-1875, opposite panel) died, his son auctioned off much of his estate. His home also appears in the 1853 map in Littleton.
23. The Fashionable Slades
Hannah Thomas Patten (1793-1862), was the matriarch of three generations of women whose dresses are held in MCHS’s collection. Her dress dates to around 1805. When her daughter, Hannah Patten Slade (mantle, 1825-1893), traveled to Paris in 1867, she had this photo taken of herself wearing another dress in MCHS’s collection. That dress, however, was later altered by a NYC dressmaker for her daughter, Elizabeth.
24. Lindsleys of Morristown
The Lindsleys’ history in Morristown dates back to before the Revolution. Joseph Lindsley (1736-1822), the 3rd generation of his family to live in Morristown, was a Major in Continental Army and a maker of gunpowder. Following Jacob Ford, Jr.’s death, he took over production at the powder mill behind Acorn Hall (see Military Service: Revolution). His family’s homestead, built around 1760, is depicted on a table reputedly made from wood salvaged from the mill. Joseph’s grandson, Ira Justin Lindsley (1828-1863), a local builder and mason, constructed the house next door to Acorn Hall for his family in 1858. Tragically, he died at the Battle of Chancellorsville while serving in the NJ 15th (see Military Service: Civil War).
- The china was bought by Anna Lindsley Thatcher (c.1835-1904), granddaughter of Joseph Lindsley, from a store on the Morristown Green in the 1890s.
- The American brilliant cut glass vase was donated to MCHS by Ira Lindsley’s great-grandson.
25. McEwans of Whippany
In 1890, Robert McEwan and his seven sons took over the 100-year-old papermaking industry in Whippany. They eventually took control of 3 mills, the Morristown and Erie Railroad (see Transportation), and the Hanover Brick Company. The McEwans ran these enterprises well into the 20th century, selling their 3 mills between 1933 and 1945. Their successors would go on to form the famous Whippany Paper Board Co.
Jesse Lelend McEwan, Jr. (1893-1956), grandson of Robert, was born soon after his family’s arrival in Whippany. He can be seen in a photograph taken around 1898 donning the Best & Co. top hat and walking stick on display. He entered the family business and had two sons Jesse L. McEwan III (1918-2014) and John David (1920-1991), also born in Whippany. Donated to MCHS by Jesse McEwan III are several matching outfits he and his brother wore as children, including the suits seen in their 1920s family photograph.
26. Augusta Scott of Powerville
Augusta Scott (1824-1863), daughter of William Scott of Powerville (see Industry), sewed the sampler on display at age 7. Her father died when she was only 13, and her uncle, John Scott, became the administrator 0f her father’s estate. She married Edward De Camp in 1846 with whom she had 7 children. When she died at the relatively young age of 38, her interest in some of her father’s mines passed to her children.
First National Bank of Morristown was located for many years just off the Green on Washington St. Augustus Crane of Acorn Hall served as vice-president on its board of directors through 1884. Several checks signed by Theodore Little, longtime president of the bank, are in MCHS’s archives.
- Little’s daughter, Sarah, was a teacher at the Morristown Sewing School (see Community), as were two other daughters of bank officers.
First established as the Iron Bank of Rockaway, it moved to Morristown in 1858. The Iron Bank remained a state bank through 1865, thus only checks from after that time include “National” in the name. Edmund D. Halsey (see Military Service: Civil War) was one of its officers in the 1880s (later president) and his brother, Samuel’s, signature is on one of the checks. The bank moved to South Street in 1911. Today the building still carries the marquee from the merged First National Iron Bank, but is home to other businesses.
Morris County Savings Bank was incorporated in 1874 by, among others, Henry W. Miller of the Macculloch-Miller family, who was its president from 1881 until his death in 1904. The bank’s building was located at the corner of South and DeHart St. (opposite where the Iron Bank would build in 1911).
- His sister, Frances Miller Hitchcock, niece Mary Hitchcock, and wife Catherine, were all teachers at the Morristown Sewing School (see Community).
28. Morristown’s Bravest & Finest
The Morristown Police Department’s headquarters was located at the corner of the Morristown Green and Speedwell Avenue for much of the late 19th and 20th century. Officer John J. Morrison (1871-1929) joined the department in the 1890s and rose to Sergeant by 1901. Upon his promotion to Chief, his friends presented him with a gold badge on September 3, 1915 in commemoration. He would remain in the position through 1922.
The Morristown Fire Department was officially formed on August 7, 1867, following the town incorporating as an independent municipality. That year, Independent Hose Company No. 1 was the first to be formed, followed by Washington Engine Company No. 1. Over the next decades the Resolute Hook & Ladder Company (1869), Human Engine Company (1882), and First Ward Hose Company (1898) would also be formed.
- The photos of Morristown Fire Chief Frederick A. Trowbridge (1870-1947, Chief 1911-1912),1st Asst. Chief Fred J. Sharette, and Washington Engine Company’s Foreman William Dugan all come from the collection of A. Vance Pierson, editor of the Jerseyman and Morris County Chronicle, two local newspapers.
29. Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
Like Greystone, Kirkbride buildings were designed by Thomas Story Kirkbride (1809-1883), to employ a characteristic layout ensuring each wing would have access to fresh air and sunlight. Kirkbride believed these were essential aids to recovery.
In 1911, 2,210 patients were housed at The New Jersey State Hospital at Morris Plains. Each year, the board of managers issued a report to the state on the number of patients, status of buildings, budget, etc. That year, the board reported 1,131 male patients and 1,079 female patients. As they noted, their admission continued to grow each year, however, discharges remained relatively steady around 25%. The rapidly increasing overcrowding was a growing concern that would never be fully addressed.
- The hospital, built to accommodate 1,600 patients, would continue to have well over 2,000 patients in residence.
- The name changed to New Jersey State Hospital at Greystone Park (or Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital) in 1925.
Eliot Gorton (c.1863-1917) was appointed 2nd Assistant Physician (the 3rd ranking medical officer at the hospital) in 1888. He wrote to his “own dear darling sweetheart” of the appointment on State Hospital letterhead assuring her that they could now be married. True to his word, they married a month later and moved from NY to Morris County. He would remain in the position through 1890.
- During his tenure, there were less than 900 patients at Greystone.
30. General Charles Lee & the Battle of Monmouth
General Charles Lee (1731-1782) joined the Continental Army in 1775 as second-in-command to Washington. He was captured by the British at Basking Ridge in December 1776 after the fall of New York City and remained a prisoner until May 1778. A month later, at the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778, Lee, who had opposed open engagement with the British forces, retreated, infuriating Washington. Lee was suspended from the army that December and dismissed in 1780.
Despite Lee’s retreat and battling in over 100° heat, the Americans were able to regroup under the leadership of Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, Anthony Wayne, Nathanael Greene, and Lord Stirling. At the end of the battle 400 American soldiers were dead, wounded, or missing (as were 377 British soldiers). In total, 107 men died from heatstroke.
- Col. Matthias Ogden’s letter dated June 30, 1778 and written from Englishtown near the battle site proudly informs his wife in Succasunna that the British Army was “taught to fly” that day.
31. Ford’s (Gun)powder Mill
Jacob Ford, Jr.’s powder mill is now an archeological site that can be accessed from the Patriot’s Path at the back of Acorn Hall’s garden. On April 22, 1776, Ford petitioned NJ’s Committee of Safety (see Military Service: Revolution) for financing to construct the mill, the third in the colonies at the time. Technically located on Joseph Lindsley’s land, the mill was likely a stamping mill that reinvigorated damaged powder. The remanufactured powder was sent to military commissaries at Chester and Henry Knox’s Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment, the precursor to West Point.
- Following Ford’s death in January 1777, Joseph Lindsley (see Families) and a partner continued work at the mill for several years.
- Misshapen by centuries in the ground near a river, the pit rake, once much straighter, was used to stir the coals of the fire at the mill.
- One of three items in the exhibit not from MCHS’s collection, it is on loan from the Morristown National Historical Park.
- All items recovered by MCHS archeology from the site were given to the park due to its connection to Jacob Ford, Jr. of Ford Mansion.
32. Loyalist Cutler James Potter
James Potter was a Loyalist cutler based in New York City. The swords he made, like the saber on display, were marked “Potter” on the blade near the hilt and supplied to the British. Occasionally, they fell into American hands – in this case, reportedly the hands of Jacob Van Winkle, Morris County militiaman.
- The saber on display likely was originally much longer.
33. Edmund Halsey & the NJ 15th Vols
Mustered on August 25, 1862, the 15th Regiment New Jersey Volunteers was comprised of 10 companies from Sussex (3), Morris (2), Warren (2), Hunterdon (2), and Somerset (1) Counties. They served in the Chancellorsville and Wilderness Campaigns, fighting at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania Court House, and Appomattox Court House. Ultimately, the regiment lost 372 men in the war, including Ira J. Lindsley of Morristown (see Families) who died at Chancellorsville.
Edmund D. Halsey (1840-1896) served in the NJ 15th from August 1862 to January 1865. He entered Company K of the regiment as a private and rose through the ranks, becoming Adjutant in January 1864. His letter to his sister on May 12, 1863 from the Army of the Potomac’s camp near White Oaks Church, VA highlights his pride in his unit. Despite offers to transfer him away from the front, he remained with the 15th through early 1865. Following the war, he married Mary Darcy (1843-1915, one of the young ladies on the Christmas card) and had 7 children. Sadly, only two survived him and one survived their mother. Originally from Rockaway, he moved to Morristown where he practiced law and was president of the National Iron Bank (see Institutions). Several of Mary’s letters to him during the war are in MCHS’s archives.
34. Alexander Vandoni & the NJ 27th Vols
The NJ 27th regiment was organized at Camp Frelinghuysen in Newark and mustered on September 3, 1862. Like the NJ 15th, it fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Attached to the Defenses of Washington D.C., then Army of the Potomac, and lastly Army of the Ohio, the regiment mustered out on July 2, 1863. Ultimately, the regiment lost 94 men, all to disease.
Alexander A. Vandoni (1833-1908) was the drummer of the NJ 27th in Company E for the entirety of the unit’s service. An Italian immigrant, he lived in Chatham with his wife, Annie, and daughter after the war and worked as a broom maker. Within MCHS’s archives are various mementos he saved from his time in the 27th, including the drum his comrades presented to him after his original was lost in a Confederate raid on a wagon train.