New Jersey

Continuation of January 9 post: More Woodruff farm photos from mid-1920s

I forgot I had these two other photos when I did my January 9th post on the Woodruff farm.

My great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff (5 August 1850 – 27 May 1927) with her grandsons, Charles Brodhead (my Dad) and Richard Angus Brown, outside the barn on the Woodruff farm off Conant Street in Hillside, New Jersey

I have no idea who these ladies and the little girl are, but I’m assuming they worked on the Woodruff farm as this photo was together with the other two.

I offer the below as a comparison; you can see the boys all grown up and ready to go to war. They appear in reverse order in the second photo.

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Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Hillside Union, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

September 17, 1922, Golden Anniversary: Garret Brodhead & Annie Kocher

PHOTO & LIST OF NAMES: COURTESY OF MICHELLE CAUSTON. Celebratory gathering of Brodhead family members on the occasion of the 50th wedding anniversary of Garret Brodhead and wife Annie Kocher – September 17, 1922. I have cropped the original image which extends upwards into the skyline. 

The guest list – courtesy of Michelle Causton

Thanks to Brodhead descendant Michelle Causton, I am able to publish here today this marvelous, nearly 100-year-old group photo of the many Brodheads who gathered together on September 17, 1922, to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of Garret Brodhead and Annie Kocher.  Garret (1848-1936) was the son of Andrew Jackson (AJ) Brodhead and Ophelia Easton Brodhead, who had 10 children. He married Annie Kocher (b. 1849) on September 17, 1872. Anyone with more details, such as venue, etc., please feel free to comment below. And do please point out any mistakes I make in this post.

Of the ten children of AJ and Ophelia Brodhead, seven were still alive when this photo was taken. Those who had already passed away were:

  • Calvin Easton Brodhead, d. April 29, 1907 (wife 1 and wife 2 predeceased him)
  • Robert Packer Brodhead, d. May 12, 1922
  • Andrew Douglas Brodhead, d. May 6, 1917 – my great-grandfather

Garret’s siblings James Easton Brodhead, Charlotte Elizabeth Brodhead, Jean Struthers Brodhead, Emily Linderman Brodhead, and Richard Henry Brodhead are all present in the photo.

Only one living sibling appears to have been absent: John Romeyn Brodhead.

I found the numbers in the original image hard to read in some cases, so here is a version that is better labelled in that regard.

Updated to display the numbers better

And for better searchability, I am retyping the list here. Garret’s siblings are in bold. Garret’s (#39) and Annie’s (#41) children are in italics. Many of the young children pictured belonged to Garret and Annie Brodhead’s son Calvin (#27) who married Gertrude McNulty (#28) and converted to Catholicism.

1. James I. Blakslee
2. Madeline McCormick
3. Rollin Crellin
4. Mrs. W. H. Fregans
5. Mr. W. H. Fregans
6. Joseph C. Fuller
7. Henry S. Hampson, Sr.
6. Francis Brodhead
9. Alexander Brodhead, Jr.
10. Mr. Everett (Drove JIB)
11. James E. Brodhead, Jr.
12. William Brodhead
13. Mr. Houghton (Rector)
14. Charles D. Brodhead
15. Frank M. Brodhead
16. Fred Moon
17. Emily E. Brodhead
18. Edith L. Brodhead
19. Alex L. Brodhead, Sr.
20. Mrs. Frank M. Brodhead
21. Ophelia Hampson
22. Mrs. Conrad Kocher Brodhead
23. Conrad Kocher Brodhead
24. Ruth Randall (Brodhead) Fuller
25. Garret Brodhead
26. Laura Leisenring Brodhead
27. Calvin Easton Brodhead
28. Mrs Calvin Easton Brodhead (Gertrude McNulty)
29. Mrs. Garret Brodhead, Jr.
30. Mrs. Fred Moon, Jr.
31. Anna L. Brodhead
32. Mrs. Robert P. Brodhead – Fannie Loveland – widow of Robert Packer Brodhead
33. Miss Bessie Loveland (Fannie Loveland Brodhead’s sister Elizabeth Shepard Loveland)
34. Miss Annie Wasser
35. Mr. Charles Ashley Blakslee
36. Mrs. Charles Ashley Blakslee (Jean Struthers Brodhead)

37. Miss Hannah Leisenring
38. Mrs. Alonzo P. Blakslee
39. Mr. Garret Brodhead
40. Garret B. Fuller
41. Mrs. Garret Brodhead (Annie Kocher)
42. Mr. James E. Brodhead
43. Mrs. James E. Brodhead (Hattie Boyd)
44. Mrs. Frank Burk (Charlotte Elizabeth Brodhead Burk)
45. Mrs. Fred Moon, Sr. (Emily Linderman Brodhead Moon)
46. Mrs. Andrew Douglas Brodhead (Margaret Lewis Martin)
47. Mrs. Richard H. Brodhead (Jane V. Smock)
48. Mr. Richard H. Brodhead

49. Anne K. Brodhead
50. Daniel D. Brodhead
51. Edith D. Brodhead
52. Susan W. Brodhead
53. Boyd Brodhead
54. Mrs. Boyd Brodhead
55. Walter Brodhead
56. Edward Brodhead
57. Laura Brodhead, Jr.
58. Katharine Brodhead
59. Jay C. Fuller
60. Mary H. Brodhead
61. Mrs. Fred P. Prosser (Mary B. Brodhead, m. 1926)
62. Louise Moon
63. Henry Hampson, Jr.
64. Mr. Walter Brodhead
65. Cornelia Moon
66. Philip Brodhead
67. “Patches”
68. William Brodhead
69. ???
70. Gertrude Brodhead (Scott)

Although my family tree for Garret and Annie Brodhead is full of holes, I am including what I have here in the event it helps someone connect more dots; of course anyone with updates or errors to comment on, please feel free to do so in the comments box below.

1-Garret Brodhead b. 11 Feb 1848, Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., PA (Jim Thorpe,
PA), d. 11 Jul 1936, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ
+Annie Kocher b. 25 Aug 1849, Mauch Chunk, Carbon Co., PA (Jim Thorpe, PA), d.
After 1920
|–2-Conrad Kocher Brodhead b. 19 Jul 1873, d. After 11 Jul 1936
|–2-Andrew Brodhead b. 19 Jul 1873, Pennsylvania, United States, d. 12 Jul
| 1876, Metuchen, Raritan, Middlesex Co., NJ
|–2-Alonzo Blakslee Brodhead b. 26 Dec 1875, d. 5 May 1907, (Mauch Chunk
| Cemetery, Jim Thorpe, Carbon Co., PA)
| +Dent
|–2-Laura Leisenring Brodhead b. 21 Sep 1878, d. After 11 Jul 1936
|–2-Calvin Easton Brodhead b. 21 Sep 1878, Metuchen, NJ, d. 20 Mar 1945, Ohio
| +Gertrude McNulty b. 1881
| |–3-Sister Ann Marie Brodhead d. After Jun 1964
| |–3-William McNulty Brodhead b. Cir 1906, Red Bank, NJ
| | +Unknown
| |–3-Katharine Brodhead
| |–3-Father Phillip Brodhead
| |–3-Mary Halpin Brodhead
| |–3-Laura Leisinring Brodhead
| |–3-Gertrude Brodhead
| |–3-Edward Joseph Brodhead b. 1918
| | +Doris Pettigrew b. Cir 1918
| |–3-Daniel Dingman Brodhead b. 1922
|–2-Brodhead b. 6 Mar 1883, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ
|–2-Ruth Randall Brodhead b. 7 Mar 1884, d. After Jun 1964
| +Joseph Cheever Fuller b. , West Newton, MA
| |–3-David Randall Fuller d. After Aug 1964
|–2-Brodhead b. 3 Jan 1887, Perth Amboy, Middlesex Co., NJ
|–2-Garrett Brodhead Jr. b. 3 Feb 1888, d. 13 Apr 1926, Saranac Lake, Franklin
| Co., New York
+Gertrude Pfeiffer b. 15 Dec 1886, d. 10 Oct 1967, Perth Amboy, Middlesex
Co., NJ

This image provides me with a first glimpse of many “AJ/Ophelia” descendants such as Emily Brodhead Moon’s son (#16), daughter-in-law (#30), and their granddaughter Cornelia (#65, behind “Patches”). Also, Walter Brodhead (#55, sitting with the kids), son of James Easton Brodhead and wife Harriet (“Hattie”);

Close up front row – lots of adorable grandchildren and the delightful family dog “Patches”

Middle section with senior family members – #32: Fannie Loveland (widow of Garret’s brother Robert Packer Brodhead); #35 & #36: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ashley Blakslee – Mrs. Blakslee is Jean Struthers Brodhead, one of Garret’s sisters; #39 and #41: Garret & Annie (Kocher) Brodhead; #44 and #45 are Garret’s sisters Charlotte Elizabeth Brodhead Burk and widow Emily Linderman Brodhead Moon; #42 & #43: Garret’s brother James Easton Brodhead and wife Harriet Locklin Boyd; #46 is my great grandmother Margaret Lewis Martin Brodhead, widow of Andrew Douglas Brodhead; #47 and #48 are Garret’s brother and sister-in-law Richard H. Brodhead and wife Jane V. Smock.

Mostly the middle-aged children, nieces and nephews, cousins…

I see my grandfather Frank Brodhead top left, and my grandmother Fannie Woodruff far right. They must have left my Dad (age 1.5) and his brother home (age 10) 😦

**************************************
As an aside, after Trudy M. kindly commented (below) that the venue for the anniversary gathering was probably the home of her grandparents Calvin & Gertrude Brodhead in Glenburn, Pennsylvania, I was curious as to where Garret and Annie Brodhead lived at that time. I assumed New Jersey. I found the obituary notice, which stated 180 Green Street in Woodbridge, NJ. The house, built in 1916, still stands and over two dozen photos remain on “Realtor” from a 2016 sale. Anyone who is interested can view the listing here.

Categories: Anniversaries, Brodhead, New Jersey | Tags: , | 4 Comments

January 28, 1948: “Back from Gypsy Elopement”

Valentine’s Day is almost here so it seems appropriate to share this little snippet I found among the many newspaper articles my grandmother Fannie Woodruff Brodhead clipped and set aside for safekeeping.

The clipping is about her great niece’s elopement at age 16, to William Bull, 20, in Cape Charles, Northampton County, Virginia. I found the marriage record, which shows the lovebirds got hitched on January 28, 1948. They gave their ages as 21 and 22, respectively. A Newark newspaper picked up on the story with its photo “Back from Gypsy Engagement”.

Obviously this fun-loving couple had a wonderful sense of humor:

Back in Newark NJ] after elopement to Cape Charles, Va., are Abby Sommer Bull, 16, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Sommer of 156 Heller parkway, and William Bull, 20, son of Dr. and Mrs. Louis M. Bull of 92 Heller Parkway. Bridegroom still wears earrings which helped them tell gypsy fortunes to finance trip home after they ran out of cash.

Abby and William were neighbors as you can see from the addresses, so perhaps the families knew that something like this was afoot.

Funny enough, when “googling” William’s name, I happened upon a small article in the January 24, 1914, issue of Horticulture reporting the January 13, 1914, elopement of William’s father Louis M. Bull!

Horticulture by Massachusetts Horticultural Society; Horticultural Society of New York; Pennsylvania Horticultural Society magazine, January 24, 1914

Louis and his bride Gertrude Siebrecht, the daughter of a New York florist (which explains the article’s appearance in Horticulture), were the exact same ages as Abby and William at the time of their elopement–16 and 20. So something tells me that “family tradition” may have also been on young William’s mind as he planned his elopement with his young sweetheart.

And good news: Both marriages lasted a very long time!

Happy Valentines Day, all!

PS: A marriage ban was put into place in June 2018 in New Jersey that prohibited previously allowed marriages at age 16 with parental consent. In Virginia, until 2016, no minimum age for marriage had ever been set.

Another PS for family who may be wondering: Abby was a descendant of James and Wealthy Angus:

  • Her parents: Abigail Van Horn and George Sommer
  • Grandparents: Cecelia Russum Woodruff and Robert Osborne Van Horn
  • Great-grandparents: Wealthy Ann Angus and William Earl Woodruff
  • Great-great-grandparents:  Wealthy Ann Jaques and James W. Angus
  • Categories: Bull, New Jersey, Newark, Essex Co., Sommer, Virginia, Weddings | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

    Elizabeth, NJ, circa 1849: Life at the Angus home on Elizabeth Avenue

    Yummy quince preserves from France found at our local Tuesday Morning store

    A few days ago, I made an unexpected discovery at our local Tuesday Morning store: jars and jars of quince preserves, not a common sight here. And that reminded me of a very interesting post I’d planned to do a while back but never got around to.

    Many descendants of the Angus family may already be familiar with the information I am about to disclose, but on the off-chance these details never found their way down your branch of the family tree, I will go ahead and share.

    Lovett’s illustrated catalogue of fruit and ornamental trees and plants for the autumn of 1891. Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection.; J.T. Lovett Company. Credit: www. biodiversitylibrary. org/page/42764492

    A while back, I did a post mentioning the fact that almost every yard in America within the right growing range would have once featured a quince tree; it was a fruit that was essential to the process of canning and preserving food. Well, a letter reveals that in addition to numerous other types of fruit trees, my/our second-great-grandparents Angus had a quince tree on their 927 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey, property. I know this because I came across a copy of a letter that mentions the trees and a few more interesting things about the Angus family’s life in the mid-1800s.

    Thomas F. Russum, son of Thomas and Cecelia (Angus) Russum and one of the many Angus grandsons, copied the letter on February 24, 1934, on his letterhead stationery (address 6 Seneca Avenue, White Plains, New York). The original letter had been written circa 1849 by a roughly nine-year-old Isaac G. de G. Angus to his godmother in Mexico. Thomas copied the letter before passing it on to Isaac’s son Addison Clark Angus, who was then living at 1833 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

    I surmise that Thomas must have found the letter among old family papers and decided to send the original letter—which evidently the godparents returned to Wealthy Angus after learning of Isaac’s 1885 death at age 45—to Addison, Isaac’s sole surviving child. (For some background on the Mexico connection, please refer to this past post.)

    Angus family home at 927 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, New Jersey, from 1848-1871; the house was torn down a long time ago. A law office occupies this land today.

    Isaac’s letter, though brief, is absolutely wonderful. Nowhere else have I ever seen/heard/read anything about the Angus household at that time. So, if you have never seen this letter before, I hope you will enjoy reading it. (I have retained the spelling but have added some punctuation for readability and some bracketed information.)

    My dear Madrina [Godmother],

    My Ma has just written you a letter so I think I will follow her example and write one too. We are all pretty well. We have another little brother. His name is George Welsh. I wish you could see him. He is a very nice little baby and we like him very much. My Pa and Ma wishes very much that you was here. They talk of you and Dona Margarita and Pepa everyday. Jacob [Jacob Baker Angus, 1844-1850] has forgotten all his Spanish and they are afraid that Jimmy [James Winans Angus Jr. 1841-1897] and I will too. Ma hears us read and gives us a lesson almost every day. Won’t you come and live with us. You would like this country. I like it very much. My Pa has got a big house and a very nice garden with apples, pears, plums, quinces and other fruit in it. And he has got a very pretty carriage and horse and some chickens and two little pigs. Give my love to Dona Margarito a Pepa. Tell my Padrino [Godfather] I think he might write me a letter if he ever thinks of me. Give my love to him and all my other friends such as Don Bernardo’s mother. We live in the next house to my Grandpas [Isaac Jaques] and we go there every day. I have no more to write now. You must answer this soon.

    Your affectionate godson
    Isaac Gabriel de Guadalup Angus

    Still Life: Fruit, Bird, and Dwarf Pear Tree by Charles V. Bond, American, 1856

    The letter was written after the birth of George Welsh Angus (13 May 1849) and before the death of Jacob “Jimmy” Baker Angus (8 June 1850 – scarlet fever).

    The family had departed Mexico in early 1849, after a roughly seven-year stay, due to father James’s health issues. It seems likely that young Isaac wrote this letter in summer/fall when the thought of fruit trees would have been top of mind for a child.

    Isaac writes about liking his new country. Even though he was born in Elizabeth, he’d spent the bulk of his life thus far in Mexico City. Returning to daily life in Elizabeth must have been a huge adjustment for him and his siblings. Certainly they must have enjoyed being next door to their grandfather Isaac Jaques and grandmother Wealthy Cushman Jaques who would have been in their mid- to late-50s at that time and, no doubt, delighted to have daughter Wealthy and her growing family back in their midst.

    View Near Elizabethtown, N. J., oil painting by Régis François Gignoux, 1847, Honolulu Museum of Art

    The contrasts between Mexico City (oldest capital city in the Americas, with a population probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 by 1850) and Elizabeth (1850 population: 5,583) must have made a big impression on the family, as I’m sure did the difference in climate. New Jersey winters are usually cold and bleak. The painting on the left, painted two years before the Anguses returned home, shows just what wintry conditions may have awaited them. For Wealthy and James especially, their Mexico life and their adventures there during the US-Mexico War must have lingered in their minds for a very long time. And, until they’d fully acclimatized themselves, daily life in Elizabeth may have seemed a bit boring. Of course, the city of Manhattan, with its population of ~500,000 was close by, so perhaps they were happy to come home and get caught up on all the changes that had taken place in their absence. This was, after all, HOME.

    I can’t help but wonder what kind of reception the family received from the community when they returned to live in Elizabethtown.  There must have been a lot of curiosity about these somewhat “exotic”” neighbors with their unique international experiences and ability to speak Spanish.

    Bird’s-eye view of Mexico City as seen from convent of San Cosme (1847). Panorámica de la ciudad de México desde el convento de San Cosme (1847). Artist: N. Currier (Wikimedia Commons: In Public Domain in US (70 years) and Mexico (100 years)

    From the letter, we can see that Wealthy was tutoring the children daily, trying to make sure the children would not forget their Spanish; young Isaac does not mention his younger sister Mary Martha who was probably about three at the time. (Another six children would make their appearances between 1850 and 1861, one of them being my great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff.)

    Photograph of Isaac G. de G. Angus, Princeton 1860 grad, from the collections of the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton, NJ. Reproduced here in low resolution with their permission. Call number AC-104, Box 117.

    Obviously the family had warmly embraced their Mexican friends and now, with such distance between them, only had letter-writing as a way of remaining in touch. The fact that the godparents returned this letter to mother Wealthy Jaques Angus after Isaac’s death in 1885, some 35 years after they’d left Mexico, indicates that the families remained in contact.

    It would be fabulous to know who these godparents and friends in Mexico were. Unfortunately I have not come across those details yet.

    If anyone out there has more information about anything related to this post, please do share. Thank you.

     

     

     

    Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Mexico, New Jersey, Russum | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

    Isaac G. de G. Angus (1840-1885) – Part II

    Photograph of Isaac G. de G. Angus, from the collections of the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton, NJ. Reproduced here in low resolution with their permission. Call number AC-104, Box 117.

    In April 2015, I posted quite an extensive write-up on Isaac G. de G. Angus, which included a fair amount of information about his parents, my second-great-grandparents, James W. Angus and Wealthy Jaques Angus. For that post, please click here. I’m publishing this “Part II” today, not that it is a continuation of that post, but rather simply a bit more information about Isaac, including a photo, and his time at Princeton University, information I found while visiting Princeton University’s digitized online archives.

    Due to ownership/copyright restrictions, it’s best that you go to the site yourself to view these items/request copies for your own files. (See links below.)  I did pay for a high-resolution version of the image, but I am not permitted to publish it here.

    Princeton’s archives include a letter dated September 5, 1859, written by James W. Angus. Isaac must have had some behavioral issues that barred him from returning for his senior year. The letter pleads with Dr. John Maclean to allow Isaac to return, vouching that he (Isaac) much regrets his inappropriate behavior (which appears to have involved alcohol) and seems a changed person who is ready to get back to business at Princeton. If Isaac were to fail again, James promised not to bother Dr. Maclean any further. Obviously Princeton agreed to take him back since he graduated in 1860.

    Also available via Princeton’s archives is a small note with accompanying envelope, both written by Isaac’s wife Susan Robinson on December 9, 1986, advising Princeton that her husband had passed away.

    I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit about the Angus family. Have a great day!

    P.S. I believe this image of Isaac may be on Find a Grave, perhaps in higher res.

    Princeton Links:

    http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/AC339/c0008

    http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/AC104.02/c4758

    Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., New Jersey | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

    Memories of the Woodruff farm, “sugar bread,” and picking daisies…

    Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff (5 August 1850 – 27 May 1927) with grandsons Dick Brown and Charles Brodhead, circa 1924, at the old Woodruff Farm on Conant Street in Hillside, NJ. The house still stands, but the barn and fields are no more.

    The old wooden bucket used in my great grandmother’s kitchen to hold sugar

    Last year I came upon the above photo of my great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff. She is pictured outside the barn of the old Woodruff farmhouse in Hillside, NJ. The house still stands, but the barn and surrounding fields were eventually lost to development. This is the only old photo I’ve seen of the premises there, and the fact that it includes my father and his cousin Dick Brown makes it even more special.

    When my late Dad retired in the late 1980s, he set out to write down his recollections of the years in his life leading up to his marriage to my Mom; his logic for stopping there was that we all knew what came next. At the time that bothered me, but all these years later, I can see his point. Why potentially ruffle the feathers of your kids and other family members by writing something they may read some day and take the wrong way?

    Wm Earl Woodruff & Wealthy Ann Angus on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary

    Of course, I am exceedingly grateful for the details he left us about his growing up years. Here are some recollections of 1927 that pertain to the old Woodruff family farm house and the wooden sugar bucket (photo, right):

    …Grandma Woodruff died. A real blow to everyone. I remember seeing her in her casket in the living room of the old farmhouse on Conant Street in Hillside, NJ. I remember going into the field and picking some daisies and bringing them in the house and placing them in her stone cold hands. I remember the old barn. One day the young hired hand dared me to eat horse feed. I did and got sick as a dog. I remember an old horse-drawn wagon in the yard. Dick Brown (my cousin) and I used to play on it and pretend we were driving. Grandma used to make me ‘sugar bread’. Homemade bread, home-churned butter with lots of sugar on it. She also fed me lots of sweet tea. Nothing not from scratch!…

    My Dad’s Grandma Woodruff had six daughters with her husband William Earl Woodruff. I have no contact with descendants of the sisters of my grandmother but, of course, would be pleased to hear from any of them at any time.

    Categories: Angus, Death, Heirlooms, Hillside Union, New Jersey, Woodruff | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

    Inside the house Francis Woodruff built, circa 1845

    Francois Gignoux, View near Elizabethtown, New Jersey, 1847

    If you’re like me, you occasionally look up the addresses of ancestors to see if their homes are still standing; and if they are and they happen to be for sale or have sold in the not-too-distant past, you can get a glimpse inside, thanks to all those online realtor photos, many of which seem to linger long after the sale has been made.

    Last fall I found a listing for the house my second-great-grandfather Francis Woodruff built circa 1845 in Elizabethtown, NJ, on what was then farmland and in what is now the town of Hillside. Frenchman Régis François Gignoux (1816–1882) painted the above scene around that time. As you can see, it must have been a very bucolic setting in the summertime; Francis and his family made a living off the land, something many living in that part of New Jersey today might find hard to imagine.

    I contemplated flying up to NJ to take a look inside but scrapped that idea after all of us in the family contracted type A flu, an event we did not rebound from quickly. Of course, now I regret not getting up there—who knows when the house will be for sale again?

    In any case, the house was sold, but many photos remain on Realtor dot com. To look inside, visit this link: Conant Street house. I wrote about this house once before in a post about my grandmother’s wedding in which I included this information from the six-page PDF Eight Colonial Homes, an undated publication put out by the staff of the Hillside National Bank:

    A third Woodruff house, while appearing to be the same vintage as the others, was erected about 1845. […] …it is frequently the subject of artists’ paint brushes because of its picturesque setting. It was built by Francis Woodruff, a descendant of Enos Woodruff. A letter from Mathias Woodruff in 1843 to his brother, another Enos Woodruff, comments that he is planning to return from Louisiana to help his cousin, Ezra Woodruff, erect a house for Frank. The letter jokingly said in part: “Frank will want him to put up a house next summer. I have advised him to find out from the neighbors what kind of house he wants, sort of architecture, on which side to put the kitchen, dog house, pig pens. If all parties are satisfied, it will save a great deal of talk.” Oddly enough it was constructed sideways to the road, but when the Westminster section was developed by Edward Grassman in the 1930’s, Revere Drive was placed in front of it, so today it faces a street.

    Having seen the interior photos, I can try to picture the family members living there and going about their daily lives. This is where Francis and Mary Jane Trowbridge raised their four children: William, Matthias, Emma, and Phebe. This is where William, who took over the farm, raised his six daughters with wife Wealthy Ann Angus. The house remained in the family until 1928, the year William (b. 1848) died. (Wealthy predeceased him.) By then the six daughters were married with children and living elsewhere. Farmland in Elizabethtown was becoming non-existent as the county’s towns expanded. The Woodruff farm was swallowed up and became part of a housing development in Hillside.

    I now read some of my old posts in a slightly new light, better able to imagine the happenings inside the home—this is where Mary Jane got her small children up and dressed in the morning; these are the stairs the Woodruff children, grand-children and great-grandchildren ran up and down through the years; this in the fireplace Francis sat down next to to write his grown children letters while they temporarily lived elsewhere or where he retired to to read their letters—letters to and from William when he was out West sheep farming or letters to and from Matthias when he farming wheat in the Dakota Territory; this is the home in which a teen-aged William wrote letters to his uncles Trowbridge while they were serving in the Union Army; this is the parlor in which the family entertained guests and marked my grandmother’s wedding in 1908 and William and Wealthy’s golden anniversary in 1922, etc.

    Of course, the house has been altered through the years, there’s no denying that, but original features remain as you can see in the photos—the wood flooring, the beams, the fireplaces, and the windows, including the diamond-shaped window in the attic.

    It’s wonderful to see this house still standing after 170+ years. For that I thank all of its past and present occupants and all of those local citizens who through the decades have appreciated its important heritage.

    Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Hillside Union, Woodruff | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

    July 1905: Grandma’s photos from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

    Photos from Ocean Grove 112 years ago. My grandmother, Zillah Trewin, was 23 when they were taken. She appears in the image at the top, on the far right, holding the sides of her face. No sunglasses back then, except for on film stars, so a brimmed hat could surely have helped her. Perhaps she took hers off to have her picture taken.

    I love these glimpses into history–an outing at the Jersey shore, the happy faces, the windy sailboat ride, the lady holding a parasol in her lap and waving, the fellow with the newspaper wrapped around the back of his head. A carefree, summer day at the start of the 20th century. A tiny slice of life you are unlikely to see anywhere else but here, thanks to my grandmother and her beloved brownie camera.

    I can imagine the excitement as everyone piled into the rowboat (photo 3) to go out to the sailboat rocking in the ocean waters off shore. The boat’s captain (seen in photo 4) appears to be helping ladies into the rowboat. I gather all those other gents were there to push it into the surf. Aboard the sailboat, the group looks to be having a fun time. Lots of smiles. I think it’s likely that these were all Methodist Church friends and acquaintances of my grandmother and that this was an organized outing. The land in Ocean Grove is all owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (founded 1869) so perhaps the group attended one of the camp meetings in the Great Auditorium. Perhaps they even overnighted in some of the tents in “Tent City”.

    Once back north in Union County,  their bit of summer fun may have lingered on their minds for a while. And sunburn may have served as proof (ouch!) of the trip until real proof emerged in the form of these few photographs—proof that landed in my grandmother’s then ever-expanding photo album, which just happens to be sitting on my desk today.

    Categories: New Jersey, Ocean Grove, Trewin | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

    Calling card left for Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Jaques

    Isaac Jaques (1791-1880) Courtesy of San Benito County Historical Society

    A calling card left for Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Jaques by Mr. & Mrs. John A. Gunn. Given it is undated, the Mrs. Jaques could have been Isaac’s first wife Wealthy Ann Cushman (1793-1856; m. 1812) or his second wife, widow Rebecca Gold Robinson (1804-1886; m. between 1856-1860).

    We know nothing of the circumstances, obviously, but after reading up on calling card etiquette, I believe this may have been an invitation to some sort of party / special social gathering. The envelope is quite decorative. Experts, feel free to weigh in.

    I looked for a John A. Gunn and came up with one born in New York in 1820, so perhaps this was a friend of Isaac’s from his days in Manhattan where he was once a well-known and highly successful tailor before retiring across the Hudson River to his Elizabethtown country estate. (For more on Isaac, visit this past post.)

    Below are some calling card etiquette resources, in case you want to brush up 🙂 — our ancestors who lived during the 19th century when they were in custom would have been well versed in all the nuances of their use. Personally I find it quite fascinating. It was indeed a much different time–no doubt they would find today’s varied forms of communicating and interacting rather head-spinning to say the least!  Bonne fin de semaine!

    Calling Cards for LadiesMass historia website
    Calling Cards for GentlemenMass historia website
    The Gentleman’s Guide to Calling CardsThe Art of Manliness blog

    Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Jaques | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

    William Trewin & St. James Methodist Church in Elizabeth, NJ

    William Trewin, b. 21 March 1847; son of John & Mary Ann Trewin; year unknown.

    St. James Methodist Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey, celebrated its 80-year anniversary in 1957, and a church program I recently came across commemorating the occasion indicated that my great-grandfather William Trewin was one of eight people who were on the committee that agreed to found the church, which was the result of two churches (Elizabeth Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church and St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church) coming together in a building that was acquired through an exchange with the Broad Street Baptist Church. The first service was held on April 15, 1877.

    At the time of the committee meeting, October 23, 1876, my great-grandfather was 29 years old and married to his first wife Edith Fry with whom he was raising two sons, Bert and Clarence.  The commemorative program is included in this post for anyone curious about some of the history of the church during its first 80 years. Today, the building is occupied by the Haitian Bethany Baptist Church.

    Image from City of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Illustrated, 1889

    Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Methodist, New Jersey, Trewin | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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