Trewin

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.

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

1905: Ironing while memorizing passages from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Hiawatha”

The play Hiawatha being performed circa 1920 – NARA – 285367, by Unknown or not provided – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17160440

Going through some old books a few weeks ago, I came across Longfellow’s Hiawatha, and inside was this wonderful and curious little note left behind by my grandmother Zillah Trewin. I don’t know when she wrote this note; it was probably some time later for the benefit of my mother who would eventually inherit it:

Zillah from Mother, 1905.
Mother memorized the introduction, first 5 chapters, also 10, 11, 12, 19, 20 and 22, largely while ironing.

If you are familiar with Hiawatha, you’ll know that this was no small feat! I try to envision my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent Trewin standing over her iron and simultaneously memorizing Longfellow’s verse. An image definitely emerges–now if only I could hear her voice. That would really be something!

Elizabeth Sargent Trewin, 1904, before traveling abroad

Zillah Trewin, 1904 (age 19)

Longfellow

Categories: Reading literature, Trewin | Tags: , , , , | 17 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

Summer 1904 cemetery photos of family marking the placement of the headstone for Wm Sargent Jr. & Sarah Jane Bowley graves

While going through my grandmother Zillah Trewin’s photo album, I came across these images taken in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, during the summer of 1904 at what I presume was a small gathering to mark the placement of the gravestone for William Sargent (1861-1896) and his wife Sarah Jane Bowley (1849-1904) who died earlier that year, in January. What’s most interesting to me is the fact that the tiny elderly woman in the photo may actually be Mary Bowley Pitt, older sister of Sarah Bowley and second wife of William Sargent (Zillah’s grandfather and my 2nd-great-grandfather; 1st wife was Mary Wills, daughter of George and Mary Wills of Northamptonshire, England). You may recall the post where it was revealed that father and son (both named William) married sisters Mary Bowley Pitt and Sarah Bowley! Based on 1880 census records, Mary Bowley (1st marriage to ? Pitt) was born in 1839 in England; in 1904 she would have been 64, and I am trying to figure out if the mystery woman pictured could be around that age.  Thoughts anyone?

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Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ. new headstone for Sarah Bowley and William Sargent, 1904

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Elizabeth Sargent Trewin (b. 1854) at grave of her brother William Sargent and sister-in-law Sarah Bowley, 1904

sargent_wm_grave_2

Zillah Trewin (left) at grave of her uncle William Sargent

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Unknown woman (left) and Elizabeth Sargent Trewin standing behind gravestone of her brother and sister-in-law, 1904

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Hillside Union, New Jersey, Sargent, Slaymaker, Trewin | Tags: , | 5 Comments

‘New’ photo of William Trewin — September 1904

A newly unearthed photo of my great-grandfather William Trewin (1847-1916) of Elizabeth, NJ, taken in September 1904 by his daughter Zillah (then age 21):

WT_1904

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

1882 Marriage Certificate for William Trewin and Elizabeth Sargent

My great-grandfather William Trewin’s first marriage (1868) ended tragically on December 7, 1879, when his wife Edith H. Fry died in childbirth. He remarried and his two sons Bert and Clarence became the beloved sons of my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent. I’d never been able to find an exact date of William and Elizabeth’s marriage until earlier this summer when I found an envelope containing the original marriage certificate. The William Sargent listed as a witness was probably Elizabeth’s father rather than her brother who shared the same name. It appears that her brother Samuel, a Methodist minister, performed the ceremony. These new details, as few as they are, combined with images we have of these four, help paint a faint picture of the happenings of July 31, 1882, in the lives of these ancestors and those closest to them.

Marriage Certificate
This is to Certify
That William Trewin of Elizabeth, NJ
and Elizabeth Sargent of Jersey City, NJ
were by me joined together in
Holy Matrimony
in Jersey City according to the ordinance of God and the Laws
of the State of New Jersey on the 31st day of July 1882
Witnesses
William Sargent
Samuel Sargent, Minister of the Gospel

Trewin_Wm_web

William Trewin (1847-1916)

Trewin_Eliz_web

Elizabeth Sargent (born Slaymaker, but name changed to Sargent when emigrated to US after the Civil War) (1854-1926)

Trewin_Wedding_Certificate_

Trewin-Sargent Marriage Certificate

William Sargent Sr. circa 1869/70

William Sargent Sr. circa 1869/70

Rev. Samuel Sargent PhD (image courtesy of Frances S. Cowles)

Rev. Samuel Sargent PhD (image courtesy of Frances S. Cowles)

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Jersey City, Hudson Co., Methodist, New Jersey, Sargent, Trewin, Weddings | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Circa 1906: Two Trewins in support of immigration

Trewins_immigration_play

‘Aliens or Americans’ – cast members from a church play? Elizabeth, NJ, circa 1906

Leafing through my grandmother’s photo album, I came across this group photo showing my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent Trewin standing in the back on the right, and her daughter (my grandmother) Zillah Trewin in the rear on the far left, partially obscured by a gentleman’s hat. On the back, Zillah had written Mother’s class in [???] ‘Aliens or Americans.’ I was intrigued. I scanned it at high resolution to read what was written on the rear left door:

A million immigrants!
A million opportunities!
A million obligations!

Interesting! My great-grandmother, a devout Christian, was evidently a proponent of immigration (not the least bit surprising since she was an immigrant herself—from England in about 1870).

The quotation on the door appears to come from a book called Aliens or Americans (by Howard B. Grose) which was published in 1906 by the Young People’s Missionary Movement, New York. I think this is about the time this photo was taken (Elizabeth’s hair has still not gone the gray that appears in photos from the 1910s).  The peak year of European immigration was 1907, so immigration was a very hot topic at that time, and the photo may be from a play that was performed in their Elizabeth, NJ, church (St. James Methodist) to highlight the church’s duty to engage in mission work by assisting newly arrived immigrants in the resettlement process.

I’ve pulled the author’s preface and Josiah Strong’s introduction to Aliens or Americans and have included them below to give a sense of what my great-grandmother and grandmother may have been experiencing and responding to. The book is available online through The Project Gutenburg (click the link in the previous paragraph). I have not had time to read it (it’s several hundred pages long), but glancing at the table of contents, it looks like it gives plenty of interesting insight into immigration at that time, the Ellis Island experience, etc. Anyone with ancestors who immigrated in the early 1900s may find something of interest here.

Have a good day, all. As always, thanks for stopping by.

PS: For interesting info and images of immigrants from that period visit: A Look at The People Coming Through Ellis Island, 1906 – Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives Website

***************************************************

Preface

new_americans

Image from Aliens or Americans, published 1906

It is not a question as to whether the aliens will come. They have come, millions of them; they are now coming, at the rate of a million a year. They come from every clime, country, and condition; and they are of every sort: good, bad, and indifferent, literate and illiterate, virtuous and vicious, ambitious and aimless, strong and weak, skilled and unskilled, married and single, old and young, Christian and infidel, Jew and pagan. They form to-day the raw material of the American citizenship of to-morrow. What they will be and do then depends largely upon what our American Protestant Christianity does for them now.

Immigration—the foreign peoples in America, who and where they are, whence they come, and what under our laws and liberties and influences they are likely to become—this is the subject of our study. The subject is as fascinating as it is vital. Its problems are by far the most pressing, serious, and perplexing with which the American people have to do. It is high time that our young people were familiarizing themselves with the facts, for this is preëminently the question of to-day. Patriotism and religion—love of country and love of Christ—unite to urge thoughtful consideration of this great question: Aliens or Americans? One aim of this book is to show our individual responsibility for the answer, and how we can discharge it.

Immigration may be regarded as a peril or a providence, an ogre or an obligation—according to the point of view. The Christian ought to see in it the unmistakable hand of God opening wide the door of evangelistic opportunity. Through foreign missions we are sending the gospel to the ends of the earth. As a home mission God is sending the ends of the earth to our shores and very doors. The author is a Christian optimist who believes God has a unique mission for Christian America, and that it will ultimately be fulfilled. While the facts are in many ways appalling, the result of his study of the foreign peoples in our country has made him hopeful concerning their Americanization and evangelization, if only American Christians are awake and faithful to their duty. The Christian young people, brought to realize that immigration is another way of spelling obligation, must do their part to remove that tremendous IF.

These newcomers are in reality a challenge to American Christianity. The challenge is clear and imperative. Will we give the gospel to the heathen in America? Will we extend the hand of Christian brotherhood and helpfulness to the stranger within our gates? Will we Christianize, which is the only real way to Americanize, the Aliens? May this book help to inspire the truly Christian answer that shall mean much for the future of our country, and hence of the world.

The author makes grateful acknowledgment to all who have assisted by suggestion or otherwise. He has tried to give credit to the authors whose works he has used. He is under special obligation for counsel and many courtesies to Josiah Strong, one of the modern patriot-prophets who has sought to awaken Americans to their Christian duty and privilege.

Howard B. Grose. Briarcliff Manor, June, 1906.

***************************************************

Introduction

A million immigrants!
A million opportunities!
A million obligations!
This in brief is the message of Aliens or Americans?

In this country every man is an American who has American ideals, the American spirit, American conceptions of life, American habits. A man is foreign not because he was born in a foreign land but because he clings to foreign customs and ideas.

I do not fear foreigners half so much as I fear Americans who impose on them and brutally abuse them. Such Americans are the real foreigners.

Most of those who come to us are predisposed in favor of our institutions They are generally unacquainted with the true character of those institutions, but they all know that America is the land of freedom and of plenty, and they are favorably inclined toward the ideas and the obligations which are bound up with these blessings. They are open to American influence and quickly respond to a new and a better environment.

They naturally look up to us, and if with fair and friendly treatment we win their confidence, they are easily transformed into enthusiastic Americans. But if by terms of opprobrium such as “sheeny” and “dago,” we convince them that they are held in contempt, and if by oppression and fraud we render them suspicious of us, we can easily compact them into masses, hostile to us and dangerous to our institutions and organized for the express purpose of resisting all American influences.

Whether immigrants remain Aliens or become Americans depends less on them than on ourselves.

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Methodist, Missionaries, Religion, Sargent, Slaymaker, Trewin | Tags: | 1 Comment

1902: Zillah Trewin high school graduation photo

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my grandmother’s grammar school graduation photo (left), and then later discovered her high school graduation photo (right). She looks so elegant and beautiful in her frilly white dress and long sash, set against the painting in the background, which I presume was meant to symbolize the path to the future upon which she and her fellow graduates were about to embark. I wonder what she was thinking at the time. All were happy, I’m sure, to be leaving school behind. The future awaited. It was 1902—a new century full of new possibilities and new inventions. The Wright Brothers were to take flight at Kitty Hawk eighteen months later, and Ford’s Model-T was to come out five years after that. Grandmother was a working girl after high school and was one of the first women in Elizabeth, NJ, to have her own Model-T. She was very independent and quite the trailblazer. It was nearly two decades after this photo was taken that she finally found her soul mate William Boles, a dashing young Irishman, and settled into married life. And it’s a good thing she did because otherwise I would definitely not be here!

Trewin_Zillah_Graduation_images copy

Categories: Elizabeth, Union Co., Trewin | Tags: , | 15 Comments

Albert Phillips Trewin (1871-1948) with wife and children, circa 1906

I just spotted this circa-1906 image in an old album that belonged to my grandmother Zillah Trewin. I believe it’s the only photo we have of her step-brother Albert Phillips Trewin and his first wife Georgie Duke, who died of influenza in 1917. I only recognized them because a while back a descendant of Bert’s generously sent me some digital images of that side of the family.

In this photo, Bert and Georgie are pictured with their two sons: Elmer Archer Trewin (b. 1902) and Albert Gray Trewin (b. 1905). Daughter Edith May was born in 1910.

My mother, now 93, remembers meeting Bert and his second wife Jessie Mallette Smith several times. She remembers when Bert & Jessie were visiting Elizabeth, NJ, from their home in Pittsburgh in 1934, and how she and her parents climbed in Bert & Jessie’s car to drive down to Asbury Park to see the Morro Castle shipwreck. Mom would have been 11 at the time. She recalls how old Bert looked, but when you’re 11, everyone looks old!

Anyway, I am glad I came across this image. The album is otherwise largely filled with people who are not labeled, so I have no idea who most of them are,and neither does my mother! 😦

Trewin_Bert_and_family_cir_1906

Albert Trewin with wife Georgie Duke and sons Albert and Elmer

Categories: Trewin | Tags: | 9 Comments

1898: Zillah Trewin graduation photo

Here’s a photo of my grandmother Zillah Trewin dated June 24, 1898. It was taken on the occasion of her graduation from grammar school in Elizabeth, NJ. She had just turned 15 earlier that month. She looks so much like her father William Trewin here. Zillah went on to graduate high school and attend business school. Eventually she landed the job of secretary to the director of the YMCA in Manhattan, across the river from her Elizabeth, NJ, home. It’s interesting to see her at this stage in life. Most images I have of her were taken quite a bit before and after this one. I “Photoshop-ped” it to give it more contrast. I love examining the details in dress, the diploma in hand, her expression, the furnishings, etc. It’s a wonderful snapshot in time.
Trewin_Z_grad_1898 Trewin_Z_grad_1898_ps

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

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