Recollections of Baptistown

Pages 95 - 97b

~~ 95 ~~

        I will now make a few corrections.

        In sketching the Lair family, it was stated that John Lair married Sarah Bird.  Her name was Sarah Dilts, a sister to John Bird's wife.  This John Bird was called red-head John, to designate him from another John Bird.

        It was stated that Ann, daughter of Edward Curtis, died in her 40th year.  It should have been Edward Taylor.

        The wife of William Robinson, who came to Baptistown from Bucks Co., Pa., was Sarah Bucher, not Biecher, as it appeared in the Independent.

        I will give further information in regard to Peter Fox's son Mahlon.  He was married 1815 to Margaret Wert or Werts.  She was born in 1799.  Her father was Henry Werts and her mother a Rockafellow.  Margaret Wert had a brother Samuel who married and removed to York State; a sister Sarah never married and is said to have been well off.  This Henry Werts married for his second wife Johanna -----; family name not given.  Mahlon Fox had 4 children: Lucy B., Henry W., Charlotte, Mary and Porter, the named died young.

        Lucy B. Fox was born Feb 26, 1817, and died Jul 1, 1894.  She married Charles H. Cochran.  They had 1 son and 8 daughters, 6 of whom are still living.  Henry W. Fox was born Jul 7, 1818 and died Sept 15, 1860.  He married Sarah Cochran, a sister of Charles H.  They had a large family of children, 2 of whom are now living.  One of them, Orin G. Fox, is the only male descendant of Mahlon Fox, and he had no children.

        Charlotte Fox married a Mr. Wilson.  She is said to have been very beautiful.  In fact, all of Mahlon Fox's children were good looking.

        Mary Fox married Daniel Mackay.

        Mahlon Fox and family started for the West.  They got as far as some place in central southern N.Y.  Mr. Fox went on further to find a suitable place to locate.  His family received letters from him.  The last one was written at Coneat, Ohio, dated Nov 16, 1837.  It was thought that he was probably killed, for he was never heard of again by his family.

~~ 95a ~~

        In the fall of 1850, the typhoid fever broke out in Locktown, N.J.  I think the store keeper, Peter Gary, was the first one to take the disease.  He recovered.  His wife took the disease and died.  Rev. J. Kirkpatrick of Ringoes preached her funeral.  Elijah Melten kept the tavern.  He and his wife both took the disease but recovered.  George D. Rittenhouse and wife were the next to take the disease.  Mrs. Rittenhouse died.  They lived in the house on the corner of the road now occupied by Miss Kate Sutton.

~~ 96 ~~

        Francis Rittenhouse, Joseph S. West, Mahlon Strimple, Amos Bonham, Abigail, wife of James Rittenhouse were all very sick.  The disease attacked some of the most robust people, apparently, that lived in the place.  Dr. Lessey of Head Quarters attended most of the sick, if not all of them.

        I will now mention the fatal accidents and suicides that I can call to mind.  They have occurred in Kingwood township.

        Samuel Lott, father of Henry Lott, late President of the Frenchtown Bank lost his life while engaged in felling timber in his wood.  A tree that he was cutting down was about to fall on the fence.  He tried to push it over the other way and was caught between the tree and fence, where he was found with his life crushed out.

        Jacob Larue fell from a willow tree and was killed near the house now occupied by William Fitzer.

        A son of William Dalrymple of Frenchtown was killed on the road leading from Frenchtown to Baptistown, near the residence of Martin Force.  He was riding on a load of wood, the wagon went over the embankment, killing him instantly.

        Cornelius, son of Thomas Brewer, was killed while felling trees in the wood near the stone church.

        Stephen Ashton, father of Joseph Ashton of Trenton, was found dead in a well that he was digging on the Philip Hoff farm.

        John Everitt was killed by being thrown from a horse down in the ravine near the residence of Joseph D. Larason.

        Peter Stout was thrown off a horse and killed near the creek between David Cline's and Nelson Thatcher.  This occurred about the year 1838.

        Sallie, daughter of William and Ida Rittenhouse, was burned to death by her clothes catching fire from the stove in the schoolhouse at Baptistown.

~~ 96a ~~

        Amos Trimmer, son of John S. Trimmer, was accidentally shot in the leg while gunning in the woods near the Kingwood Presbyterian Church in 1878.  It was necessary to amputate the limb, but he survived the operation a few days.

        Darret S., son of John M. Chamberlain of Locktown, fell into a well and was drowned at the home of William B. Hockenbury.

        Nicolas, a son of Thomas Cherry, was killed near Locktown.  He was engaged in hauling logs for S. P. Stryker of Tumble, and in crossing the ditch a log on which he was sitting was thrown from the wagon.  Nicolas was caught under the log and instantly killed.

~~ 97 ~~

        Charles M., son of Reuben Blue, was drowned in the creek at Kingwood.  He resided Milltown, now Idell, and was on his way home on a very dark night.  There was a flood in the creek and it was supposed that he drove off the wing wall of the bridge into the creek.  His horse and wagon were found next morning near the bridge.  Mr. Blue's body was found about 2 miles down the creek.

        In 1879, Nathan R. Holt became intoxicated in Frenchtown and, when on his way home, was thrown from his wagon, receiving injuries which ended his life a few days later.

        Dr. Coriel, who resided in Kingwood, was thrown from his sulky and killed at the corner of the road near where Samuel K. Risler now resides, a short distance below Locktown.  Since then the place has been known as "Coriel's Corner."

        William Cooper, the blacksmith, was struck by the cars and killed between Frenchtown and Kingwood station.

        Cyrenius Wagner, a long-time resident of Baptistown, fell from a hay mow and was killed in Kingwood.

        There was a man by the name of Rambo drowned at the mouth of the one creek that empties into the Delaware below Frenchtown.

        A son of Henry Lott, then residing on the Ridge road between Frenchtown and the Stone church, hanged himself.

        Samuel Bray, son of John Bray, hanged himself in the old house now in the possession of Anderson W. Green.

        Samuel Case hanged himself with his suspenders.  It was supposed to be in the woods not far from where Thomas Hardine now resides.  He and his father-in-law lived where Charles A. Opdyke now resides.  The 2 men went to Barbertown on an evening, and on their way home, Lacy called at the King store a few minutes, and then went on down the road expecting to overtake Case, but did nor, nor was he at their house when Lacy arrived there.  An unsuccessful search was made for him by neighbors.  Some time afterwards his body was found by some gunners.

~~ 97a ~~

His body had fallen to the ground and was somewhat mutilated by hogs.

        The wife of Ambrose Barcroft hanged herself in an old building on the place where Mrs. Catharine Barcroft now resides.  Her maiden name was Waterhouse, and her first husband was a Hoagland.

        Lavina Tomlinson, daughter of Francis Tomlinson, then keeping the Kingwood Hotel, took a dose of poison with suicidal intent, from the effect of which she died.

        Elizabeth Dean hanged herself at the home of Joseph D. Larason.

        Joseph Gano, son of Charles Gano, died Sep 23, 1886, on the farm of David Cline, by poison, self administered.

        William T. Srope, a Justice of Peace, held the inquest.  He was a soldier, Co. B 38th REg. N.J. Vol.

        George W. Parker, a well known auctioneer, hanged himself in 1876 in the barn now in possession of Paul C. Larue of Baptistown.

        Samuel Niece, son of George Niece near Tumble hanged himself in 1876.

        Mrs. John Vandalah drowned herself in a well on the farm where Asher W. Vandolah now resides.

        James Wilson Kerr hanged himself in the woods not far from his residence at Barbertown.

        Clarence, a young son of Hiriam Rittenhouse of Barbertown vicinity, hanged himself in his father's barn in 1896.

        Jacob Moore of Sand Brook fell from a load of lumber and was killed near Baptistown.  This occurred about 50 years ago.

        About 45 years ago a son of Jacob Ulmer, then residing on the farm now owned by Wilson R. Kugler near Baptistown, fell from a tree and was killed.

        William R. Opdyke, son of John C. Opdyke, was accidentally killed while acting as a brakeman on the railroad.

~~ 97b ~~

        William Lequear, son of John Lequear and brother of John W. Lequear, was killed in battle during the rebellion.  He was born in Kingwood township, but at the time of his enlistment was a resident of one of the western states.

        Garret L. Roberson, son of Pearson Roberson, was killed in battle during the war of secession.

        William R. Lake, son of Sergeant Lake, was killed in Kansas by a man from whom he was trying to collect a debt.  William R. spent his boyhood days in Baptistown.

        I cannot call to mind but one murder that has ever been committed within the bounds of Kingwood township.  James VanAtta shot and killed his near neighbor John Fields and buried the body of his victim in the woods.  VanAtta was arrested, confessed his crime, was tried, found guilty, and executed in Flemington July 1796.  The gallows on which he was hanged was erected near where the mansion house now stands that was built by James N. Reading.  VanAtta owned and lived on the farm recently owned by Mahlon N. Thatcher on the road from Frenchtown to Stone church.

        I am now done - I have aimed to be correct in all my statements; at the same time, a few errors may have crept in.

                                                                        Kingwood, N.J.            May 4, 1897

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