Farm, Acreages and Values: More than half, 56% of the County's total area is in farm land, 131, 698 acres. This area is divided into 1311 farms, averaging 100.5 acres each. In respect to size of farms, 52% of them are 100 or more, and a few range up to several thousand acres each. The Tranquillity and Allamuchy Farms at Allamuchy are the largest in the County. Owners operate 68.5% of all the farms, which have a total land value of $4,062,986 and a total building value of $5,223,192. This gives an average value of $7,083 per farm. However, these valuations do not include 19,000 cattle appraised at $2,750,000; 26,000 head of livestock appraised at $3,200,000; and 180,611 pieces of poultry valued at $135,000. Of the total farm area, 15% was devoted to small grains in 1930, 14.4% to hay, 9.3% to corn, and 2000 acres of muck were in celery, lettuce, onions.
Agricultural Extension Service: This agency for promoting better farming and home conditions in the rural sections of the county is set up cooperatively by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, the N.J. Agricultural College, the Warren County Board of Agriculture and the County of Warren. The present personnel are as follow: Howard Mason, Agricultural Agent; Blanche E. Moran, Home Demonstration Agent; Lynton W. Hill, Boys and Girls Club Agent.
Pictured at right is John Scott of Finesville, member of the 4-H Boys' Club, and his 1929 and 1930 Grand Champion Guernsey.
Wealth and Banks
At the beginning of 1930 the total wealth of the County was represented by:
Banks: At the beginning of 1930, the total deposits of the 13 commercial banks amounted to $20,982,931.78, representing a gain of $4,181,295.83 for the year; and resources totaled $26,444,469.68.
Alpha National Bank
Belvidere National Bank; Warren County Trust Co.
First National Bank of Blairstown; The Peoples National Bank
The Hackettstown National Bank; The Peoples National Bank
First National Bank of Hope
Phillipsburg National Bank & Trust Co.; Second National Bank; Phillipsburg Trust Co.
First National Bank; Washington Trust Co.
Education, Libraries and Newspapers
The Honeywell Academy established at Mount Herman shortly after 1780 was one of the first in the County. It later became a part of the public school system.
Blair Academy, founded by John I. Blair in 1848 as a small day school at Blairstown, is at present a famed, college preparatory school for boys, and its cluster of icy-covered buildings on spacious campus, is a place of unusual beauty.
Centenary Collegiate Institute at Hackettstown, begun by the Newark Methodist Episcopal Conference in 1869, is today a noted college preparatory school for girls. Set in beautiful surroundings, it also is one of the County's show-places.
Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken established a 370-acre, summer engineering camp in Frelinghuysen Township, where its students may obtain field practice, and where a 2-week course for high school students will also be inaugurated this summer.
Newspapers: There are five newspapers published in Warren County. They are all weeklies. The Belvidere Apollo, first published January 11, 1825 by George G. Sickles, is the oldest newspaper in the County, and one of the oldest in America. In respect to circulation, the Washington Star is the leading paper of the County, its circulation being greater than that of all the others combined. Also, its editorial page has several times won blue ribbons at the New Jersey State Exhibit and it has attained recognition as the nation's outstanding Country Weekly Newspaper.
Belvidere Apollo - published on Thursdays. J. Madison
The Warren Journal, Belvidere, Thursdays. Elmer I. Smith, Editor.
Hackettstown Gazette, Fridays. S.C. Cutler, Editor.
The Washington Star, Thursdays. G.S. Hyde, Editor.
The Blairstown Press, Wednesdays. DeWitt C. Carter, Editor.
Libraries: Recently established by popular vote, the County Library Service will soon open a library station in every community of the County now without a free municipal library, and a reference collection in every school. From County Library headquarters at the Court House in Belvidere, the Librarian will send in a specially equipped library car, a constant supply and exchange of new books to these stations and schools. Miss Sarah B. Askew, Librarian of the New Jersey Public Library Commission, assisted greatly in bringing this desirable service to the County.
Not till November 20th, 1824, was Warren County created, when it was formed from part of Sussex County, which was erected 71 years earlier. And, named after the Revolutionary hero, General Joseph Warren, the County voted that its seat of government be at Belvidere, where it has continued for more than a century now.
But it was 165 years before the County's formation that the first whites set foot on its soil. They were a small group of Dutch explorers, who mined copper-ore at Pahaquarry in 1659 and abandoned the workings after five years of operation. These mines are the earliest works of white men in the State of New Jesey. Before this first group of whites arrived, Leni-Lenapi Indians of the Minsi tribe inhabited this part of New Jersey. The indians were not driven from their lands; there tracts wee purchased with blankets, cooking utensils, silver, clothing, tobacco, firearms and rum. The Indian possessory rights were bought between the years 1713 and 1758, and deeds on record testify to the fairness of the whites.
Swedes, English, Quakers and Hollanders all played important parts in the early settlement of this area, and many of their descendants still live in the County. The first permanent white settlers were George Green and John Axford. They came to the County about 1726, after having obtained grants from the Council of Proprietors. Green settled along the Pequest i the vicinity of Maintain Lake, later moving to Johnsonburg, and Axford settled at present Oxford. Several years later, 1732, Abram Van Campen purchased the upper half of Pahaquarry. And by 1737, when Lodewick Titman bought land six miles from the Water Gap, a considerable number of settlers, whose names are not known, had located in the County.
In 1741, the first store in the County was opened by Aaron Depui at "Axford," and Jonathan Robeson began building an iron furnace, from which the first iron whas shipped two years later. About this time, the first churches were built; they were Presbyterian and located at Greenwich, Mansfield-Woodhouse and Oxford. From 1753 to 1763, during the period of the French and Indian War, settlers arrived so fast that there was a shortage of food; not sufficient land had been cleared to raise enough grain for bread. And during this war, Abraham Van Campen was appointed Colonel to protect the frontier, and Colonel John Anderson was delegated to make secure the upper part of the State.
When the mounting commerce and growing prosperity of the Colonies brought from the Crown burdensome and intolerable taxation, the Colonials rebelled, and soon the struggle for liberty and independence began. The people of Warren County furnished their full quota of men and supplies. William Maxwell of Greenwich attained the rank of Brigadier-General in command of all New Jersey troops and won the distinction of being New Jersey's most prominent Revolutionary officer. Though no battles were fought in the County Lady Washington passed through on her way south in 1799, and General Washington hallowed the County's soil by his journey across it from Phillipsburg, through Belvidere to Johnsonburg in 1782. John Rosebrought, the County's first settled minister, was killed at the second battle of Trenton, a martyr to the cause of liberty.
By 1803, the mail stage was operating across the County. Flat-bottomed Durham boats were carrying iron-ore, farm products and other freight from Belvidere, down the Delaware to Trenton and Philadelphia. In 1831, the Morris Canal, extending 107 miles from Phillipsburg to Newark, opened the way to cheap and direct water transport, and new towns sprang up along its banks. Public schools were being built.
As the Civil ar approached, the village of Quaker Settlement became more and more active as a station on the "underground railroad" that secretly transported slaves to freedom. Within the County itself, many families voluntarily freed their slaves, to which the many manumission papers on file in the Clerk's Office attest. Benjamin Lundy, born and reared at Quaker Settlement, began his agitation against slavery. It was he who began the "abolition" talk; he who was first in our country to devote his life and powers to the cause of the slaves; he who published articles and lectured everywhere against human slavery.
To Warren County goes the honor of having been the first County in New Jersey to answer Lincoln's call for volunteers. In April, 1861, Captain Edward Campbell raised the first troop of 7 officers and 50 men at Belvidere. General Robert McAllister, Lieutenant-Colonel William Henry, Jr., and many others from the County were distinguished for brave and heroic service. In all, the County furnished 1,437 men.
In the recent World War, the County participated nobly. Again it furnished its full quota of men, who service gallantly.
Through the years, Warren County has given to the service of our State and Nation more than its share of prominent and distinguished men and women, among whom may be mentioned: Peter DeVroom and Geo. T. Werts, Governors of New Jersey; Geo. M. Robeson, member of preisent U.S. Grant's cabinet and Treasurer of New Jersey; John Rutherford, United States Senator; David A. Depue, Chief Justice of the State.