Clifton (Acquackanonk) May 100 Years Ago
May 2, 1902
The O. F. G.’S masquerade ball and dance held last evening was a brilliant success.
It was held at Miss Eva Price’s home, in Passaic Avenue, Clifton, and a large number of persons were present. The costumes were varied and gay. The parlors made a pretty and fanciful sight when all the guests had arrived. Indians, gypsies, Jews, Greeks, Spaniards, Turks, Irishmen, Americans – all scattered around in different parts. Many guesses were made as to who the masked were – some correct and some not. The dance began by the grand march, in which all took part. Following this came dancing, which filled up the remainder of the evening. A few of the masked were the following:
Miss Eva Price, Grecian woman; Miss Nettie Adam, Japanese; Miss Gertrude Mullaney, Spanish girl; Miss Dora Prue, Goddess of Liberty; Miss Alice Cooper, Dolly Varden; Master Walter Williamson, Chinese; Master Percy Smith, Chinese; Miss Margaret Clarkson, Popcorn girl; Preston Furman, sailor boy; Miss Claudine Lumpken, gypsy; Francis Tilton, a summer girl; Miss Louise Clarkson, Night; Miss Ida Nightingale, college student; Schuyler Clarkson, fortune teller; Miss Bertha Genthon, Queen of Night; Casler Meloney, king; Norman Clarkson, German girl; Miss Lottie Disbrow, Turk; Neil Adam, Irish sport; Miss Grace Young, Japanese; Charles Cooper, clown; Miss Edna Kipp, Florodora; Miss Birdie Stebbins, hunts woman; Miss Narda Hopper, gypsy; Sinclair Adam, Chinese; Miss Florence Price, sunflower; Raymond Langstroth, domino; Eugene Genthon, Jew; Nicholas Van Brunt, domino; William Disbrow, Turk; Angelene Nathan, German girl.
The unmasking began at about 10:30, earlier than had been planned, but the warmth of the room made it necessary. About 12 o’clock a collation was served, but the dancing continued until after 1 o’clock. Among others who were present were:
Mrs. Kidd and Master Harry Kidd, of Passaic; Mrs. Charles Williamson, Mrs. F. F. Norton, Mrs. Palmer, Miss Alfrieda Palmer, Miss Ruth Van Brunt of Delawanna, Miss Elizabeth Northrup, Theodore Northrup of New York, Mrs. Aspel, Clare Rue, Miss Sarah Burg and Samuel Vought.
As reported in the Passaic Daily News.
May 3, 1902
crowd is expected at Olympic park
tomorrow afternoon to witness the opening game in the Passaic County league.
township committee will meet tomorrow night at the new rooms in Main street.
About 800 baseball cranks journeyed to Olympic Park yesterday afternoon to witness the opening game in the Passaic County league. The day was an ideal one for the sport and the large gathering witnessed an exciting and interesting game. The South Patersons and Passaics were the opposing teams. The latter team was in fine shape for the contest. The South Patersons also played a good game, but the fielding of the boys from this city was too much for them, and they were beaten by a score of 4 to 3…
The lineup was as follows:
As reported in the Passaic Daily News.
William Ker, of Clifton, yesterday received his commission as postmaster at that place in place of Alvin J. Webb who will be retired, as told in the News several days ago.
will not take charge of the office at once, it is said, but will retain Mr.
Webb for the present until all arrangements are complete and free delivery is
instituted from the Passaic office.
other Matters Discussed.
There was very little doing at the monthly meeting of the Acquackanonk township committee, which was held at Hohenstein’s hall, in Clifton, last night.
The Erie officials answered the township clerk in relation to the Crooks Avenue crossing, where it was thought that the company might place a flagman. The Erie claimed that only about twelve vehicles cross a day, and as there is a gong at this point it should suffice for at least some time. The committee will investigate and ascertain the amount of travel, which is done on that road.
Peter Norman, the hackman of Passaic, wanted the committee to pay him $10 damages for injuries to his horse and wagon. During the recent heavy rains a part of the roadway in Madison Avenue gave way under the weight of the horse, upsetting the wagon and causing the breaking of the shafts and the cutting of the harness. The township counsel claimed that the committee was not liable and it refused to pay.
The Windham-Magor Engineering Company, through Frank Hughes, got permission to lay a switch from the Lackawanna across Colfax Avenue.
Residents of West Clifton complained about gypsies who camp at the racetrack every summer. The committee will instruct the constable to remove them.
The Botany district wants fire protection, and there is no doubt that it can have it, provided it pays for the same. E. J. Baker made an informal request in this matter. He was told that he would have to secure the signatures of the residents of his district and present the petition to the committee, who could then lay out a fire limit line.
The township counsel was instructed to draw warrants for the sale of lands for unpaid taxes for 1900.
committee will make its inspection of the township roads on Saturday.
May 7, 1902
The regular monthly meeting of the township committee was held in Main Avenue hall on the above date, all the members being present. The minutes of the meeting held April 1st were read and approved as read. The treasurer reported a balance of $964.86. A report was received from the Chairman acting as a committee on a proposed gate at the crossing of the Erie railroad tracks over Crooks Avenue. The railroad company were disinclined to place gates at this point, and on motion, the chairman was authorized to employ a man to count the number of people and wagons using this crossing, and to report at a future meeting. A request was received from Frank Hughes for permission to run a railroad switch to connect with the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad tracks over Colfax Avenue. On motion the request was granted with the understanding that the tracks in the switch were at all times to be maintained by the railroad company at grade level with the avenue, that switch is to be laid in conformity with the map filed with request, and that a proper solid plank crossing is to be laid and maintained by the railroad company across the tracks at Colfax Avenue. Work and maintenance to be under the supervision of the township committee.
J. A. V. B. Zabrisky applied for a license as auctioneer. On motion the license was granted and ordered logged upon payment of fees.
On motion the clerk was instructed to request the collector to prepare a warrant for the sale of lands for unpaid taxes of year 1900.
The following bills were presented and on separate motion ordered paid: Henry Vorrath, $15.00; Louis Lefeler, $20.00; Peter Eisenhauer, $3.00; John S. Berry, $53.50; Herbert R. Sipp, 133.00; Cyril R. Forbes, $19.80; Benjamin Thomas and son, $4.50; George V. Riker, $20.00; John R. Foley, $13.00; B. Havens, $1.50; Call Ptg. & Pub. Co., $11.75; Richard Berry, $13.70. Peter Norman presented a bill for damages done to a horse and wagon, (by reason of horse going in a soft spot in the road.) for $10.00. On motion the committee declined to pay the bill.
John C. Van Winkle presented a bond for the faithful performance of his duties as constable, the counsel decided the bond in correct form, and on motion it was received and ordered filed.
On motion Cornelius Leffler was appointed a special officer of the township. On motion Constable McLeod and Officer Laffler were instructed to order the gypsy band encamped in Lakeview, to leave the township at once.
On motion the committee then adjourned to meet again May 10 at 1:30 p.m. for the purpose of going over the township roads.
Allison J. Van Brunt
May 9, 1902
The body of a small child was found floating in the water of one of the small ponds on the Nash estate, in Lexington Avenue, Clifton, late this afternoon.
County Physician McBride was notified and he said he would at once investigate. Morgue Keeper Gormley, of this city, was sent to take charge of the body.
The pond is a small one, and was formerly used by Mr. Nash for exhibition purposes. It is protected by a wire fence. How the child came in the pond is not known and as there is no means of communication with persons in the vicinity only meager details are known.
body was found by one of the Borden Milk Company’s driver who was returning to
this city from Paterson. He notified the Passaic police and they in turn
notified the authorities in the township.
May 10, 1902
Senator Johnson Was Appealed to and He altered the Plans to Suit Clifton Desires, and Declared That the Question of Postmaster Was Entirely In the Hands of Postmaster Mahony.
Congressman Stewart’s action in virtually removing Alvin Webb from the office of village postmaster has raised quite a storm in Clifton.
The facts in the case are known by readers of The News, but the side of the friends of Mr. Webb has not yet been given fully. Mr. Webb is a Democrat and an old man. He has been postmaster at Clifton for some years and his removal means a serious thing to him. In talking with a prominent resident of Clifton, who claimed, by the way, that he represented the views of the majority of his fellow town-men, it was learned that Postmaster Mahony comes in for criticism equally with Congressman Stewart.
“When the idea of extending the Passaic post office so as to make Clifton a sub-station of that office was first broached,” said the Clifton man, “Postmaster Webb and nearly all the residents of the town objected to the plan. The service we now have is perfectly satisfactory to Clifton and it will be for years to come. Besides to make Clifton a sub-station would simply make the service worse. All mails would be received and dispatched in Passaic and the Clifton deliveries and collections would be made by two carriers from the Passaic office. That would mean that carriers would start from Passaic for Clifton some time around 8 o’clock and that it would be after 9 before many of us received our mail in the morning. And there would be no other way to get mail. We couldn’t drop in at the post office as we do now on our way to the depot.
“Besides we had a notion that the idea was simply to spread the influence of the Passaic office and that it meant the retirement of Alvin Webb. So a committee of leading citizens went over to Hackensack to see Mr. Johnson while he still held the office of first assistant postmaster-general. He received us very kindly, and we presented a petition signed by nearly all the voters in Clifton against having Clifton made a sub-station of Passaic. Since we objected to that he suggested that Clifton be made a branch office. This we certainly could no object to, and we told him so. No signer of the petition objected to it.
“A branch office is no different from the present office except that it has two carriers. It is under the jurisdiction of the Passaic office, but mails are received and dispatched from a branch office just as though it were a separate office. But we had Mr. Webb in mind, and we asked Mr. Johnson if the change would affect him.
“I don’t see why it should,” Mr. Johnson told us. “The matter, however, rests entirely in the hands of the postmaster at Passaic.”
“Mr. Johnson’s suggestion of a branch office, instead of a sub-station went through and we were satisfied. There is no reason why Clifton should have such an improvement, but, naturally, we didn’t object to it. Then out of the clear sky came the announcement that William Ker had been recommended as postmaster at Clifton. Those whom we have sought for explanation can simply assure us that it is done for political purposes; that Mr. Webb is a Democrat and that Democrats must go. Considering the circumstances, we consider such a course as heartless in the extreme.
“There are those, however, that are inclined to blame Mr. Mahony. You may ask why he should try to get a poor old man out of his job. Well, frankly, I don’t know, unless it be to get even with him for opposing his plans. But it must be remembered that Mr. Johnson said that the matter was entirely in Mr. Mahony’s hands. Now what does that mean? Feeling runs pretty high in the village over the matter. Mr. Stewart may not care for our few votes but he is quite likely not to get them on election day. As to Mr. Mahony we have nothing to say except that he would spend his time much better if he confined himself to looking after the Passaic office.”
Mr. Ker has not yet
qualified as postmaster and Mr. Webb is still in charge of the office. It is understood that a petition is to be
sent to Washington urging special reason why Mr. Ker should be postmaster.
May 10, 1902
Frost in the middle of May is predicted for exposed districts in the vicinity of this city (Passaic) by the eastward movement of a cold wave. Its crest was over the lake regions last night, with its chilly winds traveling in this direction…
Though plants in the
immediate city may escape its destructive force, the neighboring hills and
mountain districts are likely to suffer, and spring overcoats will be in
May 14, 1902
It Proved to Be a Great Success and a Larger Audience Is Promised Tomorrow Evening
Last evening at the Clifton Reformed Church the sacred cantata of “Esther” was rendered. The singers were composed of the regular church choir, which in itself numbers thirty members, and others from Passaic, Athenia and Ridgewood. A large stage had been erected and arranged to represent the interior of a Persian King’s palace, with the royal throne. The characters personated were as follows:
Esther, the Queen - Miss Emma Hascy; Abasucrus, the King- Mr. John Anderson; Mordecai, the Jew, Uncle of Esther- Mr. George Young; Haman, Counselor and Premier- Mr. Joseph Alyea; Zercab, wife of Haman- Miss Edith Vennema; Mordecai’s sister- Miss Hester Nathan; Mordecai’s sister- Mrs. Laffray; Prophetes- Mrs. William Marcy; Median Princess- Mrs. Charles Wellencamp; Persian Princess- Miss Jessie Young; Scribe- Mr. Helms; Beggar- Francis Tilton; Hegai, High Priest- L. Underhill; Herald- Lester Smith; Harbonah- Arthur Bailey; Accompanist- Mrs. J. P. S. Alyea.
The beautiful story of Esther, with which all are familiar, was skillfully reproduced in exquisite music. Those in the chorus were dressed in the long flowing robes of many colors of the Jews and Persians, making a brilliant sight…
For four months
there has been steady, earnest work put into this effort. The Rev. J. S.
Ellsworth has all this time directed the music. Tomorrow evening the cantata
will again be given, and those who neglected to attend the first night should
by no means lose this second opportunity. The church was well filled and all
were amply repaid for attending.
May 15, 1902
List of Appropriations as Submitted, Was Passed Without a Dissenting Vote - Little Interest Shown In Special Election Last Night.
A special school election, which was held in Clifton last night, was the lamest affair ever witnessed in Acquackanonk Township school elections. There was no opposition to any of the appropriations asked for by the board of education, nor was there any fight for a presiding officer; in fact, the office went begging. J. W. Meloney declined to serve as chairman, as he had an important meeting of the church to attend. Mr. Genthon was the only other nominee, and he presided.
Of the twelve hundred voters residing in the township, less than 100 were present, thus showing that very little interest was taken in the matter.
There were 73 votes cast, and not a single one opposed to any of the following items which, the board of education asked for to maintain the schools for the ensuing year:
It was thought at first that there would be a lively contest, as a number of citizens who brought about the special election on account of the illegality of the decision of Mr. Adamson, at the regular election held in March, were expected to vote against some of the appropriations. When some of these citizens were asked how it was that they demanded an extra election and yet were satisfied with the demands of the board, they answered that it was merely a matter of principle, as they thought that one man should not dominate over the whole township and merely spear at their protests, as they claimed had been done at the regular meeting.
It is safe to
predict that hereafter school elections will be held to the letter of the law.
While there naturally is an expense, which, of course, the township will have
to saddle, it causes a lot of unpleasantness, and, as was shown by the small
number present, the citizens become disgusted.
May 16, 1902
Last evening was the last night of the rendition of the cantata of “Esther” at the Clifton Reformed Church. It proved as much of a success as the first time and there was a larger audience present. A flash-light picture of the entire group was taken. Rev. Mr. Ellsworth, Mrs. Alyea, and Miss Vennema were presented with beautiful bouquets by the members of the chorus. A few of the other soloists also received favors from their friends. The singers then went to the parsonage where they were served with ice cream and cake and enjoyed a social time.
Some one suggested a vote of thanks to Mrs. Alyea, who made possible the success of the cantata by her skillful rendering of the music, and to those who so kindly aided by consenting to take the solo parts. This motion was unanimously carried. One of the women which, belonged to the choir kindly allowed the following poem, which she had written to be read:
At length our cantata is o’er. We sigh for more towns to subdue.
We sigh for more towns to subdue.
May 19, 1902
The baseball game at Olympic park yesterday afternoon between the Crescents and Patersons resulted in a victory for the Crescents by a score of 6 to 5. Over 1,200 fans crowded the bleachers and they were well paid for their journey, as the game was interesting and exciting…
As reported in the Passaic Daily News.
May 21, 1902
A special meeting of the Township Committee was held on the above date, all the members being present.
Frederick Westerbrook complained of the existence of a poolroom, which is located in Lena Myers’ hall, on Crooks avenue.
The chairman as a committee appointed to investigate road material reported that he had visited several roads which had been top-dressed with shale, and after investigation considered the roads so dressed as superior to those now in use in the Township, and advised the use of shale on the roads of the Township this year.
On motion it was decided to macadamize Valley Road, sixteen feet wide, with four-inch macadam, and the clerk was instructed to advertise for bids for the work. On motion it was decided to repair Parker Avenue, Hadley Avenue, Princeton Street, Gould Street, William Street and Piaget Avenue their entire length and Passaic Avenue from Main Avenue to Fourth Street. Each of said streets to have a top-dressing of shale, one inch thick, the shale to be purchased by the Township, spread rolled and sprinkled by contract, the clerk being authorized to order 1,000 tons of shale at the price of $1.85 per ton of 2,000 pounds and to advertise for bids to do the work.
On motion it was decided to instruct Officers George Hoffman, John Blum, Cornelius Laffler, Walter Kimball and Thomas Dutton to act as peace officers during the day and night of June 2, in Lakeview, on the outside of grounds occupied by a circus on that date, their especial attention to be directed to enforcing the license ordinance and to preventing gambling. On motion Officer Hoffman was placed in command of the others on this occasion and the chairman given authority to fill vacancies, if any occur, in the number of officers decided to be necessary.
On motion the Committee then went into executive session, after which it adjourned.
ALLISON J. VAN BRUNT
He Places the Total at $4,200 and Sends Statement to the Township Assessor- Result of His Appeals in Other Years.
Assessor Berry of Acquackanonk Township received the following unique affidavit in his yesterday’s mail:
Richard Berry, Assessor Acquackanonk Township, Clifton.
Dear Sir:- Below please find a verified statement of my real and personal property as the same exists on this twentieth day of May, 1902:
Real Estate:- Seven-room house and plot of land, 50x115 feet, situate on south side of Passaic Avenue, between Second and Third Streets, Clifton, which I value at $3,000.
Personal Property:- Household furniture, etc., contained in above seven-room house, and cash in bank and on hand, which I value at $600. I own no dogs, horses, wagons or cows; have no stocks or bonds, no mortgage and owe nothing on which I wish to claim exemption.
State of New Jersey, County of Passaic, ss.:
Be it remembered that on the twentieth day of May, in the year nineteen hundred and two, before me, Alvin Webb, a Commissioner of Deeds for the State of New Jersey, personally appeared Charles Williamson, who signed the above statements in my presence, and being examined by me, on his oath, he declared that the above statement of the value of his real and personal property was true, to the best of his knowledge and belief.
Commissioner of Deeds.
If everyone in the township would send such a letter, the assessorship in the township would seem to be a sinecure. However, Mr. Berry does not believe in this method, as was shown three years ago when Mr. Williamson sent a similar one. Mr. Berry did not believe that Mr. Williamson was worth the amount claimed as was shown by the assessment made, which was $1,400.
Now, as a rule, people would think that Mr. Williamson would be elated over the fact that when he swear his property is worth over $4,000, he is only assessed $1,400; but he was not. He took the matter to the state board of taxation, which gave him a hearing. That body upheld Mr. Berry. Mr. Williamson asked for a reduction, claiming that he was assessed too high, according to other assessments made in the township. When the state board asked him whether he thought he was over taxed, he claimed that he was not, but wanted to be reduced to the same level as others.
This caused an investigation to be made by the state board of the entire methods of taxation in the township and added an expense to the taxpayers of nearly $500. The state board refused to reduce Mr. Williamson’s assessment and upheld Mr. Berry in nearly every instance. Mr. Williamson then went before the township committee, wanting a reduction; that body also refused one. He then went before the commissioners of appeals, with the same result.
Two years ago the township committee reduced his taxation from $1,400 to $1,000. Still, Mr. Williamson is not satisfied. It seems that he wants to go through the entire proceedings again.
Mr. Williamson a short time ago appeared before the grand jury and endeavored to have certain township officials indicted for misappropriating moneys and for receiving excessive fees. The case was thrown out, as it was shown that the entire proceedings of the officials were legal. The officials also complimented on their methods of doing business. The outgrowth of the above affidavit will be watched with interest by the citizens of Acquackanonk Township, as it seems certain that Mr. Williamson will give the officials some more trouble and expense.
As reported in the Passaic Daily News.
The game scheduled between the Haledon A. C. and the Passaics at Olympic Park yesterday afternoon was postponed until next Sunday afternoon on account of the rain…
The Athenia Alerts
defeated the Hawthornes at Athenia Saturday afternoon by a score of 9 to 2. The
Athenias would like to hear from the Hillsides, Mystic Stars and the Warpers of
Paterson. Answer before Tuesday night. Fred Kirchner, Athenia…
Last week a constable called at an alleged pool room in Lakeview and ordered it to close as the Acquackanonk Township committee had been “put wise” and was about to act. The poolroom closed.
This did not put a
stop to the bettors to local agents, however. It is said that the frequent
visits of the sporty men of this city to Lakeview carries with them lots on the
race as usual. The visit of the constable to a neighboring poolroom was only a
side play that the sports say “does not count.”
May 31, 1902
Alvin Webb still continues to have his store at the post office. There are many articles for sale and customers are always welcome…
The circus will be at the race track Monday afternoon and evening…
There was a good attendance at the annual strawberry festival and bazaar of the Aid society at the Reformed Church Thursday night. Many tables were scattered around the room, which offered many attractions. Some of the young women, under the direction of Miss Frances Cooper, had the flower table and sold some beautiful cut roses as well as a variety of other flowers. These brought in about $1.50. The candy table had a good assortment of candies, which sold rapidly. The table was trimmed with white and there were many pretty bunches of flowers. The sum realized was about $3.50 and all the candy was sold. The cake table was probably the most interesting to Clifton’s matrons. The women had a large table filled with inviting looking cakes and made a nice sum of $7.50. But the express office was the feature of the evening, drawing crowds of children. Master Clinton Pearce was dressed to represent Uncle Sam, and he stood behind a large booth draped with American flags. Packages were sold for five and ten cents, and disappeared in a very short time. The sum of $6 was realized. It is believed that about $42 in all was made. Ice cream and strawberries were served during the evening. All the ticket money is not yet in, and the amount may be more than $42…
The Clifton Club gave its dance Thursday evening. Owing, perhaps, to one or two other happenings in Clifton, there was not the usual large attendance, but those who did go thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There were three pieces of music, under Mr. Van Walraven’s direction. Refreshments were served and the dancing did not cease until an extremely late hour…
A game of ball was
played yesterday morning between the Clifton Athletic Club and a few members of
the Fire Company. As all he members of the Fire Company did not put in an
appearance their places were filled by some of the Athletic Club boys. The
field chosen was in Passaic Avenue, near Fourth Street. The result of the game
was 18 to 8 in favor of the Athletic Club…
As gathered by Donald C. Lotz 4/29/02.