Florence Iron Works
Florence Iron Works
These iron works were located in the town of Florence, Florence Twp, Burlington County, in the western portion of the village. It was established in 1857-8 by Richard Jones, and ran intermittently thereafter until about 1861. In 1867 it was purchased by R.D. Wood and Company, who by the 1880s were doing a more successful business making water and gas pipes and shipping them out by railroad, and advantage the earlier owner did not have.

I recently received from another researcher the following information regarding one Richard D. Wood of the Florence Iron Works:
Richard D. Wood lived from 1799 to 1869, and operated many businesses, one of which was the Florence Iron Works. On his death in 1869 his businesses were divided between his sons. One son, George Wood, received the cotton mill in Millville, N.J., and one of the other sons, Walter Wood, received the Florence Iron Works. Another son, Stuart Wood, received the R. D. Wood & Co. pipe and hydrant manufacturing business. All these businesses are now defunct or subsumed by other companies. The cotton company survived the longest, as George Wood & Son Cotton Co., surviving until the late 1950s at which time it was liquidated at a price which, compared to book value, generated great tax losses. George Wood built a summer home in Wawa, Pa. and concieved himself to be a gentleman farmer, so he opened the Wawa Dairy as a hobby business in 1902. The Wawa Dairy continued to operate strictly as a Dairy with home delivery of milk until the 1960s. The cash from the liquidation of the cotton business and the tax losses were used by the grandson of George Wood, Grahame Wood, to fund the beginning of the Wawa Food Market chain, which started in 1964 with three stores. The chain now has 543 stores in five states. For more company history you might want to visit the Wawa website at www.wawa.com. (For those of you reading this from out of state, the Wawa convenience stores are to be found almost everywhere in New Jersey...there are four or five right here in Toms River).

The following news item appeared in the New Jersey Mirror on June 12 1907 concerning one of the residents of this place:
The funeral of the late William Aarons took place yesterday. Mr. Aarons was found by one of the employes(sic.) at the Florence Iron Works on Friday , having hung himself to a beam in the barn. The body was warm when found, the examining physician believing the suicide to have been dead about an hour when the body was found. It is said the failure of crops was the cause of his rash deed. The pall bearers were all members of Florence Castle, Knights of the Golden Eagle, of which lodge deceased was a member. They were Albert DuBell, John Spotts, John Bishop, John Rogers, Charles Woolston and George Cottam. Interment at Baptist cemetery.

If you know something else about this place, please send me an e-mail at klopeks@yahoo.com