CHAPTER VIII

 

Churches and Religious Institutions

 
 

III. The Episcopalians - 1703

 

BY THE REVEREND HAMILTON SCHUYLER, LITT.D., RECTOR OF TRINITY CHURCH

 

PREVIOUS to the changes brought about by the war of the American Revolution, the Church of England in the Colony of New Jersey was under the general charge of the Bishop of London, who of course was non-resident and was supported largely by grants from The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts which appointed the missionaries and provided in part for their support. New Jersey was organized as a diocese in 1785 but did not obtain a bishop until 1815, when Dr. John Croes, then rector of Christ Church, New Brunswick, was chosen for the office. He was succeeded in 1832 by Dr. George W. Doane who made his home in Burlington. Then came Dr. W. Henry Odenheimer in 1858, under whom the division of the diocese took place in 1874. Up to that time the Diocese of New Jersey included the whole State, but in that year there was a division, the portion f rom Elizabeth southerly retaining the old name and the northern portion taking the title Diocese of Newark. The first bishop of that portion of the State in which Trenton is located was John Scarborough, 1875, who made Trenton the see city, and where he lived up to the time of his death in 1914. The headquarters of the diocese are in the Diocesan House at 307 Hamilton Avenue. The diocese is organized under the bishop with a Cathedral Foundation composed of clergymen and laymen to which body is committed the missionary, educational and social service work, The general legislative body is the Diocesan Convention which meets annually.

 

 

 

THE HOPEWELL CHURCH (CHURCH OF ENGLAND)-1703

 

Shortly after the coming of Thomas Lambert and Mahlon Stacy to this neighborhood in the year 1679, a group of Church of England families appears to have settled upon plantations adjacent to the Falls of the Delaware both up and down the river. Among these families whose names have come down to us were the Pearsons, the Hutchinsons, the Tyndalls, the Eatons, the Parks and the Heaths. Naturally these families would desire as soon as possible to provide for their religious needs by securing the ministrations of their church and erecting a building for worship.

The Rev. John Talbot, a missionary of The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, commonly known by the initials S.P.G., had come to Burlington and gathered a congregation there in 1702, and he also took under his pastoral charge the Church of England families which had settled along the banks of the Delaware River in the neighborhood of the Falls. There is a record of baptisms administered by him in this vicinity and entered in the parish register of St. Mary's Church, Burlington, as early as 1702-3. The names of children of the Park, Hutchinson, Tyndall and Heath families are thus recorded.

A property comprising two acres in Hopewell Township as it then was, and identified today as being a portion of what was recently known as the "Breese farm" on the River Road adjoining the grounds of the State Hospital on the west, was conveyed in 1703 by John Hutchinson out of the extensive holdings of his father Thomas Hutchinson, one of the West Jersey proprietors, to certain others whose names are given in the deed.

The deed to the Hopewell Church property is on record in the office of the secretary of state in Trenton, in Deed Book AAA (PP. 105, 114), and bears date of April 20, 1703. The deed conveys

Two acres of land from John Hutchinson, son of Thomas Hutchinson, to Andrew Heath, Richard Eayre, Abial Davis and Zebulon Heston in trust for the inhabitants of the said township of Hopewell and their successors inhabiting and dwelling within the said township forever, for the public and common use and benefit of the whole township for the erection and building of a public meeting house thereon and also for a place of burial and for no other uses, intents or purposes whatsoever.

The map on the opposite page will show the location of the Hopewell Episcopal Church as also of the Presbyterian Churches in Ewing and Maidenhead.

 

A CHURCH BUILDING ERECTED, 1704‑05

 

Upon this property in Hopewell township was erected a church building in 1704-05. Nothing is known as to the character of this building, but it was probably a very rude affair, and long before the beginning of the nineteenth century it had utterly disappeared, probably having ceased to be used for worship when its successor, St. Michael's Church, was built in Trenton about 1747-48.

A "License to Build," the original of which is in possession of St. Michael's Church today, was issued in 1705 by Richard Ingoldsby, lieutenant governor of the Provinces of New Jersey and New York. In this license it is distinctly stated that the church was for the worship of God "according to the forms and worship of the Church of England as by law established." Thomas Tyndall and Robert Eaton are named as church-wardens and the church was to be called by the name of "Christ Church," The document also sets forth that the minister and vestry of the church are granted "all such power and privileges as the minister, church-wardens and vestrymen usually have and enjoy in the Kingdom of England."

Besides the occasional services rendered by the Rev. John Talbot to the Hopewell congregation in the early days, there is evidence that other clergymen, mostly itinerants, officiated in the church from time to time, but there is no record of the services of a settled minister until a much later period. The Rev. John Sharpe, who came to this country in 1702 and subsequently became chaplain to Lord Cornbury, makes mention in his Journal of ministrations to the Hopewell Church under dates November 7, 1705, December 8, 1706, December 9, 1706, and March 10, 1706. On Whitsunday, April 23, 1706, Sharpe records that he preached at Hopewell Church and that Lord Cornbury, the governor nf the Province, was present in the congregation.

The names of other itinerants and missionaries who from time to time conducted services and attended to the pastoral needs of the congregation as gleaned from the records of the S.P.G. include the Rev. Thoroughgood Moore 1705‑07, the Rev. Mr. May before 1714, the Rev. Thomas Holliday 1714‑17, the Rev. Robert Walker, the Rev. William Harrison 1721‑23 and the Rev. William Lindsay 1735‑45. 2

 

2 For an extensive account of the Hopewell Church with full reference to documents and authorities, see Schuyler, A History of St. Michalírs Church, Trenton, Chaps. III and IV.

 

The Hopewell Church property, the legal title to which devolved upon the congregation of St. Michael's Church as the direct heir and successor to this congregation was sold by St. Michael's Church in 1838, the parish retaining only a small section which had been used as a burying ground.

In Hall's History of the Presbyterian Church in Trenton (p. 18, 2nd edition, 1912), there is a description of the Hopewell graveyard plot, evidently as Dr. Hall saw it when he published the first edition in 1859.

"The inclosure is made by a stone wall now falling into ruins and has the appearance of having been designed for a family cemetery. The only gravestones remaining are those of Samuel Tucker, 1789, and Mrs. Tucker, 1787, . . . one in memory of John, son of William and Elizabeth Clayton, who died November 6, 1757 (possibly 1737), aged 19 years; another of 'Ma [probably Margaret] the wife of John Dagworthy, Esq., who died May 16, 1729, aged 37 years'; and a few which cannot be deciphered beyond 'Grace Da‑' or 'Hend,' etc, It is said that the widow of William Trent, whose name was given to the town, was buried here, but there is no trace of the grave."

Doubtless during the period before the graveyard of St. Michael's Church was established about 1747-48, several generations of Church people were buried in the old Hopewell graveyard, but there remains no record of the names of any such, except of those who were buried in the little plot where lie the remains of Samuel Tucker and a few others.

Since the Tucker plot was originally protected by a stone wall, these graves alone have survived the ravages of times, while the others scattered over the original two acres remain unidentified. 3

 

3 See Appendix 1, No. 5, A History of St. Michael's Church, Trenton.

 

 

 

It seems to be certain that Mary Trent, the widow of William Trent, from whom Trenton took its name, the record of whose death appears in the parish register of St. Michael's Church under date "December 15, 1772, 83 years," was buried in the old Hopewell graveyard. The author of A History of St. Michael's Church gives his reasons for believing that Mary Trent elected to be buried there because the body of her distinguished husband who died in z724 was likewise interred in that graveyard. Of this fact there is no direct proof, but it is known that William Trent was interested in the Hopewell Church and in all probability after making Trenton his home in 1720 was a regular worshipper there up to the time of his death in Trenton, December 25, 1724. 4

 

4 See Appendix I, No. 4, "The Burial Place of William and Mary Trent," A History of St. Michael's Church, Trenton.

 

ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH (SUCCESSOR TO THE HOPEWELL CHURCH)

 

NORTH WARREN STREET

 

The date when St. Michael's parish as such came into being and a church building was erceted in Trenton cannot be precisely determined. It is known that a deed for the property (deed missing since 1755) was given by John Coxe, son of Colonel Daniel Coxe, previous to 1748. The land had been bought by John Coxe at a sheriff's sale in 1742, the price paid being 48 pounds 10 shillings. This land on which the church building stands was a portion of the property included in the original purchase by William Trent from Mahlon Stacy, Jr., in 1714. 5

 

5 See A History of St. Michael's Church, Trenton, P. 44.

 

 

 

A church building was erected certainly by the early autumn of 1748, since Peter Kalm in his Travels into North America noted its presence in giving a short description of Trenton under the date of October 28, 1748. How the parish got its title "St. Michael's" does not appear, but the probabilities are that such was done because it was upon the Festival of St. Michael which falls upon September 29 that the cornerstone was laid or the church perhaps dedicated. The minutes of the vestry which have been preserved from 1755 onwards throw no light upon the subject nor tell anything as to the character of the building or its cost, The title, St. Michael's Church, does not appear upon the minutes of the vestry until 1761, references being to the "English Church" or simply the "Church" in contradistinction to dissenting places of worship which were in those days commonly termed "meeting houses."

A lottery "for raising Three Hundred and Ninety-three pounds fifteen shillings for finishing and completing the Church in said town" (Trenton) was advertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette, June 20, 1751, but the lottery does not appear to have been drawn until the late spring of 1752. 6

 

6 ibid., Appendix J, P. 345.

 

The earliest indication as to the personnel of the leading members of the church is found in the list of the managers of the lottery advertised in 1751, "for finishing the church in Trenton." Of the following names, those marked * indicate persons whose names are subsequently found on the roll of the vestry of St, Michael's Church.

1751, June 20 (Advertisement), Colonial Documents 1677 - 1776

Trenton Lottery for finishing Church in said town to be drawn under the management of *Robert Pearson, *Robert Lettis Hooper, *John Allen, David Dunbar, *Elijah Bond, *John Dagworthy, Jr., Daniel Biles and *William Pidgeon and *Daniel Coxe in Hopewell and John Berrian in Rocky Hill.7

 

7 ibid., Appendix J.

 

In 1757 a petition for the erection of a barracks was presented to the General Assembly of the Province, "by Magistrates, Freeholders and inhabitants of the Town of Trenton." Among the signers are the following, who were then or subsequently became, members of St. Michael's vestry:

Joseph Higbee, Charles Axford, J. Warrell, Jno. Barnes, Thomas Barnes, Abraham Cottnam, and there also appears the name of Michael Houdin, at that time the resident minister of St. Michael's. The same and other names appear on similar petitions, viz.: Dan Coxe, William Pidgeon, John Dagworthy, R. L. Hooper.

In the "Act for Building the Barracks," passed April 15, 1758, also appear the names of two other vestrymen - John Allen and Richard Saltar. 8

 

8ibid., pp. 84, 85.

 

The earliest settled minister of St. Michael's Church seems to have been the Rev. Michael Houdin, who assumed charge of the congregation about 1750 in response to an invitation from the church people of Trenton. He remained here for about seven years.

Other missionaries serving St. Michael's Church up to the period of the War of Independence were the Rev. Augur Treadwell, from 1762 to the time of his death in Trenton, August 19, 1765; the Rev. William Thompson, 1769 to 1773; and the Rev. George Panton, who was in charge when the war broke out, and being a Tory sympathizer was compelled to flee the town after the Declaration of Independence. He was subsequently commissioned as Chaplain of the Prince of Wales American Regiment and at the conclusion of peace went to Nova Scotia as S.P.G. missionary at Yarmouth. 9

 

9 For biographical sketches of the Rev. Michael Houdin and the Rev. Augur Treadwell, see Chap. VII, A History of St. Michaelís Church, and of the Rev. George Panton, see both Chap. X, ibid., and Chap. II of this book.

 

THE CHURCH CLOSED DURING THE REVOLUTION

 

Owing to the excited state of public feeling directed against everything British which the War of the Revolution brought to a head, the vestry of St. Michael's Church, several of whom were prominent Tories, passed a resolution Sunday, July 7, 1776, the day before the Declaration of Independence was publicly read from the steps of the Court House, and voted to close the church for an indefinite period.

Besides the rector, one of the wardens and three at least of the vestrymen held pronounced loyalist views and subsequently took an active part on the British side. All these who survived the war went into permanent exile with their families. The church was closed and all services suspended for a period of seven years, The church building and furniture suffered great damage, at the hands of both armies, as each in turn occupied the town. The church building was used as a barracks by the Hessian troops for some days previous to the Battle of Trenton and was subsequently occupied as a hospital by the Continentals.

A bill for damage to the property was filed by the parish authorities in 1782, the inventory showing losses and destruction amounting to 173 pounds 4 shillings. There is nothing to show that this claim was ever paid. 10

 

10 See Chap. X, A History of St. Michaelís Church, Trenton.

 

Upon the conclusion of peace, a meeting of the congregation was held January 4, 1783, and a resolution to open the church and resume the services was adopted. The next twenty-five or thirty years were years of struggle and financial stress. The parish was depleted in members and had lost many of its staunchest supporters through the exodus of loyalists. It was difficult to maintain the services owing to the scarcity of clergy and the lack of funds to provide for their maintenance. With the exception of the Rev. William Frazer, who became rector in 1788 and served until his death July 6, 1795, and the Rev. Henry Waddell, who began his ministry in 1798 and died in office January 20, 1811, all the rectorates up to 1836 were of brief duration. Often the parish was without a settled clergyman and had to depend upon such occasional services as the diocesan authorities could provide.

 

NOTED NAMES CONNECTED WITH ST. MICHAEL'S

 

During the post‑war period, as previously, the vestry of St. Michael's Church continued to include many prominent men. Those whose names appear on the roll during this period, say from 1800 to 1825, may be taken as typical. Many of them were leaders in the community, and some of them were of national distinction. To mention the names of a few such: Charles and Joseph Higbee, Jonathan Rhea, John Rutherford, James A. Stevens, Samuel Meredith, Henry Clymer, George Woodruff, William Halsted, Jr., Zachariah Rossell, Garret D. Wall, Pearson Hunt, Barnt DeKlyn, Henry Kean, and Dr. Plunkett Fleeson Glentworth. None stood higher in Trenton and in the State during this period than did these."

 

" See Biographical Sketches, Series B, and Appendix N, "Men of St. Michael's Church Prominent in Public Life," A History of St. Michael's Church, Trenton.

 

During the long rectorate of the Rev. Samuel Starr, 1836‑55, the parish consolidated its position and increased greatly in members and general prosperity. From the close of that period onwards, though there were from time to time financial vicissitudes and parochial disagreements, St. Michael's has known an orderly progress.

At various times since the beginning of the nineteenth century the church building has been enlarged, improved and renovated, notably in 1819 when the church was almost entirely rebuilt, in 1843 when it was repaired and extended, and again in 1862 and 1870 when extensive additions were made, as also in 1886 and 1906.

Since the War of Independence, St. Michael's has been served by twenty rectors, of whom the Rev. William Frazer had a ministry of seven years, the Rev. Henry Waddell of thirteen years, the Rev, Samuel Starr of nineteen years, the Rev. William Hude Neilson of sixteen years, the Rev. Oscar S. Bunting of seven years, and the Rev. W. Strother Jones of twelve years. 12 The present rector, the Rev. Samuel Steinmetz, has held office since 1920.

 

12 For biographical sketches of rectors, see A History of St. Michaelís Church.

 

Among the outstanding extra-parochial events which have been held in the parish were a meeting of the General Convention of the Church in 18o1, when Dr. Moore was consecrated to the see of New York and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion established, and the election in 1815 of the first bishop of New Jersey, the Right Rev. John Croes.

In 1925 Mr. Newton A. K. Bugbee, senior warden, purchased for the parish the plot of ground on the north side of the church, thus affording a clear space up to the corner of Perry Street.

Many fine memorials, silver vessels and stained-glass windows have been presented to the parish in recent years. The chapel was rebuilt and adorned in 1918. There is also a substantial endowment fund.

Many distinguished Trentonians lie buried in St. Michael's graveyard. The earliest tombstone of which the record remains and is decipherable bears the date of 1763 and the latest 1893. Between these periods many hundred bodies have found their resting place in this little "God's acre." To mention a few of the better known names: David Brearley, warden, chief justice of New Jersey and first grand master of Masons in the State, over whose tomb the Grand Lodge of New Jersey erected a fine memorial slab in 1924; the Rev. William Frazer, rector of St. Michael's Church, of whom it is inscribed that "he left not an enemy on earth"; Thomas Cordon, prominent in the masonic fraternity and a judge of the Court of Common Pleas; William Kerwood, another prominent Mason with a tombstone erected by Trenton Lodge No. 5; Jonathan Rhea, officer in the Revolutionary War and the second president of the Trenton Banking Company; Rensselaer Williams, one of the founders of the Trenton Academy; the Rev. Henry Waddell, rector of St, Michael's Church and a man of distinction in the annals of the early American Church; Joseph Wood, mayor of Trenton for two terms; James D. Westcott, secretary of State for New Jersey; and George Woodruff, who at his death was said to have been the oldest member of the Bar in the State. He was the original owner of "Woodlands," the property now occupied by the Trenton Country Club. A stone slab set in the south wall bears the names of John Coxe, who gave the deed for the church property, Daniel Coxe and Rebecca Coxe, children of Colonel Daniel Coxe, whose bodies were buried in a vault under the aisle of the church. Here are also the graves of several generations of the Henry, Higbee and Hunt families, names notable in the early annals of the town. There is a monument to an infant daughter of Joseph Bonaparte and Annette (Holton) Savage, who died December 6, 1823, aged four years.

St. Michael's Cburch observed the two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of its parochial life in 1928.

 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: In making frequent references to A History of St. Michael's Church, Trenton, the writer of this narrative feels he should offer an apology, or rather an explanation. Up to the time this History was published in 1926 there had been little or nothing known or printed concerning the parish. In A History of St. Michael's Church there are copious references to documents which the author had consulted in preparing that work, but as all such are collated in the History it seemed simpler in the present instance to refer directly to the text of the book which contains all the information available on the subject.‑H.S.

 

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH - 1848

 

CENTRE STREET

 

St. Paul's Church was the first daughter of St. Michael's. The parish was organized in 1848, by a group of persons who deemed the time was ripe for another Episcopal church, and that the location of such was needed in South Trenton. The building was erected in 1848. The wardens and vestrymen chosen were: John Hewitt, Josiah N. Bird, Edward Cooper, Jacob B. Gaddis, Charles Hewitt, William E. Hunt, Abram Salger, Joseph Tompkins.

The formation of St. Paul's parish was due to the establishment about that time of the Cooper & Hewitt iron mills in Trenton, which drew here a large number of industrial workers, chiefly Irish and German, though there was evidently a contingent which desired the ministrations of the Episcopal Church. Peter Cooper, the New York philanthropist, was the head of the firm and the other member was his son-in-law, Abram S. Hewitt, subsequently mayor of New York City.

St. Paul's Church has had twelve rectors, of whom the Rev. Benjamin Franklin was the first; others were Francis Clements, J. L. Maxwell, Thomas Drumm, John C. Brown, John Bakewell, Henry S. Williamson, Fred H. Post, J. McAlpin Harding, Horace T. Owen, Wilson E. Grimshaw, and the present rector, the Rev. William H. Decker. Of these the Rev. Mr. Harding served from 1886 to 1906 and the Rev. Horace T. Owen from 1906 to 1924.

 

TRINITY CHURCH - 1858

 

ACADEMY STREET

 

Trinity Church was organized in 1858 by certain parishioners separating themselves from St. Michael's Church for that purpose. The ostensible occasion of the break was found in a disagreement over the method of calling a new rector to St. Michael's, the Rev. Richard Bache Duane. The dissentients sent a letter of protest to the vestry under date June 23, 1858. The remonstrance having proved unavailing, a meeting of the protestants was held on October 28, 1858, and steps were taken to organize a new parish. The original vestry chosen was as follows: wardens, Wesley P. Hunt and Alfred S. Livingston; vestrymen, Thomas Cadwalader, Philemon Dickinson, Mercer Beasley, Charles H. Higginson, Edward D. Weld, William M. Babbitt, William W. Norcross, William E. Hunt, Samuel Simons and William Howell. Charles H. Higginson was elected secretary. At a meeting of the vestry, held November 3, 1858, a call was extended to the Rev. Hannibal Goodwin, of St. Paul's Church, Newark, to become rector of the new parish, and he assumed charge the following December. Services were first held in a hall, which had been fitted up for the purpose, where Dolton's Block now stands on North Warren Street.

There appear to have been thirty-nine parishioners connected with the parish when it was organized.

The first parish meeting was held April 26, 1859, at which it was resolved "That the title by which this Church shall be known be, 'The Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen of Trinity Church, Trenton."' The same wardens and vestrymen were reelected, excepting that G. A. Perdicaris and Dr. J. L, Taylor were substituted for William E. Hunt and William Howell.

A lot for a new church with a frontage of seventy feet on Academy Street was purchased for $3,500, January 25, 1860, and steps were immediately taken to erect a building, the cornerstone of which was laid on June 15 of the same year. The church was occupied on October 14 following.

During the first ten years of its life the parish, doubtless due to the Civil War and other disturbing influences, had a precarious existence and the property was at one time offered for sale. The parish surmounted these difficulties and with the coming of the Rev. Albert U. Stanley in 1867 a more prosperous era ensued. The Rev. Mr. Stanley was succeeded by the Rev. Henry M. Barbour in 1875, who held the rectorship for nineteen years. He was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph C, Hall, who remained only one year, followed by the Rev. Charles C. Edmunds, who resigned in 1899.

In January 1900 the Rev. Hamilton Schuyler, the present rector, was called and began his ministry on the first Sunday in February of that year.

Trinity Church has been enlarged and renovated many times, especially during the rectorate of the Rev. Mr. Barbour and of the present incumbent. Its property is valued today at some $200,000, and it has endowment funds totalling over $50,000. It possesses many beautiful and costly memorials.

Including the present one, Trinity Church has had ten rectors and has numbered among its vestry and parishioners many of the leading men and families of Trenton. Among the better-known men who have served in the vestry during the seventy years of its existence are found the names of the following: Wesley P. Hunt, A. S. Livingston, Thomas Cadwalader, Philemon Dickinson, G. A. Perdicaris, John P. Stockton, S. Meredith Dickinson, Thomas W. Clymer, William P. McIlvane, Benjamin F. Lee, Richard A. Donnelly, William H. Brokaw, Frederic A. Duggan, Frank S. Katzenbach, Jr., Edward L. Katzenbach, William T. White, Ferdinand W. Roebling, Jr., and Arthur D. Forst. 13

 

13 For an extended account of the parish, see Schuyler, An Historical Sketch of Trinity Church, 1858 - 1910.

 

 

CHRIST CHURCH - 1885

 

HAMILTON AND WHITAKER AVENUES

 

Christ Church had its beginnings in a Sunday school which was started by Mrs. Scarborough, the wife of the bishop, in order to provide for the needs of families living in the Hamilton Avenue district. Sunday evening services were started in September 1885, by the Rev. Frederick Post, rector of St. Paul's Church, Trenton, and subsequently continued for about a year by the Rev. Henry M. Barbour, rector of Trinity Church, and his assistant, the Rev. Elliot White. The first minister in charge was the Rev. William Hicks, who was followed by the Rev. Charles A. Tibbats, and the first rector was the Rev. Robert Mackellar. Then came the Rev. Edward Jennings Knight in 1891, who remained until he was elected missionary hishop of Western Colorado. He was succeeded by the Rev. Robert W. Trenbath, 1907 - 15. After Bishop Matthews was elected he himself became rector of the parish, and Christ Church was made the pro-cathedral. He appointed as his vicar and a canon the Rev. William H. Moor, the present incumbent.

The cornerstone of Christ Church was laid in 1887. The members of the first vestry were John G. Burgelin, senior warden, and Robert Surtees, junior warden; vestrymen were Eagleton Hanson, William E. Ireland, Isaac Yates and Thomas Perry.

After Mrs. Scarborough's death, a window was placed in the church to her memory. The window bears the inscription

Catherine Elizabeth Scarborough

1847‑1909

Founder of this Church

St. Matthias Mission, Schiller Avenue, was started by the Rev. W. H, Moor of Christ Pro-Cathedral in 1925 to provide for a group of church people living in that vicinity. The services are held in the old Volunteer Fire House on Schiller Avenue. The mission is served by a lay-reader with regular ministrations by the Rev. Mr. Moor. There is a communicant list of about fifty names.

 

GRACE CHURCH - 1896

 

NORTH CLINTON AND SHERIDAN AVENUES

 

Grace Church had been started as a mission of St. Michael's Church in 1875, the ground being the gift of Samuel K. Wilson, a warden of St. Michael's Church. In 1896 it was organized as an independent parish under the Rev. Milton A. Craft, who had been assistant minister in the charge of the chapel since 1893. Two flourishing missions have since in turn sprung out of Grace Church, St. Andrew's in 1895 and St. Luke's in 1913. Those responsible for the formation of the parish, besides Mr. Craft, were James Walkett, George Cochran, Henry Robinson, Harry Klagg, Jr., and Charles Bradbury.

The present and the only rector the parish has ever had is the Rev. Milton A. Craft, whose ministry covers a period of thirty-five years. His twenty-fifth anniversary was observed by the parish an September 24, 1918.

 

ALL SAINTSí CHURCH Ė 1901

 

WEST STATE STREET AND SOUTH OVERBROOK AVENUE

 

All Saints' Church grew out of a mission which was established in the rapidly growing Cadwalader section in 1894. This mission was first served by members of the Associate Mission of Trenton, the Rev. Thomas A. Conover being in charge for several years. Services were first held in the Cadwalader mansion. Mr. Conover was succeeded in 1900 by the Rev. Ralph E. Urban, who became rector the following year when a parish organization was effected. The cornerstone of the present parish house was laid on All Saints' Day, 1896, and the first service held on Easter Day, 1897. The ground was deeded by the Cadwalader estate. Members of the first vestry elected in 1901 were Louis H. McKee and Dr. Joseph M. Wells, wardens; Josiah Hollies, Dr. William N. Mumper and James C. Tattersall, vestrymen.

In 1927, the congregation determined to erect an appropriate church building, the parish house in which services had hitherto been maintained for over twenty years having proved inadequate for the needs of the parish. The cornerstone of a new church, costing some $8,000, was laid on All Saints' Day, November 1, 1927, and the building was occupied in the spring of 1928.

 

ST. JAMESí CHURCH - 1910

 

GREENWOOD AVENUE AND LOGAN STREET

 

St. James' Church was started as a mission in 1894 and placed in charge of the Rev. Thomas Conover, then the head of the Associate Mission. It was organized as a parish in 1910. The first rector was the Rev. William G. Wherry, and the following composed the first vestry: Joseph Everill, rector's warden; John Wilcox, people's warden; T. Mallam, A. Rowley, J. K. Chambers, Wm. Layton, H. Robinson, R. Jackson, A. Wildblood, C. E. Wannop.

The present rector is the Rev. William B. Rogers, who has held the position since 1912.

 

ST. ELIZABETH HUNGARIAN MISSION - 1916

 

A mission for the Hungarian-speaking peoples was organized in 1916 by Bishop Matthews. The Rev. George E. St. Claire, then a layman but subsequently admitted to holy orders, was placed in charge of the congregation. Services were held for a period in St. Paul's Church and subsequently a small chapel was erected. Services are maintained by the Rev. Mr. St. Claire as priest in charge. St. Elizabeth's has a communicant list of about one hundred names.

 

ST. MONICA'S MISSION FOR COLORED PEOPLE - 1919

 

SPRING STREET

 

The movement to organize a separate congregation for the colored people in Trenton was started in 1919. The Rev. August E. Jensen, who owing to ill health had lately resigned from St. Augustine's parish, Asbury Park, was requested by the bishop to come to Trenton and take charge of the movement. On March 21, 1919, a special meeting was held in the parish house of Trinity Church, the Rev. August E. Jensen presiding.

The following communicants were present and organized as the nucleus of a mission to he known as St. Monica's: Henry Reynolds, Mr. Rogers and his daughter Grace, H. Stewart, Miss Lottie Goldsboro, Mr. and Mrs. E. Goins, Mrs. Hoagland, Mr. and Mrs. J. Mack, Mrs. Lillian Cross, and Miss Amelia Stewart. On Palm Sunday, 1919, the first service was held in Darling's Hall on East State Street, with about forty persons in attendance.

Early in the following year the property on Spring Street was purchased and the congregation began to worship there. The adjoining property was bought five years later. From the original twelve persons the mission has grown to a membership of about one hundred and fifty and a Sunday school of about forty, and owns property of about $14,000 in value.

 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

 

Samuel Starr, who enjoyed the longest rectorate in St. Michael's Church. serving nineteen years, came at a crucial period in the parish history and was eminently successful in his long ministry. Besides his parish duties he devoted much of his time to acting as voluntary chaplain at the State Prison. He also, for a period after 1839, had charge of the Trenton Academy. After leaving Trenton, Mr. Starr went to a church in Cedar Rapids, Ia., where he ministered until 1860. His health failing he returned to the East, but on his return journey he was suddenly stricken down at Chicago and died there May 1, 1862.

 

The only bishop of the diocese of New Jersey who made his permanent home in Trenton was the Right Rev. John Scarborough, though Bishop Doane, the second bishop of New Jersey, was born here in 1799. Upon his election to the episcopate in 1875 he made this town his see city and here he remained for nearly forty years up to the time of his death in 1914. John Scarborough was born April 25, 1831, at Castlewellan, County Down, Ireland. When a mere lad he came to this country. He was graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, in 1854 and three years later from the General Theological Seminary, New York City. He served as an assistant in St. Paul's Church, Troy, N.Y., and subsequently as rector of the Church of the Holy Communion, Poughkeepsie. In 1867 he became rector of Trinity Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., where he remained until he was chosen as the fourth bishop of New Jersey. He died in Trenton on March 14, 1914, and was buried in Riverview Cemetery.

 

William Hude Neilson was graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1860 and received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Kenyon College in 1885. His first charge, 1863‑64, was as an assistant at the Church of the Ascension, New York City. He subsequently served parishes in Framingham, Mass., and Long Island City. When he was called to St. Michael's he was acting as an assistant in Holy Trinity Church, Philadelphia. Dr. Neilson's predecessor in St. Michael's had been compelled to resign the parish owing to the fact that the congregation was sorely rent with dissension. Under the sympathetic guidance of Mr. Neilson and his pleasing personality the parish was knit together in bonds of amity and enjoyed great prosperity. After leaving St. Michael's Dr. Neilson held several other charges, serving from 1904 to 1914 as rector of Christ Church, Piscataway. At his retirement he was made rector-emeritus. He died December 8, 1922.

 

Henry M. Barbour, who came to Trinity Church in 1875, remaining for twenty years, was a graduate of Trinity College, Hartford, and of the General Theological Seminary, New York City. His first charge was a mission church in Newark whence he was called to the rectorship of Trinity Church, Trenton. During his long rectorate the parish advanced greatly in members and financial strength, A resolution of the vestry passed at the time of his resignation well sums up his labors and character.

On leaving Trinity the Rev. Dr. Barbour became the rector of the Church of the Beloved Disciple in New York City where he remained for over twenty-five years. At his retirement he was made rector-emeritus. He is now living at Tampa, Fla.

 

Edward Jemnings Knight was graduated from the General Theological Seminary, New York City, in the class of 1891 and came immediately to Trenton, where for sixteen years he was rector of Christ Church, He was a man of marked intellectual ability, a good organizer and a faithful and devoted pastor. Christ Church during his rectorship greatly increased in membership and influence. He was a son-in-law of Bishop Scarborough, having married his daughter, Katherine, January 3, 1897. He was chosen bishop of the Missionary Jurisdiction of Western Colorado in 1907 and was consecrated to his office in Christ Church, Trenton, December 19, 1907. He died suddenly in Colorado, November 15, 1908.

 

Milton A. Craft, rector of Grace Church, North Clinton Avenue, has spent his whole ministerial life in Trenton, being at present probably the oldest pastor, with perhaps one exception, in point of continued service in the city of Trenton. Mr. Craft was graduated from the Alexandria Seminary in 1892. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1893 and came to Trenton the same year to act as assistant minister of St. Michael's Church with special charge of Grace Mission. Thus he has served one congregation for thirty-five years. The celebration of his twenty-fifth anniversary, September 24, 1918, was a notable event in the city and brought together in the Crescent Temple a large assemblage of his parishioners and friends.

 

W. Strother Jones, D.D., who was rector of St. Michael's Church for twelve years, 1896 - 1908, was born in Virginia and was a great-great-grandson of Chief Justice Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He was educated at Washington and Lee University and was graduated from the Seminary at Alexandria, Va., in 1876, and received the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1893. He served for two years in Fauquier County, Va., and was then called to St. Thomas's Church, Baltimore County, Md. In 1888 he became rector of St. Paul's Church, Fairfield, Conn. Coming to St. Michael's, Trenton, in 1896 he had a most fruitful ministry here, and won the esteem and good will of all classes by his genial, warm-hearted manner and sincere devotion to his work. During his rectorate extensive renovations to the church building were undertaken and the growth of the parish in strength and membership were marked. Dr. Jones, on resigning his rectorship in Trenton, went to St. Paul's Church, Erie, Pa., where he remained until 1914 when he accepted a position in St. Thomas's Church, New York City, as assistant minister under the Rev, Ernest M. Stires, D.D., now bishop of Long Island. He died in Alexandria, Va., August 19, 1918.

 

Hamilton Schuyler is the son of the late Anthony Schuyler, D.D., formerly rector of Grace Church, Orange, N.J. He was born in Oswego, N.Y., in 1862. Ancestors of his had settled in New Jersey as early as 1700 and it is on record that one of them, Arent Schuyler, visited the "Falls of the Delaware" in 1692. Mr. Schuyler studied theology at the General Theological Seminary in the class of 1893. He further continued his studies in the University of Oxford, England. He served for a brief period as a curate in Calvary Church, New York City, under the late Dr. H. Y. Satterlee, afterwards the first bishop of Washington. Subsequently he was a curate in Trinity Church, Newport, R.I. He was called in 1895 to be canon of the cathedral at Davenport, Ia., and after a year was made dean. In 1900, while he was acting as special preacher at the Church of the Holy Communion, New York City, he was called to Trinity Church, Trenton, where he has since remained. In 1925 the parish observed his twenty-fifth anniversary as rector.

Dr. Schuyler is the author of several published volumes in prose and verse, besides many pamphlets, booklets and magazine articles. He has been a member of the board of trustees of the Free Public Library since 1905. He was a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of New Jersey for five terms and was twice chosen deputy to the General Convention. He is also a trustee of St. Mary's School, Burlington. In 1928 Rutgers University conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Letters.

 

Ralph E. Urban is the son of the Rev. Abram L. Urban, born March 29, 1875. He is a graduate of Princeton University in the class of 1896 and received his theological education in the General Theological Seminary, New York City, from which he was graduated in 1899. He came at once to Trenton and began his ministry in the Associate Mission on Hamilton Avenue, which had been organized by the Rev. E. J. Knight to supply clergy for mission stations in the diocese. In 1900 Mr. Urban was placed in charge of All Saints' Mission which had recently been organized by the Rev. Thomas A. Conover. When the mission was made a parish in 1901, Mr. Urban became the rector and has thus spent his entire ministerial life in Trenton. Under his wise leadership the progress of All Saints' has been remarkable, the congregation has greatly increased, the original parish house has been enlarged, a fine rectory has been built and paid for and to crown his labors a new church of tasteful design and ample proportions was erected in 1928. In 1925 the parish observed Mr. Urban's twenty-five years of service, when he received many handsome gifts. Mr. Urban is a member of the standing committee of the diocese of New Jersey.

 

Paul Matthews, the present bishop of New Jersey, was born in Glendale, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, December 25, 1866. He was a son of Stanley Matthews, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, appointed during the administration of President Hayes.

He was graduated from Princeton University in 1887, being valedictorian of his class, and subsequently from the General Theological Seminary in 1890, with the degree of B.D. He was ordained deacon in 1890 by Bishop Vincent of Southern Ohio, and priested in 1891 by Bishop Worthington of Nebraska. He married Miss Elsie Procter of Glendale, Ohio, in May 1897.

His first charge was as a member of the Associate Mission, Omaha, Neb., 1891 - 95. He was rector of St. Luke's Church, Cincinnati, 1896 - 1904, dean of St. Paul's Cathedral of the same city, 1904 - 13; dean of the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour, Faribault, Minn., 1913 - 14, and professor in the Seabury Divinity School for the same period. He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Seabury in 1915; from Princeton University in 1916; and the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology from the General Theological Serninary in 1915. On St. Paul's Day, January 25, 1925, his tenth anniversary as bishop of New Jersey was observed by a special service in St. Mary's Church, Burlington, where he had been consecrated, and the day following at a luncheon given in his honor at Trenton he was presented with a beautiful pastoral staff by the churchmen of the diocese. Bishop Matthews lived for a short time in Trenton, but now makes his home in Princeton.

 

Albion Williamson Knight, bishop‑coadjutor of New Jersey, was born in White Springs, Fla, August 24, 1859, the son of George Augustine Knight and Martha Demere. He was ordained deacon in 1881, and priest in 1883. He married (1) Elise Nicoll Hallowes, at Jacksonville, Fla., August 27, 1889; (2) Miriam Powell Yates, 1919. His first charge was as missionary in Southern Florida, 1881 - 84. He was rector of St. Mark's Church, Palatka, Fla., 1884 - 86; rector of St. Andrew's Church, Jacksonville, Fla., 1886 - 93; dean of the cathedral at Atlanta, Ga., 1893 - 1904. In 1904 he was consecrated bishop of Cuba, which office he held up to 1913. He was placed in charge of the Panama Canal Zone, 1908 - 20. In 1914 he became vice-chancellor and president of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., which post he held until 1922. In 1923 he was chosen bishop-coadjutor of the Diocese of New Jersey, since when he has made his home in Trenton.

 

 

 
 

 © 1929, TRENTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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