UPDATE: Click here to see the 1880 Federal Census for Shamong Township, which includes all the inhabitants of Atsion. According to that census, there were about 96 individuals living in Atsion.
According to historian Edwin Salter, writing in the New Jersey Courier on June 28, 1882:
"Atsion, formerly Atsayunk, was built by Joseph Salter. The forge and furnace were in active operation in 1770. In the library of the Pennsylvania Historical Society is a journal of Messrs. James and Drinker, who were engaged in business in Philadelphia prior to the Revolution, and in it are many charges against "Atsion Iron Works", made about 1773-74. Among ancient books and papers preserved at Atsion estate is one containing accounts running from July 1st, 1770 to January 1772."
This section will for the time being be a storing place for any references I happen across to Atsion; I decided to include this town, even though it is not in Washington Township, because of it's historical signifcance with regards to Batsto. They were both 19th century iron furnaces, and both owned by the Richards family at some point. Eventually this page will become more organized, with a history of Atsion and other relevant information. For now I am merely recording any references to it that I come across.
According to the New Jersey Courier on 1 May 1879, Robert Givin of Atsion was staying at the Ocean House in Toms River that week.
The following article regarding Atsion appeared in the New Jersey Courier newspaper for August 10th, 1887:
|A singular fatal accident took place at Larrabee's saw mill at Atsion, last Tuesday night. Owing to the rush of work, a night force had been employed. Among them was a Samuel T. Perry, of Manchester, who worked night for the first time last week. While the saw was in operation, a slab was caught in it and thrown with fearful velocity, striking Perry in the abdomen. He was immediately seized with a fit of vomiting, which continued all night. On Wednesday morning he was removed to his home at Manchester, and Dr. E. C. Disbrow, of this town [meaning Toms River], was summoned. Internal hemhorrage, however, occurred, and on Thursday night he died. He was about 81 years old, and leaves a widow and three children. Funeral services were held on Monday at Giberson's Mills. A delegation from Raum Lodge, I.O.O.F., of this town, of which deceased was a member, attended and performed the rites of the order.|
According to "Atsion: A Town of Four Faces", by Sarah W. R. Ewing, there is a small cemetery at Atsion that is so badly deteriorated, only one stone remains standing today, that of Eliza McNeal who "Died January 5, 1886, Aged 86 years." Two half stones, one illegible, lie nearby: the other says, "In memory of Daniel McNeal" and tells us that he was " A Native of Ireland".
Another resident of Atsion was supposed to have been Andrew Etheridge, who moved there about 1892 with his wife, Phebe Leek. She died there in 1913.
Apparently, the Kell family resided at one point in Atsion. Suzanne S., a frequent contributor to this site, was kind enough to send me the following transcription of a family Bible, on the front patge of which is written in pencil, "Mary A. Kell, Atsion".
This is the family record from that Bible:
Peter Kell was born in the year of our lord 1837 March 17
Elizabeth Lily Kell was born March 16 AD 1840
Edward G. Ford and Mary A. Kell was married August 6, 1881.
Eva was married September 16, 1894
Mary Alice Kell was born in the year of our lord April the 16, 1864
John K. Kell was born October the 11, 1866
David Smith Kell was born May the 31, 1869
Charlie Matson Kell was born Febuary the 2, 1872
Theodore Haines Kell was born October 20, 1874br> Eva Mary Kell was born August the 20, 1877
Delila Irine (sic) Kell was born November the 4, 1880
Edward P. Ford the son of Edward Ford and Mary Ford was born September the 22, 1882
Asaey (sic) Ford the son of Edward and Mary A. Ford was born October 4, 1885
Sarah A. Ford died March 16 and was buried March 19, 1899
Hannah Ann Parker the daughter of Sarah and Joseph Ford now departed her life in the year of our Lord November the 27, 1881
Joann Abigail Amelia Pharo the daughter of Sarah and Joseph Ford departed her life October the 22, 1880
Sarah Jane Pharo the daughter of Sarah and Joseph Ford departed her life the 27 of October 1875
Louis A. Ford son of Edward and Mary A. Ford born April 19, 1884 and died April 19, 1884
Joseph Ford February 27 1888
Mary A. Ford died October 26, 1896
Pickett B. Russell Jr., 78, of Atsion, NJ, died Saturday, May 20, at his residence. Born in Pine Bluff, Ark., Russell lived in the Atsion area most of his life. He was the owner of the Pic-A-Lilli Inn on Rt. 206 in Atsion. Built in 1920 by Russell's grandfather, Russell took over the family business in 1959 until the present. Russell was a lifelong member of the NJ Licensed Beverage Association and a former member of the Mt. Holly Moose Lodge. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII. Russell is predeceased by this late wife Florence (nee Hall) and his late son John "Buddy" Russell. Surviving him are: his children, Pickett Ben Russell III and his wife Sandy, of Berlin, Lillian "Bonnie" Halfmann and her husband Bill, of Atsion , Wallace Russell and his wife Ginny, of Atsion, Bruce Russell and his wife Sandy, of Winslow Twp, and Donald Russell, of Atsion; and he was the loving grandfather of 14 and 6 great-grandchildren. Relatives and friends are invited to attend funeral services on Thursday, May 25, at 11 a.m. at the Marinella Funeral Home at 102 N. Third St. in Hammonton. Burial will follow at the Locustwood Memorial Park in Cherry Hill. Friends may call Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Thursday after 10 a.m. at the funeral home. Donations may be made to: Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr., Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053. Arrangements were made by the Marinella Funeral Home.
The following are some of the residents that appeared on the 1930 Federal Census in Atsion:
|109||109||Entwistle||Vernon||36||VA||Postmaster||his parents were from England|
|110||110||Madden||William R.||42||NJ||laborer-road construction|
|Mary E.||49||PA||---||her father was from Virginia|
Also, check out this page for some cool photos of Atsion. This page was last updated on Feb 23rd 2003.