Frankford township has an average length of nine miles and a width of five.
It is bounded north by Wantage, south by Hampton, east by Lafayette, and west by Sandyston. The Blue Mountains,
on the western boundary, form the separating line from Sandyston. Collver's Gap, a beautiful pass through these
mountains, is situated between Long and Collver's Ponds, on the stage road from Branchville to Port Jervis.
Frankford, like most of the townships in the county, produces great quantities of butter, the quality of which
is not surpassed by any that is sent to New York city markets.
The north-west is stony and uneven, but the soil throughout the township is extremely fertile, and well adapted
to the raising of cereals and vegetables.
Augusta, Branchville, Papakating or Pellettown, and Wykertown, are the post villages of the township.
Augusta is situated on the east branch of the Paulinskill, one mile and a half
below Branchville. More than half a century ago Augusta was the principal trading post for a district extending
many miles around.
Before Branchville could count six houses, Augusta was a place of some importance, with a store kept by Col. John
Gustin, a Presbyterian Church, and the stables of the great Newark and Owego Stage Company, where considerable
business of the road was transacted.
Augusta, to-day, very much as Branchville was fifty years ago. There is a blacksmith and carpenter’s shop in the
place, and a school-house has been recently built on the grounds belonging to the church. Quite an affair happened
in the earlier history of this, town, which is worth mention here:
Thomas P. Gustin, son of the colonel, becoming financially embarrassed while in business with his brother, in New
York, returned to Augusta. He was followed there by his creditors, who requested Coroner Ephraim Green to apprehend
him, Gustin, who was seated in the store, knowing the object of Green, sprang over the counter, and, seizing a
pistol, fired at him, the ball entering his leg near the knee. For some time his life was despaired of, but after
a painful illness he recovered. Gustin immediately escaped to the West. Green, after his recovery, was elected
sheriff of the county, and subsequently county clerk. He was for many years President of the Sussex Bank in Newton.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUGUSTA.
The ground on which the church stands was deeded to a body of trustees, by Col.
John Gustin, for such time as it should be used and occupiedby them.
In 1827, a contract for the church was given to Abram Bray, and the building was erected by his brother Richard.
Rev. Enos Osbourn was sent by the Home Missionary Society to labor in the place, and to ascertain the strength
of the organization. He was succeeded by Rev. Burr Baldwin, who remained but a short time, when Presbytery sent
Rev. Mr. Conkling, who superintended the raising of subscriptions for the new building, and became the first pastor.
At this time there was no Presbyterian Church either at Branchville or Lafayette. Services were, however, held
at both places in private houses on alternate Sabbaths.
In 1856 the Presbyterian Church of Branchville was built, and the congregation worshiped in it, making the Augusta
Church merely an outpost.
Branchville is a town of six hundred Inhabitants, situated two miles above Augusta,
on the west branch of the Paulenskill, which takes its rise at Coilver’s Pond, one and a half miles above the village,
reaching it at a fall of three hundred feet. Coilver’s Pond. is supported by Long Pond, so that few towns have
a water-power affording superiOr advantages to manufacturers.
Branchville was settled about the year 1700, by emigrants, principally from Connecticut. Ten years before that
date, however, one lonely dwelling might have been seen, that of William Beemer. The village has been mostly built
within the last fifty years. Among the early settlers were Colt, Dewitt, Beemer, Price, and Gustin.
The land on which the town, is built, then belonged to James Haggerty, who left it to his son Uzal C. Haggerty,
by whom it was sold to Judge John Bell, Joseph Stoll, and Samuel Price. About 1820 they divided it into building
lots. It was named Branchvile by the school teacher of that district—Samuel Bishop. Previous to this it had been
known by several names. Brantown appears to have been the most popular.
Farmer Johnson kept the first hotel; Dr. John Beach, the first store, in the house now occupied by the mother Of
Wm. H. Bell, Esq.
The recent extension of the Sussex Railroad to Branchville has given quite an impetus to business, and for a time
the town grew rapidly; but too much was expected, and at present it suffers from the incapaèity of certain
men in whom the people placed their entire confidence, and many half finished schemes remain as evidences of their
miscalculations; but owing to the superior attractions to manufacturers, the town will doubtless eventually rise
from its present depressed conditions.
Messrs. F. Barbier & Co. recently put up some new machinery, for making, by a new process, calf skin, said
to be equal to the best French. If successful, it may give an impetus to the growth and commercial importance of
Branchville contains three grist-mills. The one owned by Mr. V. H. Crisman has four run of stone, and thirty-three
feet fall of water, grinding last year fifty thousand bushels of grain.
A woolen factory, four stories high, was ereôtod some years since, but at present is not in operation. The
tannery of Messrs. F. Barbier & Co. occupies the basement.
There are several stores, two harnessmakers, blacksmiths’ and wheelwrights’ shops, a tin, and a cooper’s shop.
A sash and blind manufactory was built with all the necessary appliances, but has not yet gone into operation.
The prospects of Branchville are brighter now than for a long time past.
There is in the place a live temperance organization, which is doing much good.
There are two public halls—Dunning’s and Bedell’s—which furnish ample accommodation for literary, political, and
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF BRANCHVILLE.
This organization originated from the Augusta Church. The building was erected
in 1856, and was dedicated in the spring of the following year. The sermon was preached on this occasion by Rev.
Jas. F. Tuttle. For a short time Rev. A. A. Haines, supplied the pulpit, after which Rev. Geo. W. Lloyd became
pastor, and remained eight years. The congregation is large, and, under the present pastorate of Rev. Wm. H. Belden,
is in a prosperous condition.
M. B. CHURCH.
A few yearssince the Methodists in and around Branchvile made an effort to erect
a house of worship, and sufficient money having been raised preparations were made for building. The frame was
put up and partly enclosed, when, in aheavy gale of wind, it blew down. This accident left the church in debt,
and no effort has since been made to rebuild. The lot on which the old foundation stands belongs to the Church.
The Methodist brethren worshiped for some time in the
which stands on the summit of the hill, back of the village, but since 1870 they
have used both Dunning’s and Bedell’s Halls.
FRANKFORD PLAIN CHURCH.
This building was put up about sixty-five years ago. It is situated about half
way between Branchville and Wykertown. It is a Methodist organization, and has always been a very flourishing church.
It once belonged to the Lafayette charge.
PAPAKATING, OR PELLETTOWN.
The district and town known as Papakating is situated in the most beautiful valley
in Frankford. It is three miles in length and about two in width. The soil in this valley is exceedingly fertile.
Is a small post village three and a half miles north-east from Branchville. It
is situated on a branch of the Papakating River, and contains a blacksmith and cooper’s shop, and about a dozen