History of Hope, NJ
From History of Warren County, NJ
By George Wyckoff Cummins, Ph. D., M. D.
Lewis Historical Publishing Company 1911


Hope Township derives its name from its principal town, which was christened by the Moravians. The township was formed in 1839 out of parts of Knowlton and Oxford.

The earliest settlers in Hope Township were named Green and Howell. George Green in 1726 took up 600 acres of land at the lower end of Green's Pond, now partly in the Anderson and Parks farms. George Green was freeholder in Mawell, Hunterdon County, in 1723. Samuel Green, Jr., the eldest son of Samuel Green, the deputy surveyor who later settled at Johnsohburg, came as the first settler of what is now Hope from Amwell, Hunterdon County, in 1738, when he was thirtythree years of age. He built a log house, at which he entertained the Moravian missionaries Bruce Shaw, Joseph Powell and others on their way from Bethlehem to the Minnisink. Samuel Green and his wife, Abigail, stayed at Bethlehem during the French and Indian war for safety, having been warned thereto by friendly Indians. They had already become Moravians. In 1768 he sold to the Moravians 1,000 acres of land for £1,000, on the present site of Hope. This tract extended as far as the Beatty and Cook farms. Chambers says:

"In 1769 Peter Warbas and family, the first settlers from Bethle' hem, removed to the new settlement in Sussex County and were entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Green until their house, a log building, was erected. The next year, 1770, a flouring mill was built. In May of that year the place was visited by the brethren Christian Gregor, John Loretz and Hans Christian von Schweinitz, members of the Provincial Helpers Conference, residing at Bethlehem, who gave the name Greenland to the new place. in 1771 Frederick Leinbach became manager and opened a store for the accommodation of the new settlement.

Daniel Hauser had charge of the mill and Frederick Rauchenberger was Leinbach's assistant on the farm. In 1773 Frederick Blum commenced a tannery; in 1780 a saw mill was erected; in 1783 a pottery, and in 1791 an oil mill on the premises of the settlement."

The church edifice, a large stone building which is now a hotel, was erected in 1781, the cornerstone being laid on April 2, by Bishop Reichel.

In 1774 the site of the settlement at Greenland was surveyed and a town laid out, which on the 8th of February, 1775, it was decided by lot to call by the name of Hope.

In June, 1777, two signers of the Declaration of Independence, William Ellery and William Whipple, passed through the place and wrote in their diary:

"In our way to the next stage we stop'd at a little Moravian settlement called Hope, consisting of five or six private houses, some mechanics' shops, a merchant's store and one of the finest and most curious mills in America. All the Moravian buildings are strong, neat and compact, and very generally made of stone."

These buildings bid fair to stand for centuries, and still testify to the excellent workmanship and artistic taste of the Moravian workers in stone.

General Washington passed at least once over the route through Hope. In describing this trip Chambers says:

"On July 25, 1782, General Washington and two aides without escort rode from Philadelphia to Bethlehem, where he passed the night. The next morning, escorted by the Moravian clergyman, John Etwein, he left Bethlehem, passing by way of Easton and Belvidere to Hope."

He is said to have halted under General Washington's tree, a buttonwood, still standing about a mile and a half south of Hope. Possibly this was while "Etwein rode on ahead to notify the Moraviâns of theGeneral's coming, so that they might prepare suitable entertainment." At Hope Etwein parted from the General, who continued on his journey to his headquarters at Newberg, doubtless by way of Johnsonsburg, Newton and Goshen, as that was the way the early stage route ran.

"In 1790 the number belonging to the congregation at Hope was 147, of whom sixty-six were communicants; 100 lived in town, and forty-seven in the vicinity. From this time the membership steadily decreased. On Easter Sunday, April 17, 1808, the last sermon was preached and, with the evening sermon of that day, the existence of the congregation terminated."

The property of the Moravians was bought by Messrs. Kraemer and Horn, of Pennsylvania, who disposed of it to ancestors, in many cases, of the present owners.

The Christian Church at Hope is on the site of the old Moravian tavern, where were entertained many notables on their way between the Hudson and Delaware rivers. The tavern was destroyed by fire and on its site was erected in 1844 the present Christian Church. A fine parsonage was built in 1861. For many years this church was served by the pastor at Vienna, but of late has had a resident pastor, who at present is the Rev. L. C. Mackay.

In 1828 William Hibler bought what had been the old Moravian church and turned it into the Union Hotel. The second story only had been used as a church, the lower story being divided into rooms, as at present, for the use of the pastor's family. In this building, which had a fine assembly room, were held the first courts of Warren County, in 1824. Hibler was succeeded as landlord by George H. Beatty, and he by H. W. Rundle. In 1910 Joseph Andress, proprietor of the American House, the other hotel in Hope, bought the historic building. He intends to turn it into an apartment house.

The American Hotel was in part a Moravian house, but has been much enlarged.

A tavern-used to be kept in the stone building used as a store for many years by Peter W. Blair, by George D. Turner, by his son, Fletcher Turner, and now by Alva S. Howell. Other merchants in Hope are Alvin A. Van Horn and Theodore S. Seals. A foundry for miscellaneous castings has been operated for forty years by Henry Aten. This was formerly owned by S. W. Buckley.

Among the early storekeepers were Adam Hibler, who in 1790 had a store north of the grist mill, and John Blair, who in i 8oo started in the business which others of his family later carried on with such great success in neighboring towns.

A creamery is operated at Hope for the making of butter and cheese by the Hope Co-operative Creamery Association. Jacob Angle owned the old Moravian mill for many years. It is now owned by heirs of the late John Cook, and operated by Edward Winters.

Samson Howell was the next settler after the Greens to come to Hope Township. He was the son of Hugh Howell, who came from Wales with two brothers about 1699. It is a tradition of the family that their ship was captured by pirates, and the three brothers saved their lives by acting as sailors on the pirate ship. The gravestone of Hugh Howell is in the old burying ground at Baptistown, New Jersey, recording that he died September 14, 1745, aged eighty-six. Samson Howell built his first log cabin on Jenny Jump Mountain about 1758, and a second log house in 1760, about two miles further east, on a. large tract of land he had bought. He built his third house in 1778. This was a large two-story stone structure, still inhabited, and on the farm of Jonah Howell. In 1767 he was operating a saw mill at the foot of Jenny Jump, on this farm. This saw mill furnished the Moravians the lumber for building their houses when they came a few years later. Samson Howell was born in 1719, and died in 1803, and lies buried in the old Union Church ground beside his wife, Jane Vanderbilt, who died in 1805, in her eighty-third year. They had five sons and one daughter. They were Levi Howell, father of George, Samuel and Mrs. Harris; Jonah Howell, father of Lydia (Whitesell), of Abram S. and others; William Howell, who went to Jerseyville, Canada; Garret Howell, who also went to Canada, and had sixteen children; and Samson Howell, Jr., father of Levi, Nathan, Garret, Isaac, James, Lavina (Van Horn), Achsa, Uzal Ogden, John, Aaron and Letitia (Buckley).

Samson Howell, Jr., was born at Hope in 1753, and died in 1810. He married Elizabeth Richards, born 1759, died i8i8. Of their children, Levi Howell was father of Aaron, Susan (Mrs. Dr. Roe, of Vienna), Nelson and Garret; Nathan Howell went to Canada;Garret Howell was father of Euphemia, Letitia (Miller), and Gideon L.; Isaac Howell was father of Philip S., Daniel K., Elizabeth and Susan; James Howell has many descendants near Nichols, New York; Lavina Howell married George Van Horn, and was mother of William, Isaac, Green, Shaver and George Van Horn; Achsah Howell married David Kinney and lived at Livonia, N. Y.; Uzal Ogden Howell (17971834) married Mariah Matilda Cummins (1801-1889) and was the father of Alexander C., Christeon G., Uzal H., Isaac and Samson; John Howell's descendants are mainly near Blairstown, one of them being Mrs. Dr. Johnson, and Aaron Howell lived in southern New Jersey. Much of the history of this family has been gathered by the late Uzal Hampton Howell, and Frank J. Howell, of Corning, New York, son of Christeon G. Howell.

The Union Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about 178-5, and a log building erected in 1810 on. the present site, two miles northeast of Hope. The present structure was completed in 1856 and dedicated by Bishop Janes. Early members were named Howell, Albertson, Newman, Harris, Cook, McMurtrie, Merrill and Flummerfelt. This is the mother church of many Methodist churches in the center of the county, among them being Johnsonburg, Ebenezer, Blairstown and Hope. Its centenary was celebrated on August 19, 1910.

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Hope was erected 1832, to accommodate members of the Union Methodist Episcopal Church who lived here. In 1876 the present church was erected on the site of the previous one. The present pastor is Rev. Andrew Sunderland, who also has charge of the Ebenezer and Union Methodist Episcopal churches.

Saint Luke's Protestant Episcopal Church-Occasional services, according to thç worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church, were held as early as 1817 at Hope. A church building was begun in 1832 and completed in 1839, when it was dedicated by Bishop Doane. The parish is under charge of Rev. George H. Young, of Belvidere.

The Hope Presbyterian Church was organized- in 1854, and a building erecte4 the following year. It led a rather feeble existence and at present is abandoned.

Kostenbader's mill is two miles southwest of Hope, on the road to Delaware.

Green's Pond is the name which for nearly two hundred years has been applied to a beautiful sheet of water lying low between two hills which are a part of Jenny Jump Mountain. The little lake is one mile long and one-half mile wide, and affords excellent fishing. Contrary to common belief, the lake is not up in the mountains, but lies lower than the D., L. & W. railroad track at Buttzville. At one time an effort was made to call the locality Tylerville, but the name has not been used for years. The vicinity used to boast of an active saw mill, a distillery, a plaster mill and other activities. A hotel has recently been erected on the western shore by Mr. Buckmeyer, and many cottages and tents are occupied in the summer by lovers of nature, mainly from Oxford and Washington, some of whom call the sheet of water Mountain Lake.

Silver Lake, formerly known as Rice's Pond, is at the extreme northern part of Hope, near the road to Blairstown.

Mount Hermon was known for nearly a century as Green's Chapel, from a Methodist Episcopal Church founded here in 1798 and named after Thomas Green, who owned a tract of 1,200 acres that later formed the farms of Lanning, Hildebrand, Smith, Brugler, Hoagland, Kishpaugh and West.

Other family names long identified with the locality are Flummerfelt, Read, McCain, Letson, Titman and Tinsman.

In 1849 the name was changed from Green's Chapel to Mount Hermon. The first store was opened in 1878 by Jefferson Loller, who was for a long time postmaster. The post office was opened in 1875, and discontinued when a rural delivery route made it unnecessary.

Green's Chapel, or the Mount Hermon Methodist Episcopal Church, was organized in 1811, and the same year a church was built on land donated by - Thomas Green. This was rebuilt in 1848 and remodeled in 1876. The present pastor of this and of Zion Chapel is Rev. H. D. Eifert.

The Honeywell Academy at Mount Hermon was founded with money left by John Honeywell, who died here in 1780 and left the income from the proceeds of the sale of his real estate, amounting to £1,000, to be used for the establishment and support of a school of which the master "may be a man of civil conduct and able to teach the boys to read, write, cipher, etc.; and the mistress likewise to be of chaste behavior, able to teach the small girls to read and the bigger to knit and sew and the like, so as to be a help to owners and children." This was conducted for many years by the trustees of the Philadelphia Baptist Association, to whom the money was left, but it is now conducted as a part of the public school system. Many school teachers of Warren County owe their success to the excellent training received at this school. The present building was erected in 1858, replacing the first one, which was built in 1798, and enlarged in 1832.

The Beatty family of Hope Township is descended from George Beatty, who was born at Trenton, New Jersey. Seven of his brothers served in the Revolutionary army. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Christeon Cummins, and settled at Cumminstown, now Vienna, about 1780. His children were Charles, Nancy and Catherine. Charles Beatty, born in 1779, was the father of Stewart, who moved to Michigan; of Pernina, -and of George H. Beatty, who was born at Vienna in 1811 and went with his father to Hope in 1814, where his father bought, in 1829, one of the Moravian farms, later owned by George and by his son, Lewis C. Beatty, now collector of Hope Township. George W. Beatty, another son of George, lives in Pittsburg. George H. Beatty owned the Union Hotel, once the Moravian church, for six years, and was a member of the Legislature, 1853-56.

The Albertson family of Hope, Independence and Knowlton, is one of the oldest in the county. Cornelius Albertson settled at Delaware Station. Garret Albertson, probably a son, settled near Hope, and had a son, Nicholas, and a grandson, Samson H. The latter is father of Hon. Coursen H. Albertson, of Vienna, and grandfather of Dr. W. C. Albertson, of Belvidere. -

Feebletown is the name formerly applied to a locality near Silver Lake, on the road from Hope to Blairstown. It boasted a grist mill, a school and a physician, Dr. Gibbs.. It is now referred to as-Reed's Rest.

Free Union has a school and a Methodist Episcopal Church connected with the Buttzville charge. It used to be called by the irreverent Sin Corner. Early residents in this vicinity were named Albert, Hendershot, Wildrick and Raub.

The Kishpaugh mine gave its name to the village that grewup in its neighborhood. The vicinity is also called Marble Quarry, from the deposit of pink crystalline limestone having the appearance of Scotch granite that was formerly quarried here. The school house is now called Hoagland. The school houses in this township are at Hope, Hoaglands, Free Union, Townsbury, Hazen and Mt. Hermon.

The Swayze family, once one of the most prominent in the township, is descended from two brothers, Barnabas and Israel, who came from Morris County in 1743 and settled on 800 acres of land southwest of Hope. Israel Swayze had four sons-Joshua, Caleb, Jacob and James. Caleb Swayze had five sons-Henry, Jacob, James K., Israel and Caleb. James K. Swayze was the father of Marshall, James A., and Aurelius J.

Townsbury is on land originally surveyed to Coxe, from whom John Meng bought the site of the town . He developed the water power and built the old stone grist mill, so that the place for many years was known as Meng's Mill. John Town and Benjamin Town owned the property for a few years in the seventeen-eighties, and from them the town is named.

Nelson Vliet came here in 1854, and with his family was active for many years. He had a distillery, a store, a mill and other interests. In 1850 Van Why operated the saw mill and grist mill. Adam and Andrew Stiff had them later, as also Frome, Henry and Anderson. John Green for many years ran the saw mill. Samuel Wildrick owned the grist mill until 1910, when he sold it to G. C. Ehman, who installed new machinery.

James Hay, son of John Hay, of Zion Chapel, and grandson of John Hay, of Ramseysburg, was for many years one of the best known men in Warren County. He resided at Townsbury, and was an auctioneer. His brothers were Isaac, Theodore and George.

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