A thumbnail history of Millburn Township commencing with the ending of the first of the great World Wars to the present day, could be set down in the population figures. In 1920, the census counted 4,633 inhabitants; in 1930, 8,602, which means that in only one decade the population almost doubled. The percentage increase was 85.6%. During the same period the increase in the entire state of New Jersey was only 28.1%.
Never before, or since for that matter, has such an increase been recorded here. Throughout most of the 19th century the Township had experienced only the normal growth of most American cities, plus a slow absorption of European immigrants into community life. It had taken all the years between the Civil War and the semi-centennial in 1907 to change the figures from about 1,600 to 3,200, and this during the period of greatest immigration, greatest industrial expansion, (in Millburn), and the influences of an important railroad system coming through the town.
The change, of course, was inevitable. Millburn Township was too accessible to the great cities to remain an isolated country village, and one of the aftermaths of the War was the desire of many people for a change in their mode of living. The housing shortages in the cities, following demobilization, also forced people to look elsewhere, and the cessation of the rigors and disciplines of war produced a great yearning for a change.
More room for children, the security of living among neighbors with whom friendships might be developed, grass and trees and a home garden were powerful inducements to turn city-weary eyes to suburban living. The desire, however, would have been almost impossible of fulfillment, if modern transportation had not been invented; but with the lower priced automobile pioneered by Mr. Ford, and the fine commuting service provided by the railroad, it was no longer necessary for a man to live close to his job.
And so they came, these modern pioneers?not in covered wagons, but in their new Fords, Oaklands, Grays, Stutzes, Rickenbackers, Buicks, Chandlers, Nashes, Studebakers, Maxwells, Chalmers, Dodges, Pierce Arrows, Peerlesses, Boos, Marmons, Chevrolets, Jordans, Dorts, Clevelands, Durants, Libertys, Moons, Packards, Cadillacs, Hudsons, Lexingtons, Haynes and Mercers, and many others for the makes of automobiles were endless and constantly growing.
The great estates were breaking up as the old owners died; and help to run the huge houses and extensive grounds became more and more unavailable and expensive. Undeveloped lands of the Brisons, Campbells, Whittinghams, Hartshorns, Hacks, Taylors, Days, Traphagens, Renwicks, and Farleys gradually went on the real estate market, and out of them grew the developments which are known today as the Knollwood, Glenwood, South Mountain, Homestead, Old Short Hills Estates, Deerfield, Cross Roads, Woodfield, and Country Club sections. Subdivision of the estates into smaller building sites went on with increasing rapidity, and eventually six or eight or even more houses might stand where one had been before.
With the passing of more stringent zoning laws within the last few years, and particularly the authority given the Township under a State Statute passed in 1953, giving the Planning Board broad powers (N.J.S. 40:55-1, et seq.), this trend to subdivide into smaller and smaller parcels has been halted.
With the adoption of the Master Plan permitted by this Act the Township has authority to prescribe the amount of land which must surround each house according to its zone.
While new citizens were moving in, old landmarks were disappearing. In November, 1922, one of the oldest buildings still standing on Main street at Meeker place was razed by order of its owners, Miss Lizzie Meeker and Mrs. Phoebe Osborne.
This building was once a shoe maker's shop, purchased by John Meeker from Aaron Dean in 1848. At that time it was one of the five houses which stood on Main street between the railroad and Springfield.
In a November, 1922 interview with a reporter for the Newark Evening News, Miss Meeker stated that her father John Meeker, carried on a shoe making business there. He employed seven men, at wages from 50 to 75 cents a day. M. Meeker took the finished shoes to New York City to sell.
it was an all-day journey to New York; he went by way of Elizabeth and then by boat to New York. If he missed the boat home he journeyed to Newark and walked from Newark to Millburn. Once, she recalled, he had made red topped leather shoes with gilt eagles on top for two local customers, Robert Oliver and Thomas Fennessy. After the handmade shoe making business declined, he turned the shop into a general store and kept store for 30 years." Among his wares were pies made daily by his wife. Later Taylor brothers had an ice cream parlor there, and it was then taken over by Frank Tichenor.
Miss Meeker's mother was Permelia C. Roll, a niece of Baltus Roll who was murdered by robbers in his home on the mountain near the present golf club bearing his name. He is buried in Westfield and his gravestone tells the manner of his decease.
Miss Meeker continued the interview by telling that her grandfather was Jonathan Meeker who lived on "Meeker Hill" near the present corner of Old Short Hills Road and Hobart Avenue. Her great-grandfather was Timothy Meeker, Jr. who lived in the present South Mountain Reservation near South Orange Avenue. He was one of the nine brothers and two brothers-in-law who fought in the Revolutionary War. Again in the interview of 1922 an old legend again cropped up. Miss Meeker said that then Timothy Meeker had gone to the to the battle of Springfield he left a yoke of oxen standing in the field and hurried to the battle. His wife unyoked the oxen and left the plow in the furrow. The story Lizzie Meeker had heard from her grandfather was that later on that day of battle two Hessian soldiers deserted. They followed the Rahway River until they came to Timothy's farm. They got there at daybreak and took a milk pail to milk a cow for their breakfast. Timothy's wife discovered them, gave them breakfast and set them to work. When her husband came home from the fighting he hired one of them and found work for the other at a neighbor's. Eventually they married and settled around here.
We now have three versions of the story of the deserting Hessian boys. The most accepted one is that they found refuge in the old Smith-Reeve house at 155 Millburn Avenue; the other that they hid in the Meeker barn near Glen Avenue, and the third, the one repeated above. Of course, the two latter stories may be reconciled, as one of the Meeker family had a farm along Old Short Hills Road, the location of the story could understandably be mixed up over the years. Another explanation may be that several Hessians deserted during the battle of Springfield. To further complicate the situation, or perhaps to provide the real explanation, the house at 155 Millburn Avenue is sometimes referred to as the old "Meeker house." On early maps a J. E. Meeker is shown as living in that vicinity. If one of the nine sons of old Timothy did live in the house on Millburn Avenue at the time of the War, the name Meeker is rightly part of the tale. Later tellers of the story, simply, and no doubt in good faith, picked out the Meeker home they knew best as the setting for the legend. It is, of course, possible, too, that the boys hid in the Millburn Avenue house during the night, and at daybreak moved on to some farm farther away. However, this is simple conjecture and not history.
It is safe to assume, however, that the legend has a strong basis in fact, as the tale, the same in its essential elements, has been handed down and repeated so often by creditable persons who were not too far removed in time from the Revolution.
Another Newark News story appeared on October 13,1922, and concerned the same old house at 155 Millburn Avenue, said to have been built by Harvey Smith in 1730, now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Kahn. In 1922 the house was occupied by Miss Amanda Reeve who had lived there 68 years. She referred to the house as "the old Henderson place". The house was purchased by Miss Reeve's father in 1854. The large Reeve family had lived all around that section from early times. Miss Reeve said that her grandmother had told her that when she was a little girl there had been an Indian hut "down yonder in the field." Miss Reeve was the proud owner of a chair which had been carried to a place of safety when news of the approaching battle of Springfield was cried. In 1935 the Smith-Henderson-Reeve house was certified as an historic building by the U. S. Department of the Interior and a detailed description of its plan filed in the Library of Congress.
The charm of these old stories is enhanced by the thought that they link Millburn's heroic past so vividly with modern times, so that a bright thread of history runs unbrokenly down the long years from then to now.
Another landmark, the Vauxhall Inn, located where the pre sent Woolworth store now stands, was torn down in 1923 to make way for a modern building. The house, before it was an inn, was the home of Israel D. Condit, who in his lifetime, which spanned most of the 19th century, had been responsible for much of Millburn's industrial development, as had been told in previous chapters of our history.
Property values rose in the Township as postwar prices soared and demands grew. A two-family house in Millburn was advertised in 1922 at $10,500.00, and a one-family house at $6,700, and building lots on Hobart avenue at $35.00 a foot. These prices do not seem high now by present day standards, but they do represent more than a 100% increase above pre-war days.
Prices for food and clothing were mounting also, and do not seem far below today's. At the A. & P. in 1923, one dozen eggs cost 61 cents, and other standard commodities were proportionately high. Silk stocking were still a luxury item, and on Sept. 16, 1923, Altman's (New York) advertised silk hose with lisle tops and soles at $1.95; all silk medium weight, $3.95 and $4.75, and all silk chiffon weight, $4.75 to $11.50 a pair.
However, a Ford runabout could be bought for $265, and a Ford four-door sedan for $685?whereas a Moon sedan sold for $1,695?and Nash prices went up to $2,190.
Amidst these rising costs, one cost went down?and that was the trolley fare, which was reduced to five cents within city limits, with smaller additional zone fares beyond those limits. This action was the last desperate attempt to fight the competition of "jitney" buses, but although the head of the transportation company issued a statement that he felt trolleys were here to stay, and the new system of charging would bring new life, the trolley's heyday was even then past, and this pleasant and somewhat inefficient way of travel would soon go the way of the canal boat and horsecar.
But while the old disappeared, the new sprang up and flourished. Now the radio occupied the center of the stage and that newspapers of the day devoted many pages to articles on how to build and operate a home radio, and advertising the necessary parts.
Woman had a new look, too, as she appeared in public in knickerbockers and short hair, and there were more mutterings as to what the world was coming to. A judge in one town (happily not Millburn) ruled that a woman wearing knickerbockers was guilty of committing a nuisance.
With the right to vote given to women under the 19th amendment in 1920, women began to play an active part in political life. Acceptance of woman in this role was not easy, and the pioneers who struggled to achieve this right faced great opposition and criticism, not only from the males, but sometimes even from members of their own sex.
The first woman to face this opposition from the old order was Mrs. Millicent Maxfield, who after much argument, which in some quarters was bitter and acrimonious, finally in 1923 was appointed the first woman member of the Board of Education.
She served only a short time, as family circumstances made it necessary for her to move to California. But woman's right had been secured, and her place was taken by Nellie Doremus Ross; she in turn was succeeded by Stella Voorhees, and thus in a few years female members were accepted as a matter of course.
In September, 1923, a Millburn unit of the New Jersey Women's Republican Club was given permission to hold meetings in the Municipal Building. This new unit was a direct descendant of the Literary Study Club started by Mrs. Stewart Hartshorn, Mrs. A. S. Ross, Miss Sarah Bailey, Mrs. R. B. Ferguson, and Mrs. E. L. Kellogg in 1887, and its successor, the Political Study Club.
The Unit started with 25 active and about 50 associate members, and reached its peak in 1929 when it had about 175 active members. Then the state organization disbanded and local women were faced with the decision to reorganize or to start a new organization.
The latter won out, and the Millburn Women's Club came into being in 1930 with Mrs. John R. Voorhees its first President, and Mrs. John Taylor its first honorary member. In 1936 a Women's Independent Republican Club was founded, and Mrs. Gaston Chanier was elected the first president at an organization meeting held at the home of Mrs. William K. Wallbridge.
A men's political organization, the Millburn Republican Club, was organized in 1927 by Reynier J. Wortendyke, Jr. (now Judge Wortendyke). The first president was G. Noyes Slayton.
In the 1920's, Short Hills had another literary society, called the Short Hills Reading Class, which met at members' hones, discussed books and listened to authors and lecturers. On September 13, 1923, Mrs. Stewart Hartshorn entertained the group and heard Miss Agnes Repplier, famous writer and essayist of the period, speak on "Sentimental America."
A Wyoming Home and School Association, a forerunner of P.T.A., was organized in the early 1920's. It met in the Wyoming Club, after that club was established in 1922.
The great earthquake in Japan on September 1, 1923, in which 143,000 persons died and unknown numbers of thousands were injured, brought prompt action by the Millburn Red Cross. They immediately joined with other chapters in the country in the Japanese Relief Fund and began a drive for contributions of money and clothing. Mrs. Frank Marshall of Taylor street headed the committee to receive donations which poured in generously.
one of the most beneficial things to happen to the community occurred in 1924, when Millburn's beautiful Taylor Park was presented to the Township as the gift of Mrs. John Taylor in memory of her husband. The 13-acre area in the center of town was purchased by Mrs. Taylor from Mrs. Elizabeth Whittingham, who generously charged only its assessed value, which was less than 50% of its then market value.
The landscaping and planting of the Park were supervised by the Shade Tree Commission, created for that purpose, consisting of W. F. Patterson, Mrs. W. K. Wallbridge and Frank Schmidt. The landscape architect was the younger Olmstead of the famous landscape architect family which had created most of America's beautiful parks.
Mrs. Taylor not only paid for the land and its landscaping, but presented it fully equipped with swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, and baseball diamond. Brian F. Philpot made the presentation on behalf of Mrs. Taylor on Decoration Day in 1924, and Dean Emery made the speech of dedication. In his speech he said, "This is your Park. Care for it, protect it, and guard it."
The original shelter house is now used by the Girl Scouts. In 1934 with Federal aid, and through the generosity of Stewart Hartshorn in donating stone from his quarry, a fieldstone house was erected. Its furniture was supplied by the Junior Service League. In 1957 this house was greatly extended and enlarged, and provided with more recreational equipment.
At the time of the dedication, the Township Committee consisted of Chairman G. Howard Wilson, Wellington Campbell, M.D., James Pennoyer, John D. McCollum, and George J. Berstler. The community has faithfully carried out Mr. Emery's admonition, and is proud of this beautiful recreational area in the heart of its town
Without the foresight and generosity of Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Whittingham, and Township officials, and the citizens who supported them, it is almost certain that a housing development and commercial buildings would occupy this land now, with the lovely brook piped under it, perhaps, and the cherry trees and willows unknown to the present generation.
The Shade Tree Commission continued to have charge of the Park from 1924 until 1936, when a Recreation commission was created for that purpose, although the Shade Tree Commission still looks after the upkeep of the land. The first Supervisor of Athletics was John Little. That title was later changed to Superintendent of Recreation, a position now held by George H. Bauer.
Another breathing space for the community, created out of wild, undeveloped woodland was provided by Miss Cora Hartshorn, who in 1923 began to build her Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, consisting of 16.45 acres on Forest Drive, south of the railroad.
Miss Hartshorn wrote in her "Little History of the Short Hills Section" that the topography of the place had always interested her very much. It consisted of a series of little hills and valleys formed by the terminal moraine which came to a halt at that point. (Readers of our Millburn History will recall that they were first introduced to the subject of terminal moraine in Chapter 1).
Miss Hartshorn designed her drives and paths in rhythmic lines around these small hills, keeping most of them on easy grades. By 1938 there were 3 miles of these paths. The "Stone House" was begun in 1931. Its architect was Bernhardt E. Muller of Short Hills. The house is built out of blue traprock from the Hartshorn quarry, which was cut under the personal supervision of Stewart Hartshorn, then in his 93d year. The stones were quarried to retain much of their original columnar form and their varied colors.
The rafters of the house were hand hewn oak trees from Hartshorn land and nearly all the work was done by local men who thus found gainful employment, Miss Hartshorn says, during the days of the great depression of the early 30's. The stone house was completed in 1933.
This sanctuary may some day provide the only place in the Township where a glimpse may be had of primitive, natural beauty. Miss Hartshorn wrote in 1946 that up to that time, 55 species and 232 varieties of wild flowers, besides many ferns, had found shelter there, and more than 72 birds had been sighted. For her work in developing this haven Miss Hartshorn has received awards from the Gardens Clubs of New Jersey and the National Council of State Garden Clubs.
The roaring twenties ended in the long shadow of the stock market crash of 1929 and the financial depression which followed, and Millburn Township experienced, like the rest of the country the anguish and worries of those bitter days.
In looking over the news of that period the people seem to have met the depression with courage and determination to help themselves. A community center was set up in the building now the Racquets Club to provide a much needed and inexpensive place of recreation. Free dances, with W.P.A. orchestras, lectures, theatricals and other forms of entertainment helped immeasurably in upholding the morale of the people.
The depression brought many problems to the Township, but ways to meet them were set in motion. A Relief Administration was set up in the early 1930's, and many families were given aid. During the last two weeks of February, 1933, $1,434.63 was paid out in relief. By 1938 although a "recession" year, this figure was more than cut in half, when $1,236.00 was paid out to 193 people during a four-week period. However, in October, 1938, a Citizens Relief Committee, made up of Albert F. Jaques, Henry W. Johnstone, Ernest D. Brita, G. Ballon Landa, and Laurens E. Whittemore, was appointed by the Township Committee to supplement the Emergency Relief Administration in devising means of coping with the seriousness of the relief problem in the Township, and devising means of assisting in the rehabilitation of citizens on relief. Foreclosures for tax liens in 1938 amounted to $38,277.20 which was a considerable drop from previous figures, but was still high.
Many men during the depression decade found work with the P.W.A., the W.P.A., the C.C.C. and other government relief agencies and worked on road and other community projects.
In March, 1933, the Board of Education voted to cut by 12-1/2% all salaries of teachers receiving more than $1,000.00 a year, and this cut was in addition to a smaller cut previously authorized. Eventually, all municipal employees received substantial salary reductions.
The suggestion was made at a Township Committee meeting in April, 1933, that a municipal parking lot be built by unemployed residents to lessen traffic congestion in the main business section. The site considered was the town owned property between Main Street and Lackawanna Place on the west bank of the Rahway River. No action was immediately taken. Today, however, that site is one of the Township's busiest parking areas.
3.2% beer came back and 20 temporary licenses to sell beer were granted at the first committee meeting of April, 1933. Eight taverns, six retail stores, three restaurants, and three clubs were the first to take advantage of this new condition, and the revenues ranging from $15.00 a week for taverns, to $2.00 a week for clubs, were welcomed in the Township treasury. The tax rate for 1933 was 3.19.
In February, 1933, the Township was rocked by one of the most controversial episodes in the history of its government. That year, the Township Committee, although all members of the same political party, was divided into two warring factions of three and two members. One group claimed to have discovered irregularities in the Township Treasurer's office which they did not report to the other committee members, but took to the local newspaper. The Town Treasurer was the political leader of his Party in the Township and a friend of Jesse Salmon, the Essex County Republican "boss." The local newspaper, which was under different ownership than it is now, printed the "scoop" and, of course, the news struck like a thunderbolt. The Treasurer had held his office for twenty years. The discrepancy turned up amounted to $1,321.15, represented by one check. The Treasurer denied all wrongdoing, but said he sometimes did not deposit checks immediately in order to keep some cash in the cash drawer, and did not realize that that was illegal. He made a statement that he was ready to make good for any bookkeeping errors which might appear in the accounts.
Almost immediately the Township was besieged by reporters from city papers looking for news, and many papers took stands for and against the Treasurer. The Newark Evening News took an impartial stand, the local paper was anti-Treasurer, and the South Orange Record which carried considerable Millburn news for a few weeks that year, in an evident attempt to increase its circulation here, maintained that the Township Treasurer was the victim of his enemies. "Citizens Resent Slur Against Treasurer; Residents in Heated Discussion", ran its boldface headlines of February 24, 1933.
The Township Committee, unwilling to get together even under such circumstances, further confused the issue by making many charges and denials. On February 27th the Treasurer was suspended for two weeks. No official reason was disclosed for this action. He was simply given "two weeks leave of absence." George 0. Lord was named temporary Treasurer. In the meantime, while the case was being thoroughly tried in the newspapers, public opinion demanded a complete investigation. On March 20th a bond issue of $3,000.00 was authorized to defray the costs of investigating the records. The Treasurer was indicted by the Grand Jury and a date was set for trial. In the five months before indictment and trial, feelings continued to run high, with some shouting "frameup", others demanding to know why the default was not discovered sooner.
The Treasurer was never tried. Early in the morning of the day of the opening of the trial, he was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage. The coroner's verdict was "possible suicide." His friends insisted he had been hounded to his death by persecution. To his enemies, his possible suicide was a proof of guilt. However, he was never tried and proved guilty, and under our American system of justice that is where the case now rests.
Millburn's troubles did not make the first pages of the out-of-town papers in that late winter of 1933. Everybody had troubles, some on a national scale, and bank closings, spectacular suicides, defalcations in higher places, took precedence over suburban news. Also, in late February and early March, 1933, the approaching first inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt and plans, rumors, and speculations of the coming changes in Washington, filled many front pages of the city dailies.
However, in spite of depressions and other great upheavals life has a way of going on, and the private citizens of Millburn went about their affairs in as much a state of normality as the times permitted. In the Spring of 1932 the Township celebrated the bicentennial of George Washington's birth, with a parade, speeches, and other appropriate ceremonies. One of the last of the amateur minstrel shows was given at St. Rose of Lima's on April 29, 1933, with Mrs. Katherine Murray acting as interlocutor, and Helen Mercek, Elizabeth Tighe, Mildred Delaney, and Margaret Mullen, endmen.
The traffic booth in the middle of Millburn Avenue and Main Street was deemed a traffic hazard and removed. This booth was the last attempt, to date at least, of filling that important intersection with some object?a large drinking fountain for man and beast had been proposed for it; a high flagpole did actually occupy the spot, (removed and re-erected in Taylor Park), and finally the traffic booth came and went as modern conditions demanded its removal.
An honor roll was published for the High School in 1933, and achieving top scholastic honors was Millburn High's sensational rightend, Fred Cleveland. Carl Allen, Hoen Phillips, and Grant Horneffer were close contenders for top rank. A basketball team was organized at the Hobart Avenue School with Edward Buncher directing it, and the Child Laboratory Art Group under Van Dearing Perrine of Sagamore Road held its annual exhibition. The popular feature of the exhibition was the paintings of 16-year old Herbert S. Pierce who has since achieved recognition as a watercolor artist. Mrs. Elizabeth Whittingham, well-known citizen of Millburn, daughter of Edward S. Renwick and daughter-in-law of Dr. Edward Whittingham, passed away in the pivotal year of 1933 when so many ties with the past were fraying and breaking apart.
A sentimental link with the past was severed when Mrs. Schulze's "Penny candy" store closed its door. The building in which it was housed was torn down to make room for more playground for the Washington School. If it had to go, it had a fitting end, at least. Now children enjoy the freedom of recess and learn the rudiments of fair play and good sportsmanship on the land where once their predecessors had to solve the important problem of deciding whether to buy one scoop of chicken corn or two all-day suckers for their penny. For more than thirty years, Mrs. Schulze had dispensed chocolate marshmallow Foxy grandpas, gelatinous pickles and black babies, licorice shoe buttons and shoe laces, sugary dots on long strips of white paper, peppermint lozenges, pink-striped and flavorful, and other delectable wares to Millburn juveniles. Pennies were hard to come by, and the decisions on how to spend them took fortitude and patience on the part of the storekeeper. But time was a flexible commodity in the first years of the 20th century and currency and wares changed hands in a pleasant bilateral transaction, sometimes with the first tones of the school bell hastening the decision.
If the 1920 decade is famous for the greatest increase in population growth, then the 1930's might be notable for the greatest increase in number of local organizations. It has been said that there were in existence by 1935 at least 83 active organizations, or roughly about one for every 100 people, and although this exact figure cannot now be verified, the number was undoubtedly high. They covered civic, religious, social, cultural, fraternal and patriotic groups, many of them, of course, overlapping one another in their activities. At least they were a good antidote for the depressing times. Many of these organizations, strengthened and enlarged through the intervening years, survive today, including the Racquets Club, the Garden Study Club, the Junior Service League, the Rotary, Women's Independent Republican Club, and Millburn Women's Club, the origins of some of which have been mentioned in previous installments. Guy Bosworth Post of the American Legion was formed in 1920, but disbanded three years later. It reorganized in 1930, and its Women's Auxiliary was formed in 1931.
In 1933 "New Eyes for the Needy, Inc." was founded by Mrs. Arthur Terry, and its work was eventually taken over by the Junior Service League. This charitable organization, growing out of the needs of the depression, still supplies eyeglasses and eye care to people who are unable to meet the costs of these services. Its funds are chiefly provided through donations of old eyeglasses, and gifts of old jewelry, silverware and other precious metals, which now arrive in town by mail or express daily from practically everywhere. For many years the Item office has acted as a receiving center for these gifts.
Parent Teacher Associations grew as new schools were added to the Township's public school system, so that each school now has its own association.
In 1933 Police Chief C. Norbert Wade detailed Sergeant John A. Dalton to organize a safety patrol at every school to help children cross intersections. The "Junior Safety Patrol" grew out of this appointment. Sergeant Dalton organized the first Hobart Avenue School and the Washington School patrol quickly followed. All other elementary schools and the Parochial School now have patrols.
The Wyoming Section had a Boy Scout Troop, No. 12, in 1920, but it was discontinued in 1923 for lack of membership. It was reorganized in 1925 after which Troop 14 of Millburn and Troop 15 of Short Hills were formed.
The Girl Scout movement came to life in 1927 as Troop No. 1, which prospered and later grew big enough to split into two troops. The "Girl Scout Council of Millburn Township, Inc." received its charter from the national organization in 1930 with Mrs. Arthur T. Vanderbilt as its first commissioner. In 1955, 868 girls here belonged to 47 troops.
In the 1930's the Jockey Hollow Field Trials Club, had many active members, and the Washington Rock Rod & Gun Club was organized in 1934. On September 21, 1938, the Short Hills Chapter of the D.A.R. held its organizational meeting. Several fraternal and patriotic societies which have since disappeared were flourishing in that decade also.
The Millburn Community Council was formed on April 4, 1934, as a permanent council of social agencies in Millburn Township. The meeting was held at the Barberry Corner Tea Room which stood at the northeast corner of Taylor and Spring Streets behind the present New Jersey Bell Telephone Building. Mrs. Thayer Smith was the first Chairman. The name was changed in December, 1936, to the "Millburn Community Council." The Council was formed principally to establish cooperative relationship between social and civic welfare organizations and to prevent duplication of their services.
Several organizations had been in existence for many years prior to 1930, however, and should be noted in passing. Continental Lodge F. & A. Masons was organized in 1908 and several local men had belonged to the Passaic Valley Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution since 1915. A Millburn Council of the Knights of Columbus was formed in 1925, and the Catholic Daughters started a chapter here soon afterward.
Civic Associations devoted to the interests of their particular sections sprang up as more vacant land became housing developments. The Wyoming and Short Hills Associations started in 1907 and 1910, and were followed in the 1930's and in later years by the Knollwood, Brookhaven, Glenwood, South Mountain, Casa Colombo, Cross Roads-Deerfield, Old Short Hills Estates, and Country Club Associations.
In 1934 the Papermill Playhouse Corporation acquired the property of the Diamond Paper Mill which had, after many decades finally ceased operation. Again an echo of an old story returns. The Diamond Paper Mill on Brookside Drive was located on the site of a mill built before the Revolution and destroyed by fire, as we have told before. Abraham and Jonathan Parkhurst rebuilt it about 1820 and operated it as a binder board mill for many years. Ownership passed from the Parkhursts to Israel D. Condit, and then finally to the Diamond Mill which manufactured colored tissue papers there until the late 1920's. It is said that people passing over the bridge on Millburn Avenue could tell each day what color tissue was being manufactured by the color of the water on that particular day.
After many renovations and additions the old mill opened as a modern theatre and cultural center. Until her recent death, Miss Antoinette Q. Scudder was its devoted patroness, and Frank Carrington has been its Director since it was first opened. Today the Paper Mill Playhouse is a thriving theatre known all over the country. Its repertoire now consists almost entirely of "after Broadway" modern plays, interspersed occasionally with revivals of older musical comedies, acted by a semi-permanent company. Symphony orchestras and dance groups also give recitals there. It houses an art gallery where works of New Jersey artists, both individuals and art groups, are shown concurrently with the running of each play.
In 1938 by popular referendum, Millburn Township at last had a free public library. Many times throughout the life of the Township attempts had been made to establish a library in Millburn.
As long ago as 1873 Stewart Hartshorn had established a reading room. Later, Mrs. Hartshorn, and a group of ladies had made another effort. In the 1930's Frederick J. Clark willed his personal library to the Town as a nucleus for a library. Then in 1935, the Junior Service League appointed Mrs. W. S. Auchincloss Chairman of a committee to establish a reading room in the Recreation House in Taylor Park. Two thousand books were donated by citizens. The project was abandoned in 1936 for lack of help and cooperation from the public and the books were stored in the Paper Mill Playhouse. Later a meeting was held there and the Millburn Library Association was formed, supported by private subscriptions, but the Library was still not available to enough families. However, it was an important step forward for it had the effect of arousing the citizens to an awareness of the need for a free and public library.
Public-spirited citizens took up the battle and the question was at last put up to the voters in the November 1938, election, and the question was finally settled.
The first library building was located in a small house, since razed, at the intersection of Brookside Drive and Old Short Hills Road. That house had been a private home, then Cornell's butcher shop, then its ownership passed to the Township, and then became the first Library. Mrs. Shirley Hedden* was one of the first librarians. During the first year of its existence 23,302 books were taken out; last year, (1957) the circulation was 81,670 books. The library now houses 30,731 books, most of them acquired by purchase, but many were received as gifts also,
*Mrs. Shirley Hedden was the children's librarian and assistant to the head librarian until the resignation of Miss Frances Duck as chief librarian in 1946. The first head librarian in 1938 was Margaret R. VanIngen, and she was succeeded by Dorothy A. Dickie, but each served only a short time.
Miss Duck came to Millburn in 1941 and under her regime the number of books increased from 10,000 to 14,000 volumes and the subscribers to 4,524. However, Mrs. Hedden served the Library continuously from 1940 until her resignation in 1957.
among the latter being the business library of Walter A. Staub which was presented as a memorial to Mr. Staub. Miss Elizabeth Farrar succeeded Mrs. Hedden as Librarian in 1957.
Before turning away from the 1930's, it might be amusing, and perhaps a little nostalgic, to quote some prices appearing in advertisements during the last years of the decade. In the Anniversary Edition of the Item, October 21,1938, Haymarch's at 327 Millburn Avenue offered prime rib roast at 25¢ a pound, blue fish, 15¢ a pound, best country butter, 2 pounds for 57¢, sugar, 10 pounds for 43¢. At King's Mart at 351 Millburn Avenue, Pillsbury flour was 24-1/2 pounds for 77 cents, and either California or Florida oranges, 20 for 25¢. Maxwell house coffee was 23¢ a pound. At the A. & P., also on Millburn Avenue, pork and beans cost 5¢ a can, and 2 large loaves of white bread could be bought for 15¢. The Stop and Shop Market next to Woolworth's at 321 Millburn Avenue offered potatoes at 15 pounds for 19¢, and lemons, 7¢ a dozen. Waese's liquor shop at 36 Main Street advertised 11-year old Scotch for $3.39 a fifth, and the best 8-year straight Canadian rye at $2.49 a quart. An R. C. A. console grand radio, with victrola attachment, and $9.00 worth of records, buyer's choice and other extra gifts thrown in, could be purchased at Marks Brothers, 357 Millburn Avenue for $99.95. In Dave's Market at 347 Millburn Avenue legs of lamb cost 25¢ a pound, and Jersey Loins of pork, 19¢ a pound.
Before the 1930 decade had ended, the shadow of Hitler and the possibility of American participation in another war loomed dark and menacing. A worried citizenry strove to understand and stem the tide. As early as March 10, 1933, Rev. A. Powell Davies of Summit addressed the Millburn Rotary on "Conditions in England and France," and a symposium, "Must War Be?" was held at the high school on March 31, 1933, with the Rev. H. M. Sibley of the Wyoming Presbyterian Church acting as chairman.
Talks, debates, and discussions on the uneasy times and how to deal with them were held frequently throughout the 1930's in Millburn's church school, and social organizations.
But the tide was at flood and no human being could hold it back. The Selective Service Act had been passed in 1940, and on October 16, 1940, Local Board No. 2 of Essex County, assumed jurisdiction over Millburn.
The first Board was composed of Norman F. Wiss, Harvey M. Roberts, and Stephen Barker, Nicholas N. Heyman served on it as Re-employment Committeeman, Mrs. Mickelina D'Ariano was clerk, Fred Herrigel Jr. was Appeals Agent, and Hilman E. Blaicher was assistant Appeals Agent.
The first registration called up all men born between October 17, 1904, and October 16, 1919, and 1,065 men in this age bracket registered. The first two selectees were Allen D. Snyder and Daniel S. Kaufhold who reported for induction on November 25, 1940. In a brief ceremony, John A. Stewart and Stephen Baker wished them well; the American Legion transported them to the Newark Armory where they both qualified and were sent to Fort Dix.
Before the War ended there were six classes of registrations taking in all men up to the age of 64 years, and 4,115 had been registered. Out of this number 604 were inducted. Although, 1642 including women in the various services, were members of the Armed Forces, the majority of them had enlisted. (This figure is based on the record in Memorial Hall, Millburn Library).
The most fateful day in the lives of every man, woman, and child living on that December 7, 1941, dawned bleak and chilly, and the weather reports promised no hopes of better. "Cloudy and cold" ran the Weather Bureau's announcement across the headlines?A good day to stay at home, read the papers, listen to the radio, eat and sleep.
Those Millburn residents who read a New Jersey paper probably subscribed to the Newark Sunday Call. Its lead story that morning was the most recent note sent by President Roosevelt personally to the Emperor of Japan. It was hailed as possibly the first step for peace. The message was interpreted by the papers as dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Tojo's explanation of why Japan had massed 125,000 troops near the French-Indo China border, and the appeal to Hirohito himself was thought to be likely to bring good results.
The news from Europe was given smaller headlines, "Nazis Advance on Moscow Using 8,000 Tanks, Great Battle Looms," read one; "RAF and German Planes Clash on Road to Tobruk," read another, but equal space was given to Tommy Manville's parting with his fifth wife, the marriage of King Leopold of Belgium to a commoner, and the arrival of Ambassador Litvinov in Washington.
The New York Times featured just about the same news, with the principal space being devoted to the latest Roosevelt note to the Emperor. The Times also gave a front page column to a statement of Secretary Knox that the United States Navy was superior to any. He cited the recent commissioning of 325 new ships and 2,059 planes.
For those who looked forward to an afternoon at the Millburn "movies," a double feature, "Honky Tonk" with Clark Gable and Lana Turner, and "I'll Wait for You", were offered. A hockey game in New York would draw some enthusiasts for that sport to Madison Square Garden. It is interesting to note, now, the type of entertainment which was provided everywhere at that time. Europe was in a struggle to the death; America stood at the brink of the cataclysm. Perhaps with these unbearable pressures upon them, the people had need of escape in their theatrical and literary worlds. In the New York theatres the plays were sweet and simple. "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Life with Father," "The Corn is Green," "Junior Miss," were the leading hits of the day.
The first page of the Sunday Book Review section was given over to a new book, "Hollywood, Movie Makers," by Leo C. Rostein. Other books mentioned in the New York Times list of the most recent books were "Saratoga Trunk" by Edna Ferber, "Wide is the River" by Louis Bromfield, "G String Murders," Gypsy Rose Lee, "Wakefield's Course," Mazo de la Roche, and a Civil War book, "The Copperheads" by William Blake.
The day's radio program promised more realistic entertainment. WJC at 3p.m. would have a discussion, "Wake Up America," and WEAF's University of Chicago program would be a Round Table discussion, "Canada, Neighbor at War." The New York Philharmonic Orchestra with Arthur Rubinstein, soloist, was scheduled for 3 p.m. and Charlie McCarthy and the Inner Sanctum were to be the evening's high spots.
Gabriel Heater and Elmer Davis were to present the day's news, at 8:45 and 8:55 p.m. respectively, and it may be positively assumed now that the copy they had previously prepared for their talks would be completely revised before they went on the air?for soon after 3 p.m. every radio in the country was suddenly silenced, and over the loud speakers came the electrifying news that Pearl Harbor had been bombed and a state of war existed between the United States and Japan.
A Millburn citizen, Francis Day, gave his life in the early dawn of that dreadful day. He was Chief Watertender on the Oklahoma, which went down under Japanese bombs. Some time later it was learned that he had died a real hero's death. Citations accompanying the Navy and Marine Corps medals awarded to him posthumously stated that when the Oklahoma capsized, Day was trapped in a compartment with a number of the crew. He assisted 15 of them to escape through a submerged porthole, but was himself unable to get out before the ship went to the bottom.
On October 14, 1943, the U.S.S. Day was christened at Philadelphia in honor of this local man, a graduate of the Washington School and Millburn High School.
But there would be many more heroes and more ominous yellow telegrams arriving in the Township before the business begun that December 7, 1941, was ended. William F. Kaupp went down with the destroyer Jacob Jones, George F. Gallion did not survive the "Death March" at Batann.
Smith, Dietze, and Almond, Williams, Carrington, and Ryan, Flaherty, Barnett, Marcantonio, so the roll was called, but these were only the first few. Altogether 44 from every section, every racial ancestry, every religion, laid down their lives in France, Italy, and Germany, in the China Sea, in the Solomon Islands, in places so remote even their names were unknown to almost all Americans before 1941. The names of all of these young men, and the others who came home again, may be read inscribed in a book which stands today in Memorial Hall in the Millburn Public Library.
As in the First World War, Millburn had served its country well. 14% of its population was in the services, 2.6% died?figures above the national average.
However, those who could not take up arms did not stand idle. The participation in the war effort by those who stayed at home included almost every man, woman, and child in the community.
In Millburn Township, as in most other towns in the land, the machinery for war was already set up, and it needed only the spark of that radio message of that chilly Sunday afternoon to cause the wheels to begin turning in full gear. Nine months before Pearl Habor, acting on an emergency order issued by Gov. A. Harry Moore of New Jersey, chairman John A. Stewart III of the Millburn Township Committee appointed as members of the Local Defense Council the following:
Chairman, General Charles W. Barber, USA ret., Edward F. Lonergan, Homer J. Wright, Dr. Thayer A. Smith, Dr. John R. Patterson, Chief C. Norbert Wade, and Chief J. David Hayes.
This Committee first met on March 28, 1941, and the whole subject of local defense was reviewed. To each member of the group was assigned a division to supervise, respectively, intelligence, food and clothing stocks, police and fire auxiliary services, health and medical aid, school matters, police protection, and fire control.
Out of these appointments eventually came the local Office of Civilian Defense, more commonly known as the OCD, and J. Herbert Woolley became the Commander, Theodore Widmayer, Deputy Commander, Robert MacDougall the Chief Air Raid Warden, and Mrs. Robert T. Veit, Secretary.
The OCD organized every phase of community living for readiness in any eventuality, and although fortunately its services were never used for the purpose of combating air raids, they were always prepared. In total, it was figured that by the close of the war more than 500,000 hours were spent by its leaders in training and in service to the community.
In 1943, the activities of the Defense Council, other than protective, were grouped, under "Community War Services", and Victor A. Traub was appointed chairman of this division. Under this heading salvage, community gardens, child care, consumer interests, war bond sales, and other civilian problems were handled or assigned to various other organizations engaged in war work in Millburn.
The Millburn-Short Hills Red Cross received it charter as a chapter of the American Red Cross on November 16, 1942. Before that, it had carried on its work as a branch of the Newark chapter. The first officers of the new chapter, whose charter was formally presented on January 9, 1943, were Mrs. Frederick W. Nixon, chairman; Mrs. Harry E. Hooley, vice chairman and captain of the Motor Corps; Mrs. Emil W. A. Schumann, recording secretary; Mrs. S. Paul Shackleton, corresponding secretary; and Vance Lauderdale, treasurer.
The war accomplishments of this local chapter would require more space than we have at our disposal to set out in full. Its work until V E Day covered: production, under which 1,616,380 surgical dressings, 21830 garments sewed, and 6,009 knitted were turned out; Motor Corps, whose members averaged 6,000 miles of travel a month; Staff Assistance, in which members were called upon to do office work for the draft board, rationing board, OPA, war fund drives, and for New Jersey hospitals and camps; prisoner of war food packaging; the blood donor service, hospital recreational aid, nurses aids, dietitian aid and nutrition, home service corps, home nursing, disaster and relief, camp and hospital committee, first aid, Junior Red Cross, nurse recruitment, and many miscellaneous services.
The American Woman's Voluntary Services opened its unit here officially on December 15, 1941, at Red Cross headquarters, having been organized by Mrs. George C. Dreher, Mrs. Harold B. Ressler, and Mrs. James Symington, and took over most of the functions which did not come under the work of the Red Cross.
Eventually it had its own headquarters, the little house on Essex Street, now razed, which was usually called the "Annie McGonigle" cottage. The AWVS maintained a War Information Service, assisted in war bond drives and in collecting salvage, clothing, and books for hospitals and servicemen, maintained a motor corps, Halloran Hospital assistance, courses in home canning, war gardening, motor mechanics, and family advisory service for veterans' families.
The AWVS also published "Township Tattle", a monthly publication proposed by Mrs. Carl Egner to furnish home news to servicemen. By 1945 this paper had grown to 18 pages, and one issue numbered 1,300 copies. Mrs. Walter Taylor was the first editor.
Other township organizations turned their entire facilities over to war and homefront problems. The Neighborhood House maintained a home nursing service, family welfare department, child health service, day nursery, nursery school (supported by the Junior Service League), and many other social services which taxed it almost beyond human capacity to undertake; but hands were found, and no one was ever turned away unaided.
The Junior Service League increased its civic services to include its Thrift Shop at 95 Main street, the proceeds of which pay for a trained teacher at the Neighborhood House Nursey School; to provide volunteer workers for the school, and a staff for the well baby clinic.
Substantial money contributions were made by it also to maintain regular community enterprises such as the Girl and Boy Scouts, additions to Overlook Hospital equipment, USO Christmas boxes, to finance blood plasma units, and to continue and enlarge the work of the "New Eyes for the Needy" project, under which, in 1943-4 season, it collected 19,663 eye glasses. Most of these functions later became part of its peacetime undertakings.
The Millburn Theatre did its bit by collecting over $4,000 for various war funds, and maintaining a bond-soliciting booth, manned by AWVS members, where $30,000 in bonds and stamps were sold. It also showed special Government films illustrating war needs and aided the scrap drives by occasionally setting the admission price for each child as a bundle of paper or other salvage material.
The American Legion and its Woman's Auxiliary, helped organize the OCD, the Auxiliary Police Reserve, and a unit to spot enemy planes which maintained a 24-hour post at the lookout tower on South Orange avenue, in the Reservation, near Crest drive, Frank Winner and H. Berrien McCain were assistant chief air raid watchers. The Legion also sponsored two waste paper collections which netted over 100 tons of paper and two tons of rags, and also two war bond drives.
Nearly all of the 250 members of the Millburn Woman's Club devoted countless hours of service to the Red Cross, USO, OCD, AWVS, OPA, and similar organizations besides making substantial contributions to the funds of these various groups.
The club collected furniture for Camp Kilmer, Halloran Hospital, and the Newark Army Air Base, and made 17 pairs of curtains for the Recreation Room at Fort Dix. They supplied packages of personal necessities to the men of the battleship New Jersey, sent Christmas boxes, and an uncountable number of cakes and cookies to the various canteen services, nearby hospitals, and camps. Mrs. Charles W. Sidney was the president at the beginning of the war.
Every church in the community conducted special services and maintained various organizations to give spiritual and physical comfort to its service men and women, and the members of their families at home.
The Millburn Ration Board began as a "tire rationing board" on January 3, 1942, with Leroy S. Badgley, Harvey J. Tiger, J. Herbert Woolley, John A. Stewart, Gen. C. W. Barber, and Theodore L. Widmayer as its first members, but its scope soon broadened and it became the Millburn Ration Board with jurisdiction not only over tires, but sugar, shoes, gasoline, bicycles, rents, fuel, coffee, canned and processed fruits and vegetables, meats and fats. Ration books Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 were issued and citizens learned the intricacies of coupons and points.
The Millburn-Short Hills Arts Center, organized on September 18, 1940 by Mrs. Robert Mathes and a group of professional artists, including Stanley Turnbull, Maurice Eisenberg, Lute Pease, Van Dearing Perrine, and Edward Dufner, supplied painting sets and clay materials to local army camps, and entertained servicemen in its craftsroom at the Recreation House.
In 1944 a Christmas card, designed by Robert MacPhail, now a teacher at Millburn High School, was mailed by the Center to every serviceman and woman from the Township. Under the leadership of its 1944 President, Mrs. Claude Hines, the slogan "Art as a Service in War" was adopted, and various programs were carried out to induce men and women to take part in occupational therapy work among the wounded in nearby hospitals, and to provide entertainment for people at home.
The League of Women Voters was organized near the close of the War, on January 30, 1945, with its principal objective then to help in building a lasting peace when the war ended. The first officers were Mrs. Robert Greenleaf, president, Mrs. Edward Elliott, vice president, Mrs. Leonard Shiman, 2nd vice president, Mrs. M. E. Strieby, treasurer, Mrs. Louis Cross, corresponding secretary, and Mrs. Alan Robertson, recording secretary.
Mrs. Robert Mathes presented the slate at the organization meeting. During the remaining war period the League endeavored to bring before the community an understanding of the Dumbarton Oaks and Breton Woods proposals, and discussions were held on such subjects as "Understanding Our Allies," and "America's Foreign Policy."
The foregoing is a brief resume of some of the war work accomplished by the people of Millburn Township. The story could go on and on?the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Library, the various PTA's, the school children, all worked tirelessly and incessantly to help the war effort.
But even that is not all of the story. There are the citizens who as individuals bought over $10 million in war bonds in the seven loan drives, and contributed more than half a million dollars to meet the needs of the Red Cross, USO, and allied charities and local welfare work. Eventually, drives for such funds were combined in the Millburn Community National War Fund, formed in the fall of 1943, with John Fairfield as chairman. Robert E. Mulcahy was bond chairman and Harvey J. Tiger was drive chairman for the first two bond sales.
"Mr. and Mrs. Millburn Citizen" also contributed, in one war year alone, 31,912 pounds of fat, 1,279 pounds of stockings, 142 fur coats, 42 pounds of cancelled stamps (sent to England to be reprocessed into artificial limbs), milkweed pods for Mae West jackets, musical instruments, untold quantities of paper, tin cans, scrap metal and rubber, used clothing, candle ends, matchbook covers for hospital therapy work, old watches, phonograph records, and thousands of magazines.
Men and women took jobs in war plants, often after their regular work for the day was over. All life, it seemed, but the life of war ceased to exist in the community. And all this was done with a minimum of complaints while they wrestled with the petty vexations of wartime living?shortages of staples, queing up for cigarettes, and sugar, hunting for stockings, finding substitutes for butter, stretching meat, gasoline, and fuel allowances, tending gardens and canning their products, doing without, or making do, listening for air raid sirens, and performing the tasks assigned to them by the various associations to which they belonged.
But the end of war did come at last and the Township became part of the Atomic Age in a era of uneasy peace. The young men and women came home from the ends of the earth, quietly, one by one, or in small groups, without fanfare or parade, and the work laid aside in years of violence was picked up once more.
Battles end some day. The fighting men came home, and slowly the people of a community whose life for five years has been devoted almost entirely to the demands of war pick up the threads of a former existence and begin to weave them once more into a whole. But there are many loose ends to be gathered up before a war can be completely set aside, and the many changes which wars inevitably bring are soon apparent.
In an early chapter of our history we traced the changes which the only war fought on our own soil brought to the little settlement which lay along the waterways. Soon after the Revolution the community changed from an agricultural to an industrial one, with the resulting influx of people to work in the expanding mills and factories.
In the post-Civil War era, and particularly during the prosperous recovery years following the 1878 financial panic, the recently-acquired wealth accumulated by a strata of American society, turned many square miles of wild countryside into the large and beautiful estates which grew up among the short hills, and also dotted with gracious early Victorian houses the side of the Watchung mountain, in a section picturesquely called "Wyoming" by its inhabitants.
The building of these homes in these outlying sections of Millburn Township started the trend toward the establishment of a community having as its principal reason for existence the providing of good homes for families whose heads worked in the great cities nearby.
After the first World War the swing from industrial to suburban living was completed, and the population soared beyond all expectations, doubling itself in a 10-year period, as the modern pioneers from the cities moved in to take possession of their newly-built homes.
The years following World War II not only witnessed another great upswing in population with the resultant real estate developments carved out of the former large estates, hut also saw the appurtenances and adjuncts to suburban living follow the people to their new destination.
Department stores, supermarkets, insurance companies, all becomingly tailored in settings of green grass and flowering shrubs, settled down in the Township and helped bring about the present phase of its life.
But before this great change could be completely realized, the business of war had to be finished. The organizations the war had produced ended, one by one. The Ration Board closed in October, 1945, the Millburn Defense Council terminated in December; the "Township Tattle" brought out its last edition in November; the activities of the A. W. V. S. slowed and ceased.
Draft Board No. 2 closed in August, 1946, and the Millburn Citizens' Committee, a local equivalent of the USO, first headed by Mrs. Frederick Renard, disbanded in October, 1946. Sugar rationing, however, was not discontinued until June, 1947.
The Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945, brought an outbreak of hornblowing and other somewhat riotous activity in Millburn center, but otherwise the Township took it in its stride. Too many things had happened in too short a period?the death of President Roosevelt, Hitler's suicide, the breakup of the German Empire, the end of the European war, the dropping of the Atomic bomb?people were surfeited with world-shattering events, and a kind of numbness settled over their emotions, so that their gladness and relief could no longer find expression in wild outbursts of spontaneous celebrations.
The War Department's sad messages entered the Township for a year after the cessation of hostilities, bringing confirmation of deaths in long-ago battles. In December, 1945, Lt. Harold L. Stricker's crash over Italy many months before was reported; in January, 1946, came word of Corp. Rudolph Szman's death in action in the Phillipines a year before; hope for Lt. Arthur D. Jones, missing since September, 1944, was finally shattered in January, 1946, and not until July, 1946, was definite word received that John A. Coleman, R.M. 3/c had gone down with the submarine "Bonefish" in July, 1945. But, finally, the toll was complete.
A grateful government bestowed its honors and awards for conspicuous service and gallantry and many Millburn citizens were thus rewarded. The parents of George F. Gallion, who was one of the casualties of Corregidor although his death did not take place until some time afterward, received the Silver Star medal, the American Defense Service medal with bronze star, the Asiatic Pacific Theatre ribbon with bronze star, the World War II Victory medal, and a Presidential citation with two oak leaf clusters. The latter was bestowed for "gallantry in action from 11 to 20 December, 1941, when upon approach of enemy bombers he courageously maintained with his equipment and kept it under control despite enemy bombing."
The list of those known to have received honors and awards for unusual heroism is too long to be set out in full here, and many never divulged the story of their valor. The majority of the war heroes, living and dead, were products of Millburn's public and private elementary and high schools.
Help for the returning veterans was extended. The Millburn Business Loan Advisory Committee for Veterans, made up of Judge Frederic R. Colie, Morris Drapkin, M. C. Diedrich, and J. Herbert Woolley, spent many hours advising returning servicemen how to re-enter civilian life.
The American Legion took up the fight for veterans' housing, and in March, 1946, the first demand was formally made to the Township Committee. Eventually, 18 pre-fabricated single story units were erected on Millburn Avenue at Ridgewood Road, and in March, 1947, property on Millburn avenue, between Reeve Circle and Norwood terrace, was purchased to provide for the erection of 10 pre-fabricated dwellings.
The veterans who occupied these houses were selected, on the basis of greatest need, from 150 applying. These buildings were temporary houses and were removed gradually as housing became available elsewhere. The last one was removed in 1957.
A War Memorial in the form of a library to be erected on Millburn avenue across from St. Stephen's Cemetery, was proposed and a drive started for funds. However, this project was later abandoned and the money collected was turned over to help in the renovation of the old Temple B'nai Israel on Lackawanna place as the new public library. A veteran's memorial hall was incorporated as part of the new building.
Nor were the victims of war in foreign countries forgotten. A first Victory Clothing Collection was held in December, 1945, followed by later drives for used clothing, canned foods, and other commodities. Fats, paper, and tin continued scarce and were collected in salvage drives through 1946. In November, 1948, the High School adopted the town of Bergues, France, which had been 85% demolished, and through its collections aided in its restoration.
First food store advertisements after the war indicate the lightening of wartime burdens. "Lid's off and pre-war eating is here again" ran the headline of the Grand Union advertisement in the Item of August 23, 1945, and listed sirloin steaks back at 39¢ a pound. "Point-free values" proclaimed the A. & P. announcement, of its coffee at two pounds for 47 cents.
Gradually, the pressing problems of homelife clamored for attention and had to be resolved. Foremost among these problems was new housing, with its attendant burdens of new roads, sewers, school facilities, parking, street lighting, sanitation, fire-fighting, and policing. The greatest quantity of vacant land for further development lay in the northerly section of the Township, roughly bounded by Morris turnpike on the west, Great Hills road on the east, Hartshorn drive on the south, and Canoe Brook on the west, and expansion moved in that direction.
As early as August, 1945, an application was made to Planning Board to open about 70 acres on White Oak Ridge road, followed by the Prudential Insurance Company's project to lay out business and residential lots on Morris turnpike, and also between White Oak Ridge road and Canoe Brook road. Applications for building permits soared from about a half a million dollars worth of new buildings in 1945, to between six and seven millions in 1950.
Applications for multiple housing increased. After a controversy which raged for almost two years, zoning changes were made to permit the erection of garden apartments off Chatham road, and the cutting through of a new street to accommodate them. Other garden-type apartments were built, one a 128-unit building on Millburn avenue adjacent to St. Stephen's Cemetery, and another near Wyoming avenue, but prompt and effective zoning laws stopped the trend to apartment dwellings elsewhere.
The establishment of AA and A zones, and suburban A and B business zones, and the elimination of general residence B zones, under which six-family houses could have been erected; amendments to the building code, and the passing of an ordinance requiring minimum house foundation areas, foresightedly prevented overcrowding and a hodge podge of building styles.
The razing in 1945 of the old house on Millburn avenue at the northeast corner of Wyoming avenue, often mistakenly called the "Whittingham" house (actually it was originally the home of the Hand family, kinsmen of the Whittinghams), opened up several acres for development, and although an application for an apartment house there was turned down, an application by Lord & Taylor of New York to build a department store to cost a million dollars was entertained.
A committee headed by Stewart Hartshorn II sent out 3,500 postcards to residents seeking their opinion on the question of permitting the building of a store, and on receipt of over 2,000 affirmative signatures, permission was finally granted.
By August, 1948, it was noted that the greatest concentration of building in the history of Millburn was in progress on both sides of Millburn avenue, east of Wyoming avenue. Further expansion west of Wyoming avenue followed later.
Since the coming of Lord & Taylor's, several other New York and Newark stores have opened branches here. Based on a survey conducted several years ago, Millburn was found to be the hub of a circle having a 50-mile radius, within whose boundaries more wealth per capita could be found than in any other section of the metropolitan area, so that its possibilities as a retail shopping center were obvious.
In 1956, the largest of the new stores, B. Altman & Co. opened on Morris turnpike, on a historic spot, close to the old Minisink crossing of the Passaic River, where the Lenape Indians are supposed to have stopped to fish and rest before continuing their journey to the sea.
In this same area the large office building of Chubb & Son, insurance underwriters, was erected in 1951. Other small insurance offices have been built in the Township more recently.
With the razing of the "Hand-Wittingham" house, an old rumor died. Legend had it that under the mansion, tunnels and slave quarters of the "underground railway" of pre-Civil War days might be found. None were disclosed, however, and what might have been a romantic chapter in Millburn history did not materialize.
Another interesting old story appeared when the "Renwick" house at 140 Old Short Hills road changed hands in 1946. Then it was stated that one of the walls of the house rests on what was the dam of the gristmill where many of the first settlers had had their grain ground. Around that mill grew the little section known before the Revolution as "Spring Village" or "Spring Valley." Thus the stories of history constantly weave the old with the new.
Building of big stores, apartment dwellings, and office buildings, created more problems for the Township rulers. To prevent congestion at the center, Millburn avenue was made a one-way eastbound street and Essex street was cut through from Spring to Douglas street, and from Holmes street east to Millburn avenue, to provide one-way east-west routes through the business center. Parking meters, new parking lots, one-way streets, radar speed timing units, ordinances establishing minimum requirements of parking spaces around new buildings, and regulations signs and the general appearance of the business district, brought order out of what might have become a chaotic condition in the business center. Some of these improvements were self-supporting. Meter revenues brought in $490.50 a month in the first eight months of their installation.
Less serious, but none the less annoying problems were considered and met. After a long campaign by the Millburn Item something was done about the mosquito. The Essex County Mosquito Commission had conducted a series of experiments along the Passaic River with the war-tested chemical DDT and when its efficacy was evident, the Township authorities agreed to provide a spraying machine for the community.
A DDT "fog" machine, mounted on a truck was demonstrated, but finally a pipe and blower type, known as an "aero-mist sprayer," on a truck-based turntable, was purchased for $2,000 in 1947, and is still in use. It throws a 250-foot horizontal, and a 120-foot vertical spray.
Millburn's historic elm at 298 Main Street, home of Tax Collector Mark Oliver, was sprayed with DDT as a Dutch-elm preventative measure. This sturdy old landmark, wounded in the War for Independence, has to date overcome all attacks by insects and disease, although many of the Township's other fine, but younger elms have gone down before the enemy.
New fire equipment, including a new pumper to replace the old pre-war one, and a second fire engine, together with the fine record of Millburn firemen, brought to Millburn a Class B rating from the National Fire Insurance Rating Organization. This is the highest rating which a municipality can receive which does not have complete, fulltime, paid personnel. Millburn has had only a few serious fires in recent years, and they have been confined almost entirely to stores or public buildings.
Up to 1957, no home had been completely destroyed in the Township since the spectacular burning of the Red Stone Inn in 1934. Pierce's Frozen Food Store on Chatham road in 1946, the nightclub, "The Brook" on Morris turnpike in 1947, the A. & P. store on Millburn avenue, and the Wyoming Presbyterian Church fires in 1956, were the most destructive fires in nearly 25 years. Other modern equipment including a 75-foot aerial truck have been procured and two new firehouses have been added to the community.
The vigilance of the Police Department is best attested to by the fact that news of serious crime in the Township is practically non-existent in these pre-centennial years. A few minor burglaries, a few cases of mischief, and traffic violations, make up most of the police blotter items which reach the daily or weekly newspapers.
Like the Fire Department, Millburn police have been provided with all available modern equipment, and their constant patrolling in two-way communication automobiles in the suburban areas as well as foot patrolling in the business districts, have been effective in preventing criminals from reaping a harvest in the community.
Soon after the war the Township acquired the most efficient type of sanitation trucks available, replacing the open, top-loading and unsanitary ones of earlier days. Ideas of sanitation had come a long way since the time when old Joe Briggs was Millburn-Short Hills' only garbage collector, and he was strictly a volunteer. He supported himself and dressed himself, it is said, from his scavenging and even built his own one-room house from the trash he collected.
Having no close space in his home, Joe wore all his clothing at once, one over the other, even three or four hats having been taken care of thus handily. Regular garbage collections by the Township were inaugurated in 1910.
Miss Bessie Bosworth, sister of World War I casualty, Guy Bosworth, became Millburn's first fulltime health officer in 1948.
In the immediate post war years, Millburn lost two of its beloved citizens. On March 8, 1947, Miss Amelia Parks passed away at the age of 94 years. For many years of her life she had been a piano teacher, and little boys and girls of the Township in the early 1900's had learned their first scales and "Pieces" under her guidance. She had been St. Stephen's church organist for 55 years, and one of its Sunday School teachers and Altar Guild members for 75 years, missing, it is said, only three services.
Dr. Frank B. Jewett died in 1949. In his busy life, and while enjoying a fame which spread across the nation, as president of the National Academy of Sciences, vice president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., the recipient of many scientific awards and honors, he had found time to serve for 24 years as a member of the Millburn Board of Education as a Neighborhood House trustee, a Millburn Bank director, and in many other civic organizations. He was awarded posthumously the 1950 medal of the Industrial Research Institute.
Another Millburn benefactor, Edward S. Pettigrew, born here in 1867, died in 1951. His interest in landscaping, which he had developed as a hobby during his later life, was responsible for the fine shrubbery and plantings donated to some Millburn churches, St. Stephen's Cemetery, municipal parking lots, and other public areas. In July, 1952, the Edward S. Pettigrew Wading Pool in Taylor Park was presented to the Township by the Rotary Club and dedicated as a memorial to him.
Recreation, entertainment, and cultural activities began once more to occupy space in people's lives as they moved out from the deep shadows of war. Sunday baseball returned in 1946 and the new Athletic Field on Millburn Avenue was opened in 1948. The Millburn High School Football team achieved its first victory on its now field in September, 1949, when it met and conquered Union in an 18 to 12 score. Easter Egg hunts became an annual feature of the Recreation Department's Program, and the first game of the Little League Baseball Team was played in May, 1952.
The Mlllburn Short Hills Arts Center inaugurated its yearly sidewalk show in 1945 and sponsored the formation of the Village Chorus with W. Lindsay Smith its director and Louis Chivian its President.
In April, 1946, invitations were sent out to organize a Millburn Fourth of July Committee. Frank Zwigard was Temporary Chairman, but a short time later a permanent organization was formed with Edward Heiss, Recreation Commissioner, its first President. On July 4, 1946, the first all-day program with evening fireworks was held in Taylor Park. That first day's programs has grown to the festival attended by many thousands now held each Independence Day, providing a circus, a full afternoon's entertainment for the children, and a dance and fireworks at the High School Stadium at night.
In 1951 a Community Concert Association was formed with John Fairtield, President, and for several years it brought to the High School auditorium such world-famous musicians, singers, and dancers as Leonard Rose, Caesare Siepi, Mata and Hari, Eugene Liszt, the Virtuosi diRoma, the DePaur Infantry Chorus, and the Robert Shaw Chorale group.
On the evening of December 2, 1948, 2,000 bulbs flashed on lighting the overhead Christmas garlands strung across the business district streets. The switch was turned by Millburn's senior businessman, Edward F. Lonergan, and George Pultz was chairman of that first occasion. The decorations have now become a feature of the holiday season.
Public School enrollment moved up?from 2,061 in 1947 to 3,029 in 1956, and the guide for teachers' salaries set in 1947 at $2,000 minimum to $4,600 maximum, increased to a $3,500-$7,200 scale by 1955.
The school budget accompanied these changing figures?$434,570 for 1945/6 to the $1,917,000.00 appropriated in 1958. The new high school, one of the finest in the State, opened in 1956, is, of course, responsible for part of this increase. The old Hobart Avenue elementary school was reopened in 1952 after a thorough renovation which brought it up to modern standards of health, safety, and equipment.
The history of the Millburn schools, public and private, was told at length by Dr. Charles King and Headmaster Edward R. Kast in a previous chapter of this history, so that further details are omitted here.
Concurrent with these mounting school costs, the numbers of students on scholastic honor rolls and the percentage of boys and girls going on to higher education, 89% in 1958, and the amounts of scholarships awarded to graduates for high achievement, have increased also.
The Adult School, closed in 1942, resumed its classes in 1946 and its enrollment and variety of courses have expanded yearly ever since.
The tax rate has reflected some of this expansion?4.47 in 1947, 4.96 in 1950, 6.05 in 1954, 7.52 in 1958.
Many thought that the "good old days" of severe winters had returned in 1948 when on New Year's Day of that year a 26-inch snow storm left 90% of the Township's homes without light or heat. Following that storm, 40 straight days of ice skating were enjoyed in Taylor Park, a record never since matched.
In that same year, in March, house deliveries of mail out of the Short Hills Post Office were inaugurated. House deliveries had been talked about and fought over since 1945, but old ways die hard, and three years had passed until all or most opposition had been removed, and all requirements imposed by the Government had been satisfactorily met.
The shadow of an uneasy peace has bung over the Township since the end of the second World War, and the peacetime draft has continued to call young men for a period of service.
The dampened fires flared briefly in the Korean action of 1950, and about 75 young men were sent to duty there. H. Duane St. John, Jr. and 1st Lt. Stephen J. Boyle were the first wounded, but there were no fatal casualties.
A Civilian Defense Council was reorganized in 1950 with Admiral Charles L. Austin, Director, and J. Herbert Woolley, Alfred J. Peer, Robert K. Hart, Col. Timothy Murphy, and Robert M. Morris, Board members. State Air Raid Tests were resumed and volunteers were sought for the Ground Observer Forces to man the post at Chatham. In October, 1950, Mrs. George B. Thomas and Mrs. A. M. Krueger, presented to the Township a United Nations flag made by the women of the Wyoming Church Guild.
The Township achieved several firsts in the early years of the 1950 decade:
its 1953 vote of 93.01% of the registered voters topped all other Essex County municipalities, and is undoubtedly one of the highest in the Country;
the highest percentage for the State of New Jersey as a whole reached only 88% in the record year of 1952;
Millburn was the first municipality in Essex County to utilize mercury lighting for its main streets; it set a County record of 100 pints of blood donated in its Blood Bank; the "Miller", the High School newspaper was awarded first place for the fourth time in 1952 by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, and Mrs. Robert H. Freeman was elected the first woman president of the Board of Education in October, 1952.
Another record was set in 1956 when Miss Averill C. Kiley, and Mrs. Anna H. McCollum completed between them 106 years of school teaching, 94 of which were spent in the Millburn Public school system. A public ceremony was held in the High School to honor these two women following their resignations that year.
In Millburn's coming-of-age decades many of the small societies and clubs which had sprung up during the first period of expanding population, most overlapping each other in objects and membership, merged or disappeared, and in their places more substantial organizations took over the civic, political and philanthropic requirements of the community. The majority of these have been mentioned before. A few should be noted now:
The Millburn Scholastic Boosters every year helps needy boys and girls up to and through their higher education. Its funds come from the annual dues of its members.
International Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs have established active groups and contribute to various local needs.
A Chamber of Commerce promotes local business interests.
Money to finance the needs of Township social welfare and health agencies is now raised in two annual campaigns, the Red Cross Millburn Fund in the autumn, and the Millburn Township Health Fund in the spring.
Branches of two of the strongest and largest financial institutions in the State are located in the Township, the National State Bank and the Investors Savings and Loan Association.
In 1955, Mayor William B. Gero and the Township Committee, mindful of the fact that on March 20, 1957, Millburn Township would reach its 100th year as a municipality of the State of New Jersey, appointed A. Ross Meeker as chairman of a Centennial Committee to arrange a celebration.
The selection of Mr. Meeker was a wise choice. He is a lifelong resident of the Township and his family's name, as our previous installments have disclosed, has been associated with practically every major event in local history since pre-Revolutionary days. He has served on the Board of Education, as chairman of the Recreation Commission, and as chairman of innumerable civic enterprises.
Mr. Meeker's first committee consisted of George H. Bauer, Livingston T. Dickason, Mrs. Lewis R. Fay, Judge Milton Freiman, Edward F. Lonergan, Charles T. King, Mrs. Herbert Marshall Jr., and Charles E. Paulson. This main committee was later expanded to include John D. Clark, Heroy Dyckman, William H. Lippincott, Mrs. Max W. Meisner, Marshall Posey, Fred W. Smith, and Theodore D. Widmayer.
As the needs arose, sub-committees were appointed and acting in the capacities stated were John A. Cairns, Barbecue Committee Chairman, Dr. Abraham Burack, Photography chairman, Mrs. Hibbert A. Broadfoot, Concert Committee Chairman, Leon M. Hirsch, Decorations Chairman, Mrs. Erina Murray, Exhibits Chairman, Mrs. Franklin Deuel, Store Windows Decorations Committee Chairman, Arthur V. Wynne, Chairman, Recreation House Dedication Committee, and William Sherman Greene Jr., White Oak Ridge Park Dedication Committee Chairman.
It would be impossible to describe the work of all who helped in the celebration, including not only committee members, and the various subcommittees, but members of the Township governing bodies, Police and Fire Departments, the Recreation Department, the Public Library staff, school faculties and principals, the children of the community, clergymen, the Millburn and Short Hills Item staff, the Junior Service League, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Chamber of Commerce, the Millburn and Short Hills Arts Center, and innumerable private citizens.
A detailed coordination and report of all activities of the Millburn Centennial prepared by the Official Historian is on file at the Millburn Public Library, and in the Town Hall.
Gradually, the form of the celebration took shape. The publication of a Centennial history book, a parade, barbecue, exhibitions, plays or pageants by the school children, decorations for the business districts, and special church services, were the main features decided upon by the Committee, and the week of May 19, 1957, was designated as Centennial Week, as the actual date of Millburn's incorporation, March 20th, was considered to be too early in the season for any outdoor activities.
The first objective was perceived by Mr. Meeker and his committee was to assemble materials for his history, and at first this task seemed to be of Herculean proportions. No nucleus of materials was available anywhere, and whatever photographs were presumed to be in existence were scattered among individuals or newspapers over a wide area. Libraries, historical societies, and the State records at Trenton had to be painstakingly combed for whatever data they might yield. Mr. Dickason initiated the work of gathering this material together and worked practically daily for nearly two years on this task. Later, aided by Mr. Posey and a committee, over 500 pictures, old letters, newspapers, timetables, entertainment programs, maps and other pertinent documents were collected, and everything was photographed or rephotographed so as to be suitable for reproduction in the book. In addition, Mr. Posey and Dr. Abraham Burack, took many photographs of contemporary local scenes. Outside of the professional artwork and layout, and the actual printing, all the work of preparing and writing the book was done on a free and volunteer basis. As a means of underwriting the cost of the book, sponsor-subscribers were sought, and 867 persons responded to the appeal for donations of $10.00 each.
The Centennial Celebration began with services in all of the houses of worship in the community. The children of St. Rose of Lima School, the Millburn elementary schools, and the High School presented pageants depicting various phases of the Township history.
Exhibitions of old Millburn relics and of paintings by local artists were held in the newly enlarged and renovated Recreation House which was rededicated on May 20, 1957. During Centennial Week also, exhibits prepared by Millburn school children were on display in the Recreation House. The exhibits include many models of bygone days, mills, Indian life, railroads, schools, trading posts, and old houses.
On May 23rd the White Oak Ridge Park was formally dedicated, and on May 24th a concert was given in the auditorium of the High School, in which the Junior High Orchestra, the Millburn-Short Hills Chorus, the Senior High School combined chorus, and soloist, Lynn Kleinberger, pianist, and Eileen Schauler, soprano, both former graduates of Millburn High School, now professionals, took part.
Commencing on may 1st, 99% of all stores and business houses of the Township were appropriately decorated with red, white, and blue bunting, surrounding the Millburn Centennial Emblem which consisted of two motifs enclosed in an hour-glass form, one depicting an old mill with waterwheel, and the other the facade of the new Millburn High School, with the words "A Century of Township Progress." The emblem was designed by members of Troop No. 2, Millburn Girl Scouts.
Store windows carried displays of enlarged photographs of old Millburn, and other historical objects, and the local post-offices cancelled all mail during Centennial Week with a "Millburn Centennial 1857-1957" cancellation stamp. The Chamber of Commerce, after a spirited contest among High School girls, elected Barbara Bridges its Centennial Queen.
Starting on February 18, 1975, and continuing until the celebration was concluded, the Millburn branch of the National State Bank displayed in a glass showcase various exhibits from the past and present, including the Parkhurst family china, the Edwin F. Bitter gun collection, Whittingham family heirlooms, objects from "Redstone" the fabulous 19th century home of the William Ingraham Russell family, various facets of the "New Eyes for the Needy" projects, and other interesting Township memorabilia.
On Saturday, May 25, members of the Millburn Centennial Committee, chairmen of all sub-committees, Township clergymen, representatives of adjoining municipalities, and guests of honor, met at Short Hills Club for a Centennial Luncheon. Guests of honor included New Jersey Governor Robert B. Meyner, Congressman Robert Winthrop Kean, Essex County Senator Donal Fox, Essex County Prosecutor Charles W. Webb Jr., and distinguished local citizens including Chief Justice Arthur T. Vanderbilt of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Superior Court Judge Frederic R. Colie, and United States District Court Judge Reynier J. Wortendyke. Superior Court Judge G. Dixon Speakman, who had recently died, was represented by his widow, Jane Speakman.
Following the luncheon came one of the highlights of the celebration, the two-hour parade, for which Parade Chairman, Judge Milton Freiman, and his committee, had been preparing for a year. Edward F. Lonergan was honorary grand marshal of the parade and his aides were James Tighe and John McCollum. In the line of march were floats, foot marchers, drum and bugle corps, the Centennial Queen and her attendants, antique automobiles, school bands, Millburn Fire and Police personnel, old and new fire equipment, hagpipers, an oldtime calliope, horse-riding groups, military units, and wheelmen, including Don Palmer on a highwheeled antique bicycle, commemorating the past glory of Millburn's annual bicycle races.
A Texas barbecue, in Taylor Park after the parade completed the Centennial Celebration. The barbecue was prepared and served by a company from Fort Worth, Texas, out of chuck wagons Western style, and featured pit-cooked barbecued beef with hickory gravy, smoked ranch style beans, country style potato salad, Texas cold slam, sliced dill pickles, and onions, hot sour dough biscuits, Western apples, hot coffee and lemonade. Nearly 5,000 people attended, and a "Hill-billy" band accompanied the festivities throughout the remainder of the day.
But at last it was over; the last plate of Texas barbecued beef had been eaten; the last words had been said; the last straggler had left Taylor Park. Millburn Township, cheered and feted by thousands of its citizens had officially passed the century line.
Histories, of course, never end. The current event of today becomes the history of tomorrow, and the record brought up-to-date by one human hand soon becomes a part of the past which another's pen will set down as a tale of long ago. In concluding this long history of one town, we are convinced that the conclusion reached when we began our story more than a year and a half ago still stands as true and we repeat it herewith:
History is the story of man and the times in which he lived. The impact of one on the other produces the recorded events which are the milestones along the road leading from yesterday to tomorrow. We have attempted to show the road along which we have come to the year 1957 by telling of the people who have journeyed before us, molded by the times in which they lived, mostly subject to those times, sometimes dominating them, but always moving, shaping, creating the events which have been recorded, and never free of the consequences of their own actions.
We wish it had been possible to name all of the citizens of the Township who have achieved recognition beyond the confines of their home town, but because of the possibility of omitting one, it was thought better to include only those persons who have in some way or other contributed to the building of the community.
However, in the long months of research which have gone into the compilation of Millburn's history, one fact has become increasingly clear to the author, and that is, that no man, however humble, walks the earth without leaving some trade of his steps behind him, and those steps seemingly dim and shallow become deep and meaningful as the light of history shines upon them.
If Stephen Parkhurst, or Thomas Smith, or Nicholas Parsil, had moved from Elizabeth to Millburn in 1957 hardly anyone would have been aware of his coming, and he probably would have become another commuter to the city, moving like thousands of others in a daily routine, unimportant, except to himself and his family. However, a hundred years from now, the pattern of life in 1957 will be clearly perceived, and the changes the commuter's daily round wrought in the lives of Americans of the 20th century may stand out like beacons pointing the way to the next turn in the road.
One hundred years is not a long time for a community to have had a corporate existence, but behind that legal life were one hundred and fifty or more years of learning to live together in harmony and cooperation. We believe the record shows that the Township has grown ever wiser in administering to the needs of its people; in planning for the future of today's children, and in preparing the groundwork, as best the human minds and hands who give it life, can make ready, for the hundred years which lie ahead.