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by Helen McCulloch Phyfe 


Sy 


Published and Printed by 
Rachel McC. Schmidt and Frederick W. Schmidt 
HAWORTH « NEW JERSEY 


This book was printed in a limited edition 


No. 15 F 


Copyright, 1956, by Frederick W. Schmidt 
and printed in the United States of America 


PAGE 

Preface VII 

CHAPTER ONE ‘i 
1680-1879 + In the Beginning 

CHAPTER TWO 12 
1880-1890 + In Its Infancy 

CHAPTER THREE oF 
1891-1909 + In Its Youth 

CHAPTER FOUR 44 
1910-1919 + In Its Teens 

CHAPTER FIVE : 66 
1920-1925 + In Its Coming of Age 

CHAPTER SIX 82 
1926-1945 + In Its Prime 

CHAPTER SEVEN ; 111 


1946-1955 - 


In Its Maturity 





Phefesve 


iE had never planned to write 
this biography of my home town. In fact, it might never 
have happened had it not appeared as a service to the 
Haworth Library. The Library has been as dear to me as 
my own child and, like a doting parent, I have indulged 
its wishes. 


So, out of a welter of memories, out of the clippings 
from Scrap Books, out of the remembrances of friends, 
out of a treasure house of salvaged bits—old newspapers, 
council records, old “minutes,” maps and programs—these 
chapters have been assembled. To many people I owe 
sincere gratitude, for facts and data, for confirmation and 
correction, for assistance and encouragement. To Edwin 
Emrich, William Wilson, I. A. Carlson, I acknowledge 
particular indebtedness. 


Because much of the early history, though of great in- 
terest, is not of official record, it could be obtained only 
from those whose memories could stretch beyond the hap- 
penings of their own lives into the past of their forebears. 
In this connection, I would thank particularly George 
Acken, Mrs. Alice Randall Bogert, Ira Christie, Henry F. 
Copeland, Mrs. Ethel Devlin, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur 
LeCompte, Armin Lobeck, Mrs. Gretta Ward Mount, Mrs. 
Cora Bell Oren and my husband Benjamin P. Phyfe. 


vil 


For the assistance from maps, deeds, and genealogies, I 
am grateful to Allan Kobackin of the Bergen County 
Clerk’s office in Hackensack and to Peter Kipp Clough in 
Englewood, and to the Librarians in the Englewood and 
New York City Public Libraries. For facts relative to the 
Revolutionary and Civil Wars, I thank Mrs. Clifford 
Curtis, Curator of the Von Steuben House in New Bridge 
and to the Bergen County Historical Society. 


Most of all am I indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Frederick W. 
Schmidt. It was their affection for Haworth which led 
them to be interested in the story I was compiling for the 
Library. This interest grew into a compelling desire to 
benefit not only the Library and the Borough but also that 
other great institution so valuable to Haworth, the Engle- 
wood Hospital. Thus, through their public spirited en- 
thusiasm and their faith in my devotion to our mutual 
interests, they backed my efforts and enlarged my canvass, 
bringing to fruition this project to increase the usefulness 
of both the Englewood Hospital and the Haworth Library. 


It is a matter of great pride to me that I have had the 
assistance of Rae and Fred Schmidt. To Rae, I owe many 
thanks for patient proofreading and the detailed work of 
corroborating names and dates and for much more than 
the physical labor involved . . . for that intangible some- 
thing which spelled her steady, quiet insistence that there 
was value in what I was trying-to do. To Fred, I owe both 
tribute and gratitude—tribute to his love and knowledge 
of the Graphic Arts; gratitude for his vision and generosity 
by which this shell of words and paragraphs is being 
transformed into a beautiful printed reality. I speak in 
great admiration and appreciation. 


Vill 


Yet, as these pages go to print, I confess I feel like the 
mother of the bride-to-be who has just mailed the last of 
the wedding invitations. Without doubt, an unforgivable 
omission has been made. From carelessness? Indeed, no. 
From disinterest? Assuredly not. Rather from sheer weight 
of material that one wants to include. So, in the hope that 
you who read are understanding of the difficulties in- 
volved, I submit this imperfect but cherished story of 
Haworth, the small New Jersey town where I spent most 
of my life and where it was my privilege to be associated 
with many wonderful people. 


I dedicate this story of Haworth to the children of 
Haworth who will now pick up the torch to “carry on”. 


HELEN McCuLLocu PHYFE 





CHAPTER ONE 


In the Beyimning 


1680-1879 


hee the backdrop of the Palisades, on a stage 
stretching across the northeastern corner of New 
Jersey, now called “Bergen County,” there began in 
the days of the first Colonial settlements a drama of 
achievement and expansion. Scene after scene moved 
across the stage, each contributing to the development 
and to the climax. It seems true, as Shakespeare wrote 
in As You Like It that “All the world’s a stage and all 
the men and women players. They have their exits and 
their entrances and one man in his time plays many 
parts, his acts being seven ages.” (Infancy, Puberty, 
Romantic period, Manhood, etc.) And it seems pos- 
sible that an assessment can be made of the “seven 
ages which this corner section of New Jersey has 
lived through from its beginning to the present era. 
In these hills and valleys, undulating from the Hud- 
son River to the Hackensack River, have grown those 
diverse elements which have made New Jersey.a part 
of the “melting pot” so famous as a characteristic of 
our American heritage. The conflicts of those diverse 
strains, Dutch, English, French, Polish, of the first 


1 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


New Jersey settlements have been welded together 
through thrift, industry, and faith into an amalgama- 
tion of finest Americanism. In the process there have 
been both pitfalls and setbacks, yet the end product 
is a consummation worthy of pride. While the whole 
of the New Jersey northeastern strip has had its not- 
able exponents in the news items of both yesterday 
and today, the heart of its message of progress may 
best be proclaimed by a detailed concern with a local 
community which could be considered typical. Typi- 
cal yet sufficiently unique to warrant a studious close- 
up. A local community which, born with the combina- 
tion of several cultures, has lived to the fruition of its 
dreams, now to be met with an array of problems 
stemming from the very seeds which gave it stamina 
and. ability to grow! A local community which was 
conceived by men of vision with a rich cultural back- 
ground and was developed by farsighted men, will- 
ing to give of their time and talents to the commu- 
nity’s welfare. A local community which, beyond its 
physical attractions, has been distinguished by the 
quality of its citizenry and by their unselfish devotion 
to civic betterment. Such a local community is Ha- 
worth, at a distance of only fourteen miles from the 
original Dutch settlement of Bergen. In that early 
17th century day, however, Haworth was no more 
than a bit of farmland. A study of the property deeds 
shows the first holdings in the hands of Westervelt, 


2 


““IN THE BEGINNING’”’ 


Kipp, Haring, Durie, Ackerman, Zabriskie, names 
associated with the Dutch, English, French, Polish 
forefathers. 

It was in the 17th century, it will be remembered, 
that the Dutch began their first private ventures west- 
ward, and by immigration in family groups settled on 
grants of land in Manhattan and on areas contiguous 
to it. They found the country to the west of Manhat- 
tan, across the Hudson River, particularly favorable 
to their agricultural habits and because of its two 
partially navigable rivers, the Hackensack and the 
Overpeck, they thrived. While they of course had 
their difficulties with the Indians (the first deed trans- 
ferring land from Indians to Dutch, was recorded 
July 12, 1630) they were able to negotiate with them 
and to spread their settlements farther inland, gain- 
ing new tracts beyond the Hackensack as far north 
as the smaller Saddle River. | 

But the Dutch were not left to their own devices in 
this new land, for in the 1650s the English had made 
a substantial foothold in the section which is now 
Fairview and Englewood, a section then called “Eng- 
lish Neighborhood” and French Huguenots had 
banded together under the leadership of David Des 
Marest to form the first settlement along the Hacken- 
sack River at a point now called “New Milford”. Here, 
too, a group of Poles were attracted and from a patent 
of acreage acquired in the years between 1662 and 


3 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


1682 the Zabriskie family spread its roots. Settlers 
moved north and east rather than west and it is not 
surprising that one of the Zabriskie connections pio- 
neered as far east as the Palisade foothills, where a 
grant of land given by George II of England had 
already established the Ackerman family. 

The English, by the end of the 17th century, had 
assumed political control and in their usual systematic 
way of colonizing, they were instrumental in estab- 
lishing a judicial unit—Bergen County—in 1683. This 
included all the settlements and territory between the 
Hudson and Hackensack Rivers, from Paulus Hook 
(Jersey City) to the line of the province of New York. 
In 1693 the county was divided into townships ( Har- 
rington Township in which Haworth lies was one of 
them) and in 1710, the village of Hackensack, which 
in a span of fifty years had accrued considerable influ- 
ence, was named county seat. To this day it is the 
political pivot of the county. The County Court House 
was built in 1716, and it holds the extant records 
dating from this period. Yet the English, in spite of 
their strength, politically and financially, were never 
able to disrupt the influence of the Dutch, which is 
evident, two and a half centuries later, in architecture 
and a persistence of Dutch names. The name “Ha- 
worth” however is English. It is thought to be related 
to Haworth, England, the home of the novelists, the 
Bronté sisters, but there is no record to prove it. Nor 


4 


““IN THE BEGINNING’”’ 


is there any certainty when the name was first used. 
Earliest deeds do not mention it and it was only after 
maps were made in the mid-nineteenth century that 
the name “Haworth” is found, comprising a section 
which covered the 14th School District of Harrington 
Township. 

Among the maps which came into use in the 18th 
century is one which General George Washington 
used for his military guidance and on this map is 
shown the road along which the Haworth farmlands 
bordered. It bears a Dutch name, “Schraalenburgh” 
which, although it evades exact derivation, probably 
means “Little Ridge” as differentiated from the high- 
er ridge of the Palisades, running parallel. By legend, 
this road is associated with General Washington, 
although there are no authentic records to show that 
Washington or his troops passed along this trail, for 
it was little more than an Indian trace at this time. 
An atlas, dated 1776-1876 states that “Washington’s 
army was encamped on the first ridge west of the 
Hackensack River, north of Hackensack” and says 
further, “No Revolutionary battles of any importance 
were fought in Bergen County, though people 
throughout the area were subject to the inconvenience 
of predatory warfare.” Assuming therefore that skir- 
mishes between Redcoats and Rebels may have oc- 
curred within the Schraalenburgh Road perimeter, it 
is understandable that, in later days, some sections of 


5 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


it were named “Washington Avenue’. Yet the old 
Dutch name “Schraalenburgh Road” has always been 
retained in Haworth. 

While the Revolution may not have left much im- 
print on the northeastern section of Bergen County, 
it is an interesting fact that the condition might have 
been otherwise had the British, under Cornwallis, 
after landing at Closter Dock in November 1776, 
taken a different route to Fort Lee where they hoped 
to surprise and rout the Rebel forces under General 
Greene. They proceeded to Fort Lee from Alpine 
through a rough trail in the woods along the top of 
the Palisades. Had they traveled by the County 
Road through Demarest or the Schraalenburgh Road 
through Haworth they might not have missed con- 
tact with Greene’s forces. As it was, General Greene 
and his tattered battalions had already evacuated 
Fort Lee and were crossing the westerly meadows 
and the Hackensack River, thus escaping a battle 
which might have ended the war favorably to the 
British. Judge William M. Seufert, who has made an 
intensive study of Revolutionary history, believes that 
this Cornwallis error in the choice of a road proved 
the turning point in the war. In a sense, then Schraal- 
enburgh Road has a right to be called “Washington 
Avenue’ since, by its non-use, it contributed to the 
success of Washington’s retreat and his ultimate | 
victory. 


“‘IN THE BEGINNING’’ 


It is questionable whether there were any houses 
along the Haworth section of the Schraalenburgh 
Road at the time of the Revolution. A Durie house 
was in the vicinity, non-existent today, but the old 
houses standing today were built in the early 1800s, 
these including the Westervelt farmhouse, the John 
Ackerman home, the Haring* house, and the two 
Zabriskie farmhouses. All are of Dutch architecture 
and construction. Built of brown sandstone indigenous 
to this area, they give the impression of solidarity 
which characterized the Dutch people. They all face 
the south and are of the same typical plan, roof edge 
sloping until near the eaves and extending in curved 
fashion several feet beyond the wall, the hall running 
midway from front to rear, two rooms to the left, and 
to the right, a few steps leading to an ell which con- 
tained the kitchen. Huge barns were an integral part 
of the farm set-up. Several of these are in existence 
today. 

Documents covering the life and activities of this 
era, 1775-1850, are pitifully scarce, so Haworth’s de- 
velopment can be determined only after “history” 
emerged from Church archives, from family Bibles 
and from father-to-son folklore, when commerce and 
trade became factors in every day living. When new 
country roads, turnpikes and railroads were intro- 
duced into Bergen County, then it was that the Ha- 


*Spelled both Haring and Herring 
7 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


worth farms became accessible. It is said that the 
summons which aroused Bergen County from its re- 
pose was not the sonorous blast from a trumpet but 
the high pitched tooting of a locomotive whistle. In 
1859, the Northern Valley Railroad formally opened 
its service to the Fairview-Englewood section — a 
signal for business men to invest in Bergen County 
real estate, even as far north as Haworth, and= to 
_ share in the prosperity of the northern valley produce, 
potatoes, tomatoes, celery, strawberries. But pros- 
perity was not long lived because of the outbreak of — 
the Civil War, and the resultant labor shortage, cur- 
tailing all expansion. 

Whatever part Haworth may have had in the Civil 
War is shrouded in mystery. There are some records 
which report that the 22nd New Jersey Volunteers, 
a Bergen County regiment of 939 men, were training 
along the Schraalenburgh ridge and that “a resolu- 
tion was passed expressing gratitude to the collector 
and finance committee for their arduous labors in 
providing substitutes and volunteers to fill the quota 
of the county.” There are some records, too, which 
show that slaves which were owned in this section 
were quickly freed, though Bergen County was Demo- 
crat and not generally in sympathy with Lincoln. 

With the cessation of hostilities between the States, 
new life sprang up in Bergen County and again in- 
terest in expansion was aroused. In the late 1860s, a 


8 


“IN THE BEGINNING” 


group of Englewood pioneers entered upon exten- 
sive operations outside their limits, purchasing land 
to the north, including acreage in Haworth. Jacob 
S. Wetmore bought the Haring property and I. Smith 
Homans bought a section, owned since 1859 by Peter 
Demarest, north of the Zabriskie farm. A large house 
of English style was built on the Homans’ estate 
either by the next owner, Robert W. Boorman, or by 
Razel F. Pickert, who resided here 1870 to 1878. This 
house, set back from Schraalenburgh Road some five 
hundred feet was called “The Grange”, reminiscent 
of English landed gentry possessions, no doubt, and 
the barns were at a considerable distance from the 
house. A huge stable with eleven box stalls was 
located to the west in the valley. 

Opposite this property and abutting Hardenburgh 
Avenue and the Wetmore Estate, a piece of land was 
acquired by George Opdyke. It was a speculative 
gesture spurred by the investments of William Walter 
Phelps, resident in Teaneck and later to be our am- 
bassador to Germany. George Opdyke had been 
mayor of New York City 1862-1864, the first Repub- 
lican mayor New York had, and it is known that both 
he and his son, William S., were interested in New 
Jersey real estate. The name appears in sections to 
the south in the area called “Schraalenburgh” (now 
Dumont) where in 1862 the Dixon family had settled. 
None of the Opdykes lived in Haworth. 


9 


THE HAW ORTH “STORY 


Another investment in Haworth farmland was 
made in these early 1860s, by one of the young Kipp 
lads, Isaac from Schraalenburgh, who apparently had 
in his mind the idea of getting married. He acquired 
a farm—he was only twenty-four years of age—near 
Durie Avenue, leading to Closter. (This was still with- 
in Schraalenburg periphery.) Isaac was the only one 
of William Kipp’s five sons to locate here, the others 
going either to the Tappan or the Closter district. 

In the 1870s, John Ackerman, Jr., who had in- 
herited a Schraalenburgh Road farm from his grand- 
father—he had a parcel of 160 acres extending from 
present Maple Street east as far as Tenakill Brook in 
Demarest — divided the land on the west side of 
Schraalenburgh Road between his three daughters, 
Cornelia, Mary Jane, and Sarah Louisa. Only 
Cornelia (Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbeek) resided here. 
The Vanderbeek home, set in a clump of old trees, 
was not of Dutch design, but there was another 
example of Dutch Colonial architecture on property 
owned by a Westervelt relative, Charles Mount, which 
lay in the valley, close to the single-track railroad 
which was laid in 18738. | 

The opening of the railroad in the Schraalenburgh 
Valley proved the most persistent invitation to home- 
seekers to settle here. Families who could maintain 
horses and carriages for use to and from stations could 
now be lured from the city. Although the first rail- 


10 


““IN THE BEGINNING’”’ 


road which carried passengers from Ridgefield Park 
to Tappan did not long survive owing to lack of 
patronage, other ventures replaced it and by 1883 
dependable service was being carried on by the New 
York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroad Company. 
Double tracks had now been laid and a station stop in- 
augurated at Haworth. This, plus the fact that definite 
bounds for Haworth as a part of Harrington Town- 
ship had been drawn, gave Haworth its first, if limited, 
feeling of being a cohesive entity. On the north it 
stretched to Durie Avenue (the road to Closter); on 
the east to Tenakill Brook (Demarest); on the west 
to Brook Street (beyond the brook and small pond); 
on the south to Chestnut Bend (marked by a group 
of large chestnut trees). Within these limits lay nine 
farms, four on the east of Schraalenburgh Road, be- 
longing to Westervelt, Ackerman, Wetmore, Opdyke; 
and five on the west, owned by Kipp, Vanderbeek, 
Charles Mount, Pickert, Zabriskie. 

Thus, the picture of Haworth, in the beginning, 
turns on the axis of the Schraalenburgh Road, a pic- 
ture of farmlands, typifying the simplicity and pris- 


tine beauty of our early America. 


11 


CHAPTER TWO 


In Ih, Infancy 


1880-1890 


EL Haworth of the 1880s showed the promise of 
a community of enterprise and vision. Six of its nine 
Schraalenburgh Road farms were in the hands of the 
direct descendants of the settlers with an inherent 
kinship to the land. These included the Westervelts, 
Ackermans, Opdykes, Zabriskies, Vanderbeeks, 
Kipps. The other three properties were magnets for 
the adventuresome and the forward-looking. To see 
this Haworth in retrospect is to travel along the 
Schraalenburgh Road, north to south, proceeding 
along the east side, returning via the west, and to 
meet, at least in cursory fashion, these homesteaders 
of the 1880 decade. 

The first house to see, immediately south of Durie 
Avenue, is the charming Dutch example built of 
brown sandstone. It was erected in 1812 by Garret 
Durie for his bride Anna Haring. She was related to 
the family for whom the township, Harrington, was 
named. Their one heir, a daughter, Giddie Durie, 
was married to John Westervelt and they took over 
the occupancy of the house. Then the Westervelt heir, 


12 


SPN eles ANEANCY*” 


also a daughter, Anna Maria, married Joseph Mount 
of Saugerties, New York and in 1880 it is the Mounts, 
Joseph, Anna Maria and their son Westervelt Mount, 
nicknamed Wessie, who are the farmhouse occu- 
pants. Since that time until the late 1940s when it 
was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Belcher, 
the place has been known as “The Mount Farm”. 
Living with Joseph and Anna Maria were also 
Joseph's parents, Franklin and Eliza, who had, as 
part of their duties, the care of property on the west 
side of Schraalenburgh Road owned by Franklin’s 
brother Charles, who made his home principally in 
Red Bank and came only occasionally to the Dutch 
farmhouse in the valley. Grandma and Grandpa 
Mount can even yet be remembered but it is Joe 
Mount and his wife who are the colorful characters. 
They liked to entertain in their kitchen where the 
table was always bountifully laden and where the 
roaring fire in the fireplace disseminated the necessary 
warmth after the outdoor labors of milking and caring 
for the stock. Wessie Mount, a mere lad at this time, 
lived his entire life in this Colonial homestead, and 
after his schooling in Demarest and Closter and his 
marriage to Miss Gretta Ward, he took an active part 
in the civic work of Haworth. Lists of Fire Company 
members, and of Election Boards all record the name 
of Westervelt Mount. He was a regular attendant at 
Council meetings. In fact, it was jokingly said he had 


13 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


a reserved seat! He was the original coal dealer of 
the community and the triangular hand-manipulated 
snowplow with which he cleared the village streets 
can be seen in the mind’s eye today. In the early 
Borough administrations, as Poor Master, in the later 
administrations, as Welfare Commissioner, he did 
outstanding service for the town’s few needy. At his 
death in 1945, Haworth lost a valuable citizen and 
one of the few who could boast being a direct de- 
scendant of a Colonial settler. He left no heirs and 
his wife now resides in Harrington Park. 

At the Ackerman farmhouse adjacent, at this 
period, John Ackerman, Jr. and his wife were mak- 
ing a home for their two motherless grandchil- 
dren, Cora and Everett Bell. The Colonial homestead 
had been built by John Ackerman’s grandfather in 
the post-Revolutionary era. It is not only the oldest 
house of the area but the most beautiful. Cora re- 
calls many of her grandfather's tales relative to life 
when farming was a subsistence “must” and when 
the memories of Indians, and later of Redcoats, were 
vivid. By 1905 both John Ackerman and his wife were 
deceased and in 1906 Cora married J. Carlton Oren, 
a New York City lawyer. Mr. Oren handled many 
important New York real estate transactions, one of 
which was to clear the titles for Rockefeller Center. 
The Orens continued their home in the Ackerman 
homestead and even since her husband’s death in 


14 


mEN EES. EN FANCY” 


1949 Cora has remained in the old farmhouse. The 
property will go to the only Oren child, a son Stanley, 
thus to continue the tradition that this land coming 
by grant from King George II of England has never 
been sold. The Orens making their home exclusively 
in Haworth will always be remembered for their civic 
contributions. For many years, Carl Oren was a mem- 
ber of the Board of Education, serving also as presi- 
dent, while Cora Oren furthered, in particular, the 
welfare work of the Red Cross and of the Congrega- 
tional Church. 

Everett Bell, the only other Ackerman heir, was 
given property, upon his marriage to Emma Frantz of 
Dumont, south of the family farmhouse. Here he 
built a home in 1907, where he lived throughout 
Haworth’s formative years. Everett was the first 
Borough Collector, a post he long held. He died in 
1988 and his widow, who transferred her home to 
Ellenville, New York, sold the property. There are no 
heirs. This home, in 1955, belongs. to Mr. and Mrs. 
Arthur Schroeder. 

The next farm, by 1880, was in the hands of the 
Jacob S. Wetmores though the original Dutch-type 
house was built by one of the Harings around 1812. 
There is no record that any other than a tenant farmer 
lived here, for the Wetmores themselves resided in 
Englewood. The next acreage, from Hardenburgh 
Avenue to Chestnut Bend, indicated on an 1888 map 


15 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


as “The Opdyke Plot”, was untenanted for many years. 

Opposite the Opdyke Plot, on the west of Schraal- 
enburgh Road at the southern tip of the village, there 
were three hundred acres under the original owner- 
ship of Garret Zabriskie, who had built a Dutch home- 
stead in the valley in 1818. Here in 1880, Garret’s 
grandson, John G. Zabriskie was living with his wife 
and their three grandchildren, Elmina, John Henry, 
and Ira Christie, children of their daughter, Sarah 
Elizabeth, who had married Dan Christie of River 
Edge. The house, facing present Massachusetts Ave- 
nue, was later called “The Christie House’. It was 
backed by huge barns, an old smoke house, a drink- 
ing well and several huts for Negroes working on the 
place. (A family by the name of O’Blenis lived and 
worked here for years). When the Borough was 
formed this farm was divided and Ira Christie's por- 
tion fell within the limits of Dumont (formerly 
Schraalenburgh) but John Henry Christie kept the 
family homestead and with his wife and two sons, 
Fred and Lloyd, lived many years as a Haworth 
resident. “John Hen”, as he was called, served on the 
Borough's first council, continuing until 1910. He 
served as well on the Congregational Church Board 
of Trustees. When he and his boys (Mrs. Christie al- 
ready deceased) left the farm in the 1930s, a cousin 
Walter Christie, then President of the Bergenfield 
National Bank, lived here until it became the E. D. 


16 


EN ITS INFANCY” 


Veldran property. In 1954 it was bought by Alan 
Whitelaw. Although the main entrance to the Colonial 
home has over it the date “1818”, this is not the com- 
plete original house, for a fire damaged it, in large 
part, in the early 1900s. It was at a time when the Fire 
Company was new and green, when hose lines were 
not sufficient, and when, had it not been for the help 
of the Dumont Fire Company, the house might have 
been entirely lost. The Christies restored the house, 
rejoicing that the old fireplaces and mantels were un- 
scarred. 

The Zabriskie family also included a cousin to 
John Hen and Ira, John Jake Zabriskie, who was the 
son of Henry, John G.’s only son. He was older than 
the Christie boys and lived in the Dutch-designed 
house on Schraalenburgh Road which was built by 
Henry Zabriskie, uncle of John G. This homestead is 
owned today by Mr. and Mrs. C. T. Anderson who 
report that horseshoes are still to be found in the 
vicinity. This is understandable since John Jake was 
one of the early blacksmiths of this area and operated 
his smithy just north of the homestead. The smithy 
later became John Jake’s home. Both houses passed 
from the family ownership after the deaths of John 
Jake and his wife. 

John G. Zabriskie had a bachelor brother, Henry 
(named for his uncle) who owned an acre in the 
northwest corner of the Zabriskie land, running along 


17 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


the brook and pond. Here Henry operated a sawmill, 

the lumber going to the new building concerns that 

were beginning to spring up in the Englewood and 
Hackensack sections. There is no trace today of this 

mill. It was not one of the important mills of Bergen 

County because of the limited supply of water, yet 
there are those old-timers who remember it distinctly, 

standing on the west bank of the pond (present East 

View Terrace) at an approximate position three hun- 

dred feet south of Haworth Avenue. 

North of the Zabriskie’s lay the Razel F. Pickert 
acres which were for sale following the Pickerts’ de- 
parture from “The Grange” in 1878, as were also the 
acres adjoining, owned by Charles Mount. Abutting 
this were the land parcels given by John Ackerman, 
Jr. to his three daughters and at this time, Cornelia, 
and her husband Cornelius Vanderbeek were living 
here. Although there was a small barn near the house, 
the Vanderbeeks used the larger Ackerman barns on 
_ the east of the road. Cornelius was the first Borough 
Assessor. There was one daughter, Gertie, who was 
attending school in Demarest at this time, along with 
Cora Bell and Wessie Mount. It is recalled that when 
Gertie had bought a pair of white shoes (these were 
not in general use in the 80s), and her friends tried 
to deter her from wearing them, she had cried out, 
“No matter—got ‘em, going to wear ‘em’, a quotation 
repeated many times in later-day Haworth when the 


18 


IN eT SAIN FANCY Y 


occasion, and even Gertie herself (now deceased) 
had been all but completely forgotten. In the early 
1900s the property came into the ownership of Peter 
DeTroy and it is the home of the elder son, Peter Jr. 
in 1955. 

Beyond the Vanderbeeks, on the extreme north 
border, on a parcel of sixty-five acres, which in 1863 
Isaac Kipp had bought for his bride, Catherine Ann 
VanOrden, was the Kipp homestead. It stood on the 
south side of the street, an extension of Durie Avenue, 
then known as Flats Road and now Lake Shore Drive. 
Two sons, William and Irving, were born and brought 


ae 


site his father’s, while William, also married, remained 
in the original homestead, operating a store in one 
section of it. 

In 1881 when the New York, West Shore and 
Buffalo Railroad ran its right of way through Kipp 
farmland, the railroad guaranteed them fence protec- 
tion. “The fence will be placed on both sides of the 
roadbed, and will be made of stout chestnut lumber 
with three parallel lengths of barbed wire” the docu- 
ment read. In the first years of the railroad’s life, a stop 
was made just northeast of the Kipp property, called 
“Frankfort”. At the small depot here, Isaac Kipp, who 
saw service in the Civil War, sold tickets in the last 
years of his life, but when he died in 1892, the 


19 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


“Frankfort” stop had already been canceled and the 
name of the crossing changed to “Kipp’s Crossing”, 
the name it bears today. Isaac’s sons enjoyed their 
homes here, in close proximity, until in 1913 William 
moved to Demarest. Although Irving's vocation was 
carpentry, he ran the farm together with a greenhouse 
business. After his death, his widow continued the 
greenhouses and here some of Haworth’s best tomato 
plants were germinated. Mrs. Kipp kept the home- 
stead until her death in 1951 when her daughter, 
Myrtle, who had married Wilbur LeCompte, a de- 
scendant also of an early Haworth family, inherited 
it. The LeComptes then sold the Irving Kipp home- 
stead and built a more modern house nearby. In 1955 
they are still Haworth residents, retaining a section 
of the original farm. 

The railroad did more than make a dent in the 
Kipp farmlands. It made a mark on the history of 
Bergen County. Together with sawmills, it heralded 
the beginning of permanent settlements and it 
brought to the environs of Haworth another group 
of men—business men who were not primarily inter- 
ested in agriculture, but who had that adventuresome 
spirit which is the driving force of progress. 

First among these to arrive was John D. Phyfe, 
who in 1880 purchased the Razel F. Pickert property 
owned at the time by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Reid. 
It included one hundred eight acres, the house 


20 


‘IN ITS INFANCY’? 


called “The Grange” and several barns. The deed 
shows that it was measured by so many “lengths, 
chains and links” from the Garret Zabriskie property 
to a line of large chestnut trees forming the northerly 
boundary. Mr. Phyfe was a New York City architect 
and builder, a man always looking to the future, 
always planning new methods, new contrivances, new 
avenues of advancement. He brought with him to 
“The Grange”, on a cold January day, his wife, Jane, 
her sister, Emma, and six children. Around the family 
table of later-day Haworth, the story was often re- 
peated of that January entrance! Snow lay on the 
ground. It was bitter cold. There was no way to get 
up the hill from the railroad but by “Shanks’ mare’. 
The three adults carried children as well as luggage. 
It was a long haul. But the house, from the outside, 
beckoned invitingly. Yet, alas, it was not so inviting 
within. The cousin, who had come out the preceding 
day to make a furnace fire and get the home warm, 
had been unable to do more than light the fireplaces. 
The main flue of the furnace was crumbled into bits. 
The house was excruciatingly cold. As the children 
remember it, they didn’t have their coats off for days! 
Even with the five fireplaces all blazing! 

The Phyfes lived in “The Grange” ten years and 
after they moved back to the city, the boys would 
return Saturdays and summers for sports. In 1909, 
Benjamin, one of the younger sons, married the 


21 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


daughter of Haworth’s first mayor, Helen McCulloch, 
and they built their Colonial-type home on this same 
Schraalenburgh Road (original Haring property). 
Here the B. P. Phyfes resided for forty years, bring- 
ing up their two sons, William and John Duncan, and 
taking an active part in civic and church life. In 1949, 
they sold to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Dorr and moved to 
_ Englewood. 

Another new arrival of 1881 to have a hand in the 
expansion of Haworth was Francis W. Holbrook. He 
and his wife leased the Dutch farmhouse in the valley 
owned by Charles Mount, which was razed in the 
depression of the 1930s for firewood. It was Mr. Hol- 
brook’s main concern to subdivide his neighboring 
farms and to bring more people to Haworth. He drove 
across the fields day after day—there were as yet no 
_ roads—transmitting them to paper for future distribu- 
tion. Mr. Holbrook, who had a suave, persuasive man- 
ner, may be considered the town’s first developer. 
With his wife, he was one of the organizers of 
the Congregational Church. There were no children 
and the Holbrooks left soon after the Borough 
was incorporated, though Mr. Holbrook renewed his 
business contacts over the ensuing years. He came 
back at one time to live in “The Grange” after it had 
been sold by the Phyfes. While the Phyfes lived in 
the house, they had made several improvements, one 
of which was to add an ell, one-storied, to be used as 


22, 


BEN ele Sst NEAN CY 


a dining room. The kitchen remained in the base- 
ment alongside a “slop-room’, such as English manors 
have, with copper sink and dumb-waiter. Today this 
ell is used as the kitchen. The house was again re- 
modeled in 1945 and it is currently owned by Mr. 
and Mrs. Charles Pavarini who have transformed it 
into a very handsome estate. The gardens, which 
slope to the west, won first prize in a 1954 Bergen 
County Contest. 

While Frank Holbrook was thinking in terms of 
Haworth sub-division, John Phyfe was concerned 
with making Haworth more accessible. And to that 
end, he contributed to the New York, West Shore and 
Buffalo Railroad Company a one-acre plot for a sta- 
tion, making the conveyance upon the condition that 
the Railroad Company shall stop at least two pas- 
senger trains each way daily at this depot. The prop- 
erty was accepted by the Railroad Company in March 
1885, the station was built shortly thereafter (the 
original still stands today), daily train service was 
begun and a new era was opened. 

In 1886, another astute business man, Samuel I. 
Acken settled on Schraalenburgh Road, he too a 
builder with offices in New York City. He acquired 
ten acres from the Wetmore Estate including the 
house, known up to this time as “The Haring House”. 
The Acken sons—there were four of them—went to 
school in Demarest while the one daughter, Sally, 


23 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


attended a private school in Englewood. The eldest — 
son Joe was a talented architect who designed sev- 
eral Haworth homes as well as the Congregational 
Church. He also designed the remodeling of the 
Haring house and made a feature of the three fire- 
places, copying one from an original at Harvard Col- 
lege, while the other two are replicas of the early 
Colonial period and the later Empire period. They 
are show pieces in the house today which, since 1938, 
has been owned by Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Dell. 
Sam, the second son, was station agent when the 
Haworth railroad stop was first named and he was 
a member of the committee which planned the incor- 
poration of the Borough. The house at the southeast 
corner of Schraalenburgh Road and Madison Ave- 
nue was the one Sam built in 1901 for his bride, Miss 
Mayhew of Closter. They lived there a number of 
years, then moved elsewhere but came back to the 
Borough in the 1930’s and Sam died here. The other 
two sons became lawyers, and the younger, George, 
was the first Borough Clerk. He kept the home for 
his mother as long as she lived and remained a Bor- 
ough citizen until 1940. He resides now in Westwood. 

With this glimpse of the 1880-1890 Haworth, 
marking the Schraalenburgh Road homes, the par- 
ticipants in the first life of the village have made 
their entrances—the Mounts, the Ackerman-Orens, 
the Zabriskie-Christies, the Vanderbeeks, the Kipps, 


24 


fine tis INEANCY” 


the John D. Phyfes, the Holbrooks and the Ackens. 

The Schraalenburgh Road through the decade of 
the ‘80s continued as the central artery for travel even 
though it amounted to little more than a dirt road full 
of ruts. Cora Oren says she remembers vividly the 
Phyfe surrey coming down the road, a dog pacing 
under the front axle, the carriage filled with laughing 
young people, Ackens and Phyfes. They were on their 
way via Durie Avenue to Closter, the largest abutting 
town for trade opportunities, school and church. Yet 
the axis began, after 1888 and the completion of the 
railroad station, to swing from Schraalenburgh Road 
to the railroad, now operated by the New York Central 
System. 

It was a significant change and in 1888 another 
important step was made in the development of this 
awaking village, when a road was donated to Har- 
rington Township by John D. and Jane Phyfe on 
the north boundary of the family holdings. It ran 
parallel to a lane on the southern bounds of the 
Charles Mount farm. The row of large chestnut trees, 
which was the original line dividing Phyfe from 
Mount property, was left standing to form a parkway 
between the roadways which stretched down the hill 
from Schraalenburgh Road across the railroad tracks 
to the brook, the terminal of the Phyfe farm. A map 
filed in the County Court House on July 7, 1888 states: 
“This map is filed for the purpose of showing the dedi- 


25 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


cation to the public of this land for street purposes.” 
The new westerly roadway* opened to the public — 
an area heretofore inaccessible. 

Haworth was out of its swaddling clothes! 


*In May 1905 these double lanes were made a boulevard parkway, 
one hundred twenty feet in width, a beautiful central driveway with 
an intervening tree-lined space, unique in Bergen County. It is 
called “Haworth Avenue”. 


26 


CHAPTER THREE 


In Vi Youth 


1891-1909 


yi events following 1888 and 1889 had much to 
do with the future status of Haworth. No longer were 
its stretching fields, its beautiful wooded areas, its 
rambling brooks an end unto themselves. The design- 
ing eyes which had been cast upon these fertile 
Schraalenburgh Road farms as early as 1888 came 
closer and closer. Events in the county which in- 
cluded the opening of the Englewood and Hacken- 
sack Hospitals* and the publication of The Bergen 
Evening Record and The Englewood Press lent their 
influence to a successful extension program which 
had been envisioned when the Haworth Land Im- 
provement Company had been formed. A map of 
Haworth filed in April, 1888 listed Francis W. Hol- 
brook as one of the incorporators of this venturesome 
company and through his persistence forty-four acres 
of the western portion of the Phyfe holdings were 
procured for development. Then it was that the first 
homes on the west side of the railroad tracks were 


*The Holy Name Hospital, on Teaneck Road, southern extension 
of Schraalenburgh Road, was not opened until 1925. 


27 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


built and that three New York City professors, A. A. 
Randall, E. H. Schuyler, and A. E. Lobeck came here | 
to live. These families proved themselves wide-awake 
to the advantages of suburban living and equal to 
their role of becoming the backbone of a progressive 
community. | 

In the first years of the 90s, two other promoting 
companies flourished, the Boston Land Company and 
the Villa Site Company. The Boston Land Company 
subdivided a section of the property from Schraalen- 
burgh Road east to Demarest, which they called 
“Cleveland on the Hill”, in honor of Grover Cleve- 
land, New Jersey-born President of the United States. 
The Villa Site Company developed a section equal- 
ing in width about six blocks, extending from Schraal- 
enburgh Road west to the West Shore Railroad tracks 
where, on the present Owatonna Street the Winter- 
steen family, the Hyndmans, the E. A. Kings and 
the Weissleders located. The Boston Land Company 
proved the more energetic developer, for with high 
pressure methods and picturesque media, they sold 
literally thousands of lots (20’ x 100’) many of which © 
were owned by the original purchasers as recently as 
1950. 

In the early ‘90s also another gentleman had large 
interests in Haworth. He was Henry Copeland, a New 
York City banker, and his son, Henry F. with his wife 
and daughter, Louise, lived in Haworth many years. 


28 


Pini). OU FH 2 


Henry F., who took over his father’s real estate prob- 
lems, served as a councilman under several of the 
early mayors and was greatly esteemed for his finan- 
cial acumen, which without doubt saved the young 
Borough many a needed dollar. The Copeland tract 
of land ran westerly on the north side of Haworth 
Avenue from Schraalenburgh Road to Mill Street, 
beyond the brook. It was in litigation for a long 
period, deterring materially the Borough's develop- 
ment, until in 1921, Copeland was awarded a clear 
title. A part of this land had been the aforementioned 
Charles Mount and the Holbrook property. In 1892, 
A. B. Taylor, who became another of the organizers 
of the Congregational Church, lived on the Schraal- 
enburgh Road terminus (later this was known as 
the Del Hendrickson home) while the Charles Le- 
Compte house (now the Sprague family home) 
neared the western boundary. In the center section, 
John Richards, a West Shore Railroad employee, 
added his brick residence (the present home of the 
Hearns). Both the school and the church were in 
existence when the Franklin Society, the most im- 
portant of the developing companies, came in 1897 
to make Haworth into a larger community. 

The first school had classes in a one-room building 
at the head of Hardenburgh Avenue. It was tempo- 
rarily used until, on the northeast corner of Valley 
Road and Haworth Avenue, in April 1894 the school, 


29 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


built by the township, first opened for classes. Miss 
Kingsland was teacher and all pupils were in one 
room, but when the building burned in 1898, classes 
were transferred to “The Grange”, then unoccupied. 
When that school year ended the new edifice was 
ready.This is the picture, “The Village School” which 
most old-timers remember—two classrooms with cloak 

rooms on the first floor and one room only on the 
second floor. Here it was that Miss Isabel Hoagland 
officiated as principal, teaching the four highest 
grades with Miss Priscilla Herckner teaching the four 
primary grades. Here it is that a Haworth school 
building has always stood (the third also burned in 
1922) and that another new beautiful building has 
been added in 1954. 

The first idea for a church was conceived and the 
first steps taken for its organization in 1892 on the 
lawn of A. A. Randall. Later, in June 1893, at “The 
Grange”, the then home of Francis W. Holbrook, 
twenty people, representing six families, made the 
initial organizing move and on June 29, 1893 a con- 
stitution and by-laws were accepted at A. A. Randall's 
home. Mr. George Robinson, a neighbor of the 
LeCompte family, did the necessary legal work for 
the incorporation and on January 7, 1894 the organi- 
zation of “The First Congregational Church of Ha- 
worth” was consummated at the home of E. A. King 
(the 1955 home of Peer Wedvick). Services were be- 


30 


SEN tae OU TH = 


gun immediately with the Reverend William Walton 
coming each Sunday from Closter to preach in the 
members homes. When the school building was com- 
pleted in 1898 services were transferred to its second 
floor room. Here Alice Randall, now Mrs. Virgil Bo- 
gert of Dumont, and Mrs. Winfield Cowell, now de- 
ceased, played the piano for congregational singing. 
Here, too, devoted laymen read the sermons of 
Phillips Brooks, one of the outstanding preachers of 
the day, since the congregation was as yet too small 
to bear the expense of a resident minister. These 
included D. V. Thompson, E. H. Schuyler, Henry M. 
Robert, Cecil A. Kidd, and Henry E. Crocker. 

The social life of the day, restricted by the inade- 
quacies of the times, consisted of card parties and 
dances. At the card parties, euchre was played and 
the guests were in evening clothes, regardless of the 
fact that in order to attend they may have had to 
traipse over soft, crushed-stone walks or muddy 
streets, carrying lanterns. Horses, at least for social 
uses, were scarce. Mr. Randall owned one, and Mr. 
Charles LeCompte another. Wessie Mount had a 
team. The story is told that Charlie LeCompte’s horse 
was a former racer and that one day when Charlie was 
driving to Alpine with his wife and baby son, he went 
via the Closter Race Tracks, the site of the Regional 
High School built in 1954. At the time, a race was in 
progress and Charlie’s horse, in remembrance of for- 


31 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


mer feats and in disregard of his passengers, dashed 
into the track to join the contestants. That the Le- 
Comptes lived to tell the tale is one of the miracles 
of the generation! 

The dress of the day was as stiff and starched as the 
customs—women in shirtwaists with high collars; 
men in white shirts with starched collars and cuffs. 
Their four-in-hand ties and ascots were ornamented 
with scarf-pins and both sexes wore fobs for their 
watches, though some men used, instead, heavy gold 
watch-chains stretching across their omnipresent 
vests. Mustaches were the fashion for the men, pom- 
padours for the women. For day wear as well as 
evening, the women wore long skirts, ground length. 
High-buttoned shoes, black stockings, corsets, closely- 
fitted suits, petticoats lacily trimmed, sailor hats, the 
prevailing “women’s wear’! Winter flannels, spats, 
“Prince Albert” coats with striped trousers for Sun- 
days, derbies and high silk hats, the masculine ward- 
robe for this fashionable era! 

Any who may remember Haworth in these horse 
and buggy days will recall the windmill just east of 
the A. A. Randall barn. Water came from a well and 
was pumped by this windmill into an attic tank. 
Most of the homes had wells for drinking water and if 
there were attic tanks, they were filled by hand-pump- 
ing, for Mr. Randall possessed the only privately 
owned windmill ever to be erected in Haworth. It 


32 


CIN ATS YOUTH 


was Mr. Randall, too, who owned the only tennis 
court of the time. It was here that the young people 
gathered for instructions and good times. They came 
from far and near on bicycles, a popular mode of early 
travel, and it will be recalled that it was a happy Sun- 
day’s recreation to peddle as far as Teaneck! Here, the 
the Phelps Estate, a beautiful park, open to the public 
with tree-arched bridle paths, narrow winding roads 
and the moss-covered, fire-ruined mansion, the former 
home of William Walter Phelps, made a resting spot, 
peaceful and refreshing, before the long trip back 
home! 

The community was joined in 1894 by William T. 
McCulloch, a New York Central executive, with his 
wife and one daughter, Helen. They located at the 
corner of Park Street, which was then called Hol- 
brook Street, and St. Nicholas Avenue, and in the 
following year, William H. Addoms built a large 
stone residence on Haworth Avenue, while in 1903 
Henry F. Copeland, Henry J. Hull and the Hotallings 
built on Copeland holdings. The Milne family came 
soon after to occupy the Hotalling house (present 
Edgar Law home) and Wilbur F. Herrick built on St. 
Nicholas Avenue. Herrick was a young widower with 
a son, Harold, and when his house was finished, he 
married Miss Elizabeth McQuillan, who was at the 
time the Haworth station agent and postmistress. 
Then upon her marriage, one of the young graduates 


33 


LH EE SHAW ORTH SS EO he 


of the village school, Roy Wintersteen, became station 
master. He was probably the youngest ever to hold so 
important a responsibility. He served also as post- 
master, for the postoffice was then in the railroad sta- _ 
tion. The Wintersteen family moved from Haworth 
in the early 1900s and Roy became an ordained Uni- 
tarian minister. He returned to preach the sermon at 
the 50th anniversary of the Congregational Church 
on November 16, 1943—a very happy occasion! 

New homes were appearing in the mid-90s in the 
“Cleveland on the Hill” section, due to the real estate 
operations of the Boston Land Company. Among the 
buyers and settlers who came to these houses were 
the Dedeckers, the Benders, John Hills, Kellys, the 
Fredericks, the Park family, Gerstenbergers, Allens, 
DeTroys, Kesslers, the Robbins, the Emrichs, Mrs. 
Emrich’s mother, and brothers, George and Fred. 
With the Rowleys, the Haibles, the Fred Stiers and 
the McGloins, these families became active partici- 
pants in the budding town affairs. Near the Harden- 
burgh Avenue, Schraalenburgh Road intersection, 
the Browns built a house. Just west of it was a one- 
story shop for meat market. The chopping block for 
Brown's meat is in the cellar of the house today, now 
owned by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shinn. 

With Haworth’s young life definitely started, the 
Franklin Society of New York City, established in 1888 
for home-building and savings, became interested 


34 


el talon OU EHS 


in it, and began, in 1897, extensive promotions, build- 
ing homes, all west of the railroad, south of Ivy Ave- 
nue, as far west as present West View Terrace. This 
company was headed by Charles O'Connor Hennessy, 
a man of wide interests, with a vision of a Haworth 
which would have character and worthy aims. Mr. 
Hennessy himself came to live here and with his wife 
and one son Frank, he touched the life of this young 
community in a way that laid a firm foundation for cul- 
tured living. Politically minded, be became a member 
of several of the early councils, continuing, to become 
New Jersey State Assemblyman and later State Sena- 
tor. He always retained his close contacts with the 
Haworth he deeply loved. One of Haworth’s streets 
has been named in his honor. 4 434 228, 
General Henry M. Robert, a retired Army officer, 
nationally known as a parliamentarian (author of the 
famous Robert’s Rules of Order ) first lived on Terrace 
Street, in 1900 moving to Sunset Avenue, into one of 
the new Franklin Society homes (now owned by 
Howard Moody ). By his neighbors and by the young 
people of the day, he is remembered as a marvelous 
Bible scholar and a Bible teacher of rare ability and 
distinction. In May 1901, he married the Grammar 
School Principal, Miss Isabel Hoagland, a woman 
congenial with him in both intelligence and philos- 
ophy. Although their Haworth residence was brief, 
both left an indelible mark on this, their first home. 


35 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Haworth is always proud to claim them, and the Bor- 
ough operates today under the Robert's Rules. 

The character of the people who came to Haworth 
under the aegis of the Franklin Society stamped 
the community immediately as one in which teachers, 
professional people and business executives would be 
congenial. Among the first of these newcomers were 
the Ettingers and the Kidds, both connected with the 
New York Public School System; the Burrs (Mr. Burr 
was a carriage builder, competitor of Brewster and 
Company); the Crockers, the Carters, and the Cow- 
ells (Mr. Crocker was a literary man, head of a 
teacher employment agency, Mr. Carter was a manu- 
facturer of pumps and Mr. Cowell was a railroad 
man); the D. V. Thompsons (Mr. Thompson was a 
professor of English). A group, locating at the south- 
western orbit of the widening residential rim brought 
about by the Franklin Society efforts, included the 
Harrisons (Mr. Harrison was an engineer who put 
in many of Haworth’s streets); the Finks (Denman 
Fink was an artist of note who later in his life 
sketched and planned Coral Gables, Florida); the 
Knapps (Frank Knapp was one of the editors of The 
New York World); the Sullivans, the Hamlinks, the 
Fitzgeralds, the Fish family, the VanDusens, the 
Geraghtys, Crowes, Collins, the Ogsburys, the Gal- 
laghers, the Forbes, and the Devlins. 

The building trades were flourishing in this era, for 


36 


TAN tees YOUTR 


Bergen County, like other parts of the world, was en- 
joying the fruits of an industrial transformation in 
which the machine was steadily displacing manual 
labor. Steam, the great source of manufacturing, was 
still in its ascendency and gas was used for the illumi- 
nation of homes and business places. It was an era of 
normal prosperity, uplifted to a plane of peace which 
the generation took for granted. Until the Spanish- 
American War rudely awakened it to the possibilities 
of international troubles! Short-lived as this war 
happily proved, it brought to the minds of the people 
a sense of impermanence and settled them into a 
mode of living which stressed hard work. Relaxation 
came in simple forms—the Theatre, melodramatic, 
and the Musical Comedy, melodious and refreshing. 
It was the day of George M. Cohan, Lillian Russell, 
and the Floradora Sextette! 

At the turn of the century, on the heels of the 
developments by the Franklin Society, and on 
property which it owned, the Haworth Country 
Club, later to be known as “The White Beeches 
Golf and Country Club” began its career as one of the 
foremost recreational spots of the county. It started 
with a nine-hole golf course, four tennis courts, and 
a small temporary club house at its northeast corner. 
W. T. McCulloch was its first president. A few years 
later, it expanded into a course of eighteen holes by 
leasing some of the adjoining land, then owned by 


37 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Hugh J. Grant, one of New York’s mayors who owned 
a summer estate in Oradell. In 1955 the Club's presi- 
dent was Victor DeTroy. 

Before the Club House had become the town’s 
social center, the young set enjoyed summer dances 
on the porches of the private homes. Mrs. McCulloch 
played the piano, for there were not yet dance records. 
In the winters, the parties were held in the second 
floor room of the schoolhouse, attended by both 
seniors and juniors. Sometimes, they wore fancy dress 
and there is a picture in Haworth archives which 
shows the crowd in sheets and pillowcases. It was 
Hallowe’en and even though the masks are off in the 
snap-shot, it is not easy to identify the participants. 
However it seems all Haworth was there! 

Another favorite pastime of summer life in the early 
1900s was canoeing on the nearby Hackensack 
River. The river, tiny and tortuous at the Haworth- 
Oradell junction, was a beautiful setting for this quiet 
recreation and until the Hackensack Water Company 
procured the water rights and began building the dam 
and the reservoir, the canoes drifted up and down 
under the canopy of overhanging trees. The pleasure 
was given up regretfully, yet in full realization that 
Progress was on the move! 

Throughout the ‘90s transportation had been primi- 
tive, horses and carriages, sleds and sleighs, carts and 


drays, with the use of the railroads handicapped by 
38 


STN: TTS) YOUTH” 


the difficulties of reaching them. But as the develop- 
ment companies opened up one new section after an- 
other, roads of dirt were built as well as sidewalks, 
fashioned either of planks or of crushed-stone. These, 
lighted by kerosene lamps at important corners, aided 
in the neighborliness which early became the corner- 
stone of Haworth’s life. Then, in the 1900s the auto- 
mobile arrived! It was 1908 that saw the first to be 
owned in Haworth. It was an Oldsmobile, with stick 
drive, no top, no extra tire, no automatic starter. It was 
owned by Mr. McCulloch. That it could maneuver 
the poor roads and “make” the hill proved it the 
epitome of Power in the minds of the townspeople. 
Nevertheless, the Horse was still King and the Ha- 
worth homes were served by merchants who drove 
to the customers with horse and cart. Herron from 
Closter delivered groceries, Christie from River Edge 
brought meats, baked goods came from Tenafly, and 
vegetables came largely from local gardens. An ice- 
man delivered ice from one of Wessie Mount’s horse- 
driven trucks. Water was now supplied by the Ha- 
worth Water and Light Company from an artesian 
well which had been sunk by a private company on 
Owatonna Street and pumped by windmill to a huge 
tank erected at the intersection of Haworth Avenue 
and Schraalenburgh Road which gave the name 
“Tank Hill to this point. 

“Tank Hill” was steep, very steep, in this early day 


39 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


—a problem to climbers but a pleasure to coasters. 
Children with sleds flocked to the hill after school 
hours and even at night many bob-sleds took the run 
all the way to the railroad tracks. Time and again 
when the hill was icy, there was a spill, but no matter, 
it was a world of fun! No need for ski-trains and 
weekend pilgrimages to Lake Placid. Winter sports, 
including skating on the pond near “The Grange” 
were within the village limits; the village, which the 
political fathers were planning to incorporate into 
the unity of a Borough. 

_ This incorporation took place in March 1904. Wil- 
liam T. McCulloch became the first mayor. At the 
time, Mr. McCulloch was Auditor of Freight Accounts 
of the New York Central Railroad, a man gifted 
with executive ability and a keen knowledge of both 
men and finances. With him, there served as Council- 
men Joseph B. Acken, William H. Addoms, John H. 
Christie, Peter DeTroy, Henry J. Hull, and Philip J. 
Kessler. Mr. McCulloch served through 1908. Coun- 
cil meetings were held in the mayor's home and it is 
recalled that Cornelius Vanderbeek and Peter DeTroy 
would arrive early so they might hear the playing of 
the latest invention, the Edison phonograph. The 
records were of wax, cylindrical, and the horn used 
was shaped like a morning-glory. A borough street, 
the continuation of St. Nicholas Avenue, where Mr. 
McCulloch resided, was later named “McCulloch 


40 


wiN: Fis O CDH 


Place’ to honor the man who was Haworth’s first mayor. 

Politics were becoming important in Bergen Coun- 
ty as the Republican Party was gaining power with 
William M. Johnson of Hackensack and Edmund W. 
Wakelee of Demarest at the controls. The electric 
trolley car had made its appearance and land values 
soared spectacularly. But the introduction of the 
trolley car met difficulties in some localities which 
feared its intrusion might harm residential qualities. 
Yet in other municipalities there were business men 
and politicians who saw the advantages of better 
transportation and strove to outdo each other in order 
to gain concessions from the traction companies in 
exchange for franchises. One such politician was 
Ed. W. Wakelee who, as Attorney for the incorpora- 
tion of Haworth, is credited with influencing the fact 
of the eastern borough limits at one hundred feet west 
of Knickerbocker Road, in order to save for Dema- 
rest, his home town, the franchise of the proposed 
trolley line on Knickerbocker Road. It is told, also, that 
Wakelee’s efforts in this proceeding were due to the 
influence of his mother Mrs. Eliza Wakelee who, as a 
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union adherent, was 
determined to keep the Fredericks’ Hotel where alco- 
holic beverages were sold, out of Demarest. The hotel 
was owned and managed by Julius Fredericks, whose 
daughter, Mrs. Amelia Bender, is living in Haworth 
today. Whether or not this is true, it is true that a 


41 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


trolley line never came north of Tenafly and that the 
Knickerbocker Road did not form what would have 
seemed to be the natural east boundary for the 
Borough. It is true, as well, that Demarest remained 
a “dry” town until 1954 and that “The Antlers”, suc- 
cessors to “Fredericks”, doing business in 1955 does 
sell alcoholic beverages! 

One cannot recall the picture of Haworth in its 
youth without a thrill of pride in the early families, 
still few in number because the total population was 
less than 500, who made their impact felt on the 
town’s development. Early history has not recorded 
all the names of the people who did the ground work 
for Haworth’s future, but names are not what gives 
History its permanence nor its lustre. It is the spirit 
with which the names are coupled. Remembering the 
difficulties of transportation and communication (no 
automobiles and no telephones ), it is the more of an 
accomplishment that these few did so much. 

By 1905, suburban growth had eaten up farm acre- 
age to the point that there was a reduction of more 
than 33% since 1860. However, in the county 4519 
acres were being used to grow vegetables for the New 
York City market, and orchard products, of which 
apples were the most important, had grown in value 
to more than $98,000. Suburban development was, 
nonetheless, the most arresting topic of observation 
and even the metropolitan press was commenting. For 


42 


Seri sy OUT 


instance, The New York Tribune of October 9, 1905 
reported: “Alas, the days of the Bergen County farm- 
er are numbered. Land that is worth from one to five 
thousand dollars per acre is too valuable to be de- 
voted to the raising of corn and cabbage. New Yorkers 
need homes. Need a place to sleep o' nights. Their 
children need air, green grass, and room to play”. 
So, New York looked across the Hudson to Bergen 
County and set the Haworth stage for a new “act”. 

On January first, 1909, when Mayor McCulloch 
handed over his gavel to Henry E. Crocker, his suc- 
cessor, the Borough had commenced a new era of 
success. Peace officers, Edward Dedecker and Charles 
Odell, headed a marshal system of protection and 
town surveillance. With the growth in population, the 
school had been enlarged by dividing the large up- 
stairs rooms into two classrooms; a permanent club- 
house for the Haworth Country Club had replaced the 
former small building providing only locker space; 
the Congregational Church building had been erect- 
ed; Public Service Electric Company and Rockland 
Electric Company had extended wires into the Bor- 
ough; banking services were available in Closter at the 
Closter National Bank (opened in 1906); new streets 
had been opened and civic interest had become keen. 

The young Borough was alert now for bigger and 
better things! 


43 


CHAPTER FOUR 


In Its "Teens 


1910-1919 


3 MH, PERIOD of life is as full of romance as the 


‘teens. In Haworth, it was the romance of early 
achievements, the marriage of visions and plans with 
the facts of accomplishments. During Mr. Crocker’s 
term as mayor, 1909-1913, the trend was toward 
organizational growth. People began banding to- 
gether! 

An organization, called “Haworth Beautiful’, was 
formed with the duty to plant trees and shrubbery 
and to plan for park spaces. It was a volunteer effort, 
headed by Harry Van Dusen. Eugene Weiss, Sr. 
whose son Frank still resides on Haworth Avenue is 
credited with the planting of the first roadside trees. 
Through the devoted work of this group of town 
beautifiers, it was early advertised that Haworth was 
interested primarily in a high residential quality. 

While the first decade of the 20th century saw 
Bergen County steadily advancing in industry, its in- 
roads did not touch Haworth. Nearby Hillsdale, Hack- 
ensack and Paterson felt the industrial incursions with 
mills springing up for the manufacture of worsted and 


a. 


rier) of EEN §2* 


silk goods, and of paper and woodpulp. Dyeing 
plants were also started and in the not too distant Fort 
Lee, the very young motion picture industry was estab- 
lishing studios. Even the romantic aura of stage celeb- 
rities did not deflect Haworth from its determined 
goal of being an area for home sites and cultured 
home living. Later the Council accepted the challenge 
of Haworth Beautiful and created a Shade Tree Com- 
mission in line with state and county policy. In the 
meantime, the Crocker administration was forging 
ahead on matters of primary importance, streets, side- 
walks, lighting, water, and finding the right men for 
the right jobs. Frank Hancock Hennessy, a Lafayette 
College graduate, who had just passed the New Jersey 
bar examinations, was appointed Borough Attorney. 
Counselor Hennessy has held this office to the present 
time. Newcomers were added to the Council, which 
during Crocker’s two terms included John H. Christie, 
F.S. E. Gunnell, Peter DeTroy, Henry J. Hull, George 
Semsey, John J. Zabriskie, William T. Hall, Louis P. 
Streeter, P. Willard Geer, D. deL. Hendrickson, 
Frank C. Osmers, Sr., Christian Bambach, George 
Exleben, and Dwight Whitney. Several of the new- 
comers were to become well-known and much-appre- 
ciated civic workers, F. S. E. Gunnell, D. deL. Hen- 
drickson and Frank C. Osmers in particular. 

Early in the ‘teen years, Henry R. Roden and family 
came to live in the Borough, taking over occupancy 


45 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


of the Herrick house (the 1955 home of Herman 
Barnes). Mr. Roden, Sr. was one of the outstanding 3 
men of the early community, an undergirding sup- 
port for the Congregational Church, serving as 
Sunday-School superintendent for many years and 
giving lavishly of his time and his money. The bell 
which today rings its welcoming tocsin from the 
_ church belfry was a Roden gift. Early, too, came Mr. 
Edward Cilley and his sister, Mrs. Emma Weiler. 
They rented the Joseph Devlin house, while the Dev- 
lins resided in upstate New York. Both Mr. Cilley and 
his sister were keen students, well informed, and with 
an insatiable love of books. To them, if to any indi- 
viduals, credit could well go for creating the demand 
for a library, which was to become the foremost cul- 
tural institution of the later borough. 

From a group of women interested in reading, 
called “The Wednesday Club”, the first definite at- 
tempts developed for establishing a library. Although 
the actual fact of a municipal library did not eventu- 
ate until 1930, plans for it started in 1911 and 1912. 
Under an organization, called “The Library Manage- 
ment”, books were rented at five cents per week to 
residents. Only one of the original Wednesday Club 
members lives in this area today! 

Besides the attempt to answer the mental needs 
for the new borough by initiating library services, 
there was also under consideration the formation of 


46 


“IN ITS “TEENS’’ 


a fire company to safeguard material property. It was 
catapulted into necessity by a disastrous fire in the 
winter of 1909 which completely destroyed the house 
of A. A. Randall, then occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Jose- 
lyn. So by May 1910 the Fire Company had been 
organized with William T. Hall as President and John 
H. Christie as Fire Chief. By June, some equipment 
had been acquired—nozzles, ladders, lanterns, buckets, 
axes, hose and two hand-drawn wagons. And there 
had been inaugurated an alarm system, which was in 
effect, the hammer-striking of various old iron rims 
from discarded locomotive wheels, a system which re- 
mained in use throughout the youth of the village. 
The Haworth colony around this time was grow- 
ing perceptibly. Four of the young people had mar- 
ried and set up homes—Helen McCulloch as Mrs. 
B. P. Phyfe, Dorothy Kidd as Mrs. Irving Brown, 
Mary Richards as Mrs. John Barron, and Frank Hen- 
nessy married to Florence Brownne of New York City. 
In 1909, W. H. Grenell was principal of the Gram- 
mar School and Reverend Mr. Charles A. Jones 
was minister of the Congregational Church. Both of 
these men performed a real service to the develop- 
ment of the community. Foremost was Mr. Jones, a 
man of deep spirituality. A prayer at the bedside of a 
sick child, whispered condolences at the grave of an 
old neighbor, understanding counsel to a wayward 
small boy—these and many other evidences of a 


47 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


truly good man endeared him to the community, so 
much so, in fact, that the church was loath to let him 
leave when ill health came upon him and he was 
unable to fulfill adequately his pastoral and pulpit 
duties. With his wife Anna who had labored as dili- 
gently as he, and his two sons, Dan and Charles Jr., 
he retired to Hackensack in 1926 where he finished his 
_ life’s work in 1929. 

Although business was never accented in Haworth, 
yet by 1910 there were two grocery stores open, one 
_ on Hardenburgh Avenue, operated by Patrick Fallon, 
and one on Terrace Street in the town’s center, which 
was owned and run by Lester Hurd. On the second 
floor of the Terrace Street store was Haworth’s first 
apartment, tenanted in this decade by a widow, Mrs. 
Peet and her daughter, Gertrude, a teacher at the 
grammar school. In 1912, after C. Y. Riker had taken 
over Hurd’s grocery business, Riker donated a small 
corner of his store to the Library Management for 
the rental of books and here the first librarians did 
volunteer work, Mrs. Emma C. Weiler, Mrs. F. S. E. 
Gunnell, Mrs. Bernadine Emrich (now Mrs. Clark M. 
Ellis), and Miss Erva Littell (another of the school 
teachers). The southern section of the first floor space 
of the store was rented by the Borough for their work 
and even now a section of this floor space is being 
used for Borough Council meetings. It has also always 
held the Fire Company equipment, and at election 


48 


PN. hl ol er NS” 


times, allowed the placement of the voting booths. 
Court sessions too have been conducted here and in 
the ‘teens, “Judge” Byron Hooper was a conspicuous 
figure. He was nicknamed “Bull” for he could give, 
so he said, either lay or legal advice! Beginning with 
one telephone and a desk, the Police Department have 
always had their headquarters here, continuing and 
enlarging accommodations as the Police Force has 
grown. In 1955, five policemen patrol the Borough— 
Chief Ed Menze, Sergeant Robert Bender, Gaston 
Michel, Robert Ackerman, William Bymes. 

In 1911, Haworth began to feel itself more closely 
allied with the rest of the world for the New York 
Telephone Company, later to be known as the New 
Jersey Bell Telephone Company, had opened a “Cen- 
tral” in Dumont. Now service came to Haworth. How- 
ever, the telephone was still very much of a luxury, 
the Dumont office serving a total of only one hundred 
forty-one people and its use being limited to a bare 
half-dozen Haworth homes. Yet, the wires buzzed on 
that April day in 1912 when the news was released 
that the great new ship, “The Titanic” had struck an 
iceberg. It had gone down in mid-Atlantic, in spite 
of its advertisement as “unsinkable”, carrying over a 
thousand people to death. A terrifying catastrophe! 
The quick transmission of news was immediately seen 
as a great advantage, and there was a large increase 
in phone installations, although the main reason for 


49 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


the great increase in phone service was that there 
were so many more houses being built in the Borough, 
sO many more people making a demand for this most 
helpful article. 

For the first time, houses appeared on the Opdyke 
Plot where the F. C. Osmers, the Fletchers and the 
Wiggins located, near the Benders and the Martinots. 
_ North, across Hardenburgh Avenue, F. A. Sarg, Presi- 
dent of the National Dollar Shirt Company had 
bought a beautiful home, designed and built by Jo- 
seph Acken. Mrs. Sarg, for a brief period, sold her 
husband’s dollar shirts opposite, at what was formerly 
Brown's Meat Shop; these in addition to the many 
dozens she donated to Haworth’s charities. Others of 
the Sarg family took up their residence nearby, the 
Cowans and the Mortimers. Mrs. Cowan served as 
Haworth postmistress, preceded by Wilbur Le- 
Compte, W. H. Grenell, and Mrs. Kastendike; and 
Charlie Mortimer was one of several popular fire 
chiefs, with Charlie Heywang, William Milne and 
Louis Carlier among his predecessors. These families 
became immediately immersed in borough activities. 

Among them, the Osmers stood out prominently. 
Mrs. Osmers was a singer, serving as a choir director 
in the Congregational Church and as the organizer 
and leader of the choral group of the Haworth 
Woman's Club, for which she also acted as president 
(1928-1930). The Osmers children, Eleanor and 


50 


Se EN= Arse ENS? 


Frank Jr., were both active in school dramatics and 
Sunday School entertainments, a training which no 
doubt contributed to Frank Jr.’s later success in the 
political arena. However it was his father Frank Sr. 
who now picked up the political gavel. Osmers Sr. 
was elected mayor in 1913. 

Invariably, it is the unsung heroes who rise to give 
the blessing, those whose names are not listed under 
“mayor, “councilman” or “organizer”. One such 
would be Walter Gregory, Haworth’s first taxi driver. 
Colored, hunchbacked, and uneducated, Walter was 
a beloved figure in Haworth’s ‘teen years. At first he 
drove a horse and buggy, meeting the trains for com- 
muters and house guests, and carrying city golfers to 
the Club each Saturday and Sunday. His verbatim 
quotations of Scripture and his never-failing courtesy 
were marks of his interesting personality. In 1918, 
he met his first competitor, an Italian named Ricci. An 
explosive character, Tony Ricci, he was as much of 
an antithesis to Walter as the heavy thundering 
wheels of his automobile were to the light tread of 
Walter's decrepit surrey. Walter soon copied Ricci 
nonetheless and acquired from McClaskey, one of the 
town's earliest builders, an old yellow Buick, this, 
too, on the decrepit side. Later, he ran a Model T. 
Ford, continuing his taxi business until it was super- 
seded by Harry LoPiccolo’s in 1923. 

And who is it that will not remember the Conrads? 


51 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Louis, the father, whose background was rough and 
of pioneer caliber, worked on many town projects, 
building roads, digging cesspools, felling trees. There 
wasnt a boulder that he couldn't heave! His young- 
sters were numerous but it was Harry, the oldest, — 
who struggled the hardest to rise in the world. Re- 
turning to Haworth recently as a self-made railroad 
man, he said sentimentally that in Haworth he had 
received his first insight into the qualities that made 
a man worthy of this wonderful country. And who is 
it that will not remember Tobey Robinson? Though 
stricken with blindness in his early years, he con- 
tented himself with day-dreaming at the railroad 
station, carrying the mail-bag back and forth from 
train to station, doing an occasional delivery of a 
telegram or special delivery letter. The few nickels 
and dimes that he picked up from railroad arrivals 
sufficed his meager wants and with a hard-working 
highly-esteemed sister Mary, and a fine younger 
brother Chester, he has managed to pass a lifetime, 
if not without the accumulation of goods, at least 
without any apparent desire for them. His cane can 
still be heard, clanking the Haworth streets. 
Memories go back, too, to the Boys Brigade, 
organized in 1912 by Erving M. Fish, owner and 
director of Camp Anthony Wayne, a work that 
made him especially well qualified to train these Ha- 
worth young boys. He has always been referred to, 


52 


pebNe Ts 2G EN S** 


affectionately, as “Major”. His wife, the former Miss 
Gertrude Peet, organized a private kindergarten, run- 
ning it for several years according to the latest educa- 
tional formula, called “The Montessori Method”. His 
mother was a charter member of a card club, then 
playing euchre, which exists today, although with 
many changes in personnel, it now plays contract 
bridge. 

When Frank Osmers, Sr. became mayor in 1918, 
his term extending to 1917, Edward Dedecker, Ed- 
mund Rowley, George Allen, James Rudesill, George 
Lane, Stephen Wager and Henry Collins were adding 
voices to Haworth’s promotion. It was a time of 
considerable building. The postoffice building was 
erected and here, instead of at the station, mail was 
obtainable. Here also was Haworth’s second apart- 
ment where the school principal, Miss Caroline Hen- 
drickson, resided with her mother, and opposite the 
section used for mail service, there was another store, 
whose first proprietor is debatable, its ownership hav- 
ing changed hands so many times over the span of 
years. 

It is understandable that new roads and road exten- 
sions were a logical concern of the young Borough. It 
was at this time that Maple Street was extended north 
of Haworth Avenue to meet Flats Road (present 
Lake Shore Drive) cutting through both Copeland 
and Kipp properties. This brought the northern rim of 


53 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


the Borough into accessible position and was an im- 
portant improvement. William Milne was Collector, 
signing for the Borough in the property exchange. 

In 1914, ten years after the Borough's incorporation, 
the Sacred Heart Parish was founded, through the — 
faith and labors of several zealous women, Mrs. Henry 
J. Hull, Mrs. W. L. Ettinger, Mrs. Ben Orcutt, Mrs. 
Edward Dedecker and Mrs. John McGloin. With 
_ the Rosary Society organized the following year 
under the promoting hand of Mrs. W. L. Ettinger, 
the parish flourished, even with no more than forty 
Catholic families and by 1916 construction of its 
church building was begun. Father DeVincentis was 
the first priest. One of the most faithful of the parish- 
ioners was Mrs. Minnie Leyden. She and her family 
who resided on the north side of Haworth Avenue, 
near the brook, served the community, as well, with 
devotion. Minnie’s chickens and eggs will be remem- 
bered, like James Rudesill’s peaches, as synonymous 
with Quality. Rudesill’s home and orchards were on 
Maple Street and Harland Avenue. His daughter, 
Florence (now Mrs. Wetzel) who has given years of 
devoted service to the Congregational Church Sun- 
day School, lives in Haworth in 1955. 

When a Bergen County Mosquito Extermination 
Commission was formed in 1914 to conduct a year 
round campaign for the elimination of the mosquito, 
Charles S. Forbes became one of its six members. Be- 


54 


PelONe Pe bae A EEN §"? 


side inspecting and reporting all possible breeding 
places and arranging for their drainage or clearance 
the Commission disseminated information to the pub- 
lic with whose cooperation great success has been 
attained. Mr. Forbes continued a valuable part of this 
group, becoming its chairman. Later Mr. Forbes 
entered the Haworth political field. He died follow- 
ing an operation in the late ‘40s. His wife and two sons 
still reside in town and Franklin and his bicycle are 
familiar sights. 

On Saturday, April 18, 1914, a first village “Bene- 
fit” was presented—two plays, “The Teeth of the Gift 
Horse” and “The Burglar” in which Mr. and Mrs. P. R. 
Buttenheim, the Misses Yvonne and Muriel Paul, Mrs. 
E. T. Hendrickson, Mrs. M. T. Vigneron, Mr. A. P. 
Lobeck, Mrs. B. P. Phyfe and Mrs. William Milne per- 
formed. The committee running the affair included 
several new names—Mrs. Carl Stevens, Mrs. Robert 
Graham, Mrs. Richard Kolyer and Mrs. J. D. Whitney. 
The foreword in the printed program declared the 
object to be the “provision of a permanent home for 
the library”, stating that “the library is rapidly out- 
growing its space in the Borough Hall” and that it 
wishes to buy property and erect a suitable building. 
Three lots were purchased following this event, under 
the regime of Henry Theis as president of the Li- 
brary Management. A tax-bill, dated December 8, 
1916 notes the value as $450 and the tax amounted to 


55 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


$10.80. Yet Mr. Theis, who later became president of 
the Citizens’ National Bank and Trust Company in 
Englewood did not remain in Haworth long enough 
to see the fulfillment of that early dream. In fact, up 
to 1955, the dream is as nebulous as it was forty years 
ago! Yet the Borough which first opened its doors to 
the fledgling library still supports it generously and 
faithfully. 

The round-the-week happenings of Haworth life 
in its ‘teens call to mind many who were contributing 
to its successful growth. Among these were the 
George Lanes and the W. D. Bullards. The two men 
played an active part in forwarding the work of the 
community. W. D. Bullard served as Fire Chief twice 
—1916 to 1919 and 1922 to 1924; George Lane served 
on the Council from 1917 to 1926. Their wives were 
prominent in the work of the Woman’s Aid Society, 
an adjunct of the Congregational Church. This or- 
ganization had sprung from a small sewing group, 
called “The Thimble Club” in which Mrs. E. H. 
Schuyler, Mrs. Charles LeCompte, Mrs. W. T. Mc- 
Culloch and her well-remembered mother, Mrs. W. 
H. Sill, were active in the ‘90s. This earliest group 
of Church women workers were noted for their per- 
severing efforts to pay off the church debt. Each year, 
wonderful sales were held, sales of beautiful hand- 
work fashioned by these same women, sales which 
netted as much as $400 from the linen-table alone. 


56 


iwi. EST EEN S*” 


Great credit should accrue to these pioneer labors. 
The Woman’s Aid Society has been an organization 
of upstanding example throughout the years, headed 
year after year by consecrated, competent women. 
Among these, as the early presidents, were Mrs. Wil- 
liam Milne, Mrs. Charles Dixon, Mrs. E. H, Schuyler, 
Mrs. W. T. McCulloch, Mrs. Joseph Devlin, Mrs. W. 
S. Cowell. : 

In the mid-'teens, other families in sympathy with 
Haworth ideals were calling this community “home.” 
A section north of the Country Club, around the 
locale of the Zabriskie “Old Mill” now fallen into 
disrepair, was developed by the Franklin Society 
and houses quickly sold to people of discriminating 
taste, while along St. Albans Place and West View 
Terrace another group settled, rapidly allying itself 
with borough activities, including both church and 
club. 

In the mid-'teens, when people were humming, 
“I Want to be In Dixie’, “’Neath the Old Apple 
Tree’, “Peg o My Heart”, and “Trail of the Lone- 
some Pine’, dances and parties were in full swing. 
Bridge clubs were popular. Life was carefree and 
easy and Haworth in its unsophistication and its cordi- 
ality welcomed a fine group of young couples to its 
circle. 

Yet Life was not to continue along its serene way, 
for the sinking of the “Lusitania” on May 7, 1915 by a 


57 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


German submarine was the forerunner of the war 
with the Kaiser which brought terror to the heart of 
Haworth as it did to the world. When Camp Merritt, 
named for General Wesley Merritt, began building 
at Haworth’s southeastern border, covering 770 acres 
of a wooded ridge in Cresskill and Dumont, it seemed 
that WAR had in truth touched Haworth’s very 
hearth. Immediately, the town girded itself for the 
struggle. Men formed themselves into defense units, 
drilling and patrolling; the women joined the Red 
Cross and met together for the making of surgical 
dressings; the young girls were banded together in 
the Girls’ Patriotic League. Groups covered the town 
selling bonds to meet the war's expenses; groups gave 
their time and talents to projects for the troops at 
Camp Merritt. Active in this line were Mrs. Mollie 
Hall, Mrs. Katherine Wager, Mrs. Winifred Clark, 
Mrs. Rosalind Newell, Mrs. Laura Rudesill. It is in- 
teresting to remember also that in this first war ex- 
perience the importance of man-power was consid- 
ered, for a Board of two men, B. P. Phyfe and W. C. 
Hall, respectively, were registering the names of eli- 
gible young men between the ages of 30 and 45 (18 
years to 80 being in the draft). It was actually a Draft 
Board, an idea that had widespread application in 
World War II. And most important of all, the town’s 
young men were volunteering—Bender, Carlier, Car- 
ter, Jr., the Christie sons, Ernie Conrad, Alfred Del- 


58 


SN bis iE NS?” 


mage, Dedecker, Jr., Henry and Charles DeTroy, the 
two Ettingers, Edmond Hendrickson, Fred Haible, 
Bill Holland, the Huggard boys, Dan Jones, Wilbur 
LeCompte, Arnold Lewis, the Lobeck boys, Frank 
Milne, Lucien Mathias, Ed Menze, Bill McGloin, the 
Morans, Sam Sisco, Eugene Weiss, Jr.—all having 
grown to manhood within Haworth’s limits. 

No mention of World War I can be made without 
particular recognition of the success of the Liberty 
Loan Drives. That credit is due to many is indicative 
of Haworth’s wholehearted response. Yet special ap- 
preciation should revert to Christian Lorentzen who 
steered five Drives to success. Nor will Haworth’s war 
records be complete without paying tribute to the 
Red Cross activities of Mrs. A. E. Lobeck. She gen- 
erously opened her living room for the making of 
surgical dressings. When more room was needed, Mrs. 
Ned Bill gave over the second floor of her home for 
this purpose and later the store next to the postoffice 
became the beehive of sewing activities. Mrs. D. deL. 
Hendrickson captained the work room and Mr. Henry 
F. Copeland headed the Haworth unit. From this 
date, the Haworth Red Cross grew into an active 
feature of civic enterprise. 

When the Sacred Heart Church was built in 1915 
there was no idea of the part it would play in the war 
promotion. Yet beyond spiritual service, it ren- 
dered a service of morale-building for the soldiers 


59 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


stationed at Camp Merritt. In the church basement 
weekly dances were held. Here, soldiers and Haworth 
girls congregated, danced and joked. Here, Haworth 
housewives dated boys for dinners, their last home 
meals before army rations on European battlefields. 
At these weekly Saturday night dances, Mrs. Mary 
Cowell played the piano, and the refreshments, all 
_ home-made cakes by Haworth’s good cooks, were 
displayed, in tempting array, on a table on the plat- 
form. Each week there was a mouth-watering cake, 
donated by Mrs. Kittie Fell, which was the prize for 
some lucky doughboy, who carried it back to Camp 
with him in gleeful superiority. K.P. duty was engi- 
neered by Mrs. John Barron and Mrs. Joseph Devlin 
and the sizzling coffee which they brewed was a recol- 
lection that long sustained the hard working fighting 
units on “Flanders Fields.” At least so the women 
heard when the letters began to come in from across 
the ocean! | 

In spite of the war's toll upon the time and energy 
of the community, the Library Association was in- 
corporated in 1916 with Mrs. E. A. Bell, Mr. I. M. 
Clark, Mr. A. B. Gilbert, Mrs. B. P. Phyfe and Mrs. 
H. B. VanDusen on the first Board of Trustees. Mr. 
Henry E. Crocker was appointed by the Board to 
serve as president. Books were now loaned free. 

Mr. Crocker was always associated with every for- 
ward-looking project. He was a Trustee of the Con- 


60 


‘IN ITS °*TEENS?’ 


gregational Church for many years, a promoter of 
the Community House endeavor, an organizer of the 
Fire Company and an ardent worker for all educa- 
tional concerns. His family followed his lead, Mrs. 
Crocker acting in the capacity of librarian when the 
books were housed in the Community House in 
locked, glass-doored bookcases (all old ones loaned 
by residents); Miss Bessie Crocker and Mrs. Sue 
Crocker Shaw, both residing in 1955 in the original 
family home on Houston Place, supporting actively 
all worthy enterprises of church and civic organiza- 
tions. 

The war was still in progress when the polio epi- 
demic struck with considerable vigor. Haworth, like 
many sister-towns, felt its crippling touch. In the 
emergency, Mayor Osmers appointed Christian S. 
Lorentzen as Recorder for enforcing quarantine. He 
was the first Borough Recorder. As the epidemic 
spread, the first building of the Bergen Pines Hospital 
Unit in Oradell was opened to cope with the problem. 
Children in Haworth were wisely segregated and not 
allowed beyond the bounds of their own premises. 
This extreme care paid off in limiting the number of 
borough cases and none were fatal, but the need of 
such a blessing as the Salk Vaccine, perfected in 1955, 
was certainly demonstrated. 

Yet there were things to laugh at, as well, in these 
trying times of war and epidemic. One such was the 


61 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


freak railroad accident occurring in the railroad-cut, 
just south of the station. A freight train, proceeding 
south, buckled calamitously, piling its cars high, one 
on top of another. Yet no one was hurt. It was a fan- 
tastic sight, and brought people from far and near to 
see it. Many returned daily to watch the wreck- 
age being cleared away. As if there were nothing 
_ more important to do! | 

There were good times to be had, too, and in 1917, 
when jazz music was being imported from New 
Orleans, Haworth organized a band, directed by Mrs. 
Rosalind Newell. It was called “Roz’s Jazz Band” and 
was hired out gratis for both entertainments and 
dances. There were no paid orchestras during the 
war, making this much appreciated. 

In the spring of this same year, 1917, Germany 
had begun unrestricted submarine warfare, so United 
States ships were armed, and in June our first troops 
landed in France. In the same year, the Soviet Repub- 
lic was set up. In this same year, the Prohibition 
Amendment was submitted to Congress. It was all in 
all a year pregnant with many possibilities, yet 
Haworth kept its mind on the main issue of winning 
the war. Gardening and canning, the planning of 
economies in both food and material were part of the 
war-work. A “Liberty Day” staged on October 12th, 
well-conceived and directed by Mrs. Mary Olds, cli- 
maxed a successful sale of War Bonds. The elaborate 


62 


See ta Seal EEN S?* 


parade including all types of war-workers was a most 
ambitious presentation of borough resources. 

The flu epidemic striking the eastern seaboard in 
February 1918 spread rapidly, invading Haworth as 
well as all of Bergen County. Through the medium of 
the American Red Cross (active in Haworth under 
the leadership of Mrs. Ethel Devlin) and the facili- 
ties offered at Englewood where the Field Club was 
transformed for emergency nursing, care was mirac- 
ulously provided. Haworth was again fortunate in 
having less than its share of fatalities. 

Before the war ended, Haworth had a new mayor. 
He was Harry R. Roden, younger son of Henry Roden, 
long since one of the “elder statesmen” of the Bor- 
ough. The new mayor resided on Jefferson Street with 
his wife and four small sons. When the house caught 
fire on a cold December night, the young Fire Com- 
pany had a good test of its ability. Many will recall 
the hazards of that fire-fighting job. The house was 
gutted! But restored, it stands today, the present 
home of Herman Zwahlen. Mayor Roden served four 
years, 1917-1921, with George Allen, Henry Collins, 
Henry Copeland, Edward Dedecker, George Lane, 
Stephen Wager, James Lee, Frank Knapp, Frank Cox, 
Lester Fletcher, Albion Clark and John Heywang on 
his two Councils. 

By this date, Haworth had its first uniformed po- 
lice officer, Eugene Weiss, Sr. appointed under the 


63 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


chairmanship of S. N. Wager, Police Commissioner. 
Weiss was a familiar town figure, even before this 
appointment, and during his years of service, he en- 
deared himself to the populace. He was familiarly 
dubbed “Pop Weiss.” 

During this era, there was much activity in press- 
ing for votes for women. In Haworth, there was a 
good sized sprinkling of suffrage adherents, Mrs. 
McGloin, Mrs. Rudesill, Mrs. Stier, Mrs. Bullard, 
Mrs. Predosa, Mrs. Phyfe among the staunchest fol- 
lowers. This group was closely allied with the Ber- 
gen County organization and helped in speaking at 
rallies, in contacting politicians, and in writing ar- 
ticles for the newspapers. Some of these articles, 
especially those in refutation of The New York 
Times editorials which were antagonistic to the 
cause, were unforgivably kept unmailed in a hus- 
band’s pocket! But when in 1920 the suffrage was 
gained by the passage of the 19th Amendment, 
there wasn't a husband but who was grateful for 
his wife’s vote. 

Harry Roden was mayor at the time of Mr. Crock- 
ers death and on March 8, 1918, at a Memorial Ser- 
vice, he offered a testimonial for the Borough. Also 
presented were testimonials for the School Board by 
President J. C. Oren; for the Library by Vice-Presi- 
dent Mrs. B. P. Phyfe; for the Church Board of 
Trustees by Secretary W. T. McCulloch; for the 


64 


““IN ITS ’°TEENS’’ 


Church Board of Deacons by Deacon Harry B Van- 
Dusen. On this occasion the music was memorable, 
including solos by Mrs. Felicie Hall and Mrs. Sara 
Bullard whose rich voices have always been an asset 
to Haworth, and the congregational singing of the 
hymn which Mr. Crocker himself had composed for 
use at the dedication of the sanctuary ten years previ- 
ous. It was realized even at this time that Mr. Crock- 
ers loss to this young community was a considerable 
blow. Yet life moved on and before another year had 
been rung in, the Armistice had been signed. On No- 
vember 11, 1918, Germany made her surrender at 
Compiegne, France. 

That Haworth came through the war practically 
unscathed is a blessing none will forget nor fail to 
appreciate. There were two fatalities, Harold Rowley 
and Sheldon Houston. War experiences and depriva- 
tions had sobered Haworth and matured it. The 
Borough was ready then, in the last days of its 
‘teens, to buckle down to business, the hard busi- 
ness of making itself a worthy inheritor of its bless- 
ings. 

Haworth, still in the spirit of adolescence, still 
clinging to its ideals, awaited optimistically its next 
cue from “back stage”. 


65 


CHAPTER FIVE 


In Ili “Coming of Gye 


1920-1925 


io a Haworth proved its worth as a community 
demonstrating the wonderful spirit of its make-up 
showed all through the war years in its answer to the 
tests and sacrifices that developed. Then, with the 
war terminated, how eagerly it rejoiced in the return 
of its overseas men! And how eagerly it welcomed 
other war veterans who saw in this Bergen County 
community the type of life and living they had been 
fighting for and waiting for! The many new families 
arriving with the advent of the ‘20s brought a quality 
of men and women that Haworth had always prided 
itself in attracting. Immediately, too, these diligent 
people began to shoulder borough problems. 

The war had taught the value of trained citizenry, 
so an organization of Boy Scouts was promptly ef- 
fected through the leading efforts of Frank Hodges. 
Under the first Scout Committee, led by C. S. Lorent- 
zen, C. S. Forbes, and A. M. Clark, with Walter 
Rohdenburg and Steve Wager as scout masters, the 
group soon became a potent factor of community life. 
In its first years, it was sponsored by the Haworth 


66 


eines COMING OF AGE” 


Woman's Club, also inaugurated in 1920, with Mrs. 
Amelia Walker as first president. The first Boy Scout 
Troop numbered among its members Frank Osmers, 
Jr.. Bob Fink, Don Knapp, Horace Wheeler, Jr., Ed 
Tighe, Harold Emrich, and Fred Stier. They were 
concerned with various crafts and learning the basic 
requirements of scouting. Later troops did notable 
work for the Borough including the riddance of tent- 
caterpillars, that offensive scourge, so harmful to 
trees and shrubbery. It is a credit to Haworth that 
four of its boys have attained the status of “Eagle”— 
Lawrence Lewis, Donald Lewis, C. Vernon Carlson, 
Robert Taylor Schmidt. Egges Das, Scout Master in 
1955, reports a strong organization of thirty-seven 
boys who are allied with the county group which com- 
prises several thousand youngsters and runs “Camp 
No-Be-Bo-Sco.” 

The Haworth Woman’s Club, celebrating its 35th 
anniversary in May 1955, looked back at its begin- 
ning years, recalling that in 1921, it had petitioned 
the Council to place a woman on the Board of Health; 
that in 1924, it had voted to support the State Zoning 
laws and that it had written to the Public Service 
Electric Company asking for better service; that, in 
1925, it had helped to found a Parent-Teacher Asso- 
ciation and that it had petitioned the Board of Educa- 
tion to institute a kindergarten in the school, to start 
an orchestra, and to include physical education 


67 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


courses in its curriculum. Mrs. B. P. Phyfe who fol- 
lowed Mrs. Walker as president was succeeded in 
1926 by Mrs. R. H. Keith. Of the thirty-five charter 
members, only five reside in Haworth in 1955—Sara 
Bullard, Ethel Devlin, Helen Forbes, Gertrude Stew- 
art, Katherine Wager. 

There also developed in the ‘20s a Men’s Club, an 
adjunct of the Congregational Church. One of the 
Y.M.C.A. buildings at Camp Merritt, then being 
dismantled, was transported to the church property 
to be used for their recreational activities. Henry 
Roden, Frank Gunnell, William McCulloch, Harry 
VanDusen were prime movers for this project. Wil- 
liam Burgess ran movies in the building as soon as it 
opened. The Congregational Church, under Pastor 
Jones, used the Community House, as it was called, 
for its varying money-making efforts, Fairs, Suppers 
and Dramatic Entertainments. It had three sections, 
large auditorium, social room and kitchen. The Wom- 
an’s Aid Society held their monthly meetings in the ~ 
social room; here, under the presidency of Mrs. E. T. 
Hendrickson the women planned their Food Sales 
and their Donation Parties for the minister. The 
Community House, in spite of its baptism of heavy 
use at Camp Merritt served valiantly on Owatonna 
Street as the town’s first community center. 

In the winter of 1922 when W.O.R. was established 
as a radio broadcasting station in Newark— New 


68 


“IN-ITS COMING OF AGE”’ 


Jersey is identified with some of the earliest experi- 
ments in broadcasting — a Haworth resident, Mrs. 
Marshall Olds, was chosen as the advertiser for Bam- 
berger’. It was a signal honor, since women were 
only beginning to compete in the business world and 
since their voices were not yet considered suitable 
for advertising, and Mary Olds met the challenge for 
her sex with an ability of high powered salesmanship, 
heretofore unrealized. 

Under Albion M. Clark as mayor, 1921-1925, Car- 
roll Newell, Benjamin Orcutt, James Botz, Henry 
Miller, Horace Wheeler, Sr. became members of the 
Council. John Reynolds, who had just finished a short 
term as president of the Library Association was 
appointed Collector, a post he has held with distinc- 
tion ever since. It was this Council which faced a 
demand from the townspeople that the railroad grade 
crossing be eliminated. Walter Roden was chosen to 
make the complaint. Known for his reserve, his poise, 
his cold reasoning ability, his quiet manner, he was 
thought to be the perfect one to present the people’s 
case. His impassioned plea for “innocent children who 
might be killed” was surprisingly, extravagantly 
emotional! Eyes were wet. But ears were deaf. The 
grade-crossing remained. However, Walter's histri- 
onic powers, so well demonstrated, were recom- 
mended to the committee who were then forming a 
dramatic group for the production of amateur theatri- 


69 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


cals, with the result that Walter Roden became > 
Haworth’s first “leading man”. The performance was 
in “Scrambled Wives”, a former Broadway three-act 
comedy, coached by Walter Lewis, who, from that 
time, made theatrical history for Haworth. 

From that time, too, the Borough's development 
was marked by improved services. Robert Angus, who 
had acquired the grocery business from C. Y. Riker, 
was setting up a two deliveries per day service; Peter 
Nothelfer was operating a meat market; and Frank 
Sarg, oldest son of F. A., was doing the first service- 
station business of the Borough. Frank had clandes- 
tinely moved a small building from his father’s prop- 
erty, probably one of the larger chicken-coops, to the 
corner of Schraalenburgh Road and Haworth Avenue 
and transformed it into a gas station. This move 
aroused a storm of objections from the townspeople. 
The Council took Sarg to court for invading a resi- 
dential section, but because there were no zoning 
laws in effect, they failed to win their case and the 
gas station remained. This was Haworth’s first chal- 
lenge to work out suitable zoning in the Borough and 
it brought about the establishment of a Zoning Board 
of Adjustment, with Harry VanDusen as the first 
chairman (F. W. Schmidt is chairman in 1955).The gas 
station, now owned by Leon Soudant, managed by 
Gaston Michel, still serves as a warning beacon to all 
Zoning Boards who would retain the beautiful residen- 


70 


““IN ITS COMING OF AGE’’ 


tial character expected by Haworthians, old and new. 

The beauty of Haworth has often been attributed 
to its trees. They are varied and splendid; in fact in 
a book called Bergen County Panorama written by 
the Writers’ Program of the New Jersey Work Projects 
Administration, published in 1941, Haworth’s trees 
are mentioned as “ancient trees towering to com- 
manding heights.” They are also the climax of a per- 
sonal story that has been bruited, about one of the 
World War I veterans who, looking for a home site, 
remembered that when he was awaiting embarkation 
at Camp Merritt he had passed through a lovely tree- 
studded town. Alas, he did not remember its name! 
But pressed by the desire to live among beautiful 
trees, he returned to the Camp Merritt area, hired a 
taxi and set out to find his remembered love. At first 
he seemed not to succeed. It was not Bergenfield, 
Dumont, New Milford, not Harrington Park, Oradell 
nor Tenafly! Then suddenly, he found himself at 
“Tank Hill” on Schraalenburgh Road, looking down 
upon the lordly branches of the chestnuts and oaks 
on Haworth Avenue. In exaltation, he cried out to his 
wife, “Lily, this is it.” And so it was that Haworth’s 
trees made their first mark of historical significance 
by bringing Haworth’s twelfth mayor, William Wil- 
son, to be one of its residents. 

With many new families arriving in the Borough, 
the school building was being taxed beyond its limits 


71 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


and a committee was appointed both to consider the 
matter of a more adequate building and to create a 
demand for it. However its actual work had hardly 
begun when in December 1922, the schoolhouse 
burned. That this contingency would bring the new 
building immediately proved an erroneous conclu- 
sion as there were too many supporters for a proposal 
_to revamp the old structure. It took a large amount 
of work and of argument and a closely contested 
referendum to win the order for the new building. 
A matter of six votes decided the issue. While the new 
edifice was being erected, students were transferred 
to nearby Dumont schools, to Tenafly, and to the 
Community House for instruction. Miss Caroline 
Hendrickson was principal at this time, and those 
serving on the Board of Education included F. H. 
Hennessy, Irving Brown, W. D. Bullard, B. P. Phyfe, 
Newman Hamlink, W. C. Hall, Mrs. Ethel Devlin, and 
Mrs. Amelia Walker. 

As the world was becoming accustomed to auto- 
mobiles—twenty years now since the first in Haworth 
—it was being electrified by the feats of the first aero- 
planes. “Traffic,” a new word in the vocabulary 
referring only to vehicular street movements and 
regulated by signal lights at road intersections now 
for the first time, might soon be enlarged to include 
air travel and sky lanes. Who would venture a guess 
in 1923? Not even the Wright brothers who had had 


72 


““IN ITS COMING OF AGE’”’ 


success already with their incredible flying machines. 
One of these first aeroplanes had landed unceremoni- 
ously on the golf course in front of the Fish residence. 
Again all Haworth came out to see, and to be enter- 
tained, for planes, so far, were merely “a laughing 
matter.” Another “laughing matter” had to do with 
the feats of another “first,” one of the Pharaohs of 
Egypt. He was Tutankhamen whose tomb had re- 
cently been unearthed. Tutankhamen, written up ex- 
travagantly in the New York City newspapers, now 
became the hero, as the buried King Scotch (it was 
Prohibition time in the United States) in a musical 
revue, called “Toot-and-Come-In,” written by Helen 
Phyfe, staged by Walter Lewis, and produced at the 
Community House on May 16, 1924. As a satire on 
Haworth notables—council members, artists, musi- 
cians, widows, various club presidents, scout masters 
—it brought many laughs. The scenes, which repre- 
sented the exterior and interior of the king’s tomb, 
fantastically painted by Ward Leathers, who was 
well-known in the New York area for his commercial 
art, were background for amusing situations, dia- 
logue, songs and dances. Songs were composed by Roz 
Newell and Bill Burgess; dances were arranged by 
Sue Shaw and Viola Brown; costumes were designed 
by Carrie Fletcher, and properties were contrived by 
Bob Fink, an artist like his illustrious father. Among 
the actors were Fred Downes, Alpheus Applegate, 


73 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Ben Durant, Elise Carter, Alma Whiting, Bernice 
Hindle. As a whole it was a superlative exhibition of 
Haworth talent. 

Walter Lewis and his wife, Florence, directed other 
amateur dramatics and for many years Haworth gave 
star performances, among them “Under Cover,” “A 
Full House,” “Passing of the Third Floor Back,” 
“Every Man,’ and “Outward Bound.” Both Walter 
and Florence had had Broadway experience and with 
their professional touch, it is little wonder that the 
“Benefits” of the day were successful. “Under Cover,” 
with a cast including Fred Downes, Howard Prickett, 
Rosalind Newell, Bernice Hindle, was presented as a 
“Benefit” for the Boy Scouts. It netted $535, not a 
trifling sum for a small town affair. 

It would seem an appropriate commentary that the 
20s were “play-time” in Haworth, yet that is hardly 
true, for as Haworth was coming of age, it was think- 
ing in terms of Business. How much business should 
be encouraged. How little could be considered neces- 
sary. How much could be restricted. How little ac- 
cepted. 

Two home-town boys, the Delmage brothers, Al- 
fred and John, the latter born in Haworth, who in the 
early days had had a morning and evening milk route 
serving their neighbors with raw milk (pasteuriza- 
tion was not practiced in those days) began, in these 
first years of the ‘20s, to do upholstery work for their 


74 


““IN ITS COMING OF AGE” 


Haworth friends. They had learned their trade at the 
_ Hampton Shop in New York City and now, as expert 
craftsmen, were making an initial start in the decorat- 
ing business, operating from an enlarged garage back 
of their Whitman Street residence. 

Emil Carlier, another home-town boy, started a 
plumbing business here with his father, yet he never 
had a store. He operated from his home with a truck 
and early established a nice reputation. Another 
plumber to do business in the Borough was Charles 
Rehman who lived on Valley Road and likewise had 
no store. When he became Borough Plumbing Inspec- 
tor in 1936, he gave up his private business. He died 
suddenly in 1947, but his wife remains in town. 

While the Sargs were selling gas at the top of 
“Tank Hill” a new garage was taking shape at Chest- 
nut Bend, at the Borough’s southern edge. Haworth’s 
automobiles were multiplying and the need of me- 
chanical service became pressing, so Alex Finley, the 
golf “pro” at the White Beeches Golf and Country 
Club started a repair shop. He was followed by Gene 
Cantzler who remained until the close of World War 
II when the Gangemi Brothers took it over. Still carry- 
ing its early name, “The Friendly Station,” it is now 
operated by William Mansfield. The two gas stations 
are situated, in 1955, in non-conforming areas. 

At the opposite end of Schraalenburgh Road, an- 
other type of business had been set up, called “The 


75 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Barlae Kennels.” Managed by Mr. and Mrs. Prentice, 
the kennels soon became well known in this area, 
their fame increasing when it was learned that a 
champion Scottie was housed here. Then when the 
Scottie’s owner, author S. S. VanDine, presented the — 
dog and the setting of the kennels as part of one of his 
most thrilling mysteries “The Kennel Murder,” a stir 
of-excitement pervaded Haworth while “Information 
_ Please” on the radio was stumped and unable to ferret 
out Haworth’s most famous murder! 

From Barlae Kennels to Kipp’s Crossing was no 
more than a stone's throw and as attention waned at 
the kennels, it intensified at the Crossing. Here, Kipp’s 
store was being torn down by the West Shore Rail- 
road Company and opposite (north side of present 
Lake Shore Drive) new and extensive Greenhouses* 
were being built. It developed that J. H. Francis was 
preparing a florist’s business and that here shrubs for 
border planting, the new fashion, could be selected 
under Mr. Francis’ expert advice. It was a happy 
addition to the Borough’s resources, conducive to the 
encouragement of beautifying local home sites. Mr. 
and Mrs. Francis themselves became active partici- 
pants in town affairs, faithful supporters of the Con- 
gregational Church and the Library Association. 
Mrs. Francis served as Sunday School primary super- 
intendent and as a librarian when the books were 


*These are owned in 1955 by Peter Schaefer. 
76 


““IN ITS COMING OF AGE’’ 


issued from the Community House during 1928-1938. 

Beyond the limits of Haworth, business was also 
developing. The first motion-picture house, Oritani, 
named for Oratam, the chief of the Hackensackes of 
the Lenape tribe which peopled this area in the 1600s, 
opened its doors in 1921. It has proved an institution 
of high grade entertainment welcome to the neigh- 
borhood. Other movie theatres soon appeared in 
Englewood, and Bergenfield. There was one for a 
short while in Dumont. Other of the County’s oldest 
retail establishments, Romaine’s in Hackensack and 
Demarest’s in Tenafly, underwent remodeling and 
overhauling in order to fill their shelves in line with 
customers changed demands. Beauty Salons began 
to appear in Hackensack and Englewood to serve the 
womens cosmetic needs, now that Irene Castle, 
famous dancer, had popularized bobbed hair, and 
that Nestle, famous hairdresser, had introduced the 
joy of the “permanent wave.” 

Other new fashions were coming into vogue and 
in 1928 the arrival of the Reo fire truck, nicknamed 
“The Speed Wagon”, to augment the fire company 
equipment, was another concrete evidence of this 
trend to bring the town up to date, a trend that was 
soon to be patterned in all organizations. The insti- 
tution of the Holy Name Society of the Sacred 
Heart Church and the growth of the Rosary Society 
were other signs of the times, accenting the rise in 


ror4 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Catholic families and the result of the campaign for 
Woman’s Suffrage which had given women a new 
sense of their obligations. 

A new fashion of merchandising was growing in 
favor—the roadside market. This innovation enabled 
the bonafide farmer to meet the competition of huck- 
sters, selling door to door, a produce that they many 
times falsely claimed to be their own. The Bergen 
- County Chamber of Commerce approved of this 

new mode and publicized it broadly. It was the fore- 
runner of county demonstration work in home eco- 
nomics, developed by Mrs. Elizabeth Berdan who 
was named County Agent in 1924. 

As is usually the case when renovations begin, the 
old things, becoming eye-sores, must go. So it was 
that the water tank atop “Tank Hill” falling into this 
category, was removed in April 1925. Since most peo- 
ple were using water supplied by the Hackensack 
Water Company there was no longer need for the ex- 
cellent artesian-well water which had won Haworth 
the acclaim of the best water in the county. The re- 
moval job was done by W. C. Hall, contractor, but in 
the process of removal, the ungainly structure fell 
across Haworth Avenue, blocking the hill to all traffic 
and causing great confusion! The accident had no un- 
fortunate results but it brought many onlookers to the 
scene and merited a large news item in The Inter- 
borough Review, the weekly newspaper serving 


78 


““IN ITS COMING OF AGE”’’ 


Bergenfield, Dumont and Haworth. Following this, 
_ through the efforts of Republican County Commit- 
teeman Frederick W. Schmidt and Mayor Frank Sur- 
beck, the Bergen County Board agreed to assume the 
expense of reducing the grade of “Tank Hill” by some 
21% and the paving. This made an easier climb for 
both automobiles and pedestrians and also made the 
accompanying sidewalk rail unnecessary. 

Within the Borough, all organizations were grow- 
ing and seeking support, among them the Fire Com- 
pany. The need for funds with which to increase its 
value prompted its officers (Fred W. Myles was 
president) to offer a fine entertainment in January, 
1925. The program provides a glimpse of those 
talented residents who gave their services for the 
benefit of a town “cause,” listing Mrs. O. Y. Harsen 
as pianist, Mrs. W. C. Hall as soprano soloist, Mr. 
Walter Lewis as recitationist, Mrs. F. C. Osmers as 
contralto soloist, Mr. C. T. Mortimer as violinist, and 
Mr. William Broughton as baritone soloist. Of an 
original fifty Fire Company membership, catalogued 
on the last page, only three are Haworth residents 
thirty years later, Paul Shade, Christian Lorentzen 
and William McGloin. The wives of four others still 
make Haworth home, Mrs. Carlton Oren, Mrs. Stephen 
Wager, Mrs. William Bullard, and Mrs. Fred Bender. 

Within the wider bounds of county and state, all 
groups were impressed with the importance of “The 


79 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Dawes’ Reparation Plan” and the evacuation of the 
French troops from the Ruhr, believing them to augur 
a peaceful era for the future. In 1925, when Peace 
seemed securely settled over the horizons of America 
and Europe, some 900 people resided in the Borough. 
In 1925, Haworth reached its twenty-first birthday! 
There was a noticeably confident feeling abroad, 
mixed with pride, as D. deLancey Hendrickson took 
_ the oath of office and became the sixth mayor. Asso- 
ciated with him were five new members—Harry Dis- 
becker, Frank Surbeck, Fred Myles, Edward Leigh- 
ton, Byron Hooper. 

No more than a glance around the county is needed 
to show that while Haworth is fitting into the pattern 
of expansion, it is a pattern being influenced by an 
intricate network of municipal, county and state high- 
ways soon to converge at the George Washington 
Bridge, a handsome structure connecting Fort Lee, 
New Jersey, and 179th Street, New York City. With 
the Bridge barely begun, the ever-mounting traffic 
problem led the two states, New York and New Jersey, 
under “The Port Authority” to consider the possibility 
of another Hudson River crossing, which culminated 
in a tunnel crossing from Hoboken, New Jersey to 
West 40th Street, New York City. These plans in the 
minds of state and county officials as early as 1925 
evidenced an appreciation that transportation was 
one of the basic considerations in the drama of Ber- 


80 


““IN ITS COMING OF AGE’’ 


gen County life increasing daily in its importance. 
_ Haworth, now wearing the mantle of Maturity, en- 
tering the Bergen County stage from “the wings”, im- 
mediately assumed a role of responsibility among 
her older sister boroughs. 


81 


CHAPTER SIX 


In Ji Pume 


1926-1945 


Pa 


Me MEN, on becoming of age, begin to think 


_ about getting married, and no sooner is that accom- 
plished than they are conscious of the biggest prob- 
lem they ever had—how to live with the little woman! 
Haworth, too, at this same moment, was conscious 
of its new problem—how to adjust itself so as to live 
with its growing population. Such large numbers of 
people had come to live in Haworth in the ‘20s, so 
many traditional customs and habits were outgrown, 
that it was necessary to think and plan in new terms. 

A first change was needed in the Police Depart- 
ment, where the old marshal system, started under 
the first mayor, was still in effect. So, during Mr. 
Hendrickson’s term as mayor, 1925-1927, with a coun- 
cil augmented by James Botz, Edward Leighton, Wil- 
liam Mahony, Fred Myles, Frank Surbeck, Horace 
Wheeler, Sr. and Byron Hooper, a Police Department 
was authorized. Edward J. Menze (Eddie) became 
the new police officer, with a police car put at his 
disposal, a Chevrolet roadster, replacing the former 
Indian motorcycle. Immediately, too, demand for 


82, 


“IN ITS PRIME’’ 


a Planning Board was heard, a committee larger in 
scope than the Zoning Board of Adjustment and one 
to work in cooperation with it and with the county 
group. It seems that the Haworth Woman’s Club had 
a hand in this. The Club’s Garden Department was 
very active and among its enthusiasts was Mrs. E. T. 
Hendrickson, who owned a home on Schraalenburgh 
Road. One March day, she watched with dismay the 
wanton cutting down of some fine old trees opposite 
her lovely stretch of garden. It hurt her sense of 
beauty, so she quickly appealed to her garden group, 
who in turn appealed to the Council, requesting and 
recommending a study of detailed plans to safeguard 
destruction of such places and to maintain natural 
beauty to the best advantage of the Borough. Before 
the Board was finally organized, however, town im- 
provements were not forgotten. 

It is true that all the boroughs, Haworth among 
them, were projecting additional improvements in 
road building and street paving and in enacting 
many new ordinances affecting civic life. Laws to 
ensure safe driving, now that the age of the automo- 
bile had been reached, and to provide punishment for 
drunken drivers, were passed. Yet laws did not elimi- 
nate the train of ill effects which an unfortunate re- 
action from the war produced. Rather it was an awak- 
ening to the importance of recreational facilities and 
to the value of social organizations maintained by 


83 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


individual churches, as well as to the impact of such 
benefits as those offered by cultural groups, the Civic 
Music Association, the Little Theatre, the Woman’s 
Clubs, the exhibits of arts and handicrafts, and the 
increase in the services of the libraries. 

In the Haworth Library, not yet municipally 
owned, Paul T. Shade had become president and, as 
it was his persisting theory that one third of income- 
expenditure should be made for books, other services 
remaining at a minimum, the shelves were constantly 
being restocked, with an acceptance of the volunteer 
efforts of the Librarians and the Board for other 
services. On the Board at this time were A. B. Gilbert, 
J. H. Reynolds, Mrs. Phyfe and Miss Bessie Crocker. 

In the Woman’s Club, with Mrs. R. H. Keith as 
President (1926-1928) the women were hearing con- 
structive addresses by State Senator William Mackay 
on “Local and Federal Legislation,” Miss Sara Askew, 
_ New Jersey State Librarian on “Children’s Reading,” 
Judge William Seufert on “Children’s Delinquency, ” 
and Mrs. Amelia Burr Elmore, from Englewood, read- 
ing her own delightful and inspirational poetry. 

At the White Beeches Golf and Country Club 
sport history was being made, for in 1926, Mauréen 
Orcutt won the Women’s Metropolitan Amateur Golf 
Championship. Maureen had grown up close to the 
Haworth golf course; in fact one might say she grew 
up on the golf course! Her stardom, which began in 


84 


Stn LSP RIME’ 


her ‘teens, was long-lived, for she won the champion- 
ship five times consecutively, and was also runner-up 
for the National Championship. In 1954, Maureen 
again captured this championship. 

Again, in 1926, the Woman's Club took action in 
behalf of its Borough, petitioning the West Shore 
Railroad to install a swinging light as signal at the 
Haworth Avenue crossing of the tracks. Yet, before 
this was done, a tragic accident occurred, and the 
Reverend George W. Richards, minister of the Con- 
gregational Church, was killed. The tragedy shocked 
the small community, for Mr. Richards, who had come 
only recently to the church to replace Reverend Mr. 
Jones, was greatly respected. In the following March, 
Edwin T. Buehrer was called to the church to become 
its third spiritual leader. 

Again, in the Woman's Aid Society, new groups 
were taking up active duties under the leadership of 
Mrs. Harry VanDusen and Mrs. Otis Harsen, succes- 
sive presidents. The Society had grown from thirty- 
five members in 1910 to an eighty-six membership 
in 1926. 

Haworth’s welfare was the vital concern not only 
of the churches but also of various residents, and 
there were none more zealous in her behalf than 
Frederick W. Schmidt, a World War I veteran, re- 
turned with his family, wife Rae, daughter Betty and 
son Robert, to live in the Borough in the early °20s. 


85 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Seeing many avenues of helpfulness in the American 
Legion, in 1926, he helped organize Haworth Post #13 
and was its first Commander. The group of veterans, 
most of whom arrived very shortly after the close of 
the war, has since borne out Mr. Schmidt's hopes for 
altruistic work. The Legion has, year after year, 
awarded medals, in its Americanization Program, to 
_ tlie outstanding boy and girl in the grammar school 
graduating class. It has, year after year, donated 
books of worthwhile merit to the Library. It has 
steadily concerned itself with important welfare work 
among its members and has sponsored the Boy Scout 
Troop since 1927. Of the thirty-six charter members, 
there are twelve, besides Mr. Schmidt, still residing in 
Haworth — Robert H. Angus, M. Edwin Birkins, Wil- 
liam Bedell, Alfred Delmage, Emil Erichsen, Wilbur 
LeCompte, Ed Menze, Alfred Meyer, Harry Mat- 
thews, Clifton Miller, William McGloin, Albert Spen- 
cer. Mr. Schmidt, who is a typographer of national 
reputation, has benefited many a Haworth good 
cause by his support and as a Trustee of the Con- 
gregational Church, he has given distinguished serv- 
ice both under B. P. Phyfe, as president of the Board, 
and as president himself during the ‘40s. 

When the American Legion Post received from the 
War Department a 250 millimeter German field-piece, 
it was installed in the west-side station park as a mem- 
orial gift to the Borough. Thereafter, Memorial Serv- 


86 


EN ITS PRIM E*? 


ices have been observed on each May 30th. The 
custom, annually followed, is to climax the parade, 
all organizations cooperating, with a Legion ritual 
service at the grammar school and a laying of wreaths 
at the trees which have been planted to honor 
deceased town officials and service men. As the 
Legion has grown in size Over the years, it has never 
forgotten its traditions. 

Horace Wheeler, Sr. became mayor in 1927, assisted 
by Jerome Behrend, Edward Leighton, Edwin Mahn, 
William Mahony, Fred Myles, Frank Surbeck and 
George Lane. It was a period when the Fire Com- 
pany was increasing its equipment for improved town 
protection. The Hardenburgh Avenue Fire House 
was erected during Wheelers incumbency, when 
William McGloin was Fire Chief and the first motor- 
driven engine was acquired. The Road Department 
was also organized and the first road equipment pur- 
chased. Wilbur LeCompte served as Road Foreman. 
Garbage collection was instituted, managed by Joseph 
LoPiccolo and Sam Sisco. Paul Stewart, as head of the 
Department, worked faithfully to give the Borough 
the best possible facilities, including a Greenhouse, 
a Tool House, and Borough Garage. Mr. Stewart's 
death in 1954 was widely mourned. 

Borough affairs, like all other activities, came to a 
respectful halt on June 18, 1927, when a tremendous 
ovation was given to Charles A. Lindbergh upon the 


87 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


aviator’s return from France following his memorable 
33-hour solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean to Le- 
Bourget Field. Many of the town’s men, women, and 
children took part in the New York City welcome, 
reveling in the excitement of the ticker-tape shower 
rained upon the returning hero. Later when Lind- 
bergh married a neighbor, Anne Morrow, of Engle- 
wood, there was further satisfaction for those who had 
had a share in paying the young man tribute. And 
another satisfaction when, after the election of Presi- 
dent Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, Charles Lind- 
bergh was named a Brigadier General in the United 
States Army! In 1955, his life story, The Spirit of 
St. Louis (published in 1953) is being made into a 
motion picture. 

Even if Borough affairs had a way of seething polit- 
ically, and factions had a way of dividing into sharp 
rivalries at election times, the community was always 
united in supporting its local talent. It turned out in 
full force to enjoy a musicale on October 30, 1927, 
when the participants were all Haworth-bred; A. M. 
Applegate, tenor soloist; George Pert, Carl Nelson, 
EK. Diringer and A. M. Applegate, quartet; Miss Ray 
Scott and Mrs. Felicie Hall, soprano soloists; Una Har- 
sen, pianist; Eva McCulloch, organist; Paul T. Shade, 
director. 7 

It was united as well in 1927 in a demand that the 
curriculum of the grammar school be scrutinized and 


88 


ieee sec eh WIM: be 


modernized. The result brought in a man as principal, 
Carlton H. Springer, who served until 1935; and a 
Parent-Teacher Association which agreed to function 
as a liaison between parents, teachers, and pupils. It 
was a move of advancement, although there were 
many who regretted the departure of Miss Caroline 
Hendrickson from the post she had served so faith- 
fully since 1919. But Progress is never sentimental and 
the size of the school warranted an enlarged staff. 
Only one more year and Haworth population will 
have doubled its figure of twenty-five years ago! 
The real estate boom throughout the county had 
now started in earnest. Land valuations were increas- 
ing and all facilities — highways, sewers, parks and 
parkways, airfields — were matters of consideration. 
The Bergen County Chamber of Commerce was in- 
corporated in 1927 with Edmund W. Wakelee as its 
first president. Then, as the jazz-age neared its peak, 
with the signs of the times in women’s ultra short 
skirts, bobbed-hair styles, in the new habit of women 
_ smoking and the general populace drinking, with 
roadside petting parties common and late night-hours 
prevalent, Prosperity was leaping to a new and won- 
derful high. Yet it was destined to be short-lived for 
in October of 1929, the stock market which had been 
rising fantastically for seven years, suddenly, like 
Humpty-Dumpty, took a great fall! A depression fol- 
lowed. There was widespread unemployment and 


89 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


one remembers with dismay that galaxy of capital 
letters, W.P.A., N.R.A., O.P.A., C.C.C., which desig- 
nated government subsidized organizations. The 
government undertook to aid Haworth’s unemployed 
by building a swimming pool, north of Haworth 
Avenue and opposite the Congregational Church, 
but before it was finished, it was condemned by the 

Hackensack Water Company in fear of drinking- 
water contamination. The pool was therefore aban- 
doned and all there was to show for the effort was a 
weed-ridden hole and a dam. In 1955, plans are being 
laid for a town-common at this location. 

When Frank Surbeck was serving as mayor, 1929- 
_ 1935, with the following councilmen, Jerome Behrend, 
Edmund Decker, Edwin Mahn, Fred Myles, Frank 
Osmers, Jr., John Reynolds, Paul Stewart, Ward 
Leathers and Ernest H. West, the Haworth Library 
became a municipally owned, free, public library, 
(January 1, 1930). Mr. Paul T. Shade, who had first 
been appointed to head the Trustee Board of the 
Library Association in 1924, was retained as presi- 
dent, a position he has held with distinction until his 
regretted resignation in May 1955. The trustees ap- 
pointed by the new mayor included, besides Mr.. 
Shade, Mr. William Mahony, Mr. E. T. Buehrer, Mr. 
Charles Kennedy, and Mrs. Phyfe. This change to a 
free library had excellent effects on book circulation, 
and the Borough, as well as the Library, felt an imme- 


90 


ee steer ed 


diate boost in prestige, both helpful and salutary. 

Further prestige was gained when a ceremony, 
dedicating a gift of oak trees for the George Wash- 
ington Bridge Plaza (October 1931) mentioned 
Haworth’s participation in the 70-town-project. Mrs. 
Joseph Devlin represented Haworth when the bronze 
tablet was set in place. In December of 1931 an ordi- 
nance had passed the Council establishing the Plan- 
ning Board and Mrs. Devlin was named to chair this 
important addition to Haworth’s municipal govern- 
ment. This Planning Board, which from time to time 
included such forward-looking men as Charles C. 
Littlefield, Frank Osmers, Jr., Ward Leathers, Ed- 
mund Decker, Robert Patterson, Alpheus Apple- 
gate, Alfred Renier, Charles Crowe, Theodore Roh- 
denburg, Walter Tavender, and Fred Harsen, came 
to be the prime mover in keeping in the forefront 
the plan of Haworth as envisioned by its founders. 
The Board in 1955 has as its chairman Edwin Emrich 
with John Larsen, Richard Belcher, Douglas Mc- 
Eachron, Paul LaRue, Carl Steinmetz, Karl Rice, as 
members, A. C. Hobelman, as Engineer, and Mrs. 
Marion Dunn, Secretary. 

With the beautiful trees as a particular attraction 
of Haworth, it was a matter of both regret and con- 
sternation that it was noticed, in 1931, that the chest- 
nut trees were dying. Some dire pest was infesting 
them and no cure seemed possible so it was finally 


91 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


decided that the chestnut trees must be cut down. The 
ones opposite the Congregational Church were the 
first to feel the axe, those trees which had been used 
as a dividing line between the Phyfe-Mount farms, 
those which were estimated to be three hundred years 
old, which had stood so majestically in the central 
parkway! In their stead, Mr. Paul Stewart, Road Com- 
_ missioner, planted groups of evergreens. It was hardly 
a commensurate substitution, yet for those who never 
saw the chestnuts, it is highly satisfactory. 

In this same year, the Borough was saddened by 
the death of Father DeVincentis who had guided the 
Sacred Heart Parish for fifteen years. The Reverend 
Father S. J. Reichert came to succeed him. And in this 
same year also there was a material catastrophe when 
the White Beeches Club House was destroyed by fire. 
It occurred while the Woman’s Club was presenting 
an original play Siege Within Siege written by Mrs. 
Eleanor Kuhns, in competition for awards at the New 
Jersey State Convention. To those who were members 
of the Drama Department, it will hardly be necessary 
to recall the occasion. When the cars, bearing the ac- 
tresses and the committee, returned from their Tren- 
ton excursion, they found their home town blanketed 
in smoke. Immediately, every woman thought it was 
her house that was on fire! The chorus of emitted fears 
rose as high as the thickening smoke. It took some 
level heads to get through not only the smoke but the 


92 


“IN ITS PRIME” 


general fright and confusion! The next year a new 
building on the old foundation was completed and 
opened to a membership proud of its handsome 
Colonial clubhouse. 

Two new publications were of great interest at this 
time, The March of Democracy by James Truslow 
Adams and Expression in America by Ludwig Lew- 
isohn, and in Haworth, as well as in these current 
books, one could see the spirit of America and its 
method of attacking world problems. A Forum of 
young people was instituted in 1932, led by Janet 
Cook. This group discussed topics of the day, politi- 
cal, economic and philosophical. And within the de- 
partments of the Woman’s Club, International Re- 
lations and Civics were primary interests. Such 
speakers as William R. Browne (Freeholder) on 
“Taxes and Taxation”; F. T. Warner* (Naval Archi- 
tect) on “Planning Civic Centers of Beauty” and F. 
H. Hennessy (Borough Attorney) on “New Laws 
for Women” were heard. Problems of democracy 
were being worked out and women were given posi- 
tions of responsibility—Mrs. Kathryn Angus on the 
Board of Education, Mrs. Florence Decker on the 
Congregational Church Board of Trustees, Mrs. Ethel 
Devlin on the Red Cross staff. Mrs. Gertrude Stew- 
art was made clerk of the Board of Education (she 


*This same Fred Warner later designed McCulloch Place, one of 
the beautiful sections of the 1955 Borough. 


93 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


serves to the present day); Mrs. Ruth Keith was 
doing pioneer work for the promotion of friendly 
relations among nations, for concern over conditions 
in Europe was evident. Hitler was coming to power 
in Germany and many townspeople, among other 
Americans, were backing Herbert Hoover in the 
White House to struggle aaaee the pressures of 
_ political unrest. 

It took a brave man to start a business in these 
questionable °30s yet Joseph Guarino brought to Ter- 
race Street one of the best markets of the day. At 
first, he sold only meats, but soon included groceries 
and made two deliveries a day. As owner of the store 
building, he was instrumental in influencing the right 
kind of merchandising for Haworth. His own busi- 
ness prospered and his influence grew. It was a great 
sorrow when his death came in 1954. 

In these early 30s there were women who kept 
the Sacred Heart Church abreast of its needs, Mrs. 
Eagan, Mrs. Albaum, the Misses Meuthe, Mrs. Forti, 
Mrs. Allen, Mrs. McGloin, Mrs. Roach, Mrs. Mc- 
Clain, Mrs. Vervlied, Mrs. O’Brien. Their card par- 
ties raised the money for Altar linens, cassocks, 
linoleum for the floors, tables and chairs, while their 
loving care provided flower arrangements for the 
Altar and special decorations at Christmas and 
Easter, as well as attention to the building before 
weddings and funerals. Their small number at 


94 


wie Deon kr REM. 


monthly meetings, averaging twelve or less, was no 
barometer of the height of their accomplishments. 

As the 80s displaced the distorted disturbances of 
the ‘20s, the Planning Board, taking a look into the 
future and envisioning a possible 1970 population of 
from eight to ten thousand if the residential frontages 
continued at a 50 foot minimum, set to work on a 
Master Plan for the zoning and development of the 
Borough, a plan to clarify purposes, to define limits, 
to list controlling considerations, and in the end to 
keep Haworth a community for the Business of Liv- 
ing rather than for the Living of Business. Those who 
were instrumental in formulating the resulting Master 
Plan Report were A. M. Applegate, chairman, T. H. 
Rohdenburg, R. D. Patterson, C. C. Littlefield, and 
Edwin Emrich. 

As the 30s advanced, the popularity of radio began 
to soar. Two well-known and well-loved characters of 
the serial dramas and the “soap operas” lived in 
Haworth. They were mother and daughter, “Myrt 
and Marge’ who wrote their skits and performed 
them. They were heard on W.O.R. for a long time, 
until the death of the daughter brought an end to the 
team’s productions. (Myrt’s home is the present 
Morrison home on Prospect Avenue, in the Manor. ) 
Haworth was proud, also, of a singer, Hubert Hen- 
drie, who belonged to a radio quartet and who 
with his equally talented wife contributed generously 


95 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


to making money for many and varied worthy causes. © 

One such herculean effort was to remodel or re- 
place the Community House, which had suffered 
hard wear even before it was moved from Camp Mer- 
ritt and which now had fifteen years in Haworth 
credited to it. It showed the urgent need for repair 
yet the Woman's Aid Society (Mrs. Horace Norton, 
President) was loath to restore this very inadequate 
structure so an active campaign was initiated for 
a new Parish House. A series of plays, devoted to 
this goal, were presented in 1933. The first and second, 
The Florist Shop and Between the Soup and the 
Savory were coached by Mrs. Edmund Decker, with 
Mrs. E. T. Buehrer, the minister's wife, starring in 
them. The third was a Lenten drama, John Masefield’s 
Good Friday in which Woolsey Bill, William Wil- 
son, William Bedell and Edwin Emrich were prom- 
inent. Directed by Helen Phyfe, this was presented 
behind curtains, as a radio drama. These were popu- 
lar now that radios were in practically every home. 
The Parish House, however, did not become a real- 
ity until 1950 and that it was built and paid for, at 
that date, is largely due to the untiring and assidu- 
ous efforts of Mrs. Edna Meyer, Mrs. Elfreda Miller, 
and Mrs. Ruth Cundall. 

Among Haworth’s outstanding labors were those 
of the women who have had the interests of the young 
girls at heart. A unit of Girl Scouts was formed in 


96 


PAN ELS: PRIME’? 


1934 by Mrs. Julia Hudson. It was called “The Betsy 
Ross Troop, functioning as part of the Oradell Coun- 
cil. Their annual cake sale on Election Day is always 
a success as is their cookie sale and their collection 
project for the Cerebral Palsy Fund. They have flour- 
ished so well as to have, in 1955, two troops with a 
total numbering seventy girls. Mrs. Clinton Simmons 
and Mrs. Mortimer Drum are their present leaders. 
With the United States pushing its war industries 
in the face of Germany's ominous look, and beginning 
a slow recovery from the devastating depression 
which had hit in 1938, Haworth could be congratu- 
lated that it had as its mayor Frank C. Osmers, Jr. 
(1935-1937), and that on its council were such able 
men as Ernest H. West, William Kuhns, and Charles 
C. Littlefield. Others collaborating on the Council 
throughout this difficult period were Ward Leathers, 
Edward Schram, Charles Crowe and Horace Wheel- 
er, Jr. Although Frank Osmers, Jr. was the youngest 
mayor Haworth had had, he was an efficient one and 
other eyes, politically sagacious, were upon him so 
_ that after his first year in office, he was prevailed upon 
to run for State Assemblyman from Bergen County. 
His success in the New Jersey Assembly was only the 
first step in his noteworthy political career, which, in 
spite of the interruption of long and honorable war 
service, has brought him to Congress again in 1954 
as the representative from the ninth congressional 


97 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


district of New Jersey, which also includes Haworth. 

When Osmers left Haworth municipal government 
for the state government, the mayors gavel was 
handed to Charles Connon Littlefield, 1937-1948. 
The Borough housekeeping was in good order yet it 
took the perspicacity and the perseverance of such a 
faithful worker as Charles Littlefield to keep the 
_mounting costs of government within bounds. As- 
sisted by E. H. West, Alfred Kuehne, John Pascher, 
Horace Wheeler, Jr., Robert Patterson, Herbert Payn- 
ter, William Bedell, Albert Ettinger, Herman An- 
statt, Sr.. Eugene Herter and William Wilson, the 
corps struggled through the after-effects of the de- 
pression-paralysis and kept Haworth out of the “red.” 
No group of men ever worked with more consecration 
for the welfare of their borough. 

The best minds of both the local and the county 
councils were challenged not only with economic 
problems but with the problem of growing vehicular 
traffic. Large sums were being expended by the State 
for highway additions and Bergen County's share 
was enormous. However, with the introduction of bus 
service, with buses traveling the Schraalenburgh 
Road, the Knickerbocker Road, and the County 
Road, commuter life was made easier and more con- 
venient. So again Progress moved! And the trolley 
which had formerly been vital sank into disuse. 

As new services entered into the Borough’s civic 


98 


““IN ITS PRIME’’ 


life, so too new personalities entered into its church 
and school life. Both at the Congregational Church 
and at the Grammar School, there were new heads. 
Reverend Fred B. Eutsler replaced Reverend E. T. 
Buehrer and Henry Kauffman was appointed to take 
the place of Paul Meadows, who followed Carlton 
Springer in 1935. A reorganization of the school cur- 
riculum was then effected with the accent on depart- 
mental teaching. In the Borough family, there was a 
new Assessor, Walter Rohdenburg, who had been 
prevailed upon to assume the duties upon the untime- 
ly death of Edmund Decker. Rohdenburg’s compe- 
tence has been such as to assure him the position to 
the present writing. 

Under the planning of Charles Littlefield, Herbert 
Paynter and Edwin Emrich, tennis courts were built 
at the Park north of the railroad station, in a design 
to create additional recreational benefits for the 
townspeople. At Memorial Day Exercises in 1937, 
the Woman's Club, through the offices of Mrs. F. 
W. Schmidt, President, presented a drinking fountain 
of pleasing beauty and promising usefulness. It re- 
mains in use for the tennis players in 1956. A tennis 
committee, whose first members, besides Paynter and 
Emrich, were George Dunn, John Schmid, David 
Hearn and Harold Emerson, still carries on, and in 
1954, the Mayor’s Trophy, initiated in 1985 by Frank 
Osmers, Jr., and a Junior Champion’s Cup, donated 


99 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


by Edwin Emrich, were presented to the winners of 
the Labor Day Tournament. This is an annual event 
always much enjoyed. In 1954, the original trophies 
were given to the 1954 champions, Brian Emerson 
and his brother Kim. a 

The Cub Scout Troop, organized in 1937 by John 
Hindle, quickly became an important feature of civic 
endeavor, demonstrating that Haworth’s thoughtful 
_ citizens were concerned with the training of their 
young boys and were willing as usual to devote their 
spare time and their energy to it. Their big brothers 
the Boy Scouts were being led by Harold Emerson. 
The interest of the youngsters in their contests, in 
their camping expeditions, and in their town projects 
kept them from some of those young-boy escapades 
which in the earlier days had caused parental head- 
aches. Not enough can be said for these men whose 
influence has relieved Haworth of delinquency prob- 
lems. 

A glimpse into a 1938 issue of The Weekly Calen- 
dar of the Congregational Church reveals others who 
were in positions of influence — Mrs. E. I. Decker, 
Superintendent of the Church School, Mrs. Sidney 
Wheeler, Superintendent of the Primary, Mrs. C. T. 
Miller, President of the Woman’s Aid Society. Frank 
C. Osmers, Sr., President of the Board of Trustees, 
Otis Y. Harsen, B. P. Phyfe, and E. I. Decker, Dea- 
cons. A glimpse into the pages of Reminiscences, 


100 


SIN ise PRIM ES 


written about this time, gives a picture of a church 
congregation — Granddaddy Leathers in the front 
pew, cupping his half-deaf ear with his right hand, 
Frank Osmers sitting close behind, Edith Pert and 
little Mary next, and back of Helen and Ben Phyfe, 
Bess Crocker alongside the lovely stained-glass win- 
dow which the congregation placed there in mem- 
ory of her father; directly opposite, Otis, Una and 
Fred Harsen, the Greasons, the Das family, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Anstatt, Sr.; then in the back middle sec- 
tion, Fred and Alice Myles, Gertrude Shade, Fred 
and Laura Potter, and over under the beautiful 
stained-glass east window, given by Christian Bam- 
bach in memory of his parents, Fred and Rae 
Schmidt, Jack and Bernice Hindle with their chil- 
dren Marilynn and Brud, with the A. J. Stewarts back 
of them, the Seelys, the Wheelers, Helen Littlefield, 
Cora Oren, Edna Meyer, and next, Gertrude and 
Erving Fish and Minnie Tompkins. And in the Choir 
Loft Mrs. LoPiccolo at the organ and George Pert 
with his baton aloft. And Eleanor Stewart singing 
the anthem solo! 

A glimpse into the new library location in a store 
owned by Joe Guarino at the south end of Terrace 
Street discovers a fine selection of new equipment, 
and an enlarged Junior Department, and the Librar- 
ian, Mrs. Caroline Renier, appointed in 1933, at the 
new receiving-desk. The Library is open now (1938) 


101 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


three afternoons and two evenings every week. 

Neighbors to the new library location were the 
Cowan Store, formerly owned by R. H. Angus, and 
the Charles Olson Store, taken over now by George 
Dunn. Mrs. Cowan's store merchandised groceries 
while the Dunn Store sold magazines, toys, liquors, 
candies and the ever-popular ice cream sodas. Be- 
hind its counter, Eddie Sexton who was introduced 
at the Angus Store, greeted customers along with 
George Dunn and both soon became essential to 
Haworth’s business life. In nearby Bergenfield, the 
Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company was opening a 
much heralded supermarket (April 1938) and bring- 
ing the self-service principle in grocery merchandis- 
ing to Bergen County. It was shortly after this that 
Joe Guarino remodeled his store and applied the 
same principle, which is in vogue today. 

When the New York World's Fair opened in April 
1939, Haworth had a special interest in it because 
twenty of its beautiful trees (water maples) had 
been selected by the World’s Fair Committee and 
transplanted from Haworth park areas to the Flushing 
Meadows Fair site. Thus, a second time, Haworth’s 
trees were destined for historical fame! 

Yet 1938 and 1939 were troubled years, for Ger- 
many had taken over Austria (March 1938), occu- 
pied the Sudetenland (October 1938 ), and there were 
many fears of her further incursions. There was a 


102 


““IN ITS PRIME’’ 


feverish uncertainty abroad in all communities and 
when England found herself at war with Germany in 
1939, in spite of Chamberlain’s dictum of “peace in 
our time,’ the fear rose to a frantic pitch that the 
United States would become embroiled. Yet life in 
the churches, in the clubs, in the town organizations 
tried to continue with forthright vigor but as 1939 
waned, so too the hope died that war could be averted 
and Haworth’s young men were again being called to 
the colors! 

In 1939, when the war situation loomed terrifyingly 
ominous, another danger was sensed, that the young 
students in the schools were being indoctrinated with 
socialistic dogma. The American Legion Post #18 
alerted its members and a committee was named to 
examine the school books which were the principal 
offenders, and which according to the author's state- 
ment were written to develop a new climate of 
opinion favorable to a new social order. On further 
investigation other unusual and questionable writings 
and philosophies were discovered. 

While the committee, headed by Albert Ettinger, 
son of W. L. Ettinger, long-time New York City 
School System Superintendent, stirred up a hornet’s 
nest of conflicting opinions, they carried this early 
fight against the inroad of Communism within our 
schools and influenced the Board of Education to 
discard the books as material for study. Ettinger was 


103 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


aided by E. H. West and F. W. Schmidt in this his- 
toric intellectual struggle, which was the forerunner 
of later national investigations of textbooks. 

With the coming of 1940, while Charles Littlefield 
was still mayor, the war fever mounted in intensity. 
Then Haworth gave itself wholeheartedly to civilian 
defense work, a total of two hundred fifty people 
contributing their services. A medical unit was pre- 
_ pared for emergencies, comprising nurses, first-aiders, 
and ambulance drivers; a rescue and repair squad 
was put in readiness, this including men and trucks; 
a police auxiliary was inaugurated, this to make use 
of women workers for day duties; a control center 
was improvised, this to receive and disseminate air- 
raid wardens’ reports; a salvage committee was set 
up, this group to collect metals, rubber, paper, rags 
and tin cans; a canteen unit was started, this group 
to hold classes in nutrition and to plan and cook 
menus suitable for serving under disaster conditions; 
fire company auxiliaries were added, these to aug- 
ment the fire-protection services. All this was relative 
to the war. Yet Haworth council members were mind- 
ful, as well, of Haworth’s future and they passed a 
Sanitary Code and a new Zoning Ordinance which 
increased the minimum plot size to a frontage of 75 
feet with a minimum plot requirement of 7500 square 
feet. They were alert too to the necessity of main- 
taining the Planning Board and of carrying out its 


104 


eon ok RENEE 


proposals and were grateful, especially, that the out- 
standing work of C. C. Littlefield, as Haworth Plan- 
ning Board Chairman, won him an appointment on 
the Metropolitan Regional Planning Committee. In 
1940, too, when the Germans were walking into Paris 
_ and England had suffered its Dunkirk defeat, Ha- 
worth sensing its home needs voted $20,000 for a 
school addition. And in October, when England was 
undergoing its most terrific bombing, Haworth was 
at work carrying out its government's plans for reg- 
istering and conscripting its man-power. 

The “40s brought many drastic changes to the 
world, changes which Haworth quickly reflected. A 
feeling of urgency permeated every strata of life. 
Boys in uniform felt they must marry promptly with- 
out any undue delay of courtship; girls felt they must 
not finish schooling but must enter the Services as 
Nurses, Wacs and Waves; men felt they must redouble 
their energies in industry; women felt they must use 
their spare time in canteen units and hospitality proj- 
ects for troops. Groups again organized for Defense 
Stamp and Bond selling. Everybody put his and her 
every ounce of strength into the war prosecution. 
Changes in living habits were only a part of the de- 
veloping picture. As women, like men, went into 
munition factories and airplane plants, a new com- 
raderie grew up between them; as domestic help 
became scarce, men and women home-owners began 


105 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


doing chores they had not, on a wide scale, heretofore 
performed—mowing lawns, cultivating gardens, cook- 
ing, cleaning, sewing. Home building, even repairing, 
came to a virtual standstill. Material as well as labor 
was short. Weather reports were discontinued on the 
radio and commentators were broadcasting war news 
and appraisals, and linking the small communities 

like Haworth to the momentous events. Plane Spot- 
~ ters and Ground Corps Observers were watching the 
skies for enemy marauders and uniforms were grow- 
ing more numerous on the streets. The Bergen Eve- 
ning Record and The Interboro Review were pub- 
lishing lists of names in the Draft Call and Haworth 
families scanned these lists with pardonable trepida- 
tion. 

With the success of the North African campaign, 
which involved the first fighting of American forces, 
Haworth redoubled its war backing. The Haworth 
Woman’s Club which from its inception had been 
civic-minded—its leaders in the 80 to ’40 decade were 
Mrs. L. B. Harrison, Mrs. Joseph Devlin, Mrs. C. S. 
Lorentzen, Mrs. F. W. Schmidt, Mrs. William Brug- 
mann—now concerned itself with a project at Fort 
Dix. A call from the New Jersey State Federation 
of Women’s Clubs had come in October "41 to outfit 
club recreation rooms there—a task which meant the 
quick amassing, transporting and arranging of furni- 
ture suitable for club-room enjoyment, a task which, 


106 


SEN bis t RLM E. * 


under the directing hand of Mrs. F. W. Schmidt, was 
wonderfully executed. Through Mr. Surbeck’s gen- 
erosity, space and heat were provided in the post- 
office building where the work of repairing furni- 
ture, making slip-covers and upholstering chairs was 
carried on. Through Mr. Herter’s kindness, a truck 
was donated for transporting the furniture from Ha- 
worth to Fort Dix. Through Mrs. Schmidt's unstinted 
giving of time and labor, with the help of Mrs. Har- 
mon and Mrs. Hunzinger, the furnishing of the Fort 
Dix rooms was accomplished. These were ready by 
December and on December 7, 1941 Japanese planes 
struck at the United States Pacific Fleet anchored at 
Pearl Harbor! 

The announcement of the horrifying disaster was 
heard by most of the Sunday radio listeners in 
Haworth homes, as well as by the G.I.’s in the Fort Dix 
Recreation Rooms, just opened. It was a heart-rend- 
ing announcement. Who will ever forget that “mo- 
ment of infamy’? So, from this moment, the war 
turned westward, complicating the problems of its 
solution. Yet at no time did America, nor Haworth in 
its small way, falter at the task. Greater consecration 
and concentration followed. The year 1942 saw 
greater sacrifices but it developed as well better de- 
fenses and methods for solving the war emergencies. 
Shortages were met as a matter of course. Gasless 
days, when no cars were allowed on the streets, were 


107 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


accepted with no complaints. Rationing was stoically 
undertaken. Tires, cigarettes, shoes, sugar, meats, and 
other food items were on the list. The Rationing Com- 
mittee consisted of Eugene Herter, chairman, F. W. 
Schmidt and Robert Hunzinger. War Loan Drives 
were initiated for the sale of Defense Bonds, in the 
early stages; for Victory Bonds, in the later years, and 
Haworth citizens subscribed loyally to a total of more 
than a million dollars’ worth. There were nine such 
Drives, all captained by Mr. Edwin Emrich, aug- 
mented by a Woman's Division which was led by 
Mrs. B. P. Phyfe. Haworth families were willing to 
serve in any post in order to aid the victory of the 
real heroes—the men and women in the armed ser- 
vices. 

As the war proceeded, more and more soldiers were 
being sent overseas, a circumstance inducing the for- 
mation of a Service Men’s Committee. The selection 
of a chairman for this committee, which was the first 
of its kind in Bergen County, fell upon Mrs. Schmidt, 
who again, as in the Fort Dix assignment, worked un- 
tiringly. Through this channel, gifts were sent to 
United States fighting forces, reading matter was sup- 
plied, and food of various kinds distributed. Later, 
with the Library cooperating, a book was sent as a 
Christmas gift to every Haworth service man and 


woman. Letters, regularly written, were a part of the 


morale-building in which this wonderful committee 


108 


veers 


“‘IN ITS PRIME”’ 


ventured. Haworth fighting men attested to the un- 
usual attention they received from their homefolks— 
the envy of other G.I.’s. 

In 1943, under advice of the Victory Garden Com- 
mittee (Chairman, Mrs. Joseph Devlin), it became 
the patriotic duty of every resident to plant a garden. 
Haworth’s response was as wholehearted in raising 
vegetables as it was in raising its quotas in all fields. 
The Air-raid Wardens’ Committee (Chairman, Mr. 
Harlan Dennison ) advised plans for having in readi- 
ness a blackout room in every house and the school 
auditorium was designated as the official air-raid 
shelter. The Red Cross Branch (Chairman, Mrs. John 
Thornton) solicited workers for more sewing and 
knitting projects. The U.S.O. Unit (Mrs. Richard 
Houghton, Chairman) provided entertainment and 
refreshments at near-by Camp Shanks, while the Di- 
eticians’ Unit, headed by Mrs. R. H. Angus, supplied 
kitchen helpers and dieticians for the understaffed 
Bergen Pines Hospital in Oradell. The Surgical Dress- 
ings Unit (Chairman, Mrs. R. D. Patterson) under- 
took a course for instructors, while the War Activities 
Committee (Chairman, Mrs. Joseph Devlin) called 
for fifty women to serve in an organization which 
would give Haworth complete civilian protection 
day and night. Air-raid sirens, blackouts, discourag- 
ing news from the war-fronts—all, part of the 1943 
picture! Then a change of pace in 1944 and new 


109 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


hope with the success of the Normandy invasion 
(June 6th) and the Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 
22-27)! 

When the war ended by the surrender of the Ger- 
man armies on May 8, 1945, and later on August 14, 
1945, by the surrender of the Japanese army, a new 
mayor, Herman Anstatt, Sr., 1943-1946, was at the 
head of the council table, where Robert Hunzinger, 
Mortimer Drum, Douglas McEachron, Fred Knarre, 
and Edward Keller were latest additions. It was aus- 
picious for Haworth that in the prime of its life, at 
a crucial period in its development, it had the cap- 
able steering of excellent mayors and dependable 
councilmen. It was auspicious, too, that yet in the 
prime of its life, it could turn its thoughts again to 
normal living and focus attention on the younger 
generation in whom lay the hope for the future. (A 
Brownie Troop was organized in 1945 by Mrs. Weichel 
and Mrs. Pearman, growing to six troops and a 
ninety-five membership by 1955.) It was auspicious 
for Haworth also that, in the prime of its life, it had 
had a part in winning a war against dictatorships 
and that it had brought to a maximum of develop- 
ment its share of progress. 

Haworth now stepped “center stage” to face its 
post-war problems and to grapple with the ramifica- 
tions to which the growth of the whole metropolitan 
district was leading. 


110 


CHAPTER SEVEN 


In Sh, Malerity 


1946-1955 


Y, A maturing Haworth “the flight tothe suburbs’, 
now prevalent, meant a burden of responsibility, a 
condition uncalculated by its founding fathers. It 
had been gaining in momentum since the close of 
World War II. The picture of the serene quiet of 
early farm-living changed by transportation ad- 
vances into the simple tenor of commuter-type life, 
had changed again into a complex form of hetero- 
geneous living by sheer force of numbers! Haworth 
was well aware of its problem as Mayor Anstatt and 
his Council demonstrated when they made, early in 
1946, a revision to the Zoning Ordinance establish- 
ing a one-class residence zone,-thus marking Ha- 
worth as one of the few single-zone residential com- 
munities in the state of New Jersey. They demanded 
now a new minimum to a lot of 100 foot frontage and 
a 10,000 square foot area, further showing the vision 
that Haworth had been so fortunate as always to 
have in its public officials. Their demands curtailed 
the revolution that might have taken place between 
the old settlers, intent on insuring the quiet of their 


1s 


THE HAWORTH STORY | 


suburban retreat, and the newcomers, who could 
have been grateful for even less of a blessing than 
a quarter-acre piece of country real estate. 

When William Wilson, elected mayor in Novem- 
ber 1946, took over the bark of state assisted by Paul 
Bahler, Mortimer Drum, Douglas McEachron, Fred 
Knarre, I. A. Carlson, Ross Henninger, George Kruge, 
Carl Steinmetz, the uppermost challenge was that of 
keeping afloat. So the harbor of a safe economy was 
steadily kept within range. The 1947 tax rate figure 
of $6.38 measured against the 1907 figure of $1.36 
for every $100 assessed valuation, gave an indisput- 
able indication of Haworth’s growing stature. How- 
ever, local needs were more numerous and more de- 
manding than formerly so that $41,674.50 of the total 
receipts raised by taxation went immediately into 
local consumption. Assessed valuation rose to the mil- 
lions and the population figure to 1500. This figure 
showed almost double that of 1925 when the Bor- 
ough came to its majority. 

Since the root of the whole Bergen County prob- 
lem lay in the flower of its runaway growth, the 
Haworth Mayor and Council were wise to begin their 
concern with an answer in added recreational facili- 
ties. In the membership of the American Legion they 
found the heart for a generous response and Memo- 
rial Field, eight acres at the north end of Whitman 
Street at the northeast corner of the Borough, was 


112 


oe ee 


pin =1TSOMATURITY’ 


obtained. It was dedicated on May 30, 1947. There, 
the Legion headed by Lewis Voight 8rd conducted 
an impressive service with addresses by William Wil- 
son, Mayor, and by Henry Kauffman, School Princi- 
pal. Audience singing was led by Richard Houghton, 
Jr., one of the young baritone artists raised in the 
Borough; the Post’s Ritual Team, representing one 
hundred forty-four members, consecrated their com- 
radeship by declaring this field “a place of honor” 
in memory of their comrades who had given their 
lives in their country’s service in World War II—Rob- 
ert Vincent Brosmer, Bernard Justin McClain, John 
Lee Wissing, Jr. These fine young men would have 
been pleased in this sort of a sports arena for their 
home town. In 1954, Memorial Field was expanded 
to twenty-five acres for games, contests and recrea- 
tion by neighbors for whose liberties these young 
soldiers had fought! 

A second answer to the problems engendered by a 
great influx of new residents was given by the Munic- 
ipal Library by making a move to more commodious 
quarters so that a larger supply of books could be 
housed and distributed. The move, which was the 
fourth for the Library, was, as an interesting coinci- 
dence, back to its original home in the building at the 
corner of Haworth Avenue and Terrace Street. Al- 
though in 1912, thirty-five years previous, it had oc- 
cupied only one small corner, it now expanded to 


113 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


use two-thirds of the complete first floor, ie., the 
whole of the section originally partitioned for store 
use. Under the able handling of Ruth Thornton, Li- 
brarian, successor to Caroline Renier, the shift was 
quickly expedited and an Opening Reception was 
given to the public on April 15, 1947. Townspeople 
were gratified both with the larger floor space and 
with the increased shelving accommodations. Imme- 
diately a committee began work on plans for compil- 
ing a Reference Section, for which there had never 
before been space, and a larger more complete junior 
department, both very much needed in the face of 
the youthful citizenry crowding into the school. 

The press of the new citizenry as a whole within 
the Borough brought the officials face to face with 
the fact that by 1948 there had been amassed a con- 
siderable quantity of borough-owned property, ac- 
quired through tax lien foreclosures and that it would 
be a further wise move to appoint a special committee 
which could suggest methods of using this town real 
estate in a manner consistent with Haworth’s high 
quality character. This committee consisted of F. J. 
Blume, chairman, B. P. Phyfe, Robert Murray and 
Victor DeTroy. Their survey and study was helpful, 
contributive to future planning. 

A further 1948 circumstance illustrated the impor- 
tance of Haworth in the scheme of Bergen County 
for Charles C. Littlefield was appointed Chairman of 


114 


PEN Se MAT OURIT Ye" 


the County Planning Board, an honor that Littlefield 
well deserved, for during his incumbency on the 
Haworth Board he had shown a quick aptitude for 
interpreting trends and for foreseeing coming devel- 
opments. His essential personal forthrightness made 
him exceedingly popular and his death in 1954 
brought state-wide regret. 

On Armistice Day, November 11, 1948, at the 
Borough Hall an observance was held for the dis- 
mantling and removal of the Borough’s Honor Roll 
which had been erected in 1948 under the direction 
of the Servicemen’s Committee. There were addresses 
by John Larsen, American Legion Commander and 
by William Wilson, Mayor. The Choral Society, re- 
cently organized by Paul LaRue, presented choral 
selections under the baton of Robert Noland, Direc- 
tor; and Mrs. F. W. Schmidt, representing the Ser- 
vicemen’s Committee, placed the spade in the ground 
to lift out the roster bearing the 192 names. The 
nameplates were now given to the individuals or 
their families and the Station Park again assumed 
a facade of unadorned green lawn. 

Across the lawn, at the railroad station two im- 
provements were effected—the elimination of the 
sign HAWORTH garishly spelled out in plants, and 
the installation of a platform on the west side of the 
tracks for the further convenience and safety of the 
passengers. 


115 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Improvement being the order of the day, the Reo 
fire truck, so up-to-date in the mid-'20s, was con- 
signed, in the late-’40s, to the Borough Garage to be 
used only as auxiliary equipment. But duration is not 
a test for worth nor discard a proof of failure. Uses are 
outgrown, like children’s clothing! The request for 
new quarters for the 35-year-old postoffice to be 
more commensurate with the demands upon it was 
voiced but apparently not heard by the Federal gov- 
ernment. However, the George Grime building, op- 
posite the station, was torn down and replaced by 
Frank Corkum’s handsome white cement garage. A 
five-year fight happily brought to an end by a victory 
for the Zoning Board of Adjustment! 

Through the decade of the 1940s the women of 
both churches were concentrating their most stead- 
fast efforts on increasing their building funds. Their 
dreams were not to be realized until the 1950s but 
it was the preparatory foundation work of group 
and individual fund-raising which brought the ful- 
fillment. The work was led by Mrs. Patrick Gabriele, 
Mrs. Gerald Garland, Mrs. Eric Elmquist, and Mrs. 
Edward O’Brien, in the Rosary Society; and in the 
Woman's Aid Society, it progressed under the able 
guidance of the presidents, Mrs. David Hall, Mrs. 
Paul Bahler, Mrs. Egges Das, Mrs. Jacob Roessler, 
and Mrs. William Wright, Jr. 

Recreational activities were well handled under 


116 


EHNGITS MATURITY 


the chairmanship of Allen Strand and a second play 
area, Valley Road Field, was added in 1948. However, 
since its situation was on borrowed land, it had to be 
given up later when the property was demanded for 
a home development project. During 1948 several 
special recreational events were sponsored—a Win- 
dow-Decorating Contest at Hallowe’en, an Egg Hunt 
at Easter, and a Talent Show in the spring. This en- 
larging program interested a group of girls who in- 
stituted “A Girls’ Club” (Lynette Birkins, President). 
Their work has been so phenomenal that from eight 
members, the membership has risen to sixty-eight 
(Barbara Korker, President). 

As 1949 commenced, it was realized how success- 
fully all the Borough Departments had been flourish- 
ing, not the least the Department of Public Works 
which was responsible for more than twenty-two 
miles of improved roads, the collection and disposal 
of garbage, ashes and waste, snow removal and the 
maintenance of parks and parkways, tennis courts 
and Borough Fields. E. Jahnes had been foreman. 
The Fire Department, grown larger under the able 
stewardship of Horace Wheeler, Jr., Homer Stough- 
ton, Lincoln Schastey, and Harold Emrich, who had 
been, as well, President of the Fire Company and 
Trustee of the New York and New Jersey Company, 
is now headed by Charles E. Dell. The Board of 
Health composed of five members, with Arthur 


Lat. 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Stewart as president, (Alfred Meyers served many 
years in this capacity and remains a veteran member ) 
not only enforced local health regulations but also 
held public meetings for the discussion of pertinent 
questions. The Shade Tree Commission which had 
gained impetus under the eight-year chairmanship of 
P. T. Shade, now under guidance of Mrs. Paul 
Stewart, repaired hundreds of damaged trees, plant- 
ing as well twenty-two new Norway Maples, and re- 
landscaped the Station Park. The Municipal Library 
which had circulated a total of 11,000 books, a 
greater number than in any other previous year, had 
added sixty-eight new members, and had increased 
the pay of its Librarian, Mrs. Ruth Thornton (ap- 
pointed in 1945) and its Assistant Librarian, Mrs. 
Corinne Haynor (appointed in 1946). By appoint- 
ment of Mayor Wilson, a Trustee Emeritus, Mrs. 
Helen Phyfe, was added to the Library staff, in rec- 
ognition of thirty-five years of devoted and uninter- 
rupted service. 

One of the most significant events of 1949 took — 
place on February 22, at the Municipal Library when a 
Reference Section was dedicated tohonor the Haworth 
men and women who had served in World War II. A 
special program was presented, with the Welcome 
from P. T. Shade, President; the Presentation 
from Mrs. Phyfe, Book Committee Chairman; the 
Acceptance from William Wilson, Mayor; the Rites of 


118 


EN: TES oMATURLTY 


Dedication from John Larsen, Legion Commander 
and William B. Bedell, Legion Chaplain. It was an 
historic event for Haworth and its cultural attain- 
ment. Its achievement had been made possible by the 
wisdom of the council members who earmarked for 
the Library's use the $1006 collected from the sale of 
waste papers, tin, rubber, and fats, contributed by 
the townspeople during the war and collected by 
volunteers under the leadership of I. A. Carlson. With 
this thousand dollar backlog, the Library, through 
its Book Committee, had been able to purchase en- 
cyclopedia, dictionaries, handbooks, guidebooks, his- 
tories, biographies, books on Science, the Fine Arts 
and the Useful Arts, a splendid collection of basic 
reference material. Bookplates for the Memorial Sec- 
tion were especially designed by Allen Strand and 
they were printed and donated by Fred Schmidt. 
Every book placed in this Memorial Section over the 
years will carry one of these bookplates to honor 
both donor and donee. Many beloved Haworthians 
are remembered in this beautiful tradition. 

By 1950, the various committees which had been 
set up in earlier regimes were functioning at top-level 
standard—the Board of Health, the Planning Board, 
the Recreation Committee, the Local Assistance 
Committee, the Citizens Advisory Committee, and 
the Zoning Board of Adjustment. By 1950, a new 
Parish House for the Congregational Church, long 


119 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


anticipated, had been built. It was dedicated on June 
18, 1950. Standing south of the church edifice and 
replacing the old Community House, it afforded new 
opportunities for Christian education and fellowship. 
The Woman’s Aid Society (Mrs. Harold Cundall, 
President) was to be congratulated on this achieve- 
ment which represented years of planning and de- 
voted effort. | 

Planning and effort have characterized the growing 
of Haworth. It still wants no industries and no land 
devoted to any kind of manufacturing uses. It still 
wants no commercializing of its assets. It is still satis- 
fied to have its economy based almost entirely on 
employment in New York City or other nearby com- 
munities. It is still confident that it can pay the cost 
of its industry-free, beauty-accented existence. The 
appearance of the highway market, the large shop- 
ping center and the low-overhead store has been a 
spur to continue Haworth as solely residential. In 
this way it is relieved of two of the biggest head- 
aches of modern life, town-jammed shopping, and 
the parking problem. 

Motor-minded New Jersey residents are grateful 
that the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State 
Parkway have become realities before too many prob- 
lems of traffic and parking got in the hair of the 
Bergen County town-fathers, and before too many 
puzzlers of how to get where became $64,000 ques- 


120 


ee er 


PE N2 AL oe MAT UR ET Y’ 


tions for Bergen travelers. Approaches and exits still 
harass both travelers and residents as much as how 
to find the secluded spot. Old landmarks have dis- 
appeared as garden apartments, store centers, and 
a new streamlined, functional architecture rises to 
thwart former memories! 

The great number of families coming to the Bor- 
ough in the °40 to ‘50 decade—the total population in 
1950 had reached 1685—sounded an insistent warn- 
ing to the Borough which now greeted its thirteenth 
mayor, J. Douglas McEachron, 1951-1955. A warning 
that there must be increased school facilities. A warn- 
ing that a new modern building must be ready for 
occupancy soon. A warning that a plan must be on 
the earliest agenda. The council consisted of I. A. 
Carlson, George Kruge, Jr., Paul Bahler, Clifford 
Parsells, Karl Rice, Carl Steinmetz, Paul LaRue, and 
Nelson Haynor. 

The year 1951 began auspiciously, with new organ- 
izations making their first contribution to Haworth’s 
civic and church life—an Auxiliary to the Holy Name 
Hospital (Mrs. Laurence Leary, President); the 
Community Chest of Haworth (Karl Rice, Direc- 
tor); a Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Fire Company (Mrs. 
Lewis Voight 8rd, President); the Little League 
Baseball, under Robert Sypher, Jr. and Joseph Duffy; 
the Co-Weds of the Congregational Church, spon- 
sored by Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Downe; and the Parents’ 


121 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


Council of the Public School (Mrs. Mortimer Drum, 
leader )—a group demonstrating that Haworth is not 
resting on its laurels but is going forward to meet 
new needs and to furnish new outlets for civic en- 
deavor. 3 

Haworth has had many friends throughout its life, 
some to devote their services, others to devote their 
money, many to devote both. Among the various 
friends were Charles and Bess Paulson, who although 
never Borough residents, were for many years allied 
with the White Beeches Golf and Country Club. 
Mr. Paulson was one of the Club’s most generous 
presidents. In 1952, he and his wife, in appreciation 
of their pleasant associations with Haworth and the 
Club, presented a gift of dogwood trees to line Sunset 
Avenue around the spaces of the golf course. Hun- 
dreds of these white-blossomed trees, flowering in 
the spring, colored with red berries in the autumn 
cannot help but be a token of affection that will ex- 
press, in unspoken terms of beauty, what many Ha- 
worth admirers feel deeply in their hearts. On May 
18, 1952 this gift of dogwood trees was appropriately 
dedicated. 

As growth and development were pressing in on 
the Borough and new neighborhoods were springing 
up, the effects were touching all areas. In particular, 
the churches felt the influx. The Sacred Heart Parish, 
greatly augmented, was elevated from the status of 


122 


WIN sl Tsai AT ORT Y2” 


mission to that of a parochial church and a resident 
priest, Father Kinsella was appointed. The Congre- 
gational Church, now crowded to capacity, called 
a resident minister, Earle McCullough, to replace El- 
wood Erickson. Dr. Erickson had served the congre- 
gation faithfully during the war years when Rever- 
end Fred B. Eutsler had enlisted in the Army as 
Chaplain. He had come from Montclair every Sun- 
day morning for preaching, giving unselfishly of his 
time and his talents to the benefit of the worshipers, 
making a contribution not unlike that of Dr. Walton 
of the early days. 

Increases were marked in the Woman's Club, 
reaching its maximum membership in 1954. Through 
the war and post-war periods, it had had hard sled- 
ding, but under the capable management of Mrs. 
George Holman, Mrs. Walter Pearman, Mrs. R. H. 
Angus, Mrs. Edward O’Brien, it had given itself 
wholeheartedly to the war prosecution, even with a 
greatly reduced membership. With Mrs. Walter Erb’s 
term, 1948-1950, new life sprang up, more depart- 
ments were activated, so that through Mrs. Decker's 
and Mrs. Vervlied’s presidential terms, the Club's 
program attracted wider attention. In 1955, the presi- 
dent is Mrs. Edmund Colgan, successor to Mrs. John 
Pascher. The membership grosses one hundred forty- 
one. 

Property for a Parochial School to face Park Street, 


123 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


backed by Maple Street and within the radius of Ivy 
and St. Nicholas Avenues, was procured in 1954, a 
project to the great credit of Father Kinsella. Build- 
ing plans are as yet in abeyance, so also are building 
plans for an Episcopal Church near Knickerbocker 
Road, which will serve the complete Diocese. 

The continuing increases in the number of chil- 
dren needled the Board of Education to build that 
_ promised new school building. Half sessions were 
liked by neither parents, pupils, nor teachers and 
while taxpayers were loath to build when prices 
for both material and labor were so high, yet chil- 
dren were more precious than dollars, so ground 
was finally broken in 1953 and actual work begun 
on a site directly north of the 1924 building. 

As these evidences of readjustments following 
war results were seen, other signs of post-war con- 
ditions were also noticeable in the neighborhood. — 
Particularly prominent were the antennae for the 
new television sets which were being installed. So 
T.V. viewing became, overnight, one of the favorite 
indoor sports! Women became fight fans, everybody 
took a renewed interest in baseball, children learned 
an added vocabulary based on Roy Rogers, Walt 
Disney and Davy Crockett, and when the political 
conventions were drawing crowds in Chicago for 
both Democrats and Republicans, the living rooms 
furnished with television sets drew their own en- 


124 


ENT AA Os MAT URIT- Y=" 


thusiastic rallying audiences, night after night. 

The growth of Haworth was in line with the pic- 
ture, the length and breadth of Bergen County. 
Homes, factories, stores were under construction in 
every section. Schools, churches, all kinds of organi- 
zations were expanding, municipal budgets stretched. 
Everywhere one looked the face of the land seemed 
to be changing, not only the profile of the land, but 
the whole aspect of the people. Their dress was be- 
coming less formal—women in slacks, men in Ber- 
muda shorts on public streets! No hats, flat-soled 
shoes! And everybody with a brand-new automobile, 
power-steered and duo-colored! There was in the 
people a new and different spirit, a psychological 
attitude that said, in so many words, that having 
been uprooted by the war, they were accustomed 
to a greater degree of mobility, that they could 
leave the cities, that they could pull up stakes and 
settle in new locales, that travel was no hazard and 
that economic improvement could be enjoyed in a 
pay-as-you-go fashion. It proved, in a way, that the 
material impact of prosperity had brought with it a 
new scale of social values! 

As the McEachron regime went into high gear, it 
saw ahead the possibilities both of advancement and 
of frustration. Even yet, money did not grow on trees 
and it could be easy for the Borough to get out on a 
limb! Where a quart of ice cream in 1900 cost thirty 


125 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


cents, in 1954, it cost one dollar; where a housewife 
of fifty years ago knew the cuts of meat and how to 
select them, todays housekeepers neither knew nor 
cared. They were willing to let the butcher do it or 
better yet, they selected a package that was all 
wrapped up. The “all wrapped up” feature appealed 
in all categories, and it harassed the town governing 
authorities with many nervous jitters to select and 
_ “wrap up” services to the approval of the public. 

Before the McEachron regime closed, the new 
school building had become a reality, opening in 
the spring of 1954, just in time for the fine spacious 
auditorium to be used for the festive celebration of 
Haworth’s Golden Anniversary. This milestone was 
a happy event for Haworth. Frank Hennessy, Bor- 
rough Attorney, was chairman of the program, with 
Victor DeTroy, Kathryn Angus, Bessie Crocker, Peter 
Henderson, Hazel Moody, John Murphy, Vincent — 
Smythe, Peer Wedvick, William Welch assisting. 
At the Friday evening affair (May 21st), Mayor 
McEachron and Congressman Osmers gave ad- 
dresses, Robert Noland’s Choral Society, in old-time 
costumes, entertained with Gay Nineties selections, 
and John Bullard, of Syracuse, New York (son of 
William and Sara) presented slides of the 1904 
Haworth alongside those of the 1954 Haworth. It 
was apparent that Haworth trees for the third time 
were proving their worth, for in them one saw the 


126 


CNIS MATURITY? 


greatest visual evidences of the Borough’s growth. 
On Saturday, a gala parade, inclusive of some twenty 
organizations represented by beautiful “floats”, passed 
through the town in review. And in the evening, on 
Terrace Street, many of the young and old partici- 
pated in a well-attended Block Dance and the happy 
carnival spirit extended into the night. Haworth at 
fifty years still young and gay! 

A welcome anniversary gift of an ambulance and 
First Aid Emergency Service was made to the Bor- 
ough by the Fire Company and Fred Knarre, a 
former Chief now President, assumed the responsi- 
bility of instructing and supervising courses in First 
Aid. A resuscitator was presented by the Ladies’ 
Auxiliary. And a second anniversary gift — it might 
well be so called—was the appointment by the Ber- 
gen County Planning Board to its membership of a 
second Haworth citizen, Edwin Emrich, thus to 
assure Haworth its dominant position in future plan- 
ning and zoning. If Haworth is to deserve as much, 
it cannot afford to be lax in its standards. 

A corporation consisting of members of the White 
Beeches Club was organized in 1950 to purchase the 
leased land of fifteen holes used by the Club for ap- 
proximately $170,000. A small group of members 
underwrote this sum and Frederick W. Schmidt be- 
came President of the White Beeches Realty Corp. 
and set a program of paying off this indebtedness in 


127 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


five years. With the spirit and wholehearted coopera- 
tion of all the members this was accomplished by 1955. 
The golf grounds, which include a fine swimming 
pool, built in 1953, can now bring summer sports 
within home radius, an asset to community friendli- 
ness, which it is hoped will never be sacrificed. 
That Haworth has considered the future in its 
many phases has kept it free of the chaos that in the 
- mid-’50s has imperiled many suburban communities, 
and yet its very understanding of the conflicting ele- 
ments involved drives home the urgency to step 
ahead with new ideas and new approaches, not for- 
getting the basic foundations upon which it was built. 
That Haworth yet remains a unique community as 
well as a typical one may well be illustrated by the 
fact of its having been selected for a story in The 
New York Herald Tribune of Sunday, May 1, 1955, as 


a “little bit of heaven” for a Brooklyn family recently — 


moved here. It spoke of its area, 2.1 square miles, its 
population, 2824 and its tax-rate, $11.30 for each 
$100 of assessed valuation.* It mentioned its split- 
level homes, its outdoor fireplaces, its car-pools, its 
new Regional High School, but what it empha- 
sized was that intangible something about the peo- 
ple, their friendliness, their caring about each other, 
about that spontaneous answer that will come from 


*This tax rate figure must be considered in the light of the fact 
that Bergen County valuation is low, the converse of the situation 
in New York City. 


128 


t 
it tie fy ie iii 


WIENS S-- MATURITY: * 


each resident, new or old regarding that outsider’s 
innocent question, why doesn’t Haworth get itself 
some industry. “Industry? No, we want this place to 
stay just as it is.” 

A sore in Haworth Beautiful has been the area be- 
tween the railroad tracks and Valley Road, first occu- 
pied by a Concrete Block Plant at the turn of the Cen- 
tury and later to become a Coal Yard and Pit after 
World War I. An appeal to the Zoning Board of Ad- 
justment to permit an enlarged business for Oil Stor- 
age and Trucking was at first approved. After a 
minority report was submitted by Frederick W. 
Schmidt protesting the expansion and after he called 
it a threat to the children of Haworth and the char- 
acter of the Community, the Mayor and Council over- 
rode the variance and supported the Schmidt view- 
point. Here now in 1955 plans are on the drawing 
board for twelve home sites on this property and the 
final abandonment of all commercial use. Now across 
the road is Valley Court, and other single homes on 
acre plots. Here too, across Valley Road is the beau- 
tiful new Haworth School which could not have been, 
if this land was still coal, concrete, soot and trucks. 
Vision of the Quarter Century. 

This answer is not surprising. Industry as a part of 
Haworth life has never had any lure. Business enter- 
prises, even small ones, have taken second place. 
Commercialization in all its ramifications has been 


129 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


frowned on. Yet there has been an unpretentious 
advancement in answering community needs. The 
grocery business has been first, both in point of time 
and of importance. Realtors and builders have both 
thrived, operating from their own residences. The 
Terrace Street section is the business area. Where 
Charles Olson had a stationery store next to the post- 
office which he bought from Mr. Peske, Frank Osmers 
had a real estate office for the first year after his 
return from his war service in the Pacific theatre. 
When Osmers resumed his political career, his office 
became the showroom for Mrs. Hille’s antiques. 
Following Mrs. Hille, Jack Geraghty ran a second- 
hand furniture business here. Where Mr. Yeger had 
a small grocery business and a delicatessen, a shoe 
repair shop and a barber shop had their turn. The 
Sam Kaufmann tailor shop, for twenty years an im- 
‘portant addition, was sold by Sam’s widow to Bob 
Schaible. Joe Guarino’s widow continues operation 
of the excellent Haworth Market and William Getz, 
at the south end of the street at a former library 
location, is the present proprietor of a hardware busi- 
ness. In 1955, George and Marion Dunn purchased 
the north end of the Contant building* and opened 
a smart new retail liquor establishment. In so doing 
they separated the combined businesses which they 


*This building was erected by John M. Contant, realtor, when 
he developed the Maple Street section, making it one of the attrac- 
tive areas of the Borough. 


130 


“IN-AATS MATURITY’ 


formerly operated, thus giving the children of Ha- 
worth the opportunity to have a soda and buy a 
piece of candy in the “Country Store” atmosphere, 
which the new Haworth Stationery Shop, run by 
Lewis Rhodes, now affords. Altogether it is only a 
small total of business, yet each has made a contri- 
bution. And all without industrial fanfare. 

In spite of other lures, customs of merchandising 
have kept to the theory that the customer must be 
pleased. And not only pleased but followed! This is 
what has been happening in Bergen County, now that 
the 20th century goes into high speed. This is what 
the Bergen Mall and Garden State Plaza plan to do 
for the public—bring trade within easy distance of 
Bergen's front doorsteps. Bergen Mall will be a sixty 
million dollar shopping center along Route 4 in 
Paramus, complete with retail stores, service shops, 
medical center, even recreational areas. And the Gar- 
den State Plaza will be like unto it! No need for to- 
morrow s shopper to consider going to New York City. 
It is a very short drive to Paramus! But for the 
Haworth commuter, that’s a different matter, and at 
the moment, he has one great worry—whether there 
will be New York passenger trains stopping at his 
station in these coming years. 

Even as the West Shore Railroad in the late 
19th century opened the door to happier, more exten- 
sive living in Haworth, now in the mid-20th century, 


131 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


it can close that door with a discontinuance of its 
passenger-train and its ferry service. Despite the 
decline in the use of the railroad because of buses 
and private cars and businesses coming to the suburbs, 
there are enough commuters who would find it dis- 
tasteful to live in a town which had no passenger- 
train outlet. Despite the favors which transportation 
has proffered to Bergen County in general, and to 
- Haworth in particular, a question of transportation 
again holds a key that can unlock the plan of the 
future. That the drama of expansion in Bergen Coun- 
ty finds its climax in the “flowering” for which the 
17th century planted the seeds seems an irony of 
fate. A fate which is never certain yet always press- 
ing. A fate which men like the 17th century pioneers, 
men of “thrift, industry and faith”, can meet, and 
conquering, accept. 

“Is the golden fleece that awaits us some kind of — 
new freedom for growth?” Anne Morrow Lindbergh 
asks in Gift From the Sea (published in 1955). It 
may well be asked by today’s young citizens who look 
with misgiving to the future. They may not recognize 
their Borough in 2004, even as the few who knew 
it intimately in 1904 found it astoundingly “different” 
in 1954. Yet, paradoxically the same—the Haworth of 
friendliness and beauty, of keen rivalries, worthy 
aims and distinctive citizenry. Neither daily heli- 
copter service nor buses traveling on cement road- 


182 


“‘IN ITS MATURITY’’ 


beds long since discarded by railroads, neither: an 
elevated section to Route 4 to lessen the need of 
West Shore trains nor a more self-sufficient city with 
atomic-generated utilities should be able to destroy 
the basic quality of character and culture with which 
Haworth began. So long as “the people” will it that 
way! People not property, citizens not circumference, 
give the world its breath and its breadth. 

Haworth has come a long way since 1885. If its face 
is not careworn, it is at least wrinkled! Yet when it 
looks back to Haworth, England for which it was 
named, it can realize that Age is relative and that 
“abundancy of life” is a matter of spirit! Where in 
1885, the Westervelt farmhouse stood, encompassed 
by fields and trees, Haworth Manor now sprawls from 
Schraalenburgh Road to Knickerbocker Road, a vast 
acreage of new ranch type homes. The old Ackerman- 
Oren homestead now looks out, in every direction, not 
to cultivated fields but to a succession of new homes, 
most of them built after 1940. The Wetmore-Acken 
homestead faces a new development on Hardenburgh 
Avenue and while “The Grange’ is still present to the 
west, the view north and south is dotted with homes. 
The Opdyke Plot is no longer unoccupied but rather, 
crammed with a group of houses built in the early 
1900s. The Kipp Farm, on Lake Shore Drive, finds 
itself not in the midst of productive open farmlands, 
but in the midst of cultivated “Schaefer’s Gardens”, 


133 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


a fishing area, and a line of modern houses. The Van- 
derbeek property not only has neighbors along 
Schraalenburgh Road, where formerly only trees 
stood, but it has neighbors to the west situated on the 
Valley Road. The Charles Mount Farm and Cope- 
land Tract boast two large school buildings as well 
as a settlement of new homes. The John D. Phyfe 
property stretches across Valley Road homes, the 
- Congregational Church and Parish House to the 
Terrace Street stores, across the tracks to a group 
of homes whose owners never heard of the “Old 
Mill”. The Zabriskie farmhouse looks south to a Du- 
mont development of home sites piled high on top 
of one another, sees repeated rows of homes on its 
west border, and awaits the completion of “Haworth 
Gardens’, an imminent intrusion of its privacy on the 
east. 

Thus the farms which met the wand of the de- 
veloper as a new century was born, now as the cen- 
tury passes its half-way point, brace themselves for 
further encroachments of the bulldozer. The Automo- 
bile Age has graduated into the Atomic Age! No one 
in 1904 when Haworth became a borough had any 
conception of a bulldozer, or of anything more power- 
ful than a steam-shovel, or had little knowledge of the 
intricacies of a motor, to say nothing of the enigmas 
of an atom. But Time demands new tools to meet new 
situations. So, too, Time brings new faces to crowd out 


134 


““IN ITS MATURITY’”’ 


the old. Nevertheless, the heritage of the Past be- 
comes the springboard for the Present to go forward 
fearlessly to the unknown of the Future. Go forward, 
Haworth, to a Future worthy of your Past! 

The lifespan of three score years and ten has been 
run. New lifeblood comes to refresh the old—A, B, 
AB, O—but Haworthians, all! For indeed it seems 
that very quickly the man or woman who wants to 
belong to Haworth finds the task that needs doing 
and does it. The good citizen bringing his talents 
to the use of his community! 

Note Dorothy Pearman’s clever rhyming of satiric 
skits, Leslie Tillinghast’s sparkling wit, Verda Lynn’s 
quality-toned singing, James Tobin’s expert book- 
knowledge, Virginia Keyes’ skillful short-story writing, 
Robert Noland’s musicianship, Karl Rice’s good judg- 
ment on the Council, Eugene Cole’s artistry in mural 
painting. 

Note, too, Mr. Peter Henderson’s storehouse of his- 
torical information, Mrs. Robert McFall’s scholarli- 
ness, Mrs. Joseph Scott’s administrative ability, Mrs. 
C. V. Carlson’s professional piano playing, Mr. Vin- 
cent Smythe’s fine art techniques. 

Mrs. Helen Emerson is president of the LibraryTrus- 
tee Board, Mrs. J. J. Walls is president of the Rosary 
Society, Mrs. Lester Greason is president of the Wom- 
ans Aid Society, Mr. E. F. McClain is commander 
of the American Legion, Mr. Walter Hartmeyer is 


135 


THE HAWORTH STORY 


president of the Congregational Church Board of 
Trustees, Mr. Joseph Turino is president of the Men’s 
Club, Mr. Howard Moody is president of the Board 
of Education, Mrs. Barbara Wissing Shaw is post- 
mistress and Mr. Carl Steinmetz is mayor. 

Add to these Mr. John Cole as president of the 
Choral Society, Mr. Paul Bahler as chairman of the 
Civil Defense Council, Mr. Frank Dorr as chairman 
~ of the Recreation Committee, Mr. Siegfried Vogt as 
Building Inspector, and Mrs. Hazel Kitts Wires as 
director of the North Jersey Art School. Mrs. Wires’ 
paintings are often lent to the Municipal Library for 
exhibition and she is well-known around Bergen 
County as a distinguished artist. 

That there has been all too little mention of the 
talents of the men and women who have spent some 
of their years, at least, in Haworth and have given 
freely of these talents to the town’s development is a. 
regret that can be blamed only on lack of space and 
not on lack of appreciation. Yet this story cannot end 
without including a tribute to the poetical genius of 
Mrs. Una Winterburn Harsen. She has of course done 
many things besides write poetry, yet it is as a poet 
that she especially blesses Haworth. It seems a truth 
that, as she writes, in 1945, in a sonnet, entitled “Act 
Two’ she speaks, at this close of 1955, not for herself, 
but for her home town, Haworth— 


136 


SEN tis MATURITY: 


“ACT TWO” 


“Life is not done with me. The sheltered valleys 
Where once I walked with careless step and free 
The pleasant hillsides where the late sun dallies 
Are left behind, and now, ahead of me 

Opens a new and more exacting scene 

Where lonely wastes and barren rocky peaks 
Challenge endurance and the heart must lean 
On hoarded strength to reach the goal it seeks. 


“Life never will be done. The sun, descending 
Rivals the splendid drama of the dawn, 

And night's dark curtain does not mark the ending. 
The moon and stars appear. The play goes on. 
Nor does life’s final scene relinquish me. 

The epilogue lies in Eternity.” 


EB 


137 


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The text of this book is set in Cale- 
donia, a type face designed by W. A. 
Dwiggins. The size is 11 point, 3 point 
leaded. The chapter headings and in- 
itials are set in Bank Script. 

The paper is 75 lb. Curtis Rag, 
natural, wove. 

The additional blank pages at the 
end of book may be used for notes of 
future interests and events. 





























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