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History of Carteret, New Jersey
History of Carteret, New Jersey
formerly Borough of Roosevelt


The following is taken from "History of Middlesex County New Jersey 1664-1920" John P. Wall and Harold E. Pickersgill, Editors, ©1921, Volume II, pages 472-474:
Borough of Roosevelt -- This borough, formerly situated in the extreme northeastern part of the township of Woodbridge, was erected in 1906, and contains about five miles square. It is bounded north by the Rahway River; east and south by Staten Island Sound; and west by Woodbridge Township. Originally it was called Carteret, in honor of the first colonial governor of the Province (of East Jersey), and was so recognized by the government when establishing the first postoffice, and the office continues to be so designated by the postal authorities. When the borough was created, the name of Roosevelt was adopted. In Revolutionary times Captain Asher FitzRandolph, Peter Noe, Eliphalet Moore, Benjamin Brown and Robert Burwell (all in the Continental Army), resided in this locality; and in later years well known residents have been Ralph M. Crowell, Capt. John M. Tufts, Capt. David Tappen, John Wyckoff, Warren and George Brown, Miles B. Vernon, Daniel C. and William H. Turner and James Blair.

The history of the borough is that of the township of which it was a part. Its proximity to navigable waters renders it desirable for transportation purposes, and the Long Branch division of the New Jersey Central Railroad, the Public Service trolley line, the Fast Line railway to Newark, and the ferry to Linoleumville, Staten Island, afford abundant means of communication with the outside world. The growth of the borough has been phenomenal, the two sections of the town, locally known as Carteret and Chrome, having a population of 11,500. The first important industry was established in 1881, when the Williams & Clark Company of New York erected a factory on the site of the present plant and commenced the manufacture of fertilizers from fish. This method was abandoned after one or two years. In 1890 the American Agricultural and Chemical Company erected the Liebig Works, and ten years later purchased the Williams & Clark factory, since which time the two plants have been conducted under the same general management. About 400 men are employed in the former, and 200 in the older plant, the output of the two being annually $175,000 tons of finished fertilizers. The Armour Company and the Consumers' Company (the latter a branch of the Virginia and Carolina Chemical Company, of Richmond), also manufacture fertilizers, each producing annually about 50,000 tons.

In 1888, August W. Colwell, of New York, built an iron works which he operated for about ten years. It was acquired by the Wheeler Condenser and Engineering Company, which has uninterruptedly continued business from that time, employing a large number of men. The officer of the company are: J.J. Brown, president and manager; H.H. Brown, vice-president; A.W.P. Cramer, secretary; Thomas Bostock, treasurer; and Roland S. Freeman, superintendent. About 1900, Charles J. and Ferd. E. Canda, of New York, erected a plant now known as the Chrome Steel Works, where an improved and superior quality of steel is produced, Morro, son of Ferd. E. Canda, is the manager. The late Charles J. Canda bought a large tract of land and erected many dwellings. Much of the land is still owned by the family. The United States Metals and Refining is the successor of the DeLamar Copper Works, and carries on the same business as its predecessor, with a large force of men. Other branches of business are the Warner Chemical Company, phosphates and chemicals; Carteret Oil and Refining Company, Mexican Petroleum Company, Klipstein Dye Works, and the Metal and Thermit Corporation, a detinning plant. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation owns a large brick building and a tract of land, and its contemplating the establishment of a manufacturing plant soon.

There are two large and excellently conducted public schools, with Miss Barbara V. Hermann as supervising principal, and Miss Catharine Hermann, principal of the second school. The two schools employ forty-two teachers in the regular grades, with special instructors in music, manual training and drawing, domestic science and physical training; pupils attending, 1,832. The following are principals churches and their pastors: Presbyterian, Rev. John J. Barsam; Methodist, Rev. George A. Hill; St. Joseph's (R.C.), Rev. John O'Connor; and St. Mark's (P.E.), Rev. Edward A. Vogt. Thomas Yorke publishes the "Roosevelt News," and has built up a successful printing business.

The First National Bank was chartered in 1906. The officers are: Robert Carson, president; William E. Volz, vice-president; and Eugene M. Clark, cashier; Nicholas Rizsak, Soren Koed, Herman Shapiro, Wm. E. Volz, Jacob Levenson, Robert Carson and Charles D. Snedeker.

The authorities who selected the names of the avenues and streets exhibited patriotic tastes, the following presidents being honored: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, VanBuren, Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Polk, Filmore, Lincoln, Grant, McKinley and Roosevelt. Our great French ally of old, Marquis de Lafayette, also has a street named for him. These wise men, in their selection, exhibited a liking for arboriculture, as witness these names: Ash, willow, spruce, birch, holly, locust, maple, hazel, orange and linden. The poets were not forgotten: Byron, Longfellow, Tennyson, Bryant, Whittier, Emerson, Lowell, and Holmes. The "home" folks were remembered: Thornall, Colwell, Beverly, Noe, Savage, Edgar, Hermann, and Lefferts. Favorite children probably suggested the following: Mary, Jessie, Catharine, Jeannette, Sarah, Robert, Thomas, Charles, Edwin, Arthur and Christopher.

The present officers are: Mayor, Joseph A. Hermann, the first and only. Council -- William J. Lawlor, Edward J. Coughlin, Frank Andres, Samuel B. Brown, George T. Harned and Joseph C. Child; clerk, Walter V. Quinn; assessor, William D. Casey; collector, Charles A. Brady; Board of Education -- Edward J. Heil, president; George W. Morgan, district clerk; Frank Birn, Charles H. Morris, Samuel Shapiro, Matthew A. Hermann, Cornelius C. Sheridan, George A. Bradley and Patrick J. Coughlin; Miss Barbara V. Hermann, supervising principal; Peter F. Daly, counsel; Edward J. Heil, recorder; F. Ferber Simons, engineer; Board of Health -- Edward J. Heil, president; R.J. Murphy, clerk; Frank Birn, inspector; Dr. Joseph Wantoch, physician; Thomas Devereux, Cornelius C. Sheridan and William J. Coughlin.

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