Remembering the Past: Early Clark History

By Diane Norek Harrison

CLARK-This is from my own past material dated 1882: This township was settled as part of the ancient borough or Elizabeth. In the early part of that history of that borough will be found the names of the early settlers in this section, as well as in the other parts of the old borough and township.

The following are among those who took allotments of land in this part of Elizabethtown prior to 1709: Radley (Radclieft), Enders, Bullman, Scudder, Rickettes, Wynants, Robertson, Halliday, Ross, Russell, Ryno, Powel, Darbie (Darby and Derby), Hendrick, Micheau, Clark, Miller, Pack, Lemington, Lilly, Mondy (Mundy), Woodruff, Sutton, Brant, Bowne (Boune) and Thompson. There may have been a few others who settled within the bounds of this township, but no account of them can now be found. Many went in 1720 and settled in that part of the borough which afterwards was called Westfield Township.

The Rev. Thomas Halliday, Episcopal missionary, whose ancestors settled in this township, had charge of the missions in Elizabeth Town, Rahway, Woodbridge and Amboy. He says under date of Nov. 8, 1716, “In this part of East Jersey there are three townships,-Newark, Elizabeth Town and Woodbridge,-which consist of upwards of a thousand families, the chief settlers of which were New England Independents (Presbyterians or Congregationalists), who are now old and confirmed in their erroneous way. In each of these towns there is a large Independent Church, who supports their preachers with 80 per annum, besides house, glebe, and perquisites of marriages.”

The following have served as town clerks: William J. Thompson, 1864-1866, 1869-1870, Adam Brown 1867, George W. Bullman 1868-1875-76, Charles A. Gundaker 1871-72, Benjamin F. Osborn 1873, William Bloodgood 1874 and Franklin P. Bullman 1878-1882.

Have some great memories or past material for Clark and want to share? Looking for past winter memories from Clark, Linden and Rahway and Christmas memories or past material from all four towns listed below for my December columns. Why not add some in with your everyday memories!

If you have your own memories or past material for Clark, Elizabeth, Linden or Rahway you can email me at or send “copies” of your material to me at CMD Media, P.O. Box 1061, Rahway, NJ 07065.

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