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History of Hasbrouck Heights
Source: Barbara Smith Collection     Replication Services: Fritz Rethage
2004 All Rights Reserved. The materials herewith are not for commercial reproduction.

Re-typed as originally presented -- Author unknown -- from 1870 to 1921

History of Hasbrouck Heights

The people of this hilltop boro are of a most enterprising spirit, and as a result H. H. has advanced quite rapidly in population, business, street improvements, etc. It is situated about two miles south of Hackensack on the Polifly road—in fact, the boro adjoins the south line of the City of Hackensack, has a territory of about one and one-half square miles, and lies about 175 ft. above tide water.

This district prior to 1870 was a farming community, comprising such families as Abraham A. Ackerman, Chritian P. Terhune, Enoch Vreeland, John Van Bussum (who still resides here near where he was born 85 yrs. ago Henry Ackerman, Richard Berdan, John H. Berdan, Richard Terhune, Isaac Gott, Henry Kipp, Robert Williams and Garry Kipp. Shortly after 1870 outside capital became interested. Lord & Van Cleeve bought the land known as the Richard Terhune farm, but after selling a few lots the panic of 1873 came, and they abandoned the property to its original owners. Meyer & Smith bought part of the Richard Berdan farm, all of the farm of John H. Berdan, and an association known as the Center Corona Land and Building Association bought the Henry Kipp farm. Of all this property purchased no improvement was made until 1874, then Henry Kipp foreclosed a mtge. on the property held by the C. C. L Assn., and built about eight houses just west of the line of the N. J. & N. Y. RR. which were occupied soon after. During all this time and up to 1889 this place was known as Corona, so-called from its fanciful association and was a part of Lodi Township.

In 1889 Daniel P. Morse, of New York, bought the farms of Henry Ackerman, Chirs. Terhune, and part of the John Van Bussum farm, which he laid out in building lots, macadamizing streets, and laying blue stone sidewalks, and immediately began the erection of dwellings, thus giving the town the first and most substantial start. In 1890 Henry Lemmermann, another New York business man, than the owner of the Richard Terhune property, commenced improving it by laying out streets and building houses and he went into the business on an extensive scale. Thru the efforts of Messrs. Morse and Lemmermann water and electric lights were first introduced here.

Hasbrouck Hts. in 1894 separated from Lodi Township, holding an election on July 31 of that year, and the election was carried in favor of incorporation, and the boro was duly incorporated. An election for boro officials followed on Sept. 11, with this result: John H. Garrison was chosen the first mayor, together with a council consisting of S. P. Ferdon, G. W. Selleck, R. F. Taggart, John W. Charlton, Andrew McCabe, and William D. Crist. These officers served until March 12, 1895, when another election was held, and John W. Charlton was elected mayor, with these councilment: George W. Selleck, W. D. Crist, S. P. Ferdon, S. P. Frier, Henry Gross and John Beherns. The next mayor was William S. Lawrence; F. S. Cheseoro, John E. Musselman, John H. Garrison, E. A. Capen, E. W. Biesecker, and S. P. Frier, councilment. Mayor Lawrence was reelected in 1899.

Since its incorporation as a boro, the population has materially increased. In 1900 it was 1255; ten years later it had jumped to 2155, and in 1920 it was 2895. It has two stations on the N. J. N N. Y. RR., which runs thru the boro, on the east side while the Hudson River trolley line for Newark skirts along the hilltop, west of Polifly road. H. H. is a community for homes, and a large majority of the male residents go to N. Y. daily on business. Besides two public schools (one hight), there is a B. & L. Assn., a weekly newspaper, police and fire depts., the latter consisting of three volunteer companies, equipped with all necessary apparatus, and street hydrants at convenient points, the water being supplied by the Hackensack Water Co. The Business Men’s Assn. is a very energetic organization. Fraternal organization are the Masons, Royal Arcanum, American Mechanics, and Modern Woodmen. The Churches represent the Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist and the Reformed.

The Methodist church was the first religious organization in H. H., the first stated pastor being Rev. W. H. Russell, of Brooklyn, who was given a call in 1878, and thru his labors a chapel was built. The next church to organize was the Baptist, on Dec. 22, 1892, followed by the Reformed on Feb. 11, 1893. An organization of the Episcopal Church (St. John the Divine) was effected on May 17, 1895, and the first service was held a little more than a month later on June 28, in the old school Building, which afterward remodeled and dedicated. The Catholic church, a fine structure, was build on Kipp Avenue, in 1896.

One of the early settlers in this vicinity on the Polifly road was Henry Kipp, who was born August 31, 1811, and after a mercantile experience in N. Y. C., and later at Trenton, came here in 1846 to take charge of the homestead farm at Polifly, which he managed for about 40 yrs. As a side line to his farming industry, Judge Kipp in 1873 purchased the "Bergen County Herald," published at Rutherford, but after a brief editorial experience, he returned to the farm. He served as chosen freeholder, justice of the peace, township committeeman, township supt. of schools, and other local offices. In 1898 he died on the farm. His son, also named Henry, is now living in Hackensack. Two yrs. before Judge Kipp’s death this sketch of him was published.

"One of the most unique characters in Bergen County, N. J. is Henry Kipp. He presents a strong type of the early settlers who in 1640, ascended the Hackensack river and established a trading post to barter with the Hackensack Indians, who were then masters of the land. Mr. Kipp’s ancestors were a part of that sturdy Dutch colony which laid the foundation of so many communities near New York. His named comes down thru a record of 350 years, the family history going back to the De Kypes of Alencon, France, the first conspicuous member being Roloff De Kype, whose chateau was burned and lands confiscated by the Prince of Conde. Hendrick De Kype, son of Roloff, and progenitor of the American Kips, was born in 1576, coming to Amsterdam in 1635. In 1657 he was selected by Governor Stuyvesant as one of twenty families comprising the aristocracy, and was otherwise honored.

Henry (2nd) moved from New Amsterdam to the western boundary of New Jersey, on the Delaware River, where he remained a few years, when he returned towards New York and settled at Polifly on the King’s highway in 1685-1690 (house burned 1905). The next year the name was changed to Kip, as shown in a deed of that date, a second "p" being added by a later member of the family. In Polifly the direct male descendants of Hendrick were born in the order named: Henry Nacasias, Peter, Abraham, Peter A. Henry and Henry (2nd).

The present Henry Kipp is a son of Peter A. Kipp and Maria Stuyvesant a lineal descendant of Governor Stuyvesant. No descendant of the first Hendrick has led a more active life or attained to more local notoriety than this Henry, who was born in 1811. The Judge, who as a lay member of the Mercer County bench, is rich in remiscences of early days, and recalse vividly the visit of Lafayette to Hanckensack."

Besides John Van Bussum, mentioned above, who was an Assemblyman in 1881-86, H. H. had another citizen who was elected to the Assembly, John D. C. Graves, but he died a few days after his election in 1877. Another citizen of the boro to be honored with political office, and who still resides here, is Earl L. D. Hester, who was elected surrogate of the county in 1902, and was also private secretary to Congressman John R. Ramsey in 1917-20.

Edward M. Anson, who was one of the organizers of the H. H. B & L. and its secy. for six years, was very active in the development of the boro, and thru land companies with which he was connected built more than one hundred house and brought out from the city a great many new residents. Mr. Anson was postmaster in 1893-97.

The assessed valuation of the taxable property in the boro for the year 1922 is $3,344,130, while the tax rate is $4.22, a big reduction from 1921, when it was $5.27. Frank W. Burr, is the present mayor, and Joseph P. Breeze, is the boro clerk, which position he has filled for a number of years.

An amusing incident happened here along about 1870 when this place was known as Corona. At that time there lived on the farm afterward occupied by the late L. M. Olmstead a Mr. Durie, who dreamed that Captain Kidd’s treasure was buried on his land. This hallucination affected him so strongly that he employed a number of laborers to dig from sunset until midnight for several weeks. No conversation was allowed among the workmen, from a superstition that the treasure would sink into the bowels of the earth if human voices were heard in its proximity. A big hole in the ground some sixty feet in depth was the result of their labors. Of course nothing was ever found, and Mr. Durie in his chagrin determined to vent he spite on his employees by refusing to pay them for their work. A lawsuit was instituted by the men to recover their wages, which the newspapers of that period say, proved very amusing to the public.

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