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History of Hasbrouck Heights

Article from The Gatherers
VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 2 • SPRING 2005 , pages 9 - 15
Newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Bergen County

Historical Timeline: 1846 --One of the early settlers of Hasbrouck Heights on the Polifly Road was Henry Kipp, who was born August 31, 1811, and after a mercantile experience in New York City, and later at Trenton, went there in 1846 to take charge of the homestead farm at Polifly, which he managed for about 40 years. As a sideline 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 superintendent of schools, and other local offices. In 1898, he died on the farm.

Before 1870
--This district prior to 1870 was a farming community, comprising such families as Abraham A. Ackerman, Christian P. Terhune, Enoch Vreeland, John Van Bussum, Henry Ackerman, Richard Berdan, John H. Berdan, Richard Terhune, Isaac Gott, Henry Kipp, Robert Williams and Garry Kipp.

--An amusing incident happened here along about 1870 when this place was known as Corona. At that time there lived on a farm 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 his 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.

--Shortly after 1870, outside capital became interested in Hasbrouck Heights. 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 mortgage on the property held by the Center Corona Land Association, and built about eight houses just west of the line of the N. J. & N. Y. Railroad which were occupied soon after.

--A post office named Corona Post Office existed by 1876. On 29 Nov 1889 the Corona Post Office was changed to Hasbrouck Heights. Early Hasbrouck Heights postmasters included Franklin R. Taggart (appointed 29 Nov 1889), Edward M. Anson (23 Nov 1893), and Richmond H. Taggart (2 Oct 1897). The Hasbrouck Heights Post Office was discontinued 2 Oct 1901 with its mail to be handled by Hackensack Post Office. Today, the Hackensack Post Office handles the mail for Hasbrouck Heights, with the Hasbrouck Heights Branch having a Zip Code of 07604.

--The Methodist Church was the first religious organization in Hasbrouck Heights, 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.

--Besides John Van Bussum, who was an Assemblyman in 1881-86, Hasbrouck Heights 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 borough to be honored with political office was Earl L. D. Hester, who was elected surrogate of the county in 1902 and was also private secretary to Congressman John R. Ramsey from 1917-20.

--In 1889, Daniel P. Morse, of New York, bought the farms of Henry Ackerman, Christian 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 its first and most substantial start.

--The area was earlier known as Polifly and Corona. The name Corona was changed about 1890 to Hasbrouck Heights to avoid confusion with Corona, NY (on Long Island). The name Hasbrouck Heights was chosen to honor J. D. Hasbrouck, then General Manager of the New Jersey and New York Railroad. Also in 1890, Henry Lemmermann, another New York businessman, then 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. Through the efforts of Morse and Lemmermann, water and electric lights were first introduced in Hasbrouck Heights.

--The next church to organize was the Baptist, on Dec. 22, 1892, followed by the Reformed on Feb. 11, 1893.

--Edward M. Anson, who was one of the organizers of the Hasbrouck Heights Bank & Loan and its secretary for six years, was very active in the development of the borough, and thru land companies with which he was connected built more than one hundred houses and brought out from the city a great many new residents. Mr. Anson was postmaster in 1893-97.

--Hasbrouck Heights 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 borough was duly incorporated. The borough referendum at Hasbrouck Heights was described as "a high old time" that "excited the entire town." According to The Bergen Democrat, "a Presidential canvass could not have more thoroughly arouse the citizens of Hasbrouck Heights, especially its voting population." Meetings held prior to the vote "were not of the enthusiastic nature, for the people seemed pretty evenly divided and the discussions were animated; feeling has run high, and it showed itself, too, on election day." Both sides were confident of success and debate continued into the polling booths. Here as elsewhere, "the discourse went so far as to become bitterly personal, and charges and countercharges flew through the air." To add fuel to the fire, a circular was distributed on Election Day, promoting "Home Rule" and expressing "the belief that its people know what its needs are better than Lodi and Little Ferry." When the polls finally closed, Pioneer Hall was crowded with citizens anxious to hear the results. The final vote, announced "amid wild applause," stood: 72 votes for the borough and 60 against it. The losers threatened to contest the outcome on the ground that it violated the Ballot Reform Act. An election for borough 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 councilmen: 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. Cheseboro, John E. Musselman, John H. Garrison, E. A. Capen, E. W. Biesecker, and S. P. Frier, councilmen. Mayor Lawrence was reelected in 1899. Hasbrouck Heights is situated about two miles south of Hackensack on the Polifly Road— in fact, the borough 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.

--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 was built on Kipp Avenue in 1896.

--Population 1,255

--In 1901, part of its area was transferred to Lodi Borough; in 1905 some area was transferred to Hasbrouck Heights from Lodi Township. On July 5, 1918 part of its area was transferred to Teterboro Borough.

--In 1909, Hasbrouck Heights had 2 stations on the New Jersey and New York Railroad (Erie System).

– Population 1,825 1910 --Population 2,155 1920 --Population 2,895

--Besides two public schools (one high), there was a Bank & Loan Association, a weekly newspaper, police and fire departments, 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 Company. The Business Men’s Association was a very energetic organization. Other fraternal organizations were the Masons, Royal Arcanum, American Mechanics, and Modern Woodmen. The Churches represent the Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist and the Reformed.

--The assessed valuation of the taxable property in the borough for the year 1922 was $3,344,130, while the tax rate was $4.22, a big reduction from 1921, when it was $5.27. Frank W. Burr, was the mayor, and Joseph P. Breeze, was the borough clerk.

– Population 6,716 1970 – Population 13,651 1980 – Population 12,166 1990 – Population 11,488.

– Distinctly Jewish Names: 10
1994 – Persons in Jewish Households (approximate): 52 2000 – Population 11,662 2001 – Average Household Size: 2.00

– Distinctly Jewish Names: 10 2001 – Jewish Households on UJA Federation Mailing List: 25 2001 – Jews in Jewish Households (approximate): 52 2001 – Number of Jewish Households: 28 Synagogues: Temple Beth Elohim Boulevard & Charlton Avenue Hasbrouck Hts, NJ 07604 (201)393-7077

Local Press:

The Observer 194 Boulevard Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604 201-288-0333, 201-288-1847 fax Year established 1925 Parent Company: Hasbrouck Heights Publishing Company


Dutch Door Genealogy, gen_county_new_jersey_municipalities.html

UJA Federation of Bergen County & North Hudson,

2001 Jewish Community Study. *1994 Persons in Jewish Households was calculated based on change in population size from 2001.

Hasbrouck Heights, Bergen County Historical Society, Punkin Duster III History of Hasbrouck Heights, Barbara Smith Collection, Replication Services: Fritz Rethage 2004, Re-typed as originally presented -Author unknown --from 1870 to 1921

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