Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Joost, Mrs. Sherman Brownell (Marie Murray) '19

1930 Blue Book Address: 1088 Park Avenue, NYC (?)

1922 Address: 630 Belvidere Avenue. Plainfield

1932 Directory*: Not Listed
* = This directory is not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932.

Possibly related to the following PGC Members:

Murray, Mrs. J. Everett '20
Roome, Mrs. John Stanton (Dolores Murray or "Dody") '5
Rushmore, Mrs. Murray (Helen Joy)
Rushmore, Mrs. Townsend (Jean Murray) '20

Sherman B. Joost, Mayor of Quogue, LI

Subject: [NY-LONGISLAND] Sherman B. JOOST 1929 Court
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2003 07:22:12 EDT

Brooklyn Standard Union
June 13, 1929



Chauffeur Says He Gave Plaintiff Lift Without Employer's Permission

Riverhead, L. I. June 13.–A suit of $2,500 personal damages brought by Silvia CERRETA, of 111 Cooper street, Brooklyn, against Sherman B. JOOST, Wall street broker and Mayor of Quogue, L. I., was dismissed by County Judge George H. FURMAN yesterday.
CERRETA had been given a lift in one of JOOST's automobiles, driven by the JOOST chauffeur Martin FINLAY, April 4, 1928. The automobile hit a tree on the Montauk highway near Bay Shore and CERRETA suffered some bad cuts and bruises.
But FINLAY testified today that he had no right giving ride in one of the
JOOST cars without the permission of Mr. JOOST, and that he did not have such permission when he offered CERRETA the ride. On this ground the judge dismissed the case.

Transcribed for (Brooklyn Info Pages)
byMargaret Ransom

The Parrish Art Museum

Portrait of Martin Joost
by William Merritt Chase

Canadians and the Burma Campaign 1941 - 1945

Sherman B. Joost, Jr.

The Westfield Leader May 5, 1916

Meeting of NJ Assn Opposed to Women's Suffrage

One of the Vice Presidents was listed Mrs. Sherman B. Joost – Plainfield

The Westfield Leader April 29, 1925

700 Plainfielders Canvass for Hospital

Mr. Sherman B. Joost, second vice-president

League of Women Voters of Plainfield 1920 - 1981

Marie Murray Joost Charter Member

Historical Information

The League of Women Voters is a grassroots, "non-partisan organization whose purpose is to encourage the informed and active participation of all citizens in government and politics." The national ( and state ( Leagues were established in 1920, when women were finally granted the right to vote in the United States through the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The League functions on local, county, state and national levels of government. One of its major programs is Voter Service, which provides information regarding candidates and their platforms to the membership. On the local level, the League engages in a variety of programs related to city government. Some important local issues in the past, for example, have been the quality of the public schools, the effectiveness of the city charter, and a study of the city's budget.

The League of Women Voters of Plainfield is one of the oldest active leagues in the United States. After a mass meeting on May 10, 1920 to form a Plainfield League, the first meeting of the League of Women Voters of Plainfield and North Plainfield took place on May 14, 1920 (three months to the day after the formation of the National League of Women Voters, and a mere one month after formation of the New Jersey league). It was originally open only to women. By September of 1920, over 3,000 women in Plainfield registered to vote after attending a citizenship school over the summer. Dues were only 20 a year for a regular membership. There were departments for: Child Welfare, Social Hygiene, Women in Industry, Legislation, Citizenship, and Fair Price. There were standing committees for: publicity, finance, speakers, entertainment, and enrollment. North Plainfield formed its own League in September 1953.

Today, the Plainfield League continues to educate and inform by providing local residents, both men and women, with factual, nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot issues. The League distributes this information through voter's guides, candidate forums, town meetings or debates. The Plainfield League also encourages registration and engages in voting drives.

Source: 1973-74 membership booklet, Box 1 folder 45

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Additional Historical
The predecessor of the League of Women Voters was the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association (NJSA). The NJSA was founded in 1867 at a meeting in Vineland, NJ. It was attended by Lucy Stone, her husband Henry Blackwell, Lucretia and James Mott of Philadelphia, reformer Robert Dale Owen, dress reformer Susan Pecker Fowler, and John Gage of Vineland, brother-in-law of reformer and journalist, Frances Dana Gage.

According to the founding convention records, "all adult citizens of the State shall be eligible and of which the object shall be to use all honorable means to secure to woman the same political rights which are now enjoyed by white men." On April 23, 1920, the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association became the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, a non-partisan organization devoted to informed citizenship, which still exists today. The NJSA record group consists of a War Relief Enrollment Form.

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Charter Members, 1920
Mary Charles, first president
Julia Buckley Cox
Marie Murray Joost
Esther Egerton
Edythe P. Parsons
May Blaine Lipscomb
Louise S Corbusier
Elizabeth D. White
[Elinor] M[eleiels]
Edith P. Bond
Ida H. Riley
Anne Luery
Edna M. Brown
Sarah Elvira Sutphen
Hilda Mary Knott
Florence Bailey Lawrence
Lucy J. Weiss
Elizabeth Taylor
Edith C. Burnett
Delphina B O'Donnell
Elizabeth M. Kenney
Louise H. Abbe
Emilie B. Cowperthwaite
Dr. Clara DeH Krans
[Ida] Jones
Marie E VanSyckel
Mary A. Bailey
Estelle B Crane
Katrina G. S. Pierce
Claire W. Robinson

Source: Minutes Book 1, general minutes, pages 11-12, 1920.

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Scope and Contents
The Records of the League include a variety of historical material spanning from 1920 to 1981, with the bulk of records dating between 1952 to1973. The documents offer a glimpse into the creation of the League from its beginning in 1920, up to the 1980s. There is a list of the charter members, dated May 1920, that includes the signatures of the initial 29 members (noted above). Record types include: annual reports, newsletters, annual dinner & event programs, constitution and by-laws, financial records, correspondence, minutes (bound and unbound), sample ballots, informational reports, membership questionnaires and statistics, and newspaper clippings. Related ephemera include two small voting tags. There is a stretch of the League's newsletter, "The Plainfield Voter," that runs, with gaps, from April 1962 to January 1981. Other publications focus on the town of Plainfield and the city's school system. Materials are typed and handwritten, in both original and photocopied formats.

The League of Women Voters of Plainfield celebrated its 80th birthday in 2001, and is still in operation today.

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The Records of the League are arranged into four series:

Series 1: Annual reports
Series 2: Minute books
Series 3: Subject Files
Subseries A: Education
Subseries B: History & PPL Vertical files materials
Subseries C: Housing
Subseries D: Regional Planning
Subseries E: Voter Service
Series 4: Publications
Subseries A: General publications
Subseries B: "The Plainfield Voter" newsletters

March 21, 1915 New York Times Letter to the Editor by Marie M. Joost

Make Both Ends Meet
That is What Woman Should Do
And Votes Won't Help Her, Says N.J. Anti

To the Editor of The New York Times:

Having read the many letters brought out by your excellent editorials against woman suffrage (for which please accept our hearty thanks) may I mentikon one or tow points, which I do not think have yet been discussed?

In arguing upon this subject the speakers and writers seem to confine themselves to two distrinct classes – namely, the woman of complete or comparative leisure and the wage-earners. As a matter of fact, the majority of American woman are the wives of workingmen and farmers, who in spite of all the modern aids to housekeeping (of which we are so frequently reminded by the suffragists) spend most of their time doing housework, and when those duties are accomplished the workbasket awaits them.* In addition to this, these women usually have the planning of the expenditure of the family income. The man, in daily contact with his fellow workers, finds opportunity then and in his leisure hours to discuss the questions of the day. To his wife the paramount issue of the day is that of making both ends meet. No amount of voting will ever help here there!

As to the question of pure food, sanitation &c each year brings forth new prize, and we depend upon upon the men to enable us to retain it.

Marie M. Joost
President Plainfield Branch New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage

Founders of the Hillside Cemetary Association

Founders of The Hillside Cemetery Association

Charles Potter, Jr.

Mason W. Tyler

Augustus C. Baldwin

Alexander Gilbert

William B. Wadsworth

John W. Murray

Lemuel W. Serrell

Augustus D. Shepard

New York Times February 5, 1895


Entertainmnets Which Have Helped to Make the Week Pass Pleasantly

PLAINFIELD, N. J., Feb. 16 – On Wednesday evening a cotillion was danced at the home of ex-Mayor Q. V. F. Randolph of East Front Street.

Herman Simmonds of Watchung Avenue has gone to Florida, to remain until Spring.

Mrs. Dudley Insley of Tacoma and Miss See of Sing Sing are guests of Mrs. E. E. Runyon of Madison Avenue.

Mrs. Howell of Chester, who has been visiting her sister Mrs. F. D. Whiting of East Sixth Street, has returned home.

Next Tuesday evening the ladies of the Monroe Avenue Chapel will hold their annual supper.

Mrs. Robert Downy of Madison Avenue gave a tea this afternoon from 4 to 7.

By far the largest and most brilliant social function that has ever been given in this city was the Ackerman reception at the Casino on Monday night. About 500 guests were present, the largest number that has yet gathered in that pretty clubhouse and ballroom. Mrs. J. Hervey Ackerman received, assisted by Mrs. Robert Rushmore, Mrs. Ernest R. Ackerman, and Mrs. Marion S. Ackerman.

Plainfield Countil of the Royal Arcanum celebrated the addition of the two hundredth member to its ranks Monday night with an entertainment.

William C. Ayers, one of Plainfield's oldest residents, celebrated his eighty-sixth birthday Tuesday. He was born on Feb. 12, 1809, on the same day as Lincoln.

Wednesday evening the ladies of the Seventh Day Baptist Church held a sale and supper in the church.

An interesting meeting of the Monday Afternoon Club was held in the parlors of the Crescent Avenue Church Monday, at which David P. Hall gave a talk on parliamentary usage.

The Third Regiment Cadet Corps of this city will go to Bound Brook on Washington's Birthday to take part in the parade of that place.

Several new members were received into the Plainfield Bicycle Club at a meeting Monday night.

On Thursday evening, Feb. 21, a Martha Washington tea will be given in the First Presbyterian Church.

Tuesday evening Mr. and Mrs. B. O. Bowers of Franklin Place entertained the Musical Club.

The Ladies Committee of the Young Women's Christian Association met Tuesday afternoon and elected the following officers: President – Mrs. Henry M. Maxson; Vice-President – Mrs. J. Wesley Johnson; Treasurere – Mrs. J. H. Manning; Secretary – Miss Embury.

Next month Miss Fannie Westphal will be married to George Gray of Brooklyn.

Tuesday, Mrs. Marion S. Ackerman of West Seventh Street gave a dinner in honor of her guest, Miss Cox of New York. The guests present were Miss Gertrude Waly, Miss Cox, Miss Marion Dumont, Miss Waldron, Miss Lawrence, Miss Carey, Harry Munger, Laurens Van Buren, Fred Waly, Dr. B. Van D. Hedges, Mr. Waring and Mr. Wharton.

A union meeting of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Societies of the Crescent Avenue and First Presbyterian Churches as held Tuesday afternoon at the latter church. The subject discussed as "China," papers being read by Mrs. M. E. Dwight, Mrs. Luchey, Mrs. Cornelius Schenck, Mrs. Pruden, and Mrs. Wyckoff.

Next Saturday Mrs. Henry McGee of Washington Park will give an afternoon tea. The hours will be from 4 to 7 o'clock.

During the week Miss Florence Honneger of New Brighton, S. I., has been the guest of Mrs. J. R. Hill of Belvidere Avenue.

Plainfield's handsome new Young Men's Christian Association Building was formally opened Tuesday night. Addresses were made by Mayor Alexander Gilbert, the first President of the association; the Rev. Dr. William R. Richards and William D. Murray, the present President. The building cost about $50,000.

Residence of Dr. Elmer P. Weigel, 630 Belvidere Avenue

In this illustrated book, the Courier-News has sought to present some of the representative homes of The Plainfields and adjoining territory, together with such other buildings of interest and importance as would serve to convey an idea of the physical attractioins of one of the most beautiful and healthful cities in the Metropolitan District. The homes reflect the desirability of this community as a place of residence.

The churches, schools, clubs and public buildings pictured serve to give the stranger some conceptions of the beauty of the city and its right to be termed the "Queen City" of New Jersey.

With picturesque Watchung Hills as a background, this section with all its natural advantages, plus a progressive spirit, coupled with high class local governing bodies and a live Chamber of Commerce, is pecularily adapted for home sites and, as a result, it has enjoyed a steady and healthy growth for many years.

publication circa 1917

1920 Muhlenberg Hospital Womens Auxiliary

Mrs. S. B. Joost
630 Belvidere

November 2, 1894 New York Times

Sanford - Murray

PLAINFIELD, N.J., Nov. 1 – There was a brilliant wedding in the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church at 7:30 o'clock this evening, when Miss Minnie Breckinridge Murray, daughter of John W. Murray of the German Insurance Company of New York, was married to Joseph Webster Sandford, Jr., son of Joseph W. Sanford of Westervelt Avenue. A large assemblage of society people witnessed the event. The Rev. Dr. William R. Richards, pastor of the church, performed the ceremony. The church was elaborately decorated with palms and chyrsanthemums.

The bride wore a handsome gown of white corded silk and carried a bouquet of beautiful roses. The maid of honor was Miss Augusta Knox Murray. The bridesmaids were Miss Stella Place, Miss May Sanford, and Miss May Grace Brewster of New York. Albert Tilney was best man. The ushers were Percy H. Stewart, George S. Beebe, Howard W. Beebe, Fred W. Walz, Walter F. Murray, and James E. Murray. A reception followed at the home of the bride's parents.

1925 Meeting Minutes

1941 Courier-News Plainfield Merits Classification as 'City of Beautiful Trees'

November 30, 2013: Found in Barbara Tracy Sandford's memorabilia. Written by PGC Member Mrs. Garret Smith

"I call Plainfield the City of Beautiful Trees," and out-of-town visitor remarked to me the other day. "My business takes me to many towns about this size clear across the country. Trees, or their lack, always impress me most about a town. Beautiful building can't make up for the lack of them. Many towns seem to have choice trees only in one or two sections. Others have only a few tree-lined avenues. But every part of Plainfield has not only interesting individual trees, but long stretches of streets where treetops meet in green arches above the traffic. That doesn't just happen. This town must have been founded by tree-lovers."

The stranger was right, as many specimen trees on old private properties testify. They are trees that were rare and expensive when planted years ago. A number of well-to-do property owners appreciated trees and collected choice kinds. The street trees of about this age also show that far-sighted men planned to make the town keep growing more beautiful in ways that everyone enjoys.

Trees have always been essential to Plainfielders. In the early days elms stretched down North Ave. from east to the west city boundaries. Many still remain now 70 to 80 years old. That avenue helped to establish Plainfield's policy of "beautiful trees for every street."

Value Appreciated
The city's mayors and councilmen have appreciate the value of trees . . . Ginko . . . now ripening, in the edge of the station grounds, near the corner of the drug store.

Among its immediate neighbors, at this station are a Red Maple, Austrian Pine, English Elm, Horse Chestnut, several Magnolias and a Sycamore Maple, the latter near the middle of the grass oval. Purple Beech, White Pine and two Hemlocks stand at the west exit.

Lindens at Spot
On the North Ave. side of the station is an interesting clump of three Lindens – no two alike. Evergreens are represented by three Scotch Pines, an Austrian and a White Pine, and a tall, slender Spruce. In this little park are also Sugar Swamp and Silver Maples, and a clump of low-growing Beeches. Looking upward to the railroad level, one sees, besides the specimen Ginko mentioned, two Catalpas, a Weeping Mulberry, two Red Maples and an Austrian Pine. A big Pin Oak, two or three Scarlet Oaks, a . . . .

. . . boats glided over Green Brook and when Plainfield and New York social leaders came in big carriages, drawn by spanking teams, to garden musicals, gay dinners, dances and teas as the Johnston's guests.

All of Plainfield's school grounds are constantly growing more attractive. Environment of vines, trees, plants and shrubs awaken appreciation of Nature's beauty that is a lifelong source of pleasure.

Hubbard School, one of the city's architectural gems, has always been regarded as in a class by itself. Its beauty is greatly enhanced by choice plant material on its ample grounds, partly framed by Barberry. Large specimen Japanese Yews arrest attention, along with Sourwoods, or "Lily-of-the-Valley Tree," whose branches bear long one-sided racemes of white flowers in summer and whose leaves are vivid scarlet in autumn.

White Pine, Cedar, Pfitzer Junipers are shadowy evergreen foils for airy bloom of Weeping Japanese . . .

Among them are the old Elms in North Ave., mentioned before; London Planes from Watchung Ave. to Terrill Rd.; Ash in St. Mary's Ave.; Pin Oaks and Planes in Park Ave.; Sycamore Maples in Bellevue Ave.; Norway Maples in both Leland and Monroe Ave. sections. Tulip trees now grow in Central St., along Maxon School grounds, and Ginkos in Landsdowne Terr. In Cleveland Ave., near Grace Church, the lacy foliage of the decorative Mountain Ash, or Rowan Tree, contrasts at this season with bunches of bright hollylike berries. Many years ago the late Simeon Cruikshank planted Buckeyes along his corner property ["Sacmoore" 831 Belvidere] at Belvidere and Watchung Aves. Much smaller than familiar Horse Chestnut and with brighter pink flower-spikes they have always been greatly admired. In autumn the brilliant, scarlet, star-shape leaves of Liquid-ambar, or Sweetgum, glorifies a patch of Ravine Rd. After a shower, or if bruised, the foliage is fragrant. Corky bark and thorny-skinned fruit like little apples, complete this tree's unique characteristics.

Close to 150 trees, of many species, are part of the Muhlenberg Hospital landscape. The long front path beneath the Maples, and on the west the wide Elm-bordered stretch of green lawn leading to a quiet pool, with its amusing little bronze fountain figure, form two vistas of ever-increasing charm. Wide borders of intermingling trees and flowering shrubs frame the property.

The purple leaves of the two Schwedler Maples attract much attention in the spring. So do the Apple trees and Dogwoods that trim the grounds like big bouquets, set off by Hemlocks, Spruce and Pine. Chinese Dogwoods, given by graduate nurses, are especially prized. Devoted interest of the late Marie Louis, nature-lover and for years superintendent of Muhlenberg, helped turn once common-plant "grounds" into a tree-shaded garden spot both restful and diverting.

Dogwood Favorites
Native Dogwoods are favorites among the city's flowering trees. The Plainfield Garden Club, on its own recent 25th birthday, gave small grove of these "Jewels of the Forest" to Cedar Brook Park. On the T. H. Van Bosckerck grounds on Prospect Ave. is the handsome large group of Dogwoods on private property in town. On Dr. Elmer Weigel's lawn on Belvidere Ave [630 Belivdere – see Mrs. Joost]. Chinese Dogwood bears much larger and later blooms. Directly across the street from this, and close to the sidewalk, a low-growing Witch Hazel (Hamanelis) bears yellow Forsythia-like flowers in winter.

Before the Talmadge dwelling [714 Belvidere], in the the same street, are majestic Copper Beeches. In early days Beeches were popular selections for large grounds. Probably the finest Weeping Beech in the city grows in deserted grounds in Central Ave. Nearby on the Witon property is a huge Purple Beech – both almost perfect. Farther down the avenue, on Wardlaw School grounds [1030 Central Avenue - see Below], is a fine old Ginko.

The only Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) in Plainfield is owned by former Mayor Leighton Calkins [929 Madison – see Below]. Its strange trunk and heart-shaped leaves, purplish when young, are unusual. It grows in front of the house in Madison Ave.

Unique among Plainfield trees is a native Orange of the South. it is today laden with velvety, green fruit in Mrs. Howard Tracy's Prospect Ave. garden [1331 Prospect Ave]. Probably nowhere else in this region can one be found, according to Shade Tree Commissioner Lithgow Hunter. Sent north from Maryville College in Tennessee 50 years ago. . . .

. . . residents seeking permanent homes. These officials have always planned with the Shade Tree Commission since its organization, so that every year more trees come marching in. Some fill vacancies in the ranks of old trees along old streets. Others shade tireless blocks in new sections of town.

For the last 17 years, one man, Sidney Durant, the Shade Tree Commission's expert supervisor of trees, has directed its work. it includes feeding, pruning, watering and repairing the city's 25,000 street trees, as well removal of dead or too-badly-injured trees and planting new ones. For nearly 20 years Thomas F. Hylan has served on the commission, of which he is now president.

Of all the city's trees, the strange Ginko, or Maiden-hair tree, grows to a height of 80 feet or so. The delicacy of its little leaves, resembling those of the Maiden-Hair fern, contrast sharply with the arrow-straight upswept branches of what is considered one of the most beautiful and unusual of all hardy exotic trees. The Ginko's origin is a mystery. Nowhere on earth is it been found wild, yet fossils prove it was once scattered all over the world. Nothing else today resembles the Ginko, so paleontologists reason that some series of misfortunes destroyed all missing links. Today's closest relative is the Yew family, thought at a glance they appear as unrelated as a Chines and a New England Yankee.

Planted Near Temples
Early explorers found Ginkos planted around Chinese and Japanese temples. The Chinese called in Yin-Hing – "Silver Apricot" – referring to the greenish-yellow, fleshy fruit having a single stone. This fruit, slightly roasted, was served throughout the formal Chinese dinners which lasted all day. Guests nibble the finlike fruit between courses as an aid to digestion.

The Ginko did not reach England until 1754. The first specimen in this country was planted in Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia. In 1889 the Ginko fruited for the first time there on the grounds of Charles Wister. fifty years ago these newcomers to America were not only scarce, but expensive. That Plainfield has so many beautiful old specimens of these trees is possibly due to the fact that John Taylor Johnston, then president of the New Jersey Central Railroad and a resident of this city, was not only a patron of the arts, but a lover of trees. Each of Plainfield's railroad station grounds had not only fine specimens of the Ginko, but also a varied collection of other trees, evidently selected by an expert.

Netherwood, nearest the Johnston home [see Below], was especially favored. Here, beside the north track, stands a regal Ginko, carefully located as an artist would plan his canvas, so that its top is etched against the sky. This emphasizes the beauty of leaf and branch and trunk as viewed from the eastbound station platform. ?? may see a younger . . .

. . . White Oak and Elms are among the trees fringing the western boundary.

"The property as a whole is a remarkable small arboretum," said a well-known visiting tree scientist recently, after inspecting the Netherwood station park. "In my travels I've seen no other railroad station grounds with such a variety of trees. This landscaping, too, I can see was done by an expert."

In employing such an expert to beautify the railroad property in his home town, Mr. Johnston was carrying out the spirit of the statement he made at the time the Metropolitan Museum of New York City was founded at his Fifth Ave. mansion. He was quoted as saying:

"The public ought to have a chance to see, to hear and to know more about whatever feeds the mind and is inspiring, if we are to have the best kind in America."

To even a novice in landscaping, the Netherwood station grounds show that underlying motive. One could not imagine either the south or north oval either diminished of enlarged – so true is their scale. It would be hard to find more beautiful flowering trees than those Magnolias; or more intriguing contrast of leaf, branch and trunk than offered by the Ginko and the Pine. On the north side the clump of Lindens, combined with an apparently outcropping "pudding stone," make a "garden composition" that suggest to the home gardener similar effective arrangements, though not necessarily identical in material.

Beautiful Estate
Some old residents recall that Mr. Johnston's estate in E. Front St. was lavishly beautified with choice trees, as were those of most of his neighbors along that splendid avenue of that day. Some of those estates are still being kept up as homes of their owners today, while others have been divided into beautiful setting for developments of small homes.

The Johnston estate, however, furnished the basis of another public development of beauty spots. A portion of it became the site of the new Barlow School [see Below]. These school grounds are said to be unequaled in the state in the variety and placement of superb trees. What some consider the finest Weeping Beech in town grows here, also two majestic evergreens, one a White Pine, the other a Spruce. Elm, Ginko, Cucumber tree, Ash, "Button Ball," Willow and Sugar Maple are also outstanding.

Two of the most interesting, although not the most conspicuous of the group, are a true English Oak (Quercus Robur) and a Yellow Wood (Cladrastis lute). The first has smallish leaves, thick-set upon the branch. A strange characteristic is that the stem adheres to the side of the acorn. The writer knows of only one other English Oak in town – Central Ave., near Stelle Ave.

The Yellow Wood has wisteria-like racemes of white fragrant flowers in midsummer. Leaves resemble the locust. Another fine specimen grows on the property of Miss Laura Detwiller in Hillside Ave.

All were here in the days . . . .

. . . when Cherry, Dogwood and Crab. In early spring the large leathery-leaved evergreen Japanese Andromeda (Pieris) unfold delicate, coppery leaves and waxy white racemes of tiny flowers. These are classified as shrubs, but on these favorable grounds, are almost small trees of exceptional beauty.

Preservation is Theme
The good judgement of George R. Zimmer, who for many years has supervised Plainfield's school grounds, is shown not only in what has already been accomplished, but in developments being planned. "What can we preserve?" not "What can we cut down?" is his motto. Before clearing the recently purchased grounds adjoining Maxon School was begun this summer, Mr. Zimmer marked every large and small tree that "might some day be of use somewhere." Workmen were warned to cut not one of these.

The City Police Headquarters and also the old Public Library have a setting of trees. The little Library Park is said to have been reserved from farmland whose native trees – mostly, Red, White and Black Oaks – were left standing. Across the facade of Fire Headquarters are a Ginko, a London Plane and Horse Chestnut – each an unusually fine specimen. Among Netherwood firemen are enthusiastic gardeners. Each spring many of Plainfield's 3,000 commuters take great interest in "what the boys are doing to their grounds." Everything planted seems to do well, even the peonies, marking the line between the firemen's parklike grounds and the railroad cinder-bed.

On spacious City Hall grounds is not only a variety of evergreens, but also of deciduous trees, selected for beauty of form, leaf or flower. Two Cryptomeria, "Aristocrats of Evergreens," donated recently by Plainfield's near-centenarian, Miss Isabel Tweedy, and a tall Himalayan Pine in town was brought here by the late Harry K. Tetsuka, to adorn his well-known Japanese garden in Belvidere Ave [556 Belvidere].

The Holly tree on City Hall grounds is another tree found on but few properties. It was donated by Herbert Moody [see Below], when The Courier-news gift of 5,000 bulbs roused a widespread interest in more beautiful grounds, in keeping with the architectural beauty of the building. Evergreens were given immediately by former Mayor Marion F. Ackerman, and a Dogwood by Thomas F. Hylan, whose keen interest in the property extends back to 25 years ago, when, as Councilman, he served on the City Hall Building Committee. This season former Councilman Orville G. Waring, son of the late Mayor Waring, donated several valuable Pfitzer Junipers.

Not Monotonous
Many species of trees planted along our city streets make green lanes that are not monotonous.

. . . . stood for most of that time in this sheltered nook. The fruits, when ripe, are decorative, but not edible. Edible oranges grown only on grafted stock. The thorny branches of this small tree resemble Osage Orange, or "Indian Bow-wood."

Figs are also ripening now in Plainfield. Within a stone's throw of Netherwood station is Watson Ave. It is only three blocks long and from spring to fall it glows with flowers. In one little garden grows a carefully tended Fig tree that bears fruit yearly. Each fall the owner buries his Fig tree in a deep trench well below the frost-line. Each spring it is dug out and reset.

One great wide-spreading Mulberry (Morus Multicaulus) towers far above the roof-top of Leslie R. Fort's home in Cedarbrook Rd. This venerable tree is the historic survivor of a Mulberry plantation, established during the "Multicaulus Mania," by the late Senator Martine [11 Brook Lane, see Below], as a venture to yield gigantic profits on his farm that included the Cedar Brook tract. He believed with others that New Jersey would be one of the world's silk-growing centers. Convinced that silk was to take the place of cotton, New Jersey farmers set out thousands of acres of "silk-worm mulberries" about 100 years ago, only to cut down the trees when the bubble burst.

One of the most varied private collection of trees in the city is that of Miss Jessie D. Munger in Prospect Ave. In recent years instructors at Rutgers University have brought students to these grounds to study the trees and other plant material as well as the garden design. Last spring the general public enjoyed the same privilege.

Love of trees is part of the tradition that has helped mould Plainfield into a city of pleasant homes on quiet streets. The late Jonas Lie, one of our city's most distinguished citizens, sensed this characteristic of our community. In the Common Council Chamber at City Hall hangs his gift – a mountain woodland scene, interpreted by his illustrious brush as an inspiring message to us all.

To learn more about the history of some of the people and places mentioned in this article, visit these links:

[Maxson School]
Stillman, Mrs. William Maxson (Elizabeth B. Atwood) '15

[630 Belvidere]
Joost, Mrs. Sherman Brownell (Marie Murray) '19

[714 Belvidere]
Dunbar, Mrs. William Kuhn '17
Rock, Mrs. Robert B. '43
Runkle, Mrs. Harry Godley (Jennie Fitz Randolph) '15
Whitehead, Mrs. James Harold (Jean Fitz-Randolph Heiberg) '43

[1030 Central Avenue – duCret School]
Huntington, Mrs. Howard (Agnes Fales Strong) '19
McGee, Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) '22
Zerega, Miss Bertha Virginia '23

[929 Madison Avenue]
Ackerman, Mrs. Marion S.(Sarah M. Wills) '35

[Johnston Estate on Front Street & Netherwood]
Mali, Mrs. Pierre (Frances Johnston) '18

[Barlow School East front Street – former estate of "Blojocamavi" owned by Lewis V. Fitz Randolph/Johnston estate]
Barlow, Mrs. Carlton Montague (June Simms) '70
Barlow, Mrs. DeWitt Dukes (Mary Lee Brewer), Jr. '65
Dunbar, Mrs. William K., Jr. (Elizabeth or "Libby" Hail Barlow) '47
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49
(Also see Mrs. Runkle and Mrs. Whitehead above)

[City Hall]
Moody, Mrs. George T. '22
Perkins, Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) '49

[11 Brook Lane, Martine House]
MacLeod, Mrs. Robert F. (Carolyn Waring) '55

1941 Courier-News Plainfield Merits Classification as 'City of Beautiful Trees'

1941 Courier-News Plainfield Merits Classification as 'City of Beautiful Trees'

Minnie Murray Sandford

Minnie Murray Sandford's dress
c. late 1880's - 1890's
Given to Drake House November 2013 by the Sandford family

Minnie Murray Sandford

Minnie Murray Sandford's dress
c. late 1880's - 1890's
Given to Drake House November 2013 by the Sandford family

Minnie Murray Sandford

Minnie Murray Sandford's dress
c. late 1880's - 1890's
Given to Drake House November 2013 by the Sandford family

March 10, 2014 Women's History Month

The Star-Ledger published this today in honor of Women's History Month: Vintage Photos of Women's History in NJ

The 9th photo in captures PGC Member Eva Hamilton Van Hoesen as she was one of the first of three women to sit on a jury in 1921.

One of the other women, Florance Runyon of Plainfield, wife of state Sen. William N. Runyon, is related to PGC President Mrs. Leslie Runyon (Helen Osmun) Fort '22.

Query how they were chosen? Like today, had they voted in 1920 (when women in NJ were allowed to vote) and therefor their names were entered in the jury pool?

One of the most famous US suffragists was Plainfielder Lillian Feickert. Not surprisingly, she does not seem to have any ties to the PGC. Although the Club boasts many forward-thinking women of their time, as us old-timers know, there were many that preferred "not to rock the boat."

An example would be PGC member Mrs. Sherman Brownell (Marie Murray) Joost '19, an "in-law" of Barbara Sandford. In March 1915 she wrote a very unfortunate letter to The New York Times stating that women should just tend to the housekeeping and let men deal with "the questions of the day." Even more shameful, she was President of the Plainfield Branch New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.


Marie Antoinette Murray
Found 10 Records, 10 Photos and 2,451,797 Family Trees
Born in Babylon, New York, USA on 1882 to William Murray and Jennie Barre. Marie Antoinette married Sherman Brownell Joost and had 2 children.

1921 Brooklyn Blue Book

Showed the address as 630 Belvidere

Marie Antoinette Murray


Monday Afternoon Club Membership

December 28, 2014

Local blogger Dan Damon wrote this article, Suspicious fire at historic Plainfield building, regarding a fire at the Samuel W. Rushmore building on South Avenue. Many Rushmore relatives have been members of the PGC including current Affiliate Member Ginny Rushmore.

To learn more about this prominent family, click on these member albums:

Rushmore, Mrs. Murray (Helen Joy)
Rushmore, Mrs. Townsend (Jean Betram Murray) '20
Joy, Mrs. James R. (Emma Prentice McGee) '33
Mooney, Mrs. Wandell McMaster (Alice Joy McGee) '47
Joost, Mrs. Sherman Brownell (Marie Murray) '19
Murray, Mrs. James Everett (Alice Marshall) '20
Roome, Mrs. John Stanton (Dolores or "Dody" Murray) '57
Tilney, Mrs. Albert Arthur (Augusta R. Murray) '20
McGee, Mrs. Harry Livingston (Susan M. Howell) '18
McGee, Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) '22
Lockwood, Mrs. Frederick M. (Hazel Marshall) '52
Lockwood, Mrs. William L. (Amy M.) '25
Marshall, Mrs. Henry P. (Dorothy Burke) '30
Howell, Mrs. Josephus Halsey (Romaine Ray) '22
Chambliss, Mrs. Leopold A. (Anna Scott Yerkes) '50
Eddy, Mrs. Charles Brown (Ellen Coolidge Burke) '15

And through marriage on her husband's side, the late Mrs. Webster (Barbara Tracy) Sandford '50.

Plainfield firefighters responded early Saturday evening to a suspicious fire in a historic factory structure at South Avenue and Berckman Street.

The complex of three buildings, parts of which are over a hundred years old, most recently housed the Royal Apex Company, a manufacturer of gutters and other metal and plastic extruded products. The buildings have been vacant since 2007, when Royal Apex was bought out by Berger Building Products, Inc., and operations were moved to Pennsylvania.

Originally, the buildings housed the Rushmore Dynamo Works, owned by Plainfield entrepreneur and inventor Samuel W. Rushmore. Rushmore made his fortune in patents and manufacturing several key improvements in automobile technology.

Among his notable inventions – or improvements on those of others – are the automatic starter, cooling systems for internal combustion engines, the flared automobile headlamp, a searchlight, and locomotive headlights. At one time, half of all the automatic starters used in American automobiles were manufactured in the Plainfield location.

Rushmore sold the business in 1914 to the Bosch Magneto Company, with the proviso that the Rushmore name be used on its products for a number of years. When Bosch violated the terms of the agreement, Rushmore successfully sued (see here) for $100,000 (which would be over $2 million today).

Bosch, a German company with a U.S. branch, established a separate U.S. corporation, headquartered in New York City. Because of suspicions of its owners' loyalty, Bosch was nationalized in both the First and Second World Wars – with control returning to private hands in 1948.

Though several area fire companies responded to the blaze, it was quickly brought under control. A source told me the fire is suspected to be arson, a determination that will be made officially by arson investigators.