Plainfield Garden Club

Member: McGee, Mrs. Harry Livingston (Sarah M. Howell) '18

1919 Address: 7 Orchard Place, North Plainfield, NJ

1928 Treasurer Book May 8th $5.00
1929 Treasurer Book Active April $5.00
1930, 1931 Treasurer Book Active
1932 Treasurer Book: Active Member McGee, Mrs. H. L. 4/33 Pd. Deceased
1934 Treasurer Book Active: Mrs. Harry L. McGee 2/5/34 PAID
Treasurer Book Active: 1935, 1936, 1937

1932 Directory* Address: Rockview Avenue
* = This directory is not dated but presumed to be from the year 1932

1934 Address: 130 Rockview Avenue, North Plainfield, NJ

1938 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Harry L. McGee 1/19/38 Pd. 1/11/39 Pd. 1/25/40 Pd 1/3/41 Pd 12/6/43 Pd. 12/8/44 Pd. 12/10/45 May 27, 1946

1942 Address: 136 Rockview Avenue
NOTE: Mrs. Harry McGee is listed as an "Associate Member"

This may have been a mistake by the Treasurer at the time. In the same log it shows Mrs. Walter McGee has having paid and an Associate Member

1941 - 1942 - 1943 Treasurer Book, Active: Mrs. Harry L. McGee 12/1/41 Pd. Her name is crossed out and a notation "ass" in margin

1941 - 1942 - 1943 Treasurer Book, Associate: Mrs. Harry L. McGee 1/17/42 Pd. 12/3/42 Pd.

1947 - 1948 Treasurer Book, Associate: McGee, Mrs. H. L. May 22, 1947 June 18, 1948 June 8, 1949 McGee, Mrs. Harry June 15, 1950 June 1951 June 1952

Mother is Mrs. Josephus H. (Romaine Ray) Howell '22

Mother-in-law is Mrs. Henry Augustus (Emma Louise Whiting) McGee '22

Mrs. Harry Livingston (Susan M. Howell) McGee '18 is related to the following PGC Members:

Mrs. Henry Augustus (Emma Louise Whiting) McGee
Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) McGee
Mrs. James R. (Emma Prentice McGee) Joy
Mrs. Wandell McMaster (Alice Joy) Mooney
Mrs. Murray (Helen Joy) Rushmore

August 26, 1894 New York Times article

Plainfield, City of Homes

1904 Yale University listing


May 2, 1908 New York Times wedding announcement

Mrs. Harry L. (Sarah M. Howell) McGee's mother marries widower Mr. Thomas H. Leggett

Thomas Haight Leggett III (son of Charles Pleasants Leggett) was born 01 September 1859 in Flushing, Queens, N.Y., and died 04 October 1935 in Plainfield, N.J; buried Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains Township, N.J..

Notes for Thomas Haight Leggett III:
Begin generation seven
* 87-g7Le6 Thomas7 Haight Leggett, (Charles6 P, Thomas5 H, Joseph4, Thomas3, Gabriel2, Gabriel1)
born September 1, 1859 in Flushing, Queens, N.Y.
died October 1, 1935 in Plainfield, N.J.
buried October 4, 1935, Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains Township, N.J.
1st married Fannie Borrowe
parents William Borrowe
2nd married November 14, 1934 to Mrs. Romaine Ray Howell widow of Josephus H. Howell
Children (Leggett) 3: 3 boys
by his first wife
67-g8Le6 Thomas8 Haight, Jr, Dr.
68-g8Le6 William8 Borrowe
69-g8Le6 Davis8 Currie

New York Times, November 25, 1934


PLAINFIELD, N.J., Nov. 24 - Mr. and Mrs. Harry L. McGee of 130 Rockview Avenue have announced the marriage of Mrs. McGee's mother, Mrs. Romaine R. Howell to Thomas Haight Leggett of Plainfield, N.J. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. E. Vicars Stevenson, rector of Grace Episcopal Church, in the McGee home on November 14.

April 30, 1908 New York Times wedding announcement

McGee - Howell

The wedding of Miss Sarah Howell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Josephus H. Howell and Harry L. McGee, son of Mr. and Mrs Henry A. McGee, both of North Plainfield, NJ took place at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Plainfield, NJ last night. The Rev. Dr. Herbert Welch, President of teh Ohio Wesleyan University, officiated. Miss Katherine W. Dwight of this city was the maid of honor and Donald A. McGee, brother of the bridegroom was the best man. Mr. McGee was graduated from Yale in the class of '96 and is a member of the Yale Club.

Merklee Family Genealogy

35. Henry Augustus McGEE. Born on 27 Dec 1850 in New York, NY. Died on 17 Oct 1914 in Plainfield, NJ.

He married Emma Louise WHITING. Born in 1853 in Brooklyn, Kings, NY. Died on 26 Oct 1930 in North Plainfield, NJ.

They had the following children:
53 i. Clifford Whiting (1873-1958)
ii. Harry Livingston. Born on 13 Feb 1876 in Plainfield, NJ. Died on 26 Nov 1960.

iii. Raymond. Born on 11 Nov 1879 in Plainfield, NJ.

54 iv. Donald Ashbrook (1883-1937)

November 14, 1895 New York Times

New York Times November 14, 1895


In Aid of Muhlenberg Hospital Good Attendance and Reason for Expecting Financial Success The Booths.

PLAINFIELD, N. J., Nov. 13 There was a grand opening of the kirmess at the Columbia Cycle Academy Monday night, and the building was decorated very elaborately.

Not since the charity ball have the society fold here been interested in a like event for such a worthy cause. The kirmess is given for the benefit of Muhlenberg Hospital, and, judging from the attendance at the opening night, the hospital will be greatly bettered financially.

Booths have been very prettily arranged about the academy, making an exceedingly tasty show. The equipment of the booths is as follows:

French Booth Mrs. Albert Hoffman Atterbury, Mrs. Irving H. Brown, Mrs. Charles B. Corwin, Miss Bessie Ginna, Mrs. George C. Evans, Mrs. Charles J. Fisk, Mrs. Ellis W. Hedges, Miss E. E. Kenyon and Miss Whiton.

Florentine Booth Mrs. I. N. Van Sickle, Mrs. David E. Titsworth, Mrs. W. M. Stillman, Mrs. John D. Titsworth, Mrs. F. A. Dunham, Miss Louise Clawson, Miss Bessie TItsworth, and Mrs. Lulu Lewis.

Gypsy Booth Mrs. Joseph W. Reinhart, and Mrs. Howard Fleming.

Venetian Booth Mrs. Hugh Hastings, Miss Emelie Schipper, Mrs. George A. Chapman, Miss Havbiland, Mrs. Samuel Huntingont, Mrs. Emil Woltman, Mrs. Samuel St. J. McCutchen, Mrs. Conklin, Mrs. C. S. West, Mrs. W. E. Lower, Miss E. R. Cock, Mrs. Frank O. Herring, Miss Huntington, Miss Maud Van Bosckerck, Miss MacCready, Miss Clara D. Finley, Miss Ahrens, Miss Aynne MacCready, Miss Mondanari, Miss Graff, Miss Yerkes, Miss Gertrude Walz, and Miss Pierson.

Japanese Booth Mrs. Charles Seward Foote, Mrs. George Clay, Mrs. S.P. Simpson, Mrs. L. Finch, Mrs. Constantine P. Ralli, Mrs. William Lewis Brown, Mrs. L. Dennis, Mrs. WIlliam Pelletier, Miss Ellis, Miss Anthony, Miss Dryden, Miss Morgan, Miss Bowen, Miss Lawrence, and Miss Rodman.

Spanish Booth Mrs. S. A. Cruikshank, Mrs. A. T. Slauson, Mrs. J. F. Wichers, Mrs. T. H. Curtis, Mrs. Marion S. Ackerman, Mrs. T. A. Hazell, Mrs. H. L. Moore, Mrs. D. T. Van Buren, Mrs. E. H. Mosher, Miss Harriott, Miss Louise Patton, Miss Maud Lord, Miss May Kirkner, Miss Louise Van Zandt, Miss Annie Horton, Miss Titsworth, and Miss Meredith.

German Booth Mrs. Mason W. Tyler, Mrs. Logan Murphy, Mrs. John H. Oarman, Mrs. Charles J. Taggart, Mrs. Benjamin R. Western, Mrs. J. E. Turill, Mrs. Arthur T. Gallup, Mrs. Horsley Barker, Mrs. John Haviland, Mrs. George Wright, Mrs. Amra Hamragan, Mrs. William L. Saunders, Mrs. William Wright, Miss Annie Murphy, Miss Wright, Miss Western, Miss Bartling, Miss Helen Warman, Miss Emma Adams and Miss Ann Thorne.

Stationery Booth Mrs. John Gray Foster, Mrs. Elliott Barrows, Mrs. A. W. Haviland, Mrs. John D. Miller, Mrs. James R. Joy, and Miss Emily R. Tracy.

Parisian Flower Stall Mrs. Harry M. Stockton, Mrs. Evarts Tracy, Mrs. Daniel F. Ginna, Mrs. W. H. Ladd, Mrs. Frederick Yates, Miss Marlon Dumont, Miss Ginna, Miss Baker, Miss Huntington, and Miss Van Bosckerck.

Refreshments were dispensed by Mrs. Orville T. Waring, Mrs. George W. Van Bosckerck, Mrs. John Bushnell, Mrs. Gifford Mayer, Mrs. George H. Goddard, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. H. P. Reynolds, Mrs. C. C. Guion, Mrs. N. P. T. Finch, Mrs. Henry McGee, Mrs. De Revere, Mrs. Ruth C. Leonard, Mrs. George W. Rockfellow, Miss Annie Opdyke, Mrs. Van Alstyne, Mrs. Utzinger, Mrs. Nelson Runyon, Mrs. Henry Tapsley, Miss Martine, Miss Edith Allen, Mrs. J. Parker Mason, Mrs. J. K. Myers, Mrs. Walton, and Mrs. H. C. Adams

Washington Park Historic District North Plainfield


Saturday, December 10, 4:00 - 9:00 PM. Tour starts at Church of the Holy Cross, corner of Washington and Mercer Avenues.

Founded in 1988, North Plainfield's only historic district will be featured in a Holiday house tour titled 'Architectural Treasures of North Plainfield'. Nine of the District's homes – mostly Victorians – will be featured, all dressed up for the Christmas holidays.

Tickets are $25 the day of the tour and may be purchased the Holy Cross Church, the tour's starting point, where maps will also be available.

Dear Washington Park Association:

Please link our website to your website. We
will do the same.

Plainfield Garden Club was established in 1915 and many of our early
members were residents of North Plainfield. You can read about the 250+
ladies on the website under "History"

Probably most notable was founding member Mrs. Charles Walter (Mary
Isabella Simpson)McCutchen '15

Other North Plainfield-Plainfield Garden Club Residents include:

Campbell Mabel C. Raper Mrs. William Hall 1928
Eaton Mary Winifred Parlin Mrs. Charles Aubrey 1915
Fleming Helen Hyde Mrs. Austin Lloyd 1919
Foster Fannie C. Groendyke Mrs. John Gray 1915
Hackman Elizabeth or "Betty" Reppert Mrs. Robert K. 1970
Howell Romaine Ray Mrs. Josephus H. 1922
Hyde Helen Miss 1917
Hyde Elilzabeth Kepler Mrs. Charles L. 1917
Hyde Carolyn Knowland Mrs. Frank de Lacey 1919
McGee Emma Louise Whiting Mrs. Henry Augustus 1922
McGee Sarah M. Howell Mrs. Henry Livingston "Harry" 1918
McGee Mary Alice Yerkes Mrs. Walter Miller 1922
Middledith Sarah Augusta Flanders Mrs. James F. 1920
Morison Fanny C. Lemmon Mrs. Nathaniel H. 1916
Murray Mrs. J. Everett 1920
Tingley Miss Dorothea 1932
Trewin Annette Mrs. C. Sidney 1945
Wells Mrs. Henry C. 1920
Wells Nancy G. Mrs. John R., Jr. 1957

We have just begun to post our archival information on line. If
interested, we could send you the addresses of these members. We are
always interested in learning more about them and welcome photographs of
their homes and gardens.

Enjoy the season -

The Ladies of the Plainfield Garden Club


Surnames: McGee, Ashbrook, Whiting, Horne, Joy, Welch
Classification: Query

Message Board URL:

Message Board Post:

I had an old photograph of the McGEE family of Plainfield, Somerset County, NJ. Address of house in photo: 10 Willow Lane, Plainfield, NJ, dated 1892. It was a wonderful, large photo with numerous names written on the back, which I will list here:
Back row - left to right:
James McGee
Mrs. James McGee
Walter M. McGee
Harry L. McGee (seated on railing)
Alice Yerkes McGee (wife of Walter)
Clifford Whiting McGee, Sr.
Ed Ashbrook
Annie McGee Ashbrook (seated)
Emma Louise Whiting McGee (standing)
Henry A. McGee
Caroline McGee Horne
Charles E. Horne (faded)

Front row - seated left to right
Donald Ashbrook McGee
James R. Joy
Elizabeth McGee (daughter of Walter and Alice)
Emma McGee Joy
Herbert Welch
Adelaide McGee Welch
F. Rolande Horne (on bike)
George Horne (standing near bike)
Raymond Augustus McGee
Elsie Horne (daughter of Charles and Caroline Horne, on bike)
Vaughn McGee (son of Walter and Alice McGee, on bike)

A scanned image of the photo can be seen here:

1920 Muhlenberg Hospital Womens Auxiliary

Mrs. Clifford McGee 60 Willow Avenue, N.P.
Mrs. Donald A. McGee 103 Sycamore Avenue, N.P.
Mrs. H. A. McGee 1 Orchard Place, N.P.
Mrs. W. M. McGee 101 Rockview Avenue, N.P.

1915 - 1923 List of Meetings

1918 Meeting Minutes

James McGee Standard Oil Company of New Jersey

December 7, 1898 New York Times


He was Manager of the Devoe Works of the Standard Oil Company

James McGee, manager at 26 Broadway of the Devoe Works of the Standard Oil Company, died suddenly yesterday morning at his home, Washington Park, Plainfield, N.J., in his seventy-second year. Mr. McGee was in his office in the Standard Oil Building as late as Monday afternoon. He appeared to be in his usual health, and left o attend a meeting in the Methodist Book Concern Building. On reaching home in the evening he complained of illness, and Dr. Jenkins of Plainfield found cardiac irregularity, but under his care the symptoms abated and the patient retired. At the time he was usually called he was found dead in bed.

Mr. McGee was born in New York, and received a common-school education. He began his business career as a cotton broker, and was dealing in petroleum when he became a member of the New York Produce Exchange, of which he was a manager in 1875, Vice President in 1879 and 1886 and President 1886-17. In 1873 he became identified with the Standard Oil Company. As a business man he was widely esteemed. He had been since manhood deeply interested in the affairs and prosperity of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was its benefactor in various ways. At Plainfield he built the Monroe Avenue Church, and gave to the congregation the adjoining Epworth League Building. Part of the money for the newly erected parsonage came from him.

At the time of his death Mr. McGee was President and a Director of the New York Produce Exchange Safe Deposit and Storage Company and a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Fine Arts Society, the American Geographical Society, and the American Musuem of Natural History. He is survived by four daughters and two sons. Mrs. McGee died in 1896.

September 14, 2013 Trip to Kykuit

The road from Plainfield to Kykuit was traveled once again on Saturday as 19 made the trip to see the famed estate of John D. Rockefeller.

"Once again" you say?

Why, yes. Many Plainfielders worked for Mr. Rockefeller in his New York Standard Oil offices as well as offices located in the oil refineries right off Route 1 in Linden where the descendant companies of Standard Oil still store, refine and ship petroleum. These Plainfielders perhaps were not invited to Kykuit, but Rockefeller's lifelong friend and spirtual advisor most likely was an invited guest . . . and perhaps even his wife, founding PGC Member Mrs. Charles A. Eaton '15

Mrs. Eaton and her husband had their lives and fortunes changed upon meeting the owner of Kykuit. Mr. Eaton was the preacher at Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, situated on Cleveland's 'millionaire's row,' and as a result he came to the attention of John D. Rockefeller, a summer resident of Cleveland who attended church there. Rockefeller and Eaton became lifelong friends, and this connection influenced Eaton's future path.

This connection with Rockefeller also influenced Mr. Eaton's favorite nephew, Cyrus S. Eaton, who went to work for Rockefeller as a college student and later became one of America's greatest industrialists. He is best remembered (for those of us that can remember back to the '70's) for his role in US relations with the Soviet Union. In the late '60's his business deals with Communist Russia and the Rockefellers earned quite a bit of bad press.

In 1909, the Eatons followed Rockefeller by moving to what is now Watchung, but at one time was considered part of Plainfield. Their house still stands on Valley Road. Although a "dairy farmer" on their Valley Road estate "Sunbright," Mr. Eaton's main role was that of preacher to a prominent Madison Avenue Baptist Church congregation. However, after Mrs. Eaton helped found the PGC in 1915, in 1924, Mr. Eaton ran for Congress, won his seat and stayed there until 1952.

Congressman Eaton rose to become chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and served on the Select Committee on Foreign Aid. Eaton signed the original United Nations Charter in San Francisco as part of a delegation representing the United States Government. He helped gain support for the Marshall Plan, also known as the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, which was passed by Congress in 1948 by a vote of 329 to 74. For several years, he served in Congress alongside his nephew William R. Eaton, a Representative from Colorado.

Eaton was a steadfast opponent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. However, he was frequently invited to the White House for meetings with both presidents Roosevelt and Truman because of his sharp understanding of international politics.

While in Congress, he and Mrs. Eaton entertained many foreign dignitaries at their home. Between raising her family, and supporting her husband's career, Mrs. Eaton was very active in the PGC, serving as President twice, 1921 - 23, and then again in 1928-30.

The other likely Plainfielder to have made visits to Kykuit would have been the original owner of "The Castle" located at 900 Park Avenue. Mr. Orville T. Waring lovingly built that house and was partners with John D. Rockefeller, after selling his petroleum interests to him and then becoming Director of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. Mr. Waring's daughter was founding member Mrs. Lewis Gouveneur (Helen Frances Waring) Timpson '15. His daughter-in-law was Mrs. Orville G. Waring '35.

Mr. Waring had eight children and two wives, and many of his progeny were elite members of the Plainfield Garden Club: Fleming, Hyde, Mellick, Tweedy, and MacLeod. When Mr. Waring's daughters were wed, the news appeared in the New York Times along with reports of Mr. Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s attendance at the events and their gifts of "gold and silver ornaments."

To view the photos from the most recent trip to Kykuit, click here: Field Trip to Kykuit

Other members associated with the Standard Oil Company and the Rockefellers included the large McGee clan:
McGee, Henry Augustus (Emma Louise Whiting) '22
McGee, Mrs. Harry Livingston (Sarah M. Howell) '18
McGee, Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) '22

And of course Barbara Sandford was Rockefeller's neighbor on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, her father & John D. belonging to all the same clubs with the most notable distinction of being residents of "Millionaire's Row."

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

May 21, 1954

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Related to the Yerkes Family

1904 Chronicle of the Yerkes Family

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.

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

January 31, 2015 Correspondence

Dear Ms. Nichols,

My sincerest apologies for getting back to you so late. Our website had an "issue" with emails and I am just figuring it out.

Unfortunately, the only thing I would know about your family are the things posted on for Mrs. Mead:

Mead, Mrs. Frederick Goodhue (Marie Louise Myers) '15

Mrs. Mead was relating to other members of the Plainfield Garden Club:

Myers, Mrs. J. Kirtland (Mary Ann Stillman) '15
Quarles, Mrs. Ernest Augustus (Anita Mary Stillman) '22
Stillman, Mrs. Albert Leeds (Virginia Brown) '41
Stillman, Mrs. William Maxson (Elizabeth B. Atwood) '15
Stillman, Mrs. William Maxson (Ethel Lucille Titsworth) '42
Joy, Mrs. James R. (Emma Prentice McGee) '33
McGee, Mrs. Harry Livingston (Susan M. Howell) '18
McGee, Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) '22
Mooney, Mrs. Wandell McMaster (Alice Joy McGee) '47

I do recommend you contacting the genealogy department of the Plainfield Library 908-857-1111 as they would be more likely to help you further. Also, there may be information to be found at the Fanwood Library

Best of luck to you –

Susan Fraser
Communications Chair
Plainfield Garden Club
Founded 1915

December 27, 2014

My mother, Sandra Shepard Wright, was an only child and the great grand-daughter of Agustus D Shepard and Johanna Elizabeth Mead. I am looking for any information regarding great aunt Winifred Prentice Kay, and also Marie Riis [aka Rees] who was married to Agustus D. Shepard Jr. -Thanks!

Winifred Ohrstrom Nichols