Plainfield Garden Club

Member: Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52

1958 Address: 561 Oakwood Place

1970 Address: 961 Oakland Place, Plainfield
NOTE: Listed as a "Sustaining Member"

1973 - 1990 Address: 961 Oakwood Place
NOTE: Listed as a "Sustaining Member"

1984 - 1994: Sustaining
1995 - 2001: Affiliate
2002 - 2003: Deceased

1997 Address: Equinox Terrace, Manchester VT

Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) Cochran '52 mother was Plainfield Garden Club member Mrs. William B. (Blanche) Nash '32

Mrs. Homer P. Cochran was related to PGC Member Mrs. Samuel (Annie) Carter

Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) Cochran '52 sister-in-law was Plainfield Garden Club member was Plainfield Garden Club member Mrs. Philip W. Nash '57

Tabby Cochran of the Somerset Hills GC (who recently moved to Vermont) is Mrs. Homer P. Cochran '52 daughter-in-law.

Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) Cochran's daughter was also named "Elisabeth" but it has been reported she was not a member of the PGC . . . however, a memorial was dedicated to her in June 1995 as it is assumed she passed away.

June 2011: 961 Oakwood Place "does not exist"

Elisabeth Cochran Nash

Published: September 10, 2002

COCHRAN-Elisabeth Nash, of Plainfield, NJ, died on September 7, 2002. Widow of Homer P. Cochran. Surviving are three sons: The Rev. Fergus Cochran of Dorset, VT, Thomas N. Cochran of Far Hills, NJ and James W. Cochran of Johnstown, PA; five grandchildren; and two greatgrandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Crescent Ave. Presbyterian Church, Plainfield, on Saturday, October 19, at 11 AM

1930 Blue Book Listing

Cochran, Mr. & Mrs. Henry J.,1341 Prospect ave.,Plainfield, N.J.
Miss Katherine B. Cochran
Mr. Homer P. Cochran
Mr. Henry J. Cochran, Jr.

Anne Shepherd's memory of the Nash family

[When speaking of PGC member Blanche Nash.] They used to call her 'Grandmama' and she was always "Blanche" [pronounced Blawn-che]. Her husband was William Bryant.

Her daughter-in-law was Helen Nash, she married Philip. They had three children: My friend Patty; Tony and Elisabeth [Cochran]. Tony was William Bryant the 3rd. He was killed in a very tragic way. It was a car accident and before seatbelts. He had a crash, but the door popped open and he hit his head on the curb. Very sad.

January 8, 2011

May 17, 1957 Club Commemorates Founding of Iris Garden

Caption: GARDEN MARKER VIEWED – Standing before the marker commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park are (left to right) Mrs. Frederick Lockwood, Victor B. King, Jr., John C. Wister, Mr. Richard Tracy and Miss Harriette R. Halloway, founder of this garden. (Courier photo by E. T. Wiggins)

The Plainfield Garden Club and guests yersterday dedicated the the entranceway of the of the Iris Garden in Cedar Brook Park.

Miss Harriette R. Halloway, found of the garden and chairman of the garden of the Iris Garden [not legible] the project was started in 1932, was presented a medal by Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood, president of the Garden Club.

The medal is [not legible] "from the grateful members of the Plainfield Garden Club Harriette R. Halloway founder and director of the Iris gardens of Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield, 1932 - 1957."

[Not legible] viewed a recently installed [not legible] tablet marking the anniversary of the garden.

"Excercise in Perfection"
Victor R. King, president of the Union County Park Commission, led the gathering [not legible] the garden display was "an excercise in perfection is [not legible]," he said.

The park commission provides the setting for the garden and have [not legible] in the project [not legible]

W. [not legible] Tracy, executive had of the Park Commission when the Iris Garden was started paid tribute to Miss Halloway for her "tireless work and painstaking effort."

Another speaker was Dr. John C. Wister of Swarthmore, Pa., president of the American Iris Society when the garden was started and author of [not legible] article about the garden in the current issue of the Journal of the New York Botanical Gardens.

Miss Halloway spoke briefly and [not legible] on the work of the [not legible] who care for the Iris Garden. She introduced Kenneth Smith, one of the largest contributors of plants to the garden [not legible]

Mrs. Lockwood presided at the program. Guests included members of [not legible] garden clubs and contributors to the garden.

The Iris Garden Committee includes Mrs. Morris E. Benton, Mrs. Alden de Hart, Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. Donald E. Luce, Mrs. William K. Dunbar, Jr., Mrs. C. Northrop Pond, Mrs. Webster Sandford, Mrs. Arthur D. Seybold, Mrs. John R. Wells, Mrs. Willian G. Wigton, Mrs. Robert MacLeod, vice chairman, and Miss Halloway, chairman.

Special slides [not legible] for the chairman were Mrs. Charles A. Eaton, Jr., Mrs. F. Willoughby Frost ad Mrs. Edwin M. Treat, Jr.

Mrs. Victor M. King was chairman of the special committee assisted by Mrs. J. Harold Loizeaux, Mrs. E. B. Newberry, and Miss Margaret Tyler. Also cooperating were Mrs. N. C. Barnhart, Jr., Mrs. William P. Elliott, Mrs. Homer Cochran and Mrs. H. I. Flanders.

Hostesses (not legible)
Other hostesses were Mrs. William W. Coriell, Mrs. Leslie E. Fort, Mrs. William A. Holliday, Mrs. Richard M. Lawton, Mrs. Robert T. Stevens, Mrs. C. Boardman Tyler, Mrs. William S. Tyler. Mrs. Thomas Van Boskerck and Mrs. Orville G. Waring.

The Iris Garden now has more than 1,800 named varieties properly labeled, representing all types of Iris and totaling more than 75,000 plants.

The main part of the garden is [not legible] caring Iris [not legible] and is expected to be is good blooms thorugh the rest of the month.

1988 Archives

Contributions for the Polly Heely Memorial Fund

Mrs. Murray Rushmore
Mrs. E. J. Fitxpatrick
Mrs. F. Gregg Burger
Mrs. Philip Nash
Mrs. Frederic Pomeroy
Mrs. Alexander Kroll
Mrs. C. Northrop Pond
Mrs. Theodore Budenbach
Mrs. Homer Cochran
Mrs. Dabney Moon
Mrs. Webster Sandford
Mrs. Alden Loosli
Mrs. Robert Loughlin
Mrs. Robert de Graff
Horse Shoe Rad, [not legible] NY 11765
Total $430.00

From the Corresponding Secretary File, Jane Craig

From the Corresponding Secretary file

postmarked October 23, 2002

From the Corresponding Secretary file

Thomas Nash Cochran


Dear Jane,

Thank you for helping to make Mother's memorial service so special.

We could not have done it without the help of the Garden Club of Plainfield and all your friends. So often we forget that what seems to be in the background makes all the difference.

My brother and I are most grateful and appreciative of all your selfless effort.

Sincerely, Tom Cochran

From the Corresponding Secretary file

postmarked Oct 25, 2002

From the Corresponding Secretary file

Thomas Nash Cochran


Dear Betty,

My brothers and I are very grateful for the superlative efforts of the Plainfield Garden Club team in making Mother's memorial service such a success.

Until I visited the kitchen of the Guild Room at the Church, I had not realized how considerable an effort was required to make the event such a success.

Our thanks to you and your team – we could not have done it without you!

Tom Cochran

Corresponding Secretary Annual Report June 11, 2003

Hillside Cemetery

September 14, 2011

969 Oakwood

Plainfield Public Library
Detwiller Archives

Collection Detwiller
Title Alteration to Kitchen for Homer P. Cochran
Description Plans and interior elevations of kitchen remodeling.
Building Type Residence
Work Type Alteration and/or Addition
Condition Acceptable

Blueprint ID D-10319
Permit NOP1014
Year of Permit 1958
Microfilm Roll 0218
Microfilm Frame 0546
Condition 1003
Address 961 Oakwood Place
Historic District
City Plainfield
Architect Charles Detwiller, Jr.
Architect Firm Charles H. Detwiller, Jr.
Owner Homer Cochran
Business Owner

September 20, 1999 Board Meeting Minutes page 1

September 22, 1999 Meeting Minutes page 1

1974 Junior League Designer Showcase: The Martine House

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Cover to Page 25

1974 Designer Showcase Martine House Page 26 to End

In addition to saving the 1988 Program for the Designers Showhouse of Cedar Brook Farm (aka The Martine House) which was organized by the Muhlenberg Auxiliary, PGC Member Anne Shepherd also kept the 1974 Designers Showcase of the very same home, organized by the Junior League.

Within the program pages, you will find mentioned many PGC members. They include: Clawson, MacLeod, Kroll, Davis, Wyckoff, Stevens, Loizeaux, Swain, Hunziker, Connell, Foster, Dunbar, Elliott, Fitzpatrick, Gaston, Hackman, Holman, Lockwood, Morrison, Royes, Rushmore, Sanders, Williams, Barnhart, Bellows, Burger, Burner, Carter, Clendenin, DeHart, Detwiller, Eaton, Eckert, Fort, Frost, Gonder, Keating, Laidlaw, Loosli, Madsen, Mann, Marshall, Miller, Moody, Moon, Morse, Murray, Mygatt, Barrett, Peek, Perkins, Pfefferkorn, Pomeroy, Pond, Royes, Samek, Sandford, Sheble, Stevens, Shepherd, Stewart, Stout, Trewin, Vivian, Zeller, Cochran, Mooney and Hall.

Sports Illustrated September 5, 1955

Summer Dudes
"Roughing it" at the huge 6,000-acre Valley Ranch in Wyoming's Yellowstone country, a group of prominent Easterners take time out from riding, hunting and pack trips to pose with their sons at the corral


1 Alfred Morris.
2 John A. Morris of New York (treasurer, Thoroughbred Racing Associations).
3 John A. Morris Jr.
4 Thomas Cochran.
5 James K. Robinson Jr. of West Chester, Pa. (vice president, American Stores Co.).
6 James K. Robinson III.
7 David Robinson.
8 G. Keith Funston Jr.
9 Harvey Mol� III.
10 Mathew Mol�.
11 Harvey Mol� of New York ( U.S. Steel).
12 Bishop Anson Phelps Stokes Jr. of Boston (former rector, St. Bartholomew's, New York City).
13 Howard Carter of Plainfield, N.J. (partner, Gifford, Woody, Carter & Hays law firm).
14 Fergus Cochran.
15 Homer Cochran of Plainfield (vice president, J. P. Morgan & Co.).
16 James Cochran.
17 G. Keith Funston of Greenwich, Conn. (president, New York Stock Exchange).
18 Henry Jury of Jackson, Mich. (Jury Furniture Co.).
19 William Jury.

September thru December 2002 Board and General Meeting Minutes

2002 October thru December Newsletters

2004 September thru December Board and Meeting Minutes

December 15, 2004 General Meeting Minutes

President Kathy Andrews introduced Tabby Cochran and Nancy Strong of The Garden Club of Somerset Hills who spooke on behalf of The New Jersey Committee. Since its inception in 1987 The New Jersey Committee has given $201,000.00 in grants, including two grants to The Plainfield Garden Club. Donations to The New Jersey Committee are voluntary. Nancy encouraged our participation and suggested that we apply for additional grant money to fund special needs.

May 9, 1974 Spring Potpourri Guestbook

2001 The Growing Fund

2001 The Growing Fund

2000 The Growing Fund

2000 The Growing Fund

1999 The Growing Fund

1999 The Growing Fund

1954 Check Book

No. 1093
May 21, 1954
Katrina T. Benton
?? for sign for gair (laggrens)

No. 1094
May 21, 1954
G. W. Cochran
3 rope mats - wholesale price
$25. 05

No. 1095
May 21, 1954
Henry Kitz ???
Scotch Plains
??? for wildflower garden

1954 Check Book

No. 1132
Nov. 17, 1954
Von Graff Greenhouses
planting around Salvation Army Hds (?)

No. 1133
Nov. 30, 1954
Eliz. N. Cochran
rental of projector for program

No. 1134
Dec. 13, 1954
Virginia Stillman
3 lilies for Shakespeare Garden

1956 Check Book

No. 1217
June 13, 1956
E. N. Cochran
punch & cups – Rose Center

August 20, 2012 Neltje Doubleday

Email from Mary Kent to Susan Fraser:

I am forwarding you a question from Marian Hill about Neltje Doubleday. I do not recall the name. I was sure if anyone knew it would be you.

Best, Mary

Email from Marian Hill (GCA President) to Mary Kent:
From: "" <>

Subject: Re: Neltje Doubleday
Date: August 18, 2012 8:50:04 PM EDT
To: Mary Kent <>

Dear Mary,

I have a quick question: Was Neltje Blanchan Doubleday a member of your garden club. Thank you for verifying this for me. She is one of my favorite authors.

Hope you are enjoying these last wonderful summer days,

Susan Fraser's Response to Mary Kent:

Hi Mary,

I do indeed know that name and really wish we had more time to get over to the Plainfield Library and crack open our vault of records. Sadly as of today's date, I don't believe Neltje was a member. However, I am fairly certain she was the niece of founding member:

Mrs. James Wilde (Carrie T. Milliken) deGraff '15

I also think she was related to MANY of our Plainfield Garden Club members. Her son's wife, the famous Robert deGraff, sent in a memorial fund for Polly Heely in 1988. She was a local Plainfield girl and must have known Polly – perhaps grew up with her?

Neltje was part of the elite of Plainfield (and Plainfield Garden Club) both through her family and her husband, Frank Doubleday. Frank worked at first for Scribner publishing and his relative, Maxwell Perkins (related to MANY Plainfield GC ladies) was the very, very famous editor at Scribner's – he helped publish Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolfe and many more famous authors. (No coincidence that Scribners was the publishing company for Neltje.)

You can read about Maxwell here at this direct link:

Mrs. Seymour, Jr. (Esther Moody Barlow) Perkins '49

Neltje's daughter married a Babcock, a very prominent Plainfield family, and that puts her in the same family of Tabby Cochran, Somerset Hills GC through Tabby's husband.

Other Plainfield GC members that Neltje was related to are listed below. Most notably Archibald Cox – whose mother was a Plainfield Garden Club member. Jennifer Gregory who lives in the Cox home has promised me that one day we can come for a tour! Susan

Huntington, Miss Florence '15
Huntington, Mrs. Howard (Agnes Fales Strong) '19
Cox, Mrs. Archibald (Frances Perkins) '25
Nash, Mrs. Philip Wallace (Helen Babcock) '57
Nelson, Mrs. Arthur G. '32, President 1936 -1937, 1940 - 1942
Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52 (Tabby's mother-in-law)
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elsie Cochran Martin) '15
Stewart, Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15

Mrs. de Graff's son, Robert Fair de Graff, was the famous creator of paperback books! It was his wife that sent the memorial for Mrs. Heely in 1988.

1995 September thru December Board Meeting Minutes

1995 September thru December Board Meeting Minutes

1995 May and June Board and General Meeting Minutes

1341 Prospect Avenue

Bedrooms: Add
Bathrooms: Add
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: Add
Lot: 0.83 acres
Year built: 1916
Zip: 07060

November 9, 2012

Description provided by Trulia
This is a Single-Family Home located at 1341 Prospect Avenue #51, Plainfield NJ. The property has a lot size of 0.83 acres and was built in 1916. The average list price for similar homes for sale is $435,282 and the average sales price for similar recently sold homes is $281,430. This property is in the 07060 ZIP code in Plainfield, NJ. The average list price for ZIP code 07060 is $230,880.
Public Records for 1341 Prospect Ave #51Official property, sales, and tax information from county (public) records as of 05/2012:
•Single Family Residential•Lot Size: 0.83 acres•Built In 1916•Stories: 2 story•Parking: Garage•Parking Spaces: 2•Construction: Frame•County: Union.Property Taxes for 1341 Prospect Ave #51Year Value Land Improvements Total Tax
2012 Assessed $134,800 + $96,600 = $231,400 $16,184 (2011)

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

1341 Prospect Avenue

Princeton Alumni Weekly 1925: A Princeton Family

Five of Princeton's present undergraduates have the honor of being members of what is probably the largest Princeton family on record. They are the descendants of the Thomas Carter family which for nearly fifty years has been actively represented at the University by the presence in the student body of at least one of its number. This continuing group as produced eleven members of Phi Beta Kappa and has won decorations for distinguished service from five governments.

The students who are carrying on the Princeton traditions of this larger family are William Watts Cochran, James Blair Cochran, and Homer Pierce Cochran of Plainfield, N. J., all first cousins and members of the Freshman Class; Robert Carter Miller of Princeton, N. J., a Sophomore; and Samuel T. Carter, III, of Plainfield, a Junior. Miller and Carter are second cousins, and also bear the same relationship to the Cochran boys.

The founder of the line was one Thomas Carter, who was born in Scotland in 1807 and who, as a young man, came in 1832 to seek his fortune in the United States. Since 1877 no less than thirty-six of his blood descendants have been students at Princeton. The family's connection with the University meanwhile has been further strengthened by the fact that six women of the lineage have married Princeton men. Thus the total of the family's representatives at Princeton is brought to forty-two, with thirty-six of this number now living. Three additional members of the ken were graduates of the Princeton Theological Seminary in the 'Sixties.

The learned profession have claimed most of this Princeton family. While nine of its members have entered business, eight chose the ministry, eight medicine, six law, five education and one farming. The remaining five, are, as previously stated, still engaged in undergraduate activities. An unusual record of family service throughout the world is found in the fact that ten Princeton members of the family have been missionaries to Turkey, Persia, India and the Philippines and China.

The members of the family who have been decorated are William S. Dodd '81, missionary in Turkey, who was decorated by that country with the Order of the Medijidie and also by the English Red Cross; the late Jesse B. Carter '93, a Princeton professor, who was decorated by Italy as Knight Commander of the Order of the Crown; and T. Guthrie Speers '12 who received the Croix de Guere and the Distinguished Service Cross during the late World War.

Members of the present undergraduate generation of the family are prominent in campus affairs. Samuel T. Carter, III, is managing editor of the Daily Princetonian and collaborated in writing this year's Triangle Club show. Robert C. Miller is a member of the University water polo team, and William Cochran is vice-president of the Freshman Class.

That the family holds promise of continuing its unusual record is shown by the fact that already there are said to be twenty-two additional members who are heading for Princeton.

Princeton Cochran-Carter Family

Mrs. Cochran

Martie Samek wrote: This is definitely Liz (Nash) Cochran. She was sister of Phil Nash and therefore sister. In law. To Helen Babcock Nash. One of my favorites. She smoked using a cigarette holder and always carried a sterling silver covered ash tray in her purse. Great aristocratic accent. Wellesley grad. Told me smoking was the only daring thing she was ever allowed to do!

Mrs. Cochran

Taken circa 1984 at Bev Reid's home & garden

Mrs. Cochran, (unidentified to whom she is speaking), Mrs. Detwiller, her sister, Mrs. Davis and Peg Tyler

Crescent Avenue Historic District

Crescent Area Historic District

Post Office: Plainfiled
Zip: 07060

Hillside Avenue Historic District
Van Wyck Brooks Historic District

The Crescent Area Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Portions of the text below were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2013, The Gombach Group.

Prior to the arrival of the white man, the Lenni-Lenape Indians, part of the Algonquin Tribe, lived in this area of New Jersey. The Ice Age had endowed this area with a protective terrain, productive farmlands and forests and "wonderful pure air and springs." Indian trails became the highways and streets still in use in Plainfield today.Watchung Avenue located in the heart of the Crescent Area Historic District was once one of those trails. Remains of an Indian village and burial grounds have been found in the locality of First, Second and Third Place which are within the boundaries of the Crescent Avenue Historic District.

The first white settlers from Scotland and Holland arrived in the area in the 1680's. The first permanent settler was Thomas Gordon whose home was on Cedarbrook Road adjacent to Crescent Avenue, and whose land holdings covered most of what is present-day Plainfield. The enthusiastic letters back home detailing the healthful climate, plentiful game, fish and fowl, good soil and water brought other settlers to New Jersey, in spite of the "Flee by the salt marshes, most troublesome in the summer." These elements continued through the years to attract new residents.

During the Revolutionary War, patriots from area families served in militia regiments as foot soldiers and officers. An important battle, the Battle of the Short Hills, was fought in the area in June of 1777 and was instrumental in repelling the British in New Jersey. Some of the homes of those who supported the cause of the Revolution still exist today: The Drake House Museum, where Washington rested and briefed his officers, and the Vermule Homestead, where the officers were quartered.
Following the war, industry and transportation began to grow and take on added importance, contributing to the economic prosperity. Plainfield became officially recognized on April 1, 1800 with a population of 215. The Gordon Gazetteer in 1834 gave a glowing account of all the rich resources in Plainfield and noted that "the society is moral and religious."

It was in Plainfield in 1847 that the model for the public school system for the state was devised. Through the efforts of Dr. Charles H. Stillman, Plainfield physician, the New Jersey Legislature empowered the city to raise money by taxation in order to establish a public school system. An account of the day declares, "No one can measure the effect of this enlightened policy in extending the fame of the city and building up its prosperity." Many of the people who were active in education and cultural activities lived within the bounds of the Crescent Area Historic District.

The most influential force to the development of Plainfield was the railroad, which brought about a change in the social and economic character of the town. When a direct connection was made between Plainfield and New York City, c.1850, Plainfield became a commuter town.

During the Civil War, many local residents were involved in the fighting. General Sterling, a general on McCleland's staff, built his home and settled on First Place after the War.

Job Male, a philanthropist, who became known as "Plainfield's Grand Old Man", settled in Plainfield in 1867, following the Civil War. An inventor, he had simplified the loading of ferry slips with a patented leveling device. He purchased with Evan Jones, twenty four acres of land "in the suburbs and laid it out in village lots and streets and erected twenty substantial residences of fine architectural design, drawing the plans for them all himself." He was his own contractor and owned a greater part of the land that includes Crescent Avenue and Watchung Avenue. He designed a particularly distinctive style of architecture "stucco-walled, Mansard roofed, still standing today." He continued to build homes in different parts of the city until his possessions included more than one hundred Plainfield houses. His obituary notice in 1891 noted that "his purse always ready to respond to the calls of deserving charity." He was a public benefactor, making possible the Public Library and the Job Male Art Gallery, and donating the land for the hospital, the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the Unitarian Church.

A Central New Jersey Times account in 1870 of "Our Town Improvements" wrote, "The improvements in building is the expression of a spirit that leads to progressive movements in other directions. The old houses are not recognizable with tints of brown and cream and olive, their plain roofs metamorphosed by pediments, fancy gables and cornices, their primitive simplicity converted into modern beauty by wings, bay windows, recessed projections and every variety of architectural development." The writer further comments on the "new houses, with their aspiring towers, French roofs and cupolas." It was the kind of community that led the Elizabeth Herald in May of 1888 to write, "The bustling activity of the city of remarkable." And to conclude, "The next move in Plainfield, no doubt, will be the horse cars."
Plainfield had become a fashionable summer resort and eventually attracted many wealthy New York businessmen to settle here year 'round. The Gas Light Age evokes memories of Plainfield with theatricals, minstrel shows, roller rinks and other forms of entertainment. The site of many hotels, the Netherwood was reputed to be one of the "most healthful, comfortable and accessible inland summer resorts in the country."

By 1890, with substantial wealth and improvements, Plainfield continued to advance and prosper, attracting people of substance to live here. As successful businessmen and their families settled in the Crescent Avenue area, they became active in the cultural, religious, and educational affairs of the city. James W. Jackson, William D. Murray both served as presidents of the newly-formed YMCA. Henry C. Squires established the Hope Chapel on January 1, 1888 as a branch of the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. Augustus Baldwin worked closely with Job Male in establishing the first free public library and the art gallery. In 1883 some of the first subscribers to "the last word in modern efficiency," the telephone, lived in the District: George Goddard, F.O. Herring, Leander Lovell, and the Dumond family. Many served as members of the Common Council.

After Job Male's death, Plainfield continued to be a highly desirable neighborhood and remained that way until the 1930's, when many of the large homes were converted to apartments. This process continues with single family residences almost non-existent today. The alterations for the most part are tastefully done and are not detrimental to the basic style and charm of the original building. This makes for a particularly fine collection of buildings appropriate to an Historic District.
Notes on Recollections of Long-time Residents of the Area
Longtime residents of Plainfield have been interviewed regarding their recollections of famous residents of this area. Those persons interviewed were Mrs. Lawrence Heely, Mrs. Henry Noss, Mrs. Dorothy Wills, Mrs. Helen Mygatt, Mr. John Harmon, Miss Gwen Cochran, Mrs. Dorothy DeHart, Miss Dorothy Leal, Mr. Alfred Genung, Mr. Alex Kroll, Mr. A.L.C. Marsh, Mrs. Hendrick Van Oss and others.

Many people have lived there who were outstanding in cultural fields, education and politics, as well as very successful professional and business men, active both locally and in New York City. Also educators and statesmen lived here.

John Carlson, a renown artist and member of the National Academy lived on 3rd Place as did Alex Seidel who achieved international fame for his designs for Steuben Glass. Another prominent artist who lived here was Thomas Hart Benton whose brother lived for many years on Crescent Avenue. Also William Gilbert, a well known illustrator, lived on Crescent Avenue.

The author of the White Cliffs of Dover, Alice Duer Miller, A. Van Dorn Honeyman, the famous historian, lived on 9th Street, and also Van Wyk Brooks another well-known author. Ernest Ackerman, a representative in U.S. Congress in the 1870's and his brother Marion Ackerman, who lived on Crescent Avenue, founded the Lone Star Cement Company and were deeply involved in many large national important financial and industrial enterprises.

The famous opera singer, Mario Caruso, married a Goddard and was frequently a visitor to Plainfield to the Goddard House at 213 East 9th Street. This family had a profound influence on the musical advancement of the entire area.

The area abounded in lawyers, judges and politicians, including four Mayors of Plainfield, and people in the foreign service for 25 years, such as Hendrick Van Oss, most recently served as ambassador to Madagascar and other countries.

The Crescent Avenue area was truly the heart of the town and boasted the most important and influential people of the period 1860 through 1920. The homes of these people reflect their taste, affluence and are a tangible piece of architectural history reflecting a glorious past.

The Crescent Area Historic District is a great deal more than a lot of old houses. It is probably one of the finest collections of Victorian architecture in the country. The term Victorian is all inclusive and embraces numerous styles that echo tastes and decorative devices of other periods of architecture from other countries and other times than the one in which the present buildings were constructed. The majority of these have what in architectural terms is referred to as Italianate which stems from the architectural styles popular in Italy going back as far as Byzantine derivative styles, and 15th century Venetian palaces. These variety of design styles result in the sudden surge of interest in European cultures and an attempt by the suddenly successful and new class of wealthy businessmen who were anxious to reflect their success in the work of finance in their homes. These interests were stimulated by their travels abroad and what they had seen, which was considered elegant. Thus we have Tuscan towers, Italian villas, Palazzo's with loggia and arcaded window and arches, Renaissance, Egyptian motifs, classical elements, and finally the exuberant eclectic styles throwing the more American traits of Carpenter Gothic and Stick style in for good measure. English architecture is also reflected with half timber, projecting gables, Eastlake influence, Queen Anne and Edwardian styles. The detail photos of these buildings reflect the painstaking craftsmanship of the builders and imaginative design abilities of the architects. It is truly a tangible record of the past which should be preserved as close to its original state as practical, in their new role of many being converted for multi-family use.

The Crescent Area Historic District is one of the finest collections of suburban Victorian architecture in New Jersey. Developed as a speculative real estate venture in the 1870's by Job Male, the buildings are an impressive presentation of Italianate and Second Empire style architecture of the mid to late 19th century. The houses were primarily designed for wealthy businessmen and, consequently, visages within the district still retain a fine elegance in their total ambiance of buildings and their association with landscaping, rustic streets, sidewalks, and trees.

Blumenson, John J.G. Identifying American Architecture
Central New Jersey Times, 1870-1885.
Clayton, W. Woodford. History of Union & Middlesex Counties, 1882.
Cochran, Jean Carter. The History of Crescent Avenue Church
The Courier News, History of Plainfield, 1964.
The Courier News, November 1-4-8, 1954.
Devlin, Harry. To Grandfather's House We Go.
Downey, Andrew Jackson. The Architecture of Country Houses.
The Drake House Museum & The Plainfield Public Library, Scrapbooks and Files.
Dunham, F.A. Atlas City of Plainfield and Boro of North Plainfield, 1894.
Fitzgerald & Co. (Pub.). Springfield, Massachusetts, Plainfield City Directory, 1876-7.
Gowans, Alan. Images of American Living.
Honeyman, A. Van Dorn. History of Union County, Volumes I, II, & III.
Lapsley, Howard G. History of Plainfield, 1942.
League of Women Voters. This is Plainfield, 1954.
McCabe, Wayne. Historic Tour – Plainfield, N.J.
Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Plainfield Area, N.J.
Pub. by Plainfield Courier News. Plainfield & Vicinity in Pictures, 1926.
Plainfield Daily Press, Friday & Saturday, January 30, 31, 1891.
Plainfield Evening News, Saturday, May 23, 1888.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1879-80.
Plainfield & North Plainfield City Directory, 1894-5.
Pratt, Dorothy & Richard, A Guide to Early American Homes.
Smiley, F.T. History of Plainfield, 1891.
† Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., A.I.A., Architect and Marilyn Rupp, Architectural Historian, Crescent Area Historic District, Union County, New Jersey, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

June 13, 2013 Jean Nelson Cochran Obituary

JEAN NELSON COCHRAN Jean Nelson Cochran passed away peacefully on June 9, 2013 in Vero Beach, FL. She was predeceased in 2007 by her husband of 61 years, John K. Cochran. Jean was born in New York City on January 22, 1922, the daughter of Arthur G. and Christine (Warner) Nelson. She grew up in Plainfield, NJ and graduated from The Hartridge School, Pine Manor College, and the Katherine Gibbs School. She met John at the engagement party of her best friend, Nan, to John's older brother, Doug, in early 1942. They only had three dates before John departed with the Army Air Corps to North Africa and the War. Nevertheless, they became engaged on the night of his return in May of 1945 and were married the following week, in advance of what they believed to be his re-deployment to the Pacific front. Her professional life included several positions at the Plainfield Trust Company during the War and later as a research librarian at the Farmington Village Library. Jean was very involved in Junior League, the Garden Club, and Pine Manor alumni affairs wherever they lived - in Wayne, PA, Rowayton, Farmington and Old Saybrook, CT, and ultimately in Vero Beach, FL. They had a large and close group of friends on land and on sea with whom they enjoyed sailboat cruising and traveling. Jean was known for her ability to organize anything. One friend tried to have the word "Cochranized" (meaning "very highly organized") accepted by Webster's Dictionary. She even once managed to arrange a quorum of the Old Saybrook Garden Club in March in Florida. Jean was a founding member (and chief librarian) of The Oak Harbor Club in Vero Beach and a long-time member of the North Cove Yacht Club and the Essex Yacht Club in CT. She is survived by her daughter Christine and son-in-law Richard Tosi of Sanford, FL, and their sons Todd and Nikolas; and by her son William and his wife Maura Cochran of Hartford and Essex, CT. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to VNA Hospice of Indian River County, Inc. at 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960. Her family extends great appreciation to the staff at Somerset House and the Oak Harbor Club for their years of tireless support, service, attentiveness and generosity. Paid Obituary

July 18, 2013 Email from Joan Davis Eckert

July 18, 2013

The daughter of our former President, Mrs. Arthur G. (Christine Warner) Nelson, President of the PGC from 1936 - 1937 and then again 1940 - 1942, passed away June 13, 2013. It is her obituary that finally supplied Mrs. Nelson's first and maiden names.

Jean Nelson Cochran, an active garden club member herself, was in no doubt related to the Cochran family which boasts several members of the PGC:

Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elsie Cochran Martin) '15
Stewart, Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15

2013-10-03 New Jersey Committee's Fundraiser Lecture, Lunch and Floral Design Demostration

Mandy's Aunt (from the North of England), Pam O'Toole (also from the North of England), Gail Sloan, Mandy Zachariades (ditto on the North of England) and Carroll Keating.

The lady in the first row in the polka dots is Tabby Cochran, daughter-in-law of "Nashie" Cochran – famous PGC member. Here are the links to the Cochran clan:

Cochran, Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) '52
Harlow, Mrs. Edward Dexter (Elsie Cochran Martin) '15
Stewart, Mrs. Percy Hamilton (Elinor DeWitt Cochran) '15
Nash, Mrs. Philip Wallace (Helen Babcock) '57
Nash, Mrs. William Bryan (Blanche Pelz) '28

1954 - 1970 296 Images from Plainfield Library Scrapbook

December 8, 1955

OUCH! Mrs. Homer Cochran (left), treasurer of the Plainfield Garden Club, yells "Ouch!" as she sticks her finger while making wreaths in the home of Mrs. Linden Stuart Jr., 980 Hillside Ave., for Lyons Hospital. Others (left to right) are Mrs. F. N. Lockwood, first vice president; Mrs. Webster Sandford, chairman; Mrs. Robert I. Stevens, wife of the former Army secretary; and Mrs. John S. Anderegg, co-chairman

December 8, 1955 Mrs. Cochran

November 1958 NewsLeaf

The Plainfield Garden Club presents Christmas in the gracious home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. MacLeod, 11 Brook Lane, a residence which is Plainfield's oldest landmark. Tuesday and Wednesday, December 9th and 10th, from 1 to 9 P.M. you will be greeted by the hostess in costumes of the period and escorted through rooms made festive in the holiday manner.

Refreshments prepared from century-old recipes will be served and a corner cupboard will offer delicacies for call, all made by members.

Mrs. William P. Elliott is chairman of the benefit and proceeds will be used for civic planning.

Apply to Mrs. Homer P. Cochran, 961 Oakwood Place, PL 6-2123, for tickets at $2 each

Tuesday, September 28, 1965 Courier News

The Plainfield Garden Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary at a formal reception at the Monday Afternoon Club at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Mrs. Edward H. Ladd 3rd is general chairman.

Invitations have been sent to all members and their husbands, according to Mrs. Homer P. Cochran, invitations chairman.

Other chairmen are: Hospitality, Mrs. David F. Sanders; decorations, Mrs. William P. Elliott and Mrs. David S. Foster; and program, Mrs. Frederick M. Lockwood.

The Plainfield Garden CLub was organized in 1915 by 48 charter members under the leadership of the late Mrs. Frank O. herring. its primary concern, today as then, is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening among its members and to encourage interest in horticulture, conservation and civic planning and planting.

The Shakespeare Garden, Iris Garden and Cornus collection in Cedar Brook Park are several of the many civic projects initiated by the club.

1973-1974 PGC Directory

1974-1975 Directory

May 14, 1983 Centennial The Wardlaw Hartridge School

1985-1986 Year Book of the Plainfield Garden Club

Cocktail party circa 1984 at Bev Reid's

Evie Madsen on right side. Partial view of the top of Liz Cochran's head next to Evie. "J" Morse with white long sleeved dress and pocketbook speaking to Evie.

One PGC member thinks that may be Meechy Loosli in the background facing right, with pink trimmed dress. However, another memer thinks it is Mrs. Sheble.

The woman partially blocked by the gentleman in the long light blue dress is Diddles Vivian.

Cath Detwiller far left in blue and white printed dress.

Cocktail party circa 1984 at Bev Reid's

Liz Nash speaking to Fanny Day
Cath Detwiller and her sister Mrs. Davis speaking to Peg Tyler on right

(There are some that feel the lady in the green is not Dot Davis . . . ?)

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

Monday Afternoon Club Membership

November 21, 2018 Plainfield Holiday House Tour

It pays to have friends in high places! Brenda has once again used her might to secure for us advanced notice of the list of homes on the Saturday, December 1st Plainfield Holiday House tour:

* 1030 Central, Georgian Revival (1896), currently the Ducret School, former home of Mrs. Howard (Agnes Fales Strong) Huntington '19. The house is also affiliated with Mrs. Walter Miller (Mary Alice Yerkes) McGree '22 and Miss Bertha Virginia Zerega '23.
* 1023 Central Avenue, Georgian Revival Colonial (1926)
* 308 W. 8th Street, Queen Anne Victorian (1893)
* 1341 Prospect, French Normandy Tudor (1916), First the home of Mrs. Homer P. (Elisabeth Nash) Cochran '52 (who's descendant is the husband of Somerset Hills GC Tabby Cochran); and then the home of Mrs. William R. (Peggy) Barrett '67, daughter of beloved member Nancy Dwinnell Kroll (later Gordon) '60 and sister-in-law to Sally Kroll '80 and sister to Priscilla Kroll Farnum '80.
* 1420 Evergreen, Tudor (1926)
* 1112 Watchung Avenue, Georgian Revival (1921), Founding PGC Member Mrs. Frederick Washburn (Bertha Kedzie Cornwell) Yates '15 home with her sunken garden in the side yard!
* 750 Belvedere, Tudor Revival (1904)
* 1275 Denmark Road, Dutch Colonial (1935), the former home of our much beloved Mrs. Webster (Barbara Tracy) Sandford '50

Brenda adds, "If anyone wants to be a docent, the tour committee discount docents so we pay $15 instead of $35. Shifts are 10:00 to 12:30 and from 12:30 to 3:00, followed by a party at the historic art school DuCret. It's also where the boutique is held."


We have a long list of all the Plainfield homes & Gardens (in street alphabetical order) here. If you are going on the tour, be sure to check out the neighboring houses – they may have once hosted at PGC meeting!