The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Newark (New Jersey)
NEWARK, a port of entry and the chief city of New Jersey, capital of Essex co., situated on the W. bank of the Passaic river, 4 m. above its entrance into Newark bay, and 9 m. W. of New York; pop. in 1840, 17,290; in 1845, 25,433; in 1850, 38,894; in 1855, 51,711 ; in 1860, 71,941; in 1865, 87,428; in 1870, 105,059, of whom 69,175 were natives and 35,884 foreigners, including 15,873 Germans, 12,481 Irish, and 4,041 English. The number of families was 21,631; of dwellings, 14,350. The city is divided into 15 wards, is for the most part regularly laid out, and embraces an area of about 17½ sq. m. The streets are generally wide and airy, and are bordered with many fine residences. The main street, called Broad street, is very spacious and handsome, 132 ft. wide and 2½ m. long, shaded with majestic elms, adorned with numerous tasteful edifices, and skirting in its course Washington, Military, and South parks, which are embowered with lofty elms. There are about 140 m. of improved streets, of which nearly 100 m. are graded, and more than 30 m. paved. The city is supplied with water collected from a large number of springs on the neighboring high grounds into a reservoir, and thence distributed by pipes. It is also supplied with gas, and has a system of sewerage, about 30 m. of sewers having been completed. There are four cemeteries within the limits of the city: Woodland, Fairmount, Mount Pleasant, and the Catholic cemetery. Mount Pleasant, the oldest, occupies 40 acres of ground on the Passaic river, and is elegantly laid out in winding avenues thickly shaded by ornamental trees and flowering shrubbery. Besides the churches, the most noteworthy buildings are the custom house, city hall, and several of the banks and insurance buildings. Newark has ample means of communication with New York, Philadelphia, and the surrounding country, railroad trains running to New York every few minutes through the day. The lines are the New Jersey, Newark and New York, Morris and Essex, Newark and Elizabeth, Paterson and Newark, Newark and Bloomfield, Newark and Hudson, Newark and Clinton, and Montclair railroads. The Morris canal brings the coal of Lehigh valley through the heart of the city. Several lines of horse cars run to various parts of the city and to the adjoining towns. The value of imports into the customs district from foreign countries for the year ending June 30, 1874, was $19,020; of exports to foreign countries, $83,997. The number of entrances in the foreign trade was 35, with an aggregate tonnage of 4,562; clearances, 42, of 7,399 tons; number of entrances in the coastwise trade, 53, of 13,153 tons; clearances, 46, of 11,537 tons. The number of vessels belonging in the district was 136, of 12,158 tons, viz.: 49 sailing vessels, 2,604 tons; 26 steamers, 2,612 tons; 53 canal boats, 5,563 tons; and 8 barges, 1,379 tons.—Newark is noted for the extent and variety of its manufactures, among the most important of which are jewelry, saddlery and harness materials, felt and silk hats, patent leather and morocco, carriages, varnish, ale and lager beer, trunks and valises, chemicals, cotton thread, clothing, boots and shoes, agricultural implements, fertilizers, machinery, and sewing silk. The smelting and refining of gold, silver, and lead ores is also a prominent interest. The latest and most complete returns of the trade and manufactures of the city (for the year ending Dec. 31, 1871) embrace 1,015 establishments, employing 29,174 hands; capital invested, $34,407,670; wages paid, $14,767,257; value of products, $72,879,036. The business of banking was started in Newark in 1805. There are now 11 banks, with an aggregate capital of $5,783,500; 5 savings banks and 3 trust companies, with assets amounting to $21,572,629 35; 3 life insurance companies, with $30,141,486 54 assets; and 16 fire insurance companies, with $5,681,426 71 assets. The mutual benefit life insurance company, one of the most prosperous in the country, has upward of $28,500,000 assets. The total capital and assets of the financial institutions amount to $63,179,042 60. There is a board of trade with 150 members, chartered in 1869.—The city is governed by a mayor and a board of 30 aldermen, and has an efficient fire department and an effective policy force. The receipts into the city treasury for the year ending Dec. 31, 1873, including a balance on hand at the beginning of the period of $439,635 62, were $6,857,788 62; disbursements, $6,577,721 78; balance, $280,066 85. The total debt, less sinking fund, on Dec. 31, 1874, was $5,599,511 51; assets of the city, $5,503,156 78. The assessed valuation of property has been as follows: 1866, $50,866,700; 1867, $54,917,200; 1868, $62,794,957; 1869, $72,058,436; 1870, $77,015,279; 1871, $86,985,341; 1872, $97,330,341; 1873, $102,047,840; 1874, $105,623,710. The principal charitable organizations are the city reform school, Essex county home for the insane, Newark orphan asylum, German hospital, city dispensary, boys' lodging house and children's aid society, hospital of St. Barnabas, society for the relief of respectable aged women, home for the friendless, St. Michael's hospital, St. James's hospital and orphan asylum, St. Vincent's industrial school, St. Peter's orphan asylum and kindergarten, St. Mary's orphan asylum, and the New Jersey home for disabled soldiers. There is an excellent system of public schools, embracing a high school, 12 grammar schools, 20 primary schools, 2 primary industrial schools, 7 evening schools, and a Saturday normal school. The number of school buildings owned by the city is 21; value of sites, $375,000; of buildings and furniture, $645,000. The number of children between the ages of 5 and 18 years in 1873 was 30,045; number of pupils enrolled in day schools, 15,090; in evening schools, 1,495; number of teachers employed in day schools, 218; in evening schools, 35; in Saturday normal school, 4; expended for support of schools, $187,553 57; for school houses, $100,017 09. Newark academy, incorporated in 1795, is one of the oldest institutions in the state. There are several well attended Catholic schools. There are two libraries, that of the Newark library association, containing 20,000 volumes, and that of the New Jersey historical society, containing 6,000 volumes and 10,000 pamphlets, besides manuscripts of great value and rarity, and a cabinet of curiosities and relics. There are 6 daily (1 German) and 11 weekly (2 German) newspapers, and a monthly periodical. The number of churches (besides 10 missions) is 93, viz.: Baptist, 13; Congregational, 2; Episcopal, 11; German Evangelical Protestant, 1; Jewish, 3; Lutheran, 3; Methodist, 18; Methodist Protestant, 2; Presbyterian, 18; Reformed, 9; Roman Catholic, 8; Second Adventist, 1; Spiritualist, 1; Swedenborgian, 1; Unitarian, 1; Universalist, 1.—Newark was settled in May, 1666, by about 30 families from Milford and New Haven, Conn., under the lead of Capt. Robert Treat, afterward governor of Connecticut, to which he returned at a later period. In 1667 they were joined by about an equal number of settlers from Guilford and Branford, Conn., under the lead of the Rev. Abraham Pierson, their minister, who having in early life preached in Newark, England, gave that name to the new town. Their object seems to have been to establish a Puritan community, to be administered under the laws of God, by members of the church, on strictly democratic principles. The settlers laid out the town plat of Newark, with its spacious streets and parks as they now exist. During the revolution the town was successively occupied by the American and British troops, and was subject to incursions from New York. On the establishment of peace it received a new impulse, and soon became very prosperous. It was incorporated as a city in 1836.