The New International Encyclopædia/Newark (New Jersey)
NEWARK, nū′ẽrk. The largest city of New Jersey, a port of entry, and the county-seat of Essex County, eight miles west of New York; on the west bank of the Passaic River, which empties into Newark Bay three miles below the city proper, and on the Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley, the Lackawanna, the Erie, and the Central of New Jersey railroads (Map: New Jersey, D 2). The city occupies an area of about 18½ square miles on a generally level plain. Toward the west, however, the ground rises, affording the beautiful sites of a popular residential district. Though Newark contains the homes of many business men of New York, it has distinct individuality as a manufacturing city, and many members of its industrial and commercial community find homes in the beautiful surrounding suburbs of the Oranges, Montclair, Caldwell, Irvington, and other places with which the city is connected by a network of electric railways. The streets are regularly laid out, and the main avenues are broad and well paved with granite or asphalt, 137 miles of the total street mileage (231) being paved. Broad Street, the principal thoroughfare and business street, having a width which justifies its name, presents a handsome appearance, enhanced by the stately elm-trees in the parks that border it for a considerable distance. There are many public parks—Branch Brook, Military (formerly the old training ground), Washington, Lincoln, East Side, and West Side; and statues of General Philip Kearny, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, and Seth Boyden, the inventor, a bronze bust of Abraham Coles, and a bronze Indian group. The finest edifices include the Federal building, accommodating the custom house and post office; the Public Library, which cost $350,000; the Prudential Life Insurance building, the high school, and the Peddie Memorial Church. The City Hospital, the German, Saint Michael's, Saint Barnabas, and Saint James hospitals, and the Essex County Hospital for the Insane are among the more prominent charitable institutions. There are in the city nine public hospitals, fourteen public homes, and four orphan asylums. Newark has the Newark Academy, a well-known classical school of long standing. Saint Benedict's College, and the Newark Technical School, a city institution. The Public Library contains 80,000 volumes. Other libraries are the Board of Trade, Young Men's Catholic Association, County Law, High School, and State Historical Society. The last-named institution has also an interesting collection of relics. Newark is essentially an industrial centre, having long been noted for the extent and variety of its products, which, according to the census of 1900, were valued at $126,954,000. The more important manufactures include leather, machinery, foundry and machine-shop products, jewelry, saddlery, hardware, celluloid, spool cotton, boots and shoes, carriages, hats and caps, clothing, trunks, paper, varnish, chemicals, rubber, beer, and ale. The water frontage of the city extends along the Passaic River and Newark Bay for a distance of 10½ miles, and there is a large trade by river, as well as by rail.
The government is vested in a mayor, elected every two years, a unicameral council, and subordinate administrative officials appointed or elected as follows: By the mayor—city counsel, attorney and assistant, excise and assessment commissioners, trustees of the public library, and police justices; by the mayor with the consent of the council—police, fire, and health commissioners, city comptroller, auditor, and tax commisioners; by the council—treasurer, tax receiver, city clerk, and building inspector, and assistants; by popular vote—board of education, and board of street and water commissioners. The annual expenditures for maintenance and operation are about $4,875,000, the principal items being $900,000 for schools, $425,000 for the police department (including amounts for police courts, jails, reformatories, etc.), $410,000 for interest on debt, $340,000 for the water-works, $300,000 for the fire department, $215,000 for municipal lighting. $205,000 for charitable institutions, and $125,000 for street expenditures. The water-works, built at a cost of $6,000,000, are owned and operated by the municipality, the entire system now comprising about 300 miles of mains. There are nearly 180 miles of sewers. Newark has (1902) a bonded debt of $17,585,000, and an assessed property valuation (real and personal) of about $160,000,000.
Population, in 1810, 8008; 1830, 10,953; 1850, 38,894; 1860, 71,941; 1870, 105,059; 1880, 136,508; 1890, 181,830; 1900, 246,070, including 71,400 persons of foreign birth and 6700 of negro descent.
Newark was settled in 1666 by a party of thirty from Milford, Conn., led by Robert Treat. In 1667 a company from Guilford and Branford, dissatisfied with the union of New Haven and Connecticut, came here under the leadership of Abraham Pierson. The settlement was strictly religious, the rights of full citizenship being restricted to members of the Congregational Church. At first called Milford, it was renamed in 1667 after Pierson's English home, Newark-upon-Trent. It originally included a large part of the present Essex County, in which the towns of Belleville, Bloomfield, Clinton, Montclair, and the Oranges later grew up. In 1745-46 the English grantees of East Jersey attempted to invalidate the Indian titles of the settlers, claiming that they alone could grant land. Riots ensued which were repressed with difficulty. Newark was chartered as a town in 1712; in 1777 it was occupied first by Washington, and then, along with all that section of New Jersey, by the British, who plundered the inhabitants and destroyed much property. The College of New Jersey, later Princeton University (q.v.), was located here from 1748 to 1756. In 1798 Newark received a second town charter, and in 1836 was incorporated as a city. In 1836 occurred the most destructive fire in the city's history, and in 1837 the widespread business panic caused much distress. Consult: Atkinson, The History of Newark, N. J. (Newark, 1878); and Records of the Town of Newark, 1666-1836 (Newark, 1864).